Many people who look for criminal justice and criminology jobs spend time and energy crafting their resumes. They take care to format them properly, print them on high-quality paper. Thye work hard to ensure they let employers know everything there is to know about themselves. Could this time be better spent elsewhere, though? Do you need a resume for criminal justice and criminology careers?
Do You Need a Resume?
The short answer to that question is no. Most of the time, criminal justice, and criminology jobs are with governments or government agencies. These employers often operate much differently than private-sector employers.
Private Sector and Public Sector Hiring
In truth, the hiring process for criminal justice and criminology jobs are often based more on fairness than on finding the perfect employee. To accomplish this, they usually employ ostensibly objective scoring metrics and job applications that capture whether or not a candidate possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job.
A resume often doesn't fit into those metrics. People write resumes to tell employers what they think the employer wants to know. Drafted properly, they paint the job candidate in the best light possible. Job applications, on the other hand, collect just the data that an employer needs.
Job applications in criminal justice careers are designed for a hiring manager or background investigator to quickly determine whether or not you meet the minimum requirements to move on to the next step in the process. Resumes, on the other hand, force a hiring manager to have to look for that information, which is something they're not going to spend a lot of time doing.
Job applications serve another important purpose that resumes can't fulfill: they are a good indicator of your ability to read and follow directions. If your application isn't complete, if you leave blank spaces in critical areas, or if you make significant mistakes, the hiring manager is very likely going to identify you as someone who is either not serious about - or not capable of doing - the job.
You Don't Need It If You Don't Need It
If a job announcement does not ask for a resume, don't submit a resume. It probably won't get read. And, even if it does, it very likely won't have any bearing on whether or not you get a job interview. Much better to spend that time and energy ensuring that you avoid mistakes on your application.
Express Your Criminal Justice Experience
If you're worried about making sure you let the employer know everything you bring to the table, don't be. Most government applications include a section that allows you to list your knowledge, skills, and abilities that you think are relevant to the position you're applying for. Be sure to take full advantage of this section, and you won't need to concern yourself with submitting a resume.
If you've drafted a great-looking resume, don't worry; it won't all be for nothing. You can still use it to market yourself. You can also let professionals who are already working in your chosen industry look at it to let you know whether or not you are qualified for the job you want. Use your resume to help you quickly and easily complete criminal justice job applications, because all of your information is neatly gathered right there in front of you.
Find Success in the Job Application
Resumes are great tools and are still a must-have for many private-sector jobs. In criminology and criminal justice careers, though, they are more often than not, simply not needed. Instead of working hard to create the perfect resume, spend that time making sure your job applications are complete, accurate, and mistake-free. It will give you a better chance of landing a great criminal justice job.