How To Write a Police Officer Resume

The first step in getting your dream job as a police officer after graduating from the academy is to craft a detailed resume. It needs to show how your training and experience, such as enforcing the law, handling K-9s, and resolving conflict, prepared you for the role. Learn how to write a police officer resume, and find examples you can follow below.

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level
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1. Create a profile by summarizing your police officer qualifications

Start your resume with a short profile paragraph describing your experience as an officer. This will vary depending on your job history. But you can include things like how many years you’ve been in law enforcement, what divisions you’ve worked in, and whether you have any special skills, such as foreign language fluency or experience as a K-9 handler. The goal here is to show you meet the basic requirements for the job and gain the hiring manager’s interest so they read further.

Senior-Level Profile Example

Dedicated police officer and lieutenant with nearly 10 years’ experience working with K-9 partners to detect narcotics and explosives, apprehend suspects, and enforce state and federal laws.

Entry-Level Profile Example

Dedicated police officer with over two years of experience. Skilled at resolving conflicts and disarming hostile situations. Actively engage with community leaders to find relevant solutions and effect positive change. Bilingual: Fluent in English and Spanish.

2. Create a powerful list of your police officer experiences

For each past law enforcement job, list your daily activities and any larger duties, such as scheduling or overseeing patrol operations. You can also include specific achievements or performance metrics, such as the number of incident-free arrests. If you’re not sure which aspects to highlight, refer back to the job posting to get a better idea of what is expected in the new role and focus on any relevant experience.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example

K-9 Unit Lieutenant

Police Department – City of Coos Bay, Coos Bay, OR | August 2017- present

  • Supervise K-9 unit sergeants and staff members
  • Assign K-9 police officers to shifts, patrol operations, and investigations
  • Review officers’ reports, and ensure adherence to all policies and procedures
  • Patrol with K-9 officers to maintain strong police presence and deter criminal activity
  • Team with trained dogs to enforce laws, respond to emergencies, and find and apprehend suspects

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example

Police Officer

City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA | July 2020 – present

  • Patrol assigned area by foot and car to help direct traffic, enforce laws, and ensure public safety
  • Answer calls and investigate complaints of criminal activity
  • Take proper action at crime scenes by gathering evidence, locating witnesses, and making arrests as needed
  • Appear in court to present evidence and testify against defendants

3. List any education and certifications relevant to police officers

A background in criminal justice and advanced credentials can boost your candidacy, and some higher rankings may require a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Your resume should include not just your degree(s) but any relevant certificates or training you’ve done, such as hostage negotiation or Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).



  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] – [Graduation Year]


  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR – 2020



  • [Certification Name], [Completion Year]


  • Crime Scene Technician, 2022

Police officers must be observant, collaborative, physically fit, and able to take charge in difficult situations. Add a section to your resume highlighting these skills so the hiring manager quickly sees you’re a strong candidate. Below we’ve compiled a list of common key skills for police officers so you can get started:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Armed security Community engagement
Community service and education Conflict de-escalation and resolution
Constitutional policing Crime scene management
Criminal investigations Defensive tactics
Efficiency improvement Evidence collection
Firearm safety and operation First aid
Forcible arrests Highway emergency response
Interagency collaboration Law enforcement procedures
Patrol vehicle operation Public safety and security
Rapid problem-solving Reporting and documentation
Team leadership and motivation Victim and suspect interviewing

How To Pick the Best Police Officer Resume Template

If you decide to start with a template instead of writing your resume from scratch, choose carefully. A police officer resume should be straightforward, with clearly organized sections and headers. The hiring manager should be able to skim it quickly without reading long blocks of text. Above all, your resume should look professional and make a positive impression. Use a traditional resume font and a conservative color scheme.

Police Officer Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level

Christian Nichols
(884) 429-8311
[email protected]
57 Nightingale Court, Parkville, MO 64152


Police Sergeant with 7+ years of advancement and experience. Draw on strong knowledge of state and federal laws, local ordinances, and community police policies. Natural collaborator who builds productive relationships with various departments and organization levels. Equally effective in a leadership or hands-on role.

Key Skills

  • Community Engagement
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Constitutional Policing
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration
  • Efficiency Improvement
  • Firearm Safety & Operation
  • Rapid Problem-Solving
  • Reporting & Documentation
  • Team Leadership

Professional Experience

Police Sergeant, City of Chicago Police Department, Chicago, IL | November 2020 to Present

  • Oversee, motivate, and performance-manage a squad of officers
  • Review officers’ reports for completeness and accuracy
  • Train new officers on department policies and procedures, and monitor progress
  • Patrol community by foot, car, and bicycle
  • Respond to calls for assistance, complaints, suspicious activity, domestic disputes, or disruptive behavior
  • Investigate traffic accidents, and issue citations as needed
  • Direct traffic and participate in emergency operation activities
  • Investigate crimes by interviewing witnesses, gathering physical evidence, and arresting and processing suspects
  • Prepare cases and testify in court as needed

University Police Officer, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL | March 2016 to August 2020

  • Charged with helping ensure campus safety and security, under direction of sergeant
  • Enforced campus policies, local ordinances, and state laws and regulations
  • Responded to accidents, incidents, and emergencies
  • Conducted initial and follow-up investigations
  • Participated in education efforts on crime prevention and community-oriented public safety


Kansas City Regional Police Academy, Kansas City, MO

  • Leadership Academy | 2019
  • Recruit Training | 2016

Graduate, Archbishop O’Hara High School, Kansas City, MO | 2015


Crime Scene Technician

Criminal Investigator

Frequently Asked Questions: Police Officer Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for police officer resumes?-

Strong action verbs can set you apart from other applicants and help a hiring manager picture you in the role. If you’re not sure which to choose, check out this list of common action verbs for police officer resumes:

Action Verbs
Adapt Adhere
Analyze Apprehend
Collect Conduct
De-escalate Detain
Educate Engage
Interview Investigate
Liaise Maintain
Observe Resolve
Respond Surveil
How do you align your resume with a job posting?-

The occupational outlook for law enforcement positions is expected to be slower than average through 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means there are likely fewer job openings – and more applicants per posting. Increase the chances of your resume reaching the top of the pile by aligning it to each position. Use keywords and phrases from the job posting in your resume, and prominently display any must-have credentials.

What is the best police officer resume format?-

In nearly all cases, use a combination (or hybrid) resume because it’s easiest for hiring managers to learn about your pertinent skills and experience – it’s also best for you to align with your job goals.

With the Combination format, you highlight your most relevant skills and experience in your Experience or Work History section and an intro section. (This combination of work history and intro content is where the format gets its name.) Your resume intro should usually include a Profile summary and Key Skills section, but you may also add a Career Highlights or Awards section. By carefully choosing the details for these intro sections, you can position yourself for your target job and give hiring managers a clear, quick view of what you offer.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

Writing a cover letter to include with your resume is an extra step, but it’s well worth the effort. A cover letter puts your resume in context by letting you elaborate on your top points and tell the hiring manager why you want the job. But it’s still a good idea to keep a police officer cover letter short and easy to skim, so don’t let yours be more than a page long.

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