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Career Skills for the Criminal Justice Professional Prepared for CJ 491 Mike Major, SPHR Director Career Services PowerPoint Presentation
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Career Skills for the Criminal Justice Professional Prepared for CJ 491 Mike Major, SPHR Director Career Services
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  1. Career Skills for the Criminal Justice Professional Prepared for CJ 491Mike Major, SPHRDirectorCareer Services

  2. About Me • Parents • Essexville, MI

  3. My “Criminal Justice” Experience • Michigan Army National Guard 1997-2002 • United States Navy Reserve 2008-Present

  4. Who is your competition?

  5. Winning Résumés

  6. What is the purpose of a resume?

  7. Value Proposition • What will you bring to the organization? • Do you have the skills necessary to do the work? • Do you have the experience that the organization desires?

  8. Eyes tracing Down From left to right Use of bold Use of italics White space Clear headings No large text blocks Use of bullets Layout Primer

  9. Standard Resume Headers • Name and Contact Information • Objective • Education • Relevant (Fieldwork) Experience • Work Experience • Community Involvement & Accomplishments • References

  10. Name and Contact Information Susan Student 7400 Bay Road University Center, MI 48710 (989) 222-2222 (Cell) (989) 555-5555 (Home) *cell only is appropriate


  12. Be sure that it is customized specifically for each job that you are applying for “To apply my exceptional interpersonal, creative and teamwork skills as a police officer.”  Too Vague Study the Job Description to see what qualities they are looking for and accentuate those aspects of your professional capabilities Objective/Personal Summary

  13. “To apply my exceptional leadership, interpersonal, and teamwork skills as a court services liaison with the Underground Railroad.” Being very specific in an objective statement is helpful when resumes go into a CENTRALIZED HR office with DECENTRALIZED hiring managers Objective/Personal Summary

  14. Objective • It’s not always required. • If you use one, make it count.

  15. Education • What is most important? • Standard format Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Anticipated: May 2015 Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI Minor: Political Science President’s List: Eight semesters Deans’ List: Fall 2008, Winter 2009 GPA: 3.55

  16. Importance of Effective Bullet Statements • “A picture is worth 1,000 words” • Paint a picture in the employer’s mind • Statements should be clear, concise and detailed • “Presented to a group of students” vs.“Presented to a group of 35 college freshmen”

  17. Three Levels of Bullet Statements • Level OneLists duties, tasks and responsibilities • Helped customers • Stocked shelves • Used cash register • Cleaned store • Dealt with students • Not very impressive • Tasks implied by the title • Add no value to résumé

  18. It is our recommendation that you do not use Level One bullet statements at any time on your résumé.

  19. Three Levels of Bullet Statements • Level Two • Explain how or in what way you perform level one tasks exceptionally well • Additional duties that you initiated? • Assisted customers in a warm and friendly manner • Stocked shelves during down times to ensure a professional environment • Processed financial transactions through the cash register in a fast and efficient manner • Cleaned store to maintain an appealing atmosphere to enhance customer satisfaction

  20. While it is acceptable to use Level Two bullet statements from time to time, you will not want to rely on these to earn you an interview.

  21. Three Levels of Bullet Statements • Level Three • Describe accomplishments and achievements • Increase something good or decrease something bad? • Employers want individuals who will make a difference • Earned Associate of the Month honors for outstanding service in June 2012 • Created effective displays which increased monthly sales by 200% in a two-month period

  22. Bullet Statements for Criminal Justice • Speak the language of your profession • Managed team of 9 police officers and supervisors that investigated police officer misconduct • Observed through internship a multi-agency task force to reduce violent crime through the service of outstanding arrest warrants in the Saginaw City area • Promoted from intern within six months of service following acquisition of excellent in law enforcement duties • Responded to alarms, fires or other immediate threats to life or property at the Corporate Headquarters with 5,000 employees and over 25,000 square feet of land

  23. Related Experience • What is most important? • Use previous experiences that are relevant to the position you are applying for: • Acceptable format: Security / Loss Prevention Co-op Aug. 2011 – May 2013 The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI • Monitored over 40 camera screens covering over 25,000 square ft. of property from the command center • Responsible for facilitating a safe corporate environment by working the front gate, registering guests and verifying identify for over 700 persons per 8-hour shift • What kind of position could I consider this “relevant” for? • Relevant Course work can also be listed in this section

  24. Match skill sets with new position Example: Crew Member May 2010 – April 2013 McDonald’s Restaurant, Bay City, MI Prepared 500 orders during the daily lunch hour Effectively dealt with stressful situations in a team environment Work Experience

  25. Other Activities • Highlight appropriate accomplishments • Example: HONORS / AWARDS / ACTIVITIES Volunteer, Big Brothers / Big Sisters of Midland May 2006 – Present * Received ultimate brother award by successfully logging over 1,000 hours of volunteer service, assisting four youths who all went on to attend college Member, SVSU Criminal Justice Society Sept. 2008 – Present * Served as treasurer for an on-campus organization of over 50 members and $10,000 in resources Recipient, SVSU Award for Excellence Scholarship Aug. 2007 – May 2008

  26. Resumes vs. CVs • Resumes – Two pages max (“old school” philosophers still say 1 page) • CVs – Longer, more elaborate, used in higher education and graduate school • Use the additional space with purpose • Accomplishments / Achievements • Do NOT include “tasks” that don’t add value

  27. References • Ask permission!! • Choose wisely • Keep your references informed of your job search Dr. Someone Who-knowsyouwell, Professor Department of Criminal Justice Saginaw Valley State University 308 Wickes Hall 7400 Bay Road University Center, MI 48710 (989) 964-4000 (Office)

  28. Cover Letters • Will be read after résumé • Emphasize characteristics that are supported in résumé • Keep it short and simple

  29. Graduate School Essays • Pay attention to length requirements • Grammar/Syntax must be perfect • Does not summarize resume or write in generalities (ie “I learned the value of hard work) • Avoid the “fluff” • Do tell your personal story • Do demonstrate a passion for the field AND a desire to contribute

  30. Last words on documents… • Review, review, review! • Career Services • 964-4954 • Appointments with staff for review • SVSU Writing Center • Faculty members • Guidelines and Tutorials available: •

  31. Earning the Interview • Top quality résumé & cover letter • Use a professional voicemail message and email address • What’s on your FACEBOOK? • Reply promptly to messages from potential employers • Networking! • Are you on LinkedIn?

  32. Boston Marathon bombing victim Halloween costume makes Michigan woman target on social media A photograph posted to Alicia Lynch's Twitter account, @SomeSkankinMI, shows the Michigan woman wearing an SVSU race shirt with fake scars on her legs. The photograph has gained national attention and led to death threats following the costume tweet. Manage your online presence

  33. Don’t be THAT person! Common Dress Code Mistakes MEN suits that don’t fit properly and are wrinkled mismatched socks mismatched belt and shoes facial hair that is not trimmed or shaven properly inappropriate ties strong scented cologne WOMEN skirts that are too short strong scented perfume too much make-up no hosiery with skirts lack of hygiene improper jewelry large, mismatched purse

  34. Preparation before the Interview • Research the organization • Internet – how do they present themselves? • Contact HR for company packet • Assess culture through current employees • Prepare copies of résumé • Select or purchase proper attire • Develop sample questions and answers • Videotape practice interview

  35. General Rules of Ettiquette • Firm handshake • Eye contact • Posture and grace • Do not sit until offered a seat • Greet everyone you meet with a smile, introduction & handshake • Treat everyone as though they are a decision maker

  36. Interview Process • Step 1: Introductory State • First impressions are made • Building a rapport • Step 2: Review your qualifications • 30 Second Pitch • Focus on your strengths & skills • Use your research and establish that you are a good fit in their culture • Give concise and thorough responses

  37. Interview Process • Step 3: Matching • Will you fit in the corporate culture • Are you coach-able • Do you have the passion and drive to be successful in the position • Interviewer may explain job in detail • Step 4: Conclusion • Ask questions and discuss selection timeline • Collect business cards for writing thank you notes

  38. Types of Interview Questions • Traditional • Behavioral • Situational • Experiential

  39. Traditional Questions • Common interview questions • “Tell us a little bit about yourself.” • “Where do you see yourself in five years?” • “If you were a type of salad dressing, what one would you be?” • Describe yourself with 30 second pitch • Clear, concise and thorough • Describe thought process when necessary

  40. Behavioral Interviewing • Question about something that happened • Past actions are predictors of future behavior • “Describe a time when you had to work in a team environment.” • “Tell me about a time you had to deal with a co-worker who didn’t complete their ‘fair share’ of the workload • Be specific: “A time” is one event

  41. Situational Interviewing • Hypothetical circumstances • Predictor about how you would handle an event if it actually happened • “What would you do if you had a dispute with a co-worker?” • “How would you handle a client who is upset with the organization?” • Tell a story of anecdote if one is available

  42. Experiential Interviewing • Experience with a certain task • “Have you ever completed tax audits?” • “What type of experience do you have managing clients?” • “Have you ever completed a marketing plan?” • Be thorough and specific • Elaborate upon the depth of your experience

  43. S.T.A.R Approach • Situation • Briefly provide a broad description of the background where your example is taking place • Task • Share more details about the problem, challenge, or task that you needed to address • Action • Describe several possible courses of action and explain why the one you chose was best. Give details that illustrate what you were like in action • Result • Analyze the outcome of your action and the resolution of the situation. Indicate whether or not you would follow the same course in the future

  44. Steps for Managing an Interview Interact with the entire panel • Make direct eye contact with the individual asking the question • Begin by directly responding to the interviewer • Make eye contact with remaining panel members as you answer • Finish response with initial interviewer

  45. Resources available from Career Services • Resume and cover letter building and critiques • Online Tutorials • Resume, Cover Letter, Interviewing, Job Search Strategies • Mock interviews and interview coaching • Network development • Career fairs on campus exclusively for SVSU students to network with potential employers • Internship/Co-op advising • Job search strategies • Developing personal brand • On-campus student employment

  46. Cardinal Career Network



  49. Cardinal Career Network Tips • Login at • Cardinal Job Postings • Recruited / posted exclusively for SVSU • NACElink Extended Job Search • National Association of Colleges & Employers • Create Job Search Agents • Personalize resumes/cover letters for positions that accept them in CCN

  50. My Advice Take MATH! Keep an open mind Follow your passions Connect with Career Services wherever you go Get involved Student life, co-op/internship, faculty advising It’s OK to be worried and even a little scared Manage your online presence (Facebook/LinkedIn) Have FUN!