One of the critical documents used in the police promotion process is your professional resume, yet there is nothing critical to building an effective one. Your professional resume is important in a number of ways. It serves as an illustration of who you are and what you have done, but more importantly, it creates the first impression, good or bad, of your ability and willingness to rise to the highest ranks within your organization. If you were to think of your career as a movie, your resume would serve as a preview. Resumes require great attention to detail. They must be absolutely error-free and the content must be designed specifically for the position for which you are competing. Naturally, the content of your resume is paramount, however, its aesthetic appeal is also very important, since the format, style, font, spacing and the use of varied type (bold, underlined, italic) achieves a symmetry visual written.

While the art and technique of writing a resume can fill a book, it does give you some tips for answering common questions about the resume.

  • Can a resume be longer than two pages? Of course, but only if there is a real need. Eliminate fluff, repetition, and minutia and all training courses that have nothing to do with your new position. Be concise and summarize, covering the highlights, not the details. Less is more.
  • Candidates submit their resumes printed on quality paper. The good resume is copied and placed in the officer’s personnel file. Inexpensive Xerox copies are provided to the oral panel. To avoid this, provide at least four quality paper copies for the panel to get the best version.
  • Stick with bright white, off-white (bone, eggshell, ivory, etc.) or light tan colored paper. Use 24-32 pound quality paper that is 100% cotton or linen finishing paper.
  • Use underlined, bold, and slightly increased font sizes to add punch to parts of your resume, but don’t lag behind. Include periods at the end of bulleted lists when they are written in sentence form. Think clean, concise and simple. Do not use misleading clipart or graphics. Concise bulleted lists are preferred over long paragraphs.
  • For internal promotions, there is no reason to include your home address, phone numbers, or email addresses unless instructed to do so. This information is for entry level personal. The oral interview panel will not call or write you and Human Resources already has this information.
  • For reasons of clarity, readability, and space in the resume, avoid unnecessary sentences with words. Consider replacing “with the purpose of” gold “for“with”for.“Replace”Due to the fact that” gold “for the reason that“with”because.“Replace”through” gold “Through the use of“with”by” gold “with.“Replace”at this time” gold “at this point in time“with”now” gold “currently.
  • Use a single concise sentence to illustrate what your main goal is. “Promotion to Sergeant” gold “Provide outstanding leadership as a Lieutenant in the Los Angeles Police Department.“or a similar variation will suffice. Avoid words or lengthy brain descriptions that are obviously intended for display and not content:”Introducing my value-driven leadership persona to the ever-changing paradigms of the 21st century law enforcement workplace.“Wordy and overwritten sentences like this are not only ineffective, they will also be viewed negatively.

Let this information serve as an introductory springboard to self-directed learning on how to make your resume dynamic and representative of a professional. Taste good!

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