Police Officer Resume Example + Guide + Tips

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert
Last Updated: December 29, 2023
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Police officers are on the front lines of keeping our communities safe. They patrol neighborhoods, respond to emergency calls, investigate crimes and enforce the law. Their work requires a great deal of dedication, courage and compassion. They are faced with difficult and often dangerous situations and must make difficult decisions in a split second.

In the same way that a police officer reflects the brand of a municipality, your resume should reflect your brand and who you are as a person. If you’re not sure how to write a resume that does this effectively, you’ve come to the right place. Our guide to creating a professional police officer resume will help you call attention to the skills and traits that set you apart from the pack to land an interview at your target employer.

Police Officer Resume Template Customize this resume

Start by editing this resume template for a police officer role, or explore our library of customizable resume templates to find the best option for your needs.

Police officer resume sample (text version)

LAUREN LEE

Shermer, NC 27425
555 555 5555
example@example.com

Professional Summary

Reliable police officer dedicated to saving lives, increasing community safety and decreasing crime rates. Experience in law enforcement, including assisting citizens, responding to emergencies, investigating accidents and conducting routine patrols. Exceptional report writing and documentation abilities to meet legal requirements. Extensive conflict and crisis prevention experience.

Skills

  • Search and seizure laws familiarity
  • Community relations
  • Felony laws knowledge
  • Drug laws enforcement
  • Calm under pressure
  • Crime prevention training
  • Arrest techniques
  • Fingerprinting
  • Patrol procedures
  • Surveillance expert

Work History

November 2020 – Current
Shermer City – Shermer, NC
Police Officer

  • Prepare 12 cases for trial and appeared and testified in court as a witness.
  • Conduct covert, undercover investigations to uncover ongoing crimes and crimes in progress.
  • Mediate domestic-related disturbances and protect victims from harm.
  • Participate in high-speed vehicle chases in serious and emergency situations.
  • Assist in conducting traffic surveys to determine problem areas, improving traffic safety by 55%.
  • Developed and implemented a new teen outreach program with the sergeant to address rising drug usage in the area.
  • Proposed patrol route policy changes which were implemented by the department and resulted in a 45% decrease in mugging rates in downtown and tourist areas.

September 2017 – October 2020
Virginia Beach City – Virginia Beach, VA
Police Officer

  • Gathered preliminary investigation information as a first responder to crime scenes.
  • Responded quickly to dispatch and took appropriate action at crime and disaster scenes.
  • Directed traffic during five emergencies and congested situations.
  • Instructed suspects on field sobriety tests and used portable equipment to perform tests.
  • Liaised with an average of 10 school counselors and administrators regarding juvenile offenders.

June 2014 – August 2017
Virginia Beach Emergency Communications – Virginia Beach, VA
911 Operator

  • Maintained optimal up time to ensure all emergency calls received attention.
  • Assessed an average of 60 emergency requests per shift and made quick judgment calls to determine appropriate action.
  • Followed procures diligently, documented notes thoroughly and provided prompt assistance.
  • Volunteered for extra shifts when the department was short-staffed.
    Received several commendations for exceptional performance.

Education

June 2014
Jay Johnson College of Criminal Justice Virginia Beach, VA
Associate of Science Criminal Justice
Recipient of Marsha Whit Honors Scholarship
Law Enforcement and Justice Administration coursework

5 essentials of a top police officer resume

  1. Contact details

    Add your contact information to the top of your resume so employers can get in touch with you for an interview. As our sample resume for a police officer shows, your contact information must include your full name, city, state and ZIP code, phone number and professional email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile or any other professional networking profile, add this last.

  2. Personal statement

    Most resumes begin with a personal statement, also known as a professional summary, that introduces the job seeker and their most notable credentials. In no more than five sentences, a police officer resume summary should highlight job-relevant skills, note one or two key accomplishments and stipulate years of work experience. The only time you wouldn’t use a summary is if you’re applying for your first job or changing careers. In these cases, it’s better to use a police officer resume objective that both emphasizes important skills and sheds light on your career goals.

    Here’s an example of a great police officer resume summary: 

    Experienced police officer with 10+ years of experience in law enforcement. Possess a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and a commitment to public safety. Skilled in community policing, investigating crimes, managing high-pressure situations and providing effective public service. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to work collaboratively with other law enforcement personnel. Dedicated to upholding the law and protecting the rights of citizens.

  3. Skills

    Grab the hiring manager’s attention by creating a police officer resume skills section that features job-relevant capabilities in a bulleted list. Ensure the skills you include match the job description so hiring managers can see that you meet their needs. It’s best to include both hard skills like knowledge of the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction, and soft skills, such as crisis management and conflict resolution.

  4. Work history

    Even if this is your first job, your police officer resume must still include a section to display your work experience. In reverse-chronological order, show current and previous employers and provide police department or agency names, locations and the dates you worked for them. Include three bullet points of measurable achievements for every job you list. If you don’t have any paid work experience yet, focus on supervised field experience from your training as well as volunteer work and community service.

    Your police officer resume accomplishments might look like this:

    • Arrested and prosecuted over 50 criminals for a variety of offenses such as drug trafficking, assault and fraud.
    • Successfully completed over 500 traffic stops without incident.
    • Responded to over 200 emergency calls and resolved critical incidents with minimal use of force.
  5. Education

    Follow the lead of our police officer resume example and include an education section in your resume to showcase your training and qualifications. In reverse-chronological order, use bullet points to display the names of schools, colleges and/or training academies you’ve attended and the years you graduated. If you did not attend college, list your high school information and the programs and courses you’ve completed since graduating.

    The educational requirements for police officers vary by state and agency. Generally, police officers must have at least a high school diploma or GED, although some agencies may require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Additionally, most states require police officers to complete a police academy training program, which typically lasts between 10 and 12 weeks. Most states also require police officers to pass a physical exam and drug test, and some require a psychological evaluation. Depending on the state, police officers may also be required to have an EMT certification or have prior military or law enforcement experience.

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] Do’s and don’ts for building a police officer resume

  • Use measurable achievements to describe your police officer skills and experience. For example, “Trained over 50 officers in the use of weapons and safety protocols.”
  • Use action words like “escort,” “protect” and “detain” to make an impact on your police officer resume.
  • Tailor your resume to your target police officer job.
  • Use keywords from the job description throughout your police officer resume.
  • Format your resume so that it is easy to read by ATS software and human eyes.
  • Lie about your law enforcement experience and skills.
  • Boast that you’re the “most competent police officer in the state.” Instead, focus on your past achievements, like “Collaborated with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and apprehend several high-profile suspects.”
  • Add skills and experience that don’t relate to a police officer role.
  • Forget to proofread. A police officer resume with errors is unprofessional.

Top 4 tips for acing a police officer interview

  1. Research.

    It’s vital to take the time to learn about the police department, federal agency or institution you’re applying to before the interview. Doing so conveys interest, passion and commitment—traits that can set you above the competition. 

    Some things to consider:

    • Community relations with the police. 
    • Policies and procedures surrounding officer conduct. 
    • Use of force policies and practices. 
    • Procedures for filing complaints against the police. 
    • Availability of police training programs. 
    • Availability of specialized police units, such as bicycle or mounted patrol.
  2. Practice.

    Practice does make perfect. To prepare for your interview, start by reviewing the most common interview questions, such as: 

    And be ready to answer job-specific questions such as:

    • How have you been successful in handling difficult situations?
    • What strategies have you used to de-escalate tense situations?
    • How do you handle stressful situations?
    • Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision as an officer.
    • What do you think are the most important qualities for a police officer?
    • What would you do if you found yourself in an ethically challenging situation?
    • What have you done to stay up to date on changes in the law enforcement field?
    • Are you comfortable with carrying a firearm?

    Write down two or three possible answers for each question, then practice answering them with a friend or family member. 

  3. Ask questions.

    Always have at least three questions ready for each person you speak with during the interview process. Doing so shows that you’re genuinely interested in the job and have been paying close attention.

    Some questions you might ask for a police officer job are: 

    • What is your policy for working with members of the community?
    • How do you handle community outreach and engagement?
    • What is the department’s approach to de-escalation and conflict resolution?
    • What is the department’s policy on diversity and inclusion?
    • What challenges do police officers face in this city?
  4. Prepare references.

    Have professional references ready before you enter your interview — you never know if the hiring manager might want to contact them immediately. Ask a former supervisor and two former colleagues who can speak about your performance as a police officer and who you know will give you an excellent review.

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