Resume

Detective Resume Example & Writing Guide

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

If you’re looking for a job that offers a high level of autonomy, plenty of variety, and lots of opportunities for personal growth, then you might want to consider becoming a detective. Detectives are tasked with solving crimes—everything from homicides to frauds to kidnappings—and they do so by collecting evidence, conducting interviews, and following tips.

Before you can start working as an investigator, you’ll need to write a compelling detective resume that will get hiring managers interested in hearing more about your skills and experience. Here are some tips and an example resume to help you do just that.

Mary Thompson
Chicago, IL | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]
Summary

Seasoned detective with over 10 years of experience investigating crimes, conducting interviews, and compiling evidence. Proven track record in solving complex cases and securing successful prosecutions. Seeking a challenging new role in a law enforcement agency where my investigative skills can be put to use.

Education
Northeastern Illinois University Jun '10
M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration
Northeastern Illinois University Jun '06
B.A. in Criminal Justice
Experience
Company A, Detective Jan '17 – Current
  • Led a team of detectives in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses, including homicides, robberies, burglaries, assaults, narcotics violations, vice crimes and other felonies.
  • Conducted investigations into allegations of police misconduct or abuse of authority by officers under his/her command.
  • Supervised patrol officers on daily assignments to ensure that all aspects of law enforcement are carried out according to established policies and procedures.
  • Assisted with training new recruits as well as ongoing training for veteran officers within the department.
  • Participated in community outreach programs designed to enhance public relations between citizens and the Police Department through various media outlets such as schools, civic organizations etc..
Company B, Detective Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Conducted surveillance on suspects and witnesses to obtain information for cases, including tailing individuals in public places
  • Worked with other agencies to solve crimes that crossed over into neighboring counties
  • Maintained a high level of professionalism at all times while conducting interviews and interrogations
  • Followed up on leads from the community as well as tips received through Crime Stoppers programs
  • Assisted patrol officers in responding to emergency calls such as domestic violence incidents and suicide threats
Company C, Police Officer Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Responded to emergency and non-emergency calls for service, including but not limited to, domestic disturbances, traffic accidents, and burglaries in progress.
  • Patrolled assigned areas to deter and detect criminal activity and to enforce traffic regulations.
  • Conducted preliminary investigations at crime scenes, gathered evidence, and interviewed witnesses.
Certifications
  • Illinois Private Detective License
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI)
Skills

Industry Knowledge: Interviewing, Evidence Collection, Crime Scene Investigation, Fingerprinting, Surveillance, Interrogation
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Evidence Kit, Google Maps, Google Earth, iPhone
Soft Skills: Communication, Leadership, Problem Solving, Teamwork, Critical Thinking, Leadership

How to Write a Detective Resume

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

Write Compelling Bullet Points

Bullet points are the most effective way to showcase your experience and qualifications. But rather than simply listing your responsibilities, you can make your bullet points much more interesting and compelling by using specific numbers and statistics.

For example, rather than saying you “conducted investigations,” you could say you “conducted 200+ investigations into allegations of fraud and theft, resulting in 100+ arrests and $2 million+ in recovered funds.”

The second bullet point is much more interesting and provides a clear sense of the scale of the project. It also provides a specific number of arrests and amount of money recovered—both of which are quantifiable metrics that help demonstrate your impact.

Related: What Is a Detective? How to Become One

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you submit your resume online, it’s likely that it will be scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS) for certain keywords. These programs look for certain terms related to the job opening in order to determine whether or not your skills and experience are a match. If your resume doesn’t have enough of the right terms, the ATS might filter out your application.

One way to make sure you have the right keywords on your resume is to look at the job posting and pay attention to the words they use most. Then, try to include those same words throughout your resume. Here are some common detective keywords:

  • Criminal Investigations
  • Law Enforcement
  • Investigation
  • Criminal Justice
  • Public Safety
  • Firearms Handling
  • Interrogation
  • Police
  • Evidence Collection
  • Crime Prevention
  • Patrol
  • Police Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Private Investigations
  • Surveillance
  • Fraud Investigations
  • Homeland Security
  • Emergency Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Physical Security
  • Polygraph
  • Organized Crime
  • Security Operations
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Terrorism
  • Narcotics
  • Legal Research
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Writing

Showcase Your Technical Skills

Detectives use a variety of technology in their work, including databases, forensic software, and communication systems. They also need to be familiar with police procedures and protocols. So if you have experience with any of these technologies or procedures, be sure to list them on your resume.

Related: How Much Does a Detective Make?

Remember The Basics

As you draft your resume, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind.

Create Easy-to Scan Sections

There are a few things you can do to make your resume easier to read, such as left aligning your text, using a standard font type and size, and using bullets instead of paragraphs to list your experiences. You should also use all-caps and bold sparingly, and keep your bullets under two lines. Additionally, you can include some white space on the page to make the document easier to scan.

Be Concise

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for how long a resume should be. However, a one-page resume is typically the best option for recent graduates and those early in their careers, while a two-page resume is more common for more experienced candidates. When trimming down a resume, make sure to focus on the most relevant and recent experience, and remove any irrelevant information.

Proofread

Proofreading your resume is important in order to make sure it looks professional and error-free. Spell checking is a must, as are punctuation and grammar checks. It is also helpful to have someone else proofread your resume for you, as they may catch mistakes that you have missed. Beware of easily confused words, and make sure that your tense is consistent throughout the resume.

Use a Summary

Most job seekers are under the impression that a resume should only include an overview of their past job experiences and education. However, a well-crafted resume summary statement can be a great way to show off your best skills and experiences, as well as your future goals. By summarizing your qualifications, you can provide potential employers with a snapshot of what you have to offer and what you’re looking for in your next role. Plus, it can be a great way to show that you’re proactive and understand what you have to offer an organization.

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