Criminal Investigator Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this Criminal Investigator resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Criminal investigators are highly skilled law enforcement officers who are tasked with investigating alleged crimes in order to build a case that can be taken to court.

As a criminal investigator, you might work for the police department or a private firm. You might specialize in cybercrime investigations or financial crimes. You might be on the front lines of the war on drugs or human trafficking. Or you might investigate organized crime or gang activity.

Regardless of the specifics of your role, you’ll need a resume that showcases your investigative skills and experience. Here are some tips and an example resume to help you write yours.

David Moore
Chicago, IL | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]

Seasoned criminal investigator with over 10 years of experience conducting criminal investigations, intelligence analysis, and undercover operations. Proven track record in developing and leading cross-functional teams to achieve investigative objectives. Expert in using technology to support investigations and build cases.

Northeastern Illinois University Jun '10
M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration
Northeastern Illinois University Jun '06
B.A. in Criminal Justice
Company A, Criminal Investigator Jan '17 – Current
  • Conducted preliminary and follow-up investigations of criminal allegations against inmates, staff, or visitors at the facility;
  • Interviewed witnesses and collected evidence to determine if a crime occurred and who committed it;
  • Prepared reports summarizing investigative findings for submission to appropriate authorities for further action as warranted;
  • Coordinated with other law enforcement agencies when necessary in order to complete assigned cases;
  • Maintained detailed knowledge of all applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures related to their job duties;
Company B, Criminal Investigator Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Conducted surveillance on individuals and property to identify illegal activities, including trespassing, vandalism, arson, and poaching
  • Interviewed witnesses and victims of crimes for information related to investigations; conducted follow-up interviews as needed
  • Collected evidence at crime scenes (including blood samples, hair/fibers, fingerprints, footprints/tire tracks) using proper techniques
  • Maintained detailed notes in case files throughout the course of an investigation
  • Testified in court proceedings when necessary; prepared comprehensive reports detailing findings after each assignment
Company C, Police Officer Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Completed a total of 120 training hours in patrol functions, firearms and defensive tactics.
  • Interacted with the public to provide assistance regarding criminal activity in neighborhood communities.
  • Conducted investigations for violations of Federal or State laws within the jurisdiction assigned by law enforcement supervisors.
  • Illinois Private Detective License
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified in Homeland Security (CHS)

Industry Knowledge: Interviewing and Interrogation, Fingerprinting, Firearms and Ballistics, Forensic Evidence Collection, Forensics Investigations
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Internet Searching, Google Chrome, ArcGIS
Soft Skills: Leadership, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Communication

How to Write a Criminal Investigator Resume

Here’s how to write a criminal investigator resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

Bullet points are the most important part of your resume because they’re the first thing recruiters and hiring managers will see. And they’re the best way to showcase your experience and qualifications.

So it’s crucial that you use them to your advantage. And the best way to do that is by using specific, descriptive language. For example, rather than saying you “conducted investigations,” you could say you “conducted financial crime investigations, resulting in the arrest of 15+ individuals and the recovery of more than $2 million in stolen funds.”

The second bullet point is much more specific and provides more detail about what exactly you did and the results of your work. And that’s what will catch the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

Related: What Is a Criminal Investigator? How to Become One

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

Keywords are especially important for criminal investigator resumes because many applicant tracking systems (ATS) scan resumes for certain terms related to the job. If your resume doesn’t have enough of the right keywords, the ATS might not rank it highly enough to be seen by the hiring manager.

To make sure your resume includes all of the most relevant keywords, read through a few job postings and take note of the terms that are used most often. Then, throughout all stages of your job search, make sure to include those same keywords in your resume, cover letter, and any other documents you submit.

  • Criminal Investigations
  • Law Enforcement
  • Investigation
  • Public Safety
  • Criminal Justice
  • Firearms Handling
  • Interrogation
  • Patrol
  • Homeland Security
  • Crime Prevention
  • Evidence Collection
  • Police
  • Police Investigations
  • Private Investigations
  • Surveillance
  • Fraud Investigations
  • Physical Security
  • Government
  • Emergency Management
  • Criminal Law
  • Internal Investigations
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Homeland Security Operations
  • Fraud
  • Police Training
  • Counterterrorism
  • Private Security
  • International Law
  • Security Operations
  • Security

Showcase Your Technical Skills

Criminal investigators use a variety of technology in their work, including forensic software, databases, and surveillance tools. They also need to be proficient in the use of technology to communicate with other members of the investigative team.

So if you have experience with any of these programs or platforms, be sure to list them on your resume. And if you’re not familiar with them, now is the time to learn them!

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