How to Improve Your Chance of Getting a Police Career
While cops are always needed in most areas of the world, the majority of people tend to fail the selection process to become police officers. After all, working in law enforcement is not an easy career and comes with a huge amount of responsibility. The right people are needed to work in the police, and departments take it very seriously when it comes to who they hire. If you want to pursue a career as a police officer, you’ll need to be prepared to be up against some strong competition. Policing is a popular career choice and hundreds of people will usually apply for a position, with only the strongest applications considered. If you can’t imagine any other career for you, then getting rejected can be heart-breaking. The good news is that you’re in control and when you have the right knowledge, there are several things that you can do to convince the police that you are the right person for them to take on. Here are some of the main things to do to improve your chance of success when applying to become a police officer.
Study a Relevant Subject
While many police officer jobs don’t require a degree and there are on-the-job training programs available, studying a relevant subject that demonstrates your commitment to this career path can help you stand out and get noticed. In addition, degree-educated applicants might be better suited to higher-up positions and may have a better chance of career advancement in the future if this is something that you are interested in. Degrees in the social sciences are popular choices for police officers, or you could study something that focuses on law enforcement and criminal justice. A criminology degree from WLU Online is a great place to get started on your pathway to becoming a cop.
Know What’s Expected of You in the Role
Improving your chance of being accepted into the police means that you will need to show that you understand what’s going to be expected of you in the role. All too often, people apply for the police thinking that it’s going to be like what they’ve seen in TV shows and movies only to be bitterly disappointed when it’s just not that dramatic. In addition, police departments are interested in people who know what it’s going to take for them to be a good police officer and are demonstrating their commitment to improving these skills. For example, you will need to be emotionally intelligent, have empathy and be able to communicate effectively with people from a wide range of backgrounds.
A good police officer is able to work effectively as a team and enjoys collaborating with others to solve problems and meet goals, along with not being scared to take responsibility and ownership when things go wrong or when they are needed. Officers need to be skilled at critical thinking – during the application process, this skill is going to be tested a lot, and your ability to evaluate and analyze situations to make the right decision is going to be carefully observed.
Demonstrate Your Qualities and Skills
Listing your skills and qualities on a resume is one thing, but when you are applying to work in the police, they are not going to simply trust what they read. You will be required to demonstrate the qualities and skills that you possess if you want to get any further than sending your application form. This is especially true when it comes to the skills that are essential to getting into this career path like communication, critical thinking, adaptability, empathy, and teamwork. Many application forms will include tests that you’ll need to complete before you can send your application to give you a chance to demonstrate these skills, so spend some time thinking of any examples from your past that you can mention to tell a story of when these skills have been put to use successfully in your professional or even personal life.
How to Perfect the Interview Process
If you are invited to an interview, you’ve gotten through to the next stage in the process of eventually becoming a cop. But after getting this far, it’s not a time to become complacent. The interview is a crucial moment in your application process where hiring professionals will be looking out for the ways that you can demonstrate everything that you have mentioned in your application so far and how you respond to a variety of questions or situations. Many police interviews come in different parts including a one-to-one interview where you’ll be asked a series of questions about yourself, your values, and your past work experience, and group interviews with problems to solve where you can demonstrate your skills in real-time and work together as a team with other applicants to make a good impression.
Evidence-based responses are an ideal way to answer the questions that are put to you during the interview, so think of some situations that might apply and how you are going to describe them, and what you did. You can also expect some more searching questions compared to what you may have experienced in other job interviews, such as how certain situations you’ve been in have made you feel and if you’d do something differently if you were faced with it again.
Check Your Background and Eligibility
Finally, bear in mind that your background is going to be checked extensively before you are offered a position in the police. No matter your skills and education, past criminal activity can come back to bite you. In some cases, a poor credit rating might also prevent you from getting into the police due to the authority and access you’ll have in this role. It’s worth spending the time to background check yourself to make sure that you’re aware of what the police will see when they do this, and correct any errors you find. If there is something from your past that you suspect might cause problems, being upfront about it is always the best option.
Getting into the police is no easy feat and can be highly competitive. Keep these tips in mind to improve your chance of success.
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