Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Your Resume and Application Package

I remember when it came time for me to apply, I was so excited, I couldn't wait for my Certificate Of Results, I drove to London and waited for it to be printed so I didn't have to wait for it to come to me in the mail. I already had my whole application package printed and filled out, my resume was ready to go just waiting for the final piece to add to the package, my COR. The picture of me holding up my COR on my first post here on the TestReadyPro blog was a proud day. I had such a great sense of achievement and knew I was taking a big step towards a very serious goal.

Once you fianlly receive your Certificate Of Results it's now time to apply. There are two different strategies here, the first being, apply to as many services as possible and hopefully one of them bites and calls you back. The other strategy is to apply to only one or two services, concentrating on the Police Service you most want to be a member. I'm a fan of the later. Why? Very simple answer, because it's easier for you and for them. I say this because if you have applied to Toronto, Barrie, Halton, O.P.P. etc. they're all going to be curious to know which stage you're at with the other services. I understand that this is mostly to reduce redundancy and to not waste resources. I truly believe that loyalty goes a long way with services, furthermore, it shows that you have a dedication. Lastly, it's a lot easier to study for one services LFI then it is for two or more at once.

So, lets talk about specifically what should be on your resume. EVERYTHING. First though lets talk about cover letters, yes they're necessary and it must be included with your resume. Your cover letter should include your name, the name of the service you're applying to, the position you're applying for and a brief write-up of why you're applying to that service. Instead of putting "Attention Human Relations" or "Attention Recruiting" I put the name of the chief of police for the service I was applying to. Do not forget to sign your name on your cover letter. The body of your resume should again include your objective or the position you're applying to. Also, include every position you've held, listed seperately on your application and resume for work experience. This means that if you've worked for the same company over the past five years, started out as a general labourer, were promoted after a year to machine operator, promoted a few years later to line supervisor, all these positions should be listed seperately. How you word your duties on your resume is also important, describe exactly what you did. Too often do I see people with Customer Service jobs who write just that, "Customer Service" without an adequate description, of course we all know what cashier or customer service representative does but it's a great idea to list that your responsibilities included handeling cash, resolving customer complaints, etc. No matter how mundane your job may seem, your employer trusts you and you have responsibilities, be proud of your experiences and showcase them well. You should also be exact with your dates for your application and also have these same dates on your resume.

You should also include your educational information, certifications and, licenses should be in a seperate section. Don't forget to include your hobbies and interests, what do you do in your spare time to wind down? Sports? Do you play on a team? Music? Do you play an instrument or jam with friends?

Do not forget to put all your volunteer experiences down. It's not necessary to include your references on your resume as you'll provide them later or on your application. It is however handy to keep a list of more references than the bare minimum needed for the background investigation portion as you may find some references are unusable. As a rule you should keep handy three references for friends, three refrences for work (including co-workers), three refrences for school or volunteer experiences. Ask your references before you put them down, make sure they know you're applying to become a Police Constable and feel confident in giving you a good reference. Often times I hear horrific stories of people asking for letters of reference or references only to find those people really weren't the best references they could draw on.

When you submit your application and resume it's a wise idea to photo copy both the front and back of your COR, birth certificate, drivers license, health card, Social Insurance Card and, CPR, Standard First Aid certificates. Being organized and having your application, resume and photocopies neatly together in one package will impress.

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