Essentials for Writing Your First CV as a Correctional Officer

*** This is a guest blog post by Michael McPherson ***

Being a correctional officer is a tough gig, and you will need the right qualifications and experience to get a job, but you are otherwise in luck. People around the world are crying out for correctional officers, so you are very likely to get a job, even if it is on a reserve or time-bank basis. Here is how you get your CV noticed.

You do not have to concentrate on your crime-free past

Many people who apply for jobs as correctional officers will hark on about their clean sheet and crime-free history, but the staff who deal with your application do not care about that. They run a criminal-record check that spans the entirety of your life, and they run a credit check to see if you are in debt. If you fail either of those checks, then they will not even read your CV, so there is no need to go on about your crime-free past in your CV.

Numerous types of experiences are applicable

If you have any applicable experience, then that is what you should highlight within your CV because that is what they care about the most. The fact is that correctional officer positions are almost always available because they have a very high staff-turnover rate. People start and then quit after a day, a week or a few months. The fact is that people with experience tend to last a little longer, which is why they prefer people with experience.

However, you should be aware that many forms of experience are applicable, such as if you have been in the police force, emergency services, the military services or if you have martial arts training. You will obviously need the correct qualifications, but the fact is that experience in any or all of these fields will help you get the job, which is why you should highlight such experience in your CV.

There is a team of diligent and professional experts waiting at your beck and call. You may not be very good at writing CVs, and you may find that your applications are cast on the wayside because your CV has no impact. At they have people who write CVs for a living. They know how to build power, value and impact into your CV so that it leaps off the page when your future employer reads it.

Put your most important qualifications first on your CV

Some people are tempted to put their qualifications in date order from when they got them. That is fair enough, but if you do that then you must highlight (in bold) the qualifications that apply to the job.

The other way to get your relevant qualifications noticed is to put them first. Things such as your public order training, your sociology degree, etc, are all things you could put first within the qualifications section of your CV.

Highlight your resilience

You can enter short paragraphs, stories and instances where you have shown dogged determination and tenacity. As mentioned earlier, a lot of correctional officers leave in a short space of time after undergoing months of expensive training. The last thing the HR and management team wants is an applicant who will do the same. You need to make a point of showing you are going to stick to the job, that you are not easily intimidated, and that you have the moral tenacity and character to work at something and not run at the first sign of trouble or discomfort.

Do not create a single-page CV

People advise job seekers to write a single-page CV because most employers do not like reading long CVs. This is true, but only for minimum-wage/low paying jobs. If you are applying for a job that is to be your career, then you can make your CV as long as you like.

If you genuinely want to make this job your career, then you should have a lot to say, and one page of CV material will not cover it. Your CV is not supposed to be a carbon copy of your application form. It is supposed to be a piece of marketing literature that sells you as the perfect person for the job. Make it as long as it needs to be.

*** Michael McPherson is a graduate student from Boston University, freelance blogger and a regular contributor at essayhipster. You may follow him on Twitter: ***

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