Police Interview Newsletter - The Employment Application

THE EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION
Volume 1, Issue 3
March 2002


TIME TO APPLY YOURSELF

* First Impressions are often powerful and lasting!
* The way you present yourself and your experience on the law enforcement employment application is critical.
* The degree of care and thoroughness you display in completing the application tell the Police Personnel Staff volumes about you and your work habits.

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LAST CHANCE FOR A FIRST IMPRESSION

Police & Sheriff Personnel Staff are asking….

* Does this person follow directions?
* Is he/she neat and well organized?
* Is this a responsible individual?
* How strong and sincere is the applicant’s career interest?
* Have all requested documents been provided?
* Are writing skills up to par?

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GREAT WAYS TO SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT: CHIEF CRITICISMS OF THE EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION:

Incomplete Information Provided
* Some jobs not listed
* Supervisor's name/phone number not listed
* Documents missing (transcripts, birth certificate, military DD214, etc.)
* Gaps in work history not explained

Failure To Accurately Report Significant Aspects of Personal History
* Being fired, dismissed, or asked to leave a job
* Disciplinary actions ( in school, at jobs, in the military)
* Major financial difficulty ( bankruptcy, garnishments, etc.)
* Criminal arrests and convictions
* Traffic violations (speeding tickets, accidents, suspended license, etc.)
* Illegal drug use

General Sloppiness & Poor Appearance of Application
* Illegible handwriting
* Messy erasure marks and/or crossed-out words
* Pages crumpled, dog-eared, or soiled
* Two or more ink colors used to complete application

Weak Personal Essays & Statements of Career Interest

Poor Reference Letters
* Inappropriate person (e.g.. Your relative)
* Unprofessional format (e.g.. Handwritten on tablet paper)

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MAC’S TIPS FOR DRAFTING A STRONG EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION

Read Through the Entire Application Before Proceeding. Notice the kinds of information being requested. Make a list of all documents that you will need to provide. Mark the application "due date" on your calendar.

Request all necessary documents. (Send letters and make phone calls) that you will need to complete the employment application. Don’t delay! This process takes time.

Make a copy of the blank employment application form to use for your first draft. Revisions will be necessary along the way.

Complete your first draft.
* Answer each question carefully, completely, and truthfully.
* Leave no blank spaces (use "N/A" if not applicable to you).
* Call personnel staff to clarify any questions or concerns.
* Rest and take breaks as needed. It’s tedious work.
* Take time to develop quality essays and personal statements of career interest.

Ask parents, friends, and professors to proofread your application. They may offer suggestions for improvement.

Type or neatly print your final draft onto the original application form.

Proof read and review your entire employment application for mistakes and inaccuracies.

Assemble the completed application form and all related documents. Mail or hand deliver your application package well before the due date, if possible. This leaves room for some final scrambling if the employment application is found to be “incomplete.”

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ASK THE EXPERTS

In this regularly appearing column, Dr. Hart and local law enforcement officers will respond to frequently asked questions. Our guest this month is personnel officer Deputy Barry Nichols.

Dr. Hart: Deputy Nichols, as a sheriff's department personnel officer, can you offer law enforcement applicants a sense of what you notice and look for as you review the hundreds of law enforcement employment applications that pass across your desk?

Deputy Nichols: Two words come to mind - “First Impression.” There is an old saying, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” This is especially true when you as the applicant are pursuing employment and want to put your best foot forward. Unless I personally meet the individual, my first introduction to the applicant is generally his or her employment application. The first thing I notice on the application is how neat it is. Taking the time to fill out the application in a neat manner tells me that you care about how people perceive you-even on paper. An orderly and clean application shows me that you are serious in your effort to pursue employment with our department. If you struggle with your penmanship, please take the time to type the application. Another thing I notice is the applicant's ability to follow directions. Typically, a professional application should be completed in black ink, or typed. This is clearly stated at the top of our application. Blue ink or a sloppily prepared application is a definite strike against you. Finally, we expect the applicant to complete all sections of the application. Failure to respond to all aspects of the application, or to fully disclose important information will only hamper your chances of gaining employment.

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LAW ENFORCEMENT COACHING
Phone: 804-353-6700
Fax: 804-358-7867
Email: MacHart@PoliceInterview.com
Malcolm M. Hart, Ph.D.
4807 Radford Avenue
Suite 103
Richmond, VA. 23230

Helping Law Enforcement Applicants Secure Jobs and Veteran
Officers excel
.

VISIT US ON THE WEB!

WWW.LawEnforcementCoaching.Com

"Law Enforcement Coaching" is dedicated to helping law enforcement
applicants achieve success in the job search process.

Dr. Hart provides fee-based, telephonic coaching to police and deputy
sheriff applicants throughout the United States.

His Services include:
- Telephone Coaching Sessions
- Practice Interviews with Law Enforcement Officers

See Website for Fees & Details