How to Make Your Criminal Justice Resume Stand Out

how to write a resume without relevant job experienceThe field of criminal justice has grown quite popular, so if this is the field you are going to pursue, it is important that your Criminal Justice Resume stands out as much as possible. It is hard to predict exactly what a specific employer will want from a candidate. Sometimes, they look for a lot of experience in the area, other times they want a recent college graduate who is ready to apply fresh knowledge and enthusiasm to the job. In either instance, you need to make yourself look good while still remaining sincere.


Before you start writing your resume, think hard on why you believe you can do the job, and what skills will be needed. Take time to evaluate the company you’re applying to as well and make sure they are a company that you can feel good about working for. Double check your own professionalism as well. Your voice mail should sound neutral and professional, and your email address should also be professional and include at least your last name. “Janeofthejungle@yahoo” won’t do.

Choosing a Format

Most resumes fall into one of two categories, with a small handful representing a combination of forms. The most traditional is chronological where it lists relevant experience and education in the order in which it was obtained. A functional, skill based resume highlights skills that are most pertinent to the desired position. A hybrid resume quickly outlines skills, and then goes on to list work experience.

Traditional University Students who entered college right after high school normally stick with a chronological format, because they don’t have a long job history. Those who have spent time out of the workplace after having some initial experience may want to highlight their skills. Criminal justice resumes can list more than security related positions. Supervisory experience, demonstrated leadership, such as being a coach or a den leader for Scouts will show a certain comfort with being in authority. Even overcoming a challenge in parenting can be mentioned if it is something you are comfortable sharing.

If you’ve spent time in the police or fire department and are looking to become a probation officer, list whatever law enforcement in your resume. Volunteer experience that put you in a leadership role, such as a shelter or hospital also helps you hone your skills. That experience should not go back too far, however. Your stint as 5th grade hall monitor can probably be left off.

Cover Letter

Cover letters need to be short and sweet, and should answer the following questions as efficiently as possible

  • Why do you want to work here at this position?
  • Why should the employer hire you over another candidate?
  • How can the potential employer contact you for further examination? This should also include a note of thanks for the hiring manager’s consideration.

Cover letters reveal that you’ve done your homework and that you know and respect what a company stands for. This information is beneficial to the hiring manager, as well as yourself. Simply answering an ad without knowing something about the company and what they stand for philanthropically, as well as the specific nature of their business assures that if you are hired, everyone is on the same page.


Regardless of your resume format, highlighting moments in your education that qualifies you for the position is a must, and getting a degree from a well respected and accredited university, such as Colorado Christian University. CCU offers undergraduate and graduate level degree programs in Criminal Justice as well as areas such as business, education, a variety of healthcare disciplines, including nursing and health care administration, and offers programs in various areas of liberal arts. Courses and entire academic programs are available online including Asociate’s, Bachelor’s and Certificate programs. To learn nore, contact Colorado Christian University today.