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A Resume Guide For Transitioning From Cop to Corporate Roles

Careerflow Team

Transitioning from a police career to a corporate job can be daunting. While cops possess many valuable skills and experiences transferable to the corporate world, the challenge lies in effectively communicating those skills to potential employers. One key way to do this is through a well-crafted resume 📄. A strong resume highlights a cop's relevant skills and experiences and demonstrates how they apply to the corporate job they are seeking. 

This blog post explores the major distinctions between a police officer's resume and one for a corporate job. Furthermore, we'll walk you through a step-by-step process for creating a well-crafted resume, providing practical tips and real-world examples to help you effectively showcase your qualifications and abilities as you transition from a law enforcement role to a corporate role.

So let’s get started!

Switching from a cop job to a corporate job needs a sound strategy

Key Differences Between a Cop's Resume And a Corporate Resume

  • Audience: The audience for a cop's resume is typically law enforcement agencies, while the audience for a corporate resume is potential employers in the private sector.
  • Focus: A cop's resume focuses on law enforcement skills, such as investigation, emergency response, and public safety. Corporate resumes emphasize transferable skills, such as leadership, teamwork, communication, and project management.
  • Language: A cop's resume uses law enforcement jargon and terminology, while a corporate resume uses language easily understandable by a broad audience. Additionally, a corporate resume typically emphasizes achievements and results in quantifiable terms, while a police resume may focus more on duties and responsibilities.
  • Keywords: Depending on the industry and job being applied for, a corporate resume may need to incorporate specific keywords or phrases relevant to that industry or role. This can help the resume stand out to hiring managers and automated applicant tracking systems. A cop's resume, on the other hand, may need to incorporate specific law enforcement terminology unique to that field.
  • Accomplishments: A cop's resume may focus more on specific accomplishments in their law enforcement career, such as solving high-profile cases or implementing successful community policing initiatives. A corporate resume, on the other hand, may highlight specific projects or initiatives that the applicant has led or contributed to in a business setting.

Bonus Tip 🔉: Besides updating your resume, optimize your LinkedIn profile when transitioning from a police job 👮 to a corporate role. You can use Careerflow's completely free LinkedIn Optimization tool to optimize your LinkedIn profile for 40x more opportunities and 2.5x more search appearances on the platform. Additionally, Careerflow has partnered with BLUE LIGHT leavers to offer you a 50% discount on an AI-powered LinkedIn makeover. So now you can easily revamp your LinkedIn Header and About section with Careerflow's AI assistance 😀.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Tailor a Cop's Resume For Corporate Jobs

Step 1: Research The Company And Job Requirements

Check job requirements before updating your resume.

The first and foremost step should be to research your target companies and roles. Spend a lot of time browsing through job descriptions and researching companies. You can follow these steps to get started: 

  • Review the job description on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed and identify the key skills and qualifications required for your target position.
  • Take a look at your target company's official website to learn more about its values, culture, and mission.
  • Reach out to people in your professional network who work in your target companies and ask them specific questions related to your target job roles. 

Step 2: Find Transferable Skills And Experience

Analyze your police experience and find skills relevant to the corporate world. Focus on accomplishments and results in these areas, using quantifiable metrics wherever possible. Some transferable skills include:

  1. Conflict resolution
  2. Problem analysis and decision-making
  3. Emotional intelligence
  4. Cross-functional collaboration
  5. Strategic planning and execution
  6. Budget management
  7. Resource allocation
  8. Training and development
  9. Customer service
  10. Process improvement

Bonus Tip 🔉: Check out Cop to Corporate community. It is a valuable resource for law enforcement professionals considering moving to the private sector. This non-profit organization offers free guidance and mentorship, as well as a supportive community and resources like podcasts and blogs to help cops make a successful transition.

Step 3: Compare Resume Sections For Police And Corporate Roles

If you're moving from a law enforcement job to the private sector, you may need to adjust various parts of your resume. These sections could include a summary statement, skills, experience, and education. We'll discuss each one in more detail below. 

1. Resume Summary

On a police resume, a professional summary may emphasize relevant experience, training, and specialized skills such as tactical training, firearms proficiency, and crisis intervention. But on a corporate resume, this section highlights relevant work experience, skills, and accomplishments tailored to the specific job posting. For example,

Cop Resume: 

A dedicated police officer with 10+ years of experience in law enforcement, skilled in crime prevention, investigation, and community relations.

Corporate Resume: 

Accomplished professional with 10+ years of experience in law enforcement, skilled in leadership, project management, and communication. Seeking a position in corporate security management.

2. Experience section

On a police resume, work experience may emphasize rank, duties, and specialized assignments. But a corporate resume may emphasize specific job titles, achievements, and responsibilities that align with the target job posting. For example, 

Cop Resume:

Police Officer, XYZ Police Department, City, State

  • Conducted investigations that resulted in a 25% increase in solved criminal cases compared to the previous year
  • Made 100+ arrests and processed suspects according to legal protocol
  • Conducted 500+ traffic stops and issued warnings, citations, or arrests when necessary
  • Responded to 100+ emergency calls and provided immediate assistance to victims
  • Completed detailed reports and documentation of 1000+ incidents and investigations
  • Testified in court 25+ times, resulting in a 95% conviction rate.

Corporate Resume:

Police Officer, XYZ Police Department, City, State

  • Managed a team of officers, overseeing daily operations and coordinating emergency responses
  • Developed and implemented safety procedures for high-risk situations, resulting in a 50% decrease in workplace injuries
  • Led community outreach programs, resulting in a 30% reduction in neighborhood crime rates
  • Collaborated with community organizations to provide support and resources to victims of domestic violence, resulting in a 40% increase in reported cases
  • Coordinated emergency response efforts during natural disasters, ensuring over 500 residents' safety

Bonus Tip 🔉: In your corporate resume, avoid law enforcement jargon and terminology unfamiliar to corporate audiences.

3. Education section

The education section of police resumes may emphasize specialized training or certifications related to law enforcement, such as criminal law or emergency medical services. However, corporate resumes may emphasize education relevant to the desired job, such as an MBA or certification in a specific technology or software program. For example, 

Cop resume:

Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, ABC University, City, State

  • Maintained a 3.8 GPA throughout the program
  • Completed coursework in criminal law, investigation techniques, and forensic science
  • Participated in mock trial competitions and placed second in a statewide competition
  • Received a commendation for outstanding academic achievement from the Criminal Justice Department
  • Conducted research on the effectiveness of community policing initiatives, analyzing crime rate data and survey responses from community members

Corporate resume:

Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, ABC University, City, State

  • Maintained a 3.8 GPA throughout the program
  • Served as a member of the Criminal Justice Student Association and volunteered at local law enforcement events, contributing over 100 hours of community service
  • Analyzed data from a survey of crime victims to assess the effectiveness of victim support programs. This resulted in a 20% increase in program funding.
  • Completed a training program in crisis intervention techniques, equipping me with the skills to de-escalate tense situations and communicate effectively with individuals in distress

Bonus Tip 🔉: If you lack sufficient relevant education for the job you are seeking, it may be beneficial to pursue relevant courses, certifications, webinars, and workshops.

4. Skills section

Police resumes may emphasize specialized skills such as firearm proficiency, defensive tactics, and emergency response training. Corporate resumes may emphasize specific technical or software skills, as well as soft skills. For example, 

Cop Resume: 

Weapon training, defensive tactics, surveillance techniques.

Corporate Resume: 

Leadership, teamwork, communication, project management, risk assessment, and crisis management.

Bonus Tip 🔉: Above we have listed some essential skills to use on a corporate resume. However, it's critical to remember that these skills can differ depending on the job you are applying for. Hence, you should read the job description for the target roles and include the required skills in your resume.

Step 5: Edit and Proofread

Proofread your resume extensively

And the final step in creating a corporate resume is to edit and proofread it for spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and formatting consistency, and to ensure all information is accurate and up-to-date. 

Bonus Tip 🔉: Use a grammar checker or proofreading tools like Grammarly and WordTune to catch grammar mistakes on your resume. 

By following these five steps, cops can create a strong resume that showcases their transferable skills and achievements effectively.

Best Tips For Crafting a Strong Cop-to-corporate Resume

A few important things to remember while revamping a cop resume for a corporate job are:

  • Keep it simple: Use clear and concise language that is easily understandable by a broad audience. Avoid using law enforcement jargon and terminology unfamiliar to corporate audiences.
  • Focus on education and training: If you have relevant education or training, highlight it on your resume. This may include a business degree or certification in a relevant field. If you don't have formal education or training, emphasize any valuable skills or experience you have gained through on-the-job training or professional development.
  • Tailor your resume to the job and company: Review the job description and research the company to understand its values, culture, and mission. And then use this information to tailor your resume to a specific job and company.
  • Show your adaptability: Demonstrate your ability to adapt to various situations and environments. This is particularly relevant if you are transitioning to a completely different field. Highlight experiences where you had to learn new skills or adapt to an unfamiliar environment quickly.
  • Be mindful of length: While it's imperative to include all relevant information, be mindful of your resume's length. Aim for one to two pages, and prioritize the information most relevant to the job you are applying for.

Get Assistance From ChatGPT While Creating Your Cop-to-corporate Resume

ChatGPT can change your job search.

In a world where technology is rapidly advancing, more and more people are turning to AI-powered tools like ChatGPT to simplify their lives. And when it comes to crafting a stellar resume, there's no exception.

By using ChatGPT, you can tap into its vast knowledge base and expertise in various industries. It can help you identify key skills and achievements to highlight on your resume. It can also suggest the most suitable resume format and structure, and even provide examples of successful resumes.

Here are some sample prompts to use:

  • What are some exemplary examples of quantifiable metrics to use on a cop-to-corporate resume?
  • How can I highlight my problem-solving skills on a cop-to-corporate resume?
  • Can you help me develop a summary statement for my cop-to-corporate resume?

This is my current resume: [Paste your resume].

  • How can I showcase my experience with crisis management on a resume for the [target job role] position?

This is my current resume: [Paste your resume].

  • Can you help me develop examples of how to demonstrate my ability to handle multiple tasks on a police-to-corporate resume?
Read here: How to Use ChatGPT to Write a Resume.

Sample Cop-to-corporate Resume Example. 

Example 1: 

John Smith

123 Main Street, Anytown USA 12345

123-456-7890 | johnsmith@email.com

Summary:

Experienced risk management professional with a proven track record of preventing over $2M in losses due to fraudulent activities. He implemented a fraud prevention program resulting in a 30% reduction in reported incidents. Seeking a Senior Risk Manager position at XYZ Corporation.

Experience:

Senior Investigator, ABC Corporation

June 2018 - present

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conduct investigations into fraud, theft, and misconduct.
  • Analyze financial and transactional data to identify potential risk areas.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to develop and implement policies and procedures to mitigate identified risks.

Key Achievements:

  • Successfully identified and prevented a $1M loss due to fraudulent activities.
  • Developed and implemented an innovative fraud prevention program that resulted in a 30% reduction in reported incidents.
  • Coordinated with legal counsel and law enforcement agencies to recover $500,000 in stolen funds.

Detective, XYZ Police Department

August 2014 - June 2018

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conduct investigations related to crimes including robbery, burglary, and homicide.
  • Collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to identify and apprehend suspects.
  • Prepare and present cases to prosecutors for charging and trial.

Key Achievements:

  • Solved a high-profile homicide that had been unsolved for over a year.
  • Recognized by the Chief of Police for outstanding investigative work in a complex robbery case.
  • Successfully testified in numerous criminal trials resulting in convictions.

Skills:

  • Investigations and analyses
  • Risk management and fraud prevention
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Project management and leadership

Certifications:

  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
  • Certified Risk Management Professional (CRMP).

Education:

Master of Business Administration, Anytown University

August 2012 - May 2014

  • Concentration on Risk Management and Fraud Prevention
  • Relevant coursework: Financial Risk Management, Fraud Examination, and Prevention, Business Continuity Planning, Advanced Accounting, Strategic Management, Data Analysis

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Anytown University

August 2008 - May 2012

  • Concentration in Criminology and Investigation
  • Relevant coursework: Criminal Law and Procedure, Forensic Science, Criminal Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation, Ethics in Criminal Justice

Example 2: 

Jane Doe

123 Main Street, Anytown USA 12345

123-456-7890 | janedoe@email.com

Summary:

A community-focused police officer with 10+ years' experience building positive relationships with community members. Proven track record of successful community policing and crime prevention initiatives, resulting in a 25% reduction in crime rates in assigned areas. Seeking a Community Relations Officer position at XYZ Police Department to continue to serve and positively impact the community.

Experience:

Police Officer, Anytown Police Department

June 2011 - present

Key Responsibilities:

  • Detect and prevent crime in assigned areas.
  • Respond to emergency and non-emergency service calls.
  • Engage in community policing efforts, such as hosting neighborhood watch meetings and participating in community events.
  • Serve as a liaison between the police department and community members.

Key Achievements:

  • Developed and implemented a community policing program that resulted in a 30% increase in citizen satisfaction with the police department.
  • Successfully partnered with community organizations to implement a summer youth program. This resulted in a 50% reduction in juvenile crime rates in assigned areas.

Skills:

  • Community policing and engagement
  • Crime prevention and detection
  • Crisis management and conflict resolution
  • Public speaking and communication

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Anytown University

August 2007 - May 2011

  • Relevant coursework: Criminal Law and Procedure, Criminology, Juvenile Justice, Police Administration, Ethics in Criminal Justice

Conclusion

The corporate world is constantly looking for individuals with the necessary skills and experience to thrive in their organizations. Police officers 👮, with their unique and diverse set of skills, are highly sought-after candidates in the corporate world. Their experience in leadership, communication, problem-solving, and project management makes them ideal candidates for a variety of roles. However, to make the most of their qualifications, police officers must be able to effectively communicate their skills and experiences through their resumes.

Crafting a winning resume that showcases transferable skills, relevant experiences, and notable achievements is crucial to differentiating oneself from others. By focusing on accomplishments and demonstrating how skills can add value to an organization, candidates can position themselves as highly desirable to potential employers. 

In short, with the right approach and a willingness to adapt and learn new skills, the transition to a new career can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for any cop trying to launch their career in the corporate world.

Happy job hunting 😇! 

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