Resumes

A “resume” is a written document that summarizes the personal employment history of an individual. In the world of academics this is often referred to as a “curriculum vita.” Although similar, each document contains slightly different amounts of personal information and is typically submitted to different organizations when seeking employment.

The resume is the basic requirement for most employment positions, whereas the curriculum vita has its place in applying for educational, scientific, or research positions. Each of these documents has a role when applying for a specific position under the criminal justice umbrella. For example, a resume is the most common document used by an applicant when applying for employment as a police officer, as a correctional officer, or as a social worker, etc.

A curriculum vita, on the other hand, is used when applying for a position within the world of education or science as may be found for someone wanting to teach criminal justice degrees, perform forensic science, or become an administrator that writes criminal justice policy and legislation. Both of these documents contain similar, but slightly different, personal information about the applicant.

The most common information provided in a resume includes:

  • Name
  • Contact Information
  • Education
  • Skills and Experience (Employment History)
  • Professional Associations
  • Licenses

The most common information provided in a curriculum vita includes:

  • Name
  • Contact Information
  • Education
  • Skills and Experience (Employment History)
  • Research and Teaching Experience
  • Publications, Grants, Fellowships
  • Professional Associations
  • Licenses
  • Awards

Personal information that should be avoided on a resume, and which is not required under United States law as to what a potential employer can ask includes: date of birth, place of birth, nationality, and type of religion. If the resume applicant is applying for work outside of the country, a potential employer can request, and normally expects, this personal information be listed. United States law does not cover an applicant applying to work for a foreign entity.

Cover Letter

A cover letter should always accompany a resume or curriculum vita. It is the first document that is read regarding your credentials for employment. The cover letter should be written specifically to the job that you are applying for by summarizing your qualifications of skills and experience as they relate to that job. In many cases if a job posting has listed criteria, the cover letter should match that criteria point by point. The cover letter is probably your first and best chance to pique the interest of a potential employer, especially considering that they will see many more cover letters from other resumes they receive.

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