Nc Leo's Advice
I am a 23 and have graduated from a great university in NC with a BA in Criminal Justice and a minor in sociology....I have a high GPA, no criminal, no driving, minor pot usage over 2 years ago, I am in great physical condition and I have completed an internship at a major municiple agency. To me, on paper, I think I am a stellar applicant. In reality, however, I am 0-3 with the application process. One place turned me down before ever talking with me, another place gave me a 10 min. interview and sent me a rejection letter and the last agency strung me along for 4 months, and I passed every test they gave me. It went to the chain of command review, the last phase, and I was not hired. I guess my main question is...What else are they looking for? I am starting to get frustrated with the fact that I want to do this work, regardless of the horrible pay, I am qualified, and I am extremely eager to being a career in LE since my college graduation....What am I doing wrong and is it normal to go through this many applications? Any advice would be appreciated.
Don't Give up young buck. They may be looking for someone with experience. You may want to start in a small dept to get your feet wet!
Most of us have been there! Just don't give up
Sorry about the 2 posts, I didn't think the other went through!
No worries about the two posts. Pretty much what I already told ya in chat. Keep trying, do BLET if you can while working, get out of the books and more towards real life.
You've only tried 3 times? I think I was close to number 8 or 9 when I got hired.
How are you physically? If you're a fat slob, most agencies aren't going to want you when they can hire someone who isn't a health liability.
Being a cop just isn't about what your background is like. It also has to do with a warrior spirit.
And again, a degree in CJ means absolutely dick.
Pay yer dues
I suggest that you go into a branch of the military for 3 yrs. With your education I suggest the Law Enforcement Field. Pay yer dues and when you come back, you will be supprised how many agency will give you a second look. Depts also look for maturity and I am sure a branch of the military will assist in this matter. Fact is, you will learn more about life then 4 yrs of college can ever teach.
I'd suggest shooting for a smaller agency, try getting a PT LEO job, working security, or finding a PD or SO with a Reserve Program or a Posse
Or the military
I am in great physical condition. I workout and even throw that in there on the interviews I have had. One thing I am wondering about is if they think I look too young. I am also only about 150 lbs at 5'10 so I don't know if they think I need some more size.
Rhino, How does a degree not mean "dick" as you so eloquently put it? I mean alot of places require a 4 year degree in a "criminal justice related field". Most of the places I am applying to give a huge pay increase with a BA. One agnecy I am in the process with requires it right off the bat, another requires you to begin working towards an associates degree within 6 months of hire. I thought the BA gave me an edge in the hiring pocess. Maybe it is different in NC? Any thoughts?
Here is a thought....how is your credit history???
I would suggest to go to some Sheriff's Offices and ask to join a reserve program. Then I would look at joining the BLET program on my own and completing it. This will help show that you can handle the job and are very serious about it.
Just my .02 worth
Originally Posted by Ericw25
Means "dick" because it is not going to make or break an interview. That is what I told you last night. Your maturity and life experience has a lot more weight at the moment. The BA is not going to do squat for you beyond increase your paycheck and make you more promotable later.If you thinking the BA is going to impress, think again. "Looking good on paper" is only half the battle when being looked at by most agencies.
All jokes aside, you need to try the NC Highway Patrol. They are hiring in full force. They love young people in great shape. They are the place to go right now. With your education, you will rise in the ranks quick and make good money while you rise.
If an agency requires a college degree -- that's what it takes to get in the door. But a criminal justice degree often doesn't carry much extra weight. After all, they're going to send you to the academy to learn the cop stuff. And then you'll do FTO to really learn it. And after a few years on the street -- you'll finally get the cop stuff. So that degree just means that you hung around college and got some nice academic theorization to go with what reality will teach you. But -- a degree or even a strong minor in something else that complements what the job'll teach you... That's useful. If you think you want to do financial crimes -- it might help to have the basic accounting background, right?
As to attempts... Three is nothing. In two cases, you apparently didn't get very deep into the process at all. In the third... You made it almost all the way. Maybe you ended up #6 and the were hiring 5. Or maybe something you said just rubbed someone wrong in that last interview. Or, maybe it was that "minor pot usage over two years ago..." A lot might depend on your definition of "minor." And how long ago it really was...
Bluntly, kid... You're coming across here with a boatload of attitude that basically is saying "I'm here... Aren't you thrilled that you're lucky enough to get to hire me!" What life experience do you have? Why are you such a stellar candidate, over and above that kid who sat next to you at the test, and spent the last 5 years serving his country as a Marine with a couple of tours in Iraq? Or the gal who worked her way through school, supporting herself while getting decent grades? What do you bring, other than a few years of school, to the job? What's the toughest decision you had to face? Realizing sometime in college that maybe smoking dope won't help you get a job as a cop? How are you prepared to have the responsibility to decide whether to shoot someone tomorrow? Or whether or not someone goes to jail when you find them with a little bit of weed?
What are you doing right now other than whining and putting a couple of applications out? Are you working? Are you conscientiously doing your best at your job, even if it's not your end goal or dream, so that when an investigator comes to your boss, the investigator will hear something like "I want him to succeed, but I'll hate to lose him?"
Oh... and if you think I'm being harsh... Get a clue. This is nothing.
Now, you want some advice?
Others have brought up your credit history; if you don't know what it looks like, get your free copy at www.annualcreditreport.com. A lot of debt or a bad credit history reflects poorly on your character and predicts future problems, whether or not you like it. Another thing to think about is your driving record. If you've got a crappy record (either lots of little violations or a few big or worst of all... a fair number of both!), you probably aren't someone that they really want to entrust a police car to, ya know what I mean?
Sit down with someone and practice interviews. Videotape them. See how you sound. Consider how present yourself, and if the person you're seeing is someone you'd hire.
(I'm assuming you didn't miss deadlines and dressed appropriately for interviews.)
There are some books out there on getting a job in law enforcement, too. (ARCO and others.) Maybe you might find something useful there.
Good luck, and keep trying. It often takes more than 3 applications to get hired!
I definately don't mean to come across with that kind of attitude. I guess I am frustrated after being denied Tuesday from an agency I was really counting on. In response to my credit and driving history, my credit ranking is good and my driving history is clean.