Corrections Officer Resume: Comprehensive Guide with Tips

A correctional officer resume is for someone who overlooks the inmates present in a county, state, or federal jails, prisons, or penitentiaries across the country. Their job entails them to not just overlook, but conduct themselves so that the rules are followed, and they enforce them on a regular basis.

Last update:
01/01/2024

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The need to prepare incident reports for the reporting purposes. They also need to inspect cells basis the conduct of the inmates and random checks to ensure no mischief is taking place and keep in line violent and unruly inmates. The correctional officer is a prestigious position that required the person to conduct themself with discipline and enforce morals.

Corrections Officer Resume

Apart from maintaining the facility by enforcing rules and inmate conduct, a correctional officer needs to take care of the health of the inmates, the security procedures of the facility and above all exemplify the criminal justice system. The correctional officer or a security guard also needs to uphold the peace of the facility, along with the responsibility to rehabilitate and counsel inmates incase of any activities that may harm the inmates themselves or others present around them.

The job of the correctional officer or security officer is one that will need strong sense of justice and stronger moral compass to keep going forward and aid the people within the facility to become better citizens once released.

How to write a professional corrections officer resume?

Corrections Officer Resume

In order to write a correctional officer's resume one must choose the correct resume format for the particular profession in question. The correct resume format can be from functional if you do not have much experience or reverse chronological if you're experienced in the field, and combination if you're looking to switch to being a correctional officer from another position with transferable skills. You must also select the correct template which has to look professional, since the job requirement is of discipline and moralistic. Ideally the template should have your photo, contact details, skills, and experience.

If you're picking up the template resume of another correctional officer from the internet do not forget to edit it and tailor it your job description. The language and the literature of your resume should exude confidence, morals, straight-forwardness, and discipline. The way to achieve this is by making bold statements that are truthful, mentioning numbers wherever possible by quantifying your skills, awards, recognition, experience as much as possible. Therefore, the reader can focus on these key words and numbers that pop out and thus you will have an advantage over others.

The resume should be accurate, and since the job is that of a nature that holds respect in the eyes of law, there will be aa background check. One should not lie on the resume which goes against the moral code. Ensure that the resume is free of any errors with respect to grammar, spellings, syntax, and semantics. This is essential to the resume as it portrays how clearly one has put down their professional life on a single piece of paper. The reader must feel confident enough to grasp what the resume is trying to tell about the potential correctional officer.

Before creating your own correctional officer resume, one must surf the internet and especially portals such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor to understand the nature of the job, its description, and sample correctional officer resumes.

Some more of the basic professional resume guidelines include using past tense and third person in your resume language. You should also avoid using the pronouns throughout your resume because pronouns in sentences make the language relatively informal instead of strictly formal that is expected in a professional resume.

What should I include in my resume header?

The resume header is essential in disseminating the contact information of the potential correctional officer. The header shall contain details such as the contact number. email ID, LinkedIn profile link, an appropriate photograph, permanent address.

Starting with the Contact number, it shall contain the country code and be of legible font as maintained in the resume. Make sure the number is accurate so that the hiring managers can contact you. Provide that number where you are always available, the number that is always on and with you. If the hiring manager fails to contact you, they might move onto the other applicants and you will miss out on a good opportunity.

The email ID should be one that is separate from your personal email ID to differentiate job related emails in order to avoid confusion and maintain sanctity of professional and personal life. The email ID should ideally be your first and last name along with some number, to be kept simple i.e., john.doe4@example.com This email is simple, gives the reader a clear path to communication as they can relate with the applicant's name, in this case 'John Doe'.

The LinkedIn profile link is not a must have, but it is always good to have it since it shows the reader the willingness of the applicant to personify their professional life to the world. LinkedIn profile link is a medium for communication, representation and gives the people the platform to understand professionals and their respective professions.

A formal, neutral tone photograph of the prospective correctional officer is a must. In this case or for the job description one must look serious, fastidious, elegant, clean, well dressed and sincere.

The applicant should provide a correct address that is also their permanent address. This part gives the resume a feeling of being appropriate and assurance, which the recruiter will be looking for.

What is the difference between a resume summary and a resume objective?

Resume summary provides the applicants information in a succint manner so that the reader can use it as a guiding force accept or reject the resume on the spot. It is similar to an elevator pitch where the person has a handful of words to describe their sincerity for the job prospect i.e., in this case the correctional officer's position. The prospective correctional officer or the applicant will have to summarize their self into a few sentences that allows the employer to gauge whether they will be the right fit for the job.

On the other hand a resume objective is where the applicant has to express the desire of wanting the job of a correctional officer. The applicant must write why they're interested in the correctional officer positions. They should be able to convey why it is so that they shall be chosen amongst hundred more.

The summary shall be written in bullet points but not vertically, however in a paragraph ideally since a resume is of a single page, or ideally shall be of a single page to avoid being rejected. 3-5 points shall be sufficient to convince the hiring manager. The summary can include the total experience one has had and their key takeaways from it which favour the applicant. Whereas, the resumé objective shall be as objective as possible to signify the sincerity in the job being described.

Corrections Officer Resume

How should I describe my work history or professional experience?

Your work history or the professional work experience section should include the professional jobs you have done and work experiences that you have gained. Your work history should be described in the reverse chronological manner, that means you should talk about your latest job first and then walk back to your first job or even an internship.

Your experience should mention everything from your job experience, even if it is a minor detail or task such as managing inmate behavior. When you are describing your past jobs, you need to mention your role or designation, the full name of your employer, the total employment period for which you worked for them.

You need to include every task and responsibility that you handled, you should also mention every relevant skills that helped you perform well at your job. You can also highlight your achievements, recognitions, awards, exceptional performances, any special cases or instances that showcase your skills and/or your range of exposure.

You need to make sure that every detail is included so that the hiring managers see you as a thorough professional. You should also keep in mind that your work experience details will reflect your capability of doing the job, which is why you should never undersell yourself. You might consider particular aspects of your experience unimportant or not so impressive but you should not believe that and try to include everything.

How to write the education section?

Your education section is where you can talk about your education whether it is theoretical or practical in a form of training. You may not have a directly relevant degree for your profession however you may be able to mention the relevant subjects or courses or even topics that you learned in your degree or diploma.

Your education section should include your your high school diploma, the high school and the year of high school diploma (only if it has been a few years, do not mention the year in case you are a fresher or a recent graduate).

You can also include any online courses or programs you have completed. Education section can also talk about internship experiences if you did not mention them in your experience section or a separate section. You should also include any of the workshops, seminars, training sessions, events or any such other exposures that you have acquired that helped you build a foundation for a professional job of correctional officer. Such information can really help you stand apart from other applicants that will be competing for the same job that you have applied for.

Corrections Officer Resume

Which skills should I include on my corrections officer resume?

Skills for a correctional officer shall include the following:

  • Discipline: Discipline is mandatory since one may deal with aggressive inmates and to maintain control
  • Accountability: This job required the applicant or the prospective correctional officer to scout the correctional facility, to instruct inmates, transporting inmates possibly, maintain security, escort inmates, instil institutional policies, then one must be responsible and comfortable to report to seniors, present leadership skills, maintain knowledge about various parts of the facility procedures
  • Leadership skills: The applicant must show leadership skills not just with inmates but with management and staff as well. Leadership skills requires one to have soft skills that allow them to communicate and express their delegation. Thus possessing this skill will make it easier to control the environment
  • Supervise Inmates: Supervising inmates is necessary and crucial to the job since that is the main ask of the job. The correctional officer has to conduct periodic patrols, conduct conflict resolution, prisoner identification through the supervision skill
  • Soft skills: Soft skills is a must for all jobs however, here the applicant should be extra cautious to having this since they need to communicate harsh and soft orders daily. They need to deal with inmates of various backgrounds with various educational levels. Thus the ability to communicate through words and body language is important
  • Hard skills: Possessing some hard skills relevant to the job of a correctional officer can be an added bonus. For example, to configure or use the security systems, computers, etc. This can allow you to gain an advantage over other candidates
  • Technical skills: Much like hard skills, technical skills talks about using technology pertaining to security systems, like handling cameras, inspections devices, computers that deal with opening or closing of doorways/hallways.
  • Emergency situations: Tackleing emergency situations in a correctional facility, prison, penitentiary is not small feet. The correctional officers needs to control the inmate population by breaking up fights that can erupt pretty much any time, to segregate inmates that need special attention, either psychologically, or to be isolated basis their reaction. Emergency situations can be with respect to a natural calamity, or a food poising situation, it can be anything and the skills pertaining to leadership and problem solving techniques will be tested.
  • Patrols: The ability of the correctional officer to take constant and continuous patrols of the facility to ensure nothing is wrong and to ensure maximum safety, security and peace is maintained.
  • Facility procedures: This would be much like the standard operating procedures of the facility with respect to measures and steps to be taken when anything takes place. for example, the procedure to obe followed for when inmates are to go have lunch, or when an inmate is getting released, or when inmates go out in the open area to play sports, or when an inmate tries to escape. There will be procedures for all of these and they have to be followed as per protocol to avoid any mishaps when the event actually occurs. The correctional officer has to learn all of these to be able to function as the role dictates.
  • Correctional facility rules: The rules much like the procedures or SOPs are guidelines that need to be followed and the correctional officer has to ensure that they are being followed properly by the inmates and also fellow colleagues that work there. The correctional facility rules such as on what time the inmates have to be present when lunch is being served, or what time can the inmates go bathe, which cells are allotted and they are to be followed, the patrol routes of the correctional officer, these are all part of the rules that need to be followed.

Your professional skills of a correctional officer should be mentioned in a separate section as well so that the hiring manager can notice them.

Some of the skills that you can include on your correctional officer resume are:

  • correctional officer
  • correctional officers
  • security procedures
  • criminal justice
  • inmate conduct
  • excellent communication skills
  • managing correctional facilities
  • incident reports
  • monitored inmate behavior
  • managing correctional facility
  • hard and soft skills
  • correctional treatment
  • inmate accountability
  • physical restraint ability
  • telephone calls
  • initiate counts
  • periodic patrol
  • periodic patrols
  • supervise inmates
  • wrote incident reports
  • institutional policies
  • supervised inmates
  • inmate activities
  • inmate disturbance management
  • perform searches
  • manage inmate disturbances
  • data entry
  • conflict resolution
  • manage inmate behavior
  • restraining devices
  • conduct searches
  • punitive measures
  • emergency situations
  • daily reports

In addition to the skills mentioned above, you should also ensure that you pick the important skills from the job description. You need to mention these skills in your resume summary section, experience section and education section as well.

Is there anything extra that I should add to my corrections officer resume?

Apart from all the information and respective sections we have discussed until now, you can also include the following:

  • Personal interests: These could be your hobbies such as playing any sports, reading, watching movies, trying out new places, or anything that interests you that you can share as your passion perhaps. Personal interest are topics that are picked up when you are giving your interview, and helps keeps the atmosphere light in order to alleviate tension from both parties. Sometimes one can understand the prospective correctional officer from the activities they indulge out of work
  • Languages: It is always a pleasure to have people who speak multiple languages, one it shows their willingness to try something new, two, it shows that they have the capability to learn something new from scratch and persist with it, three, as you may become the correctional officer having multiple languages can allow you to converse with various inmates who might be of those backgrounds that speak those languages
  • Seminars: Seminars that may relate to the role of a correctional officer, or with respect to security, with respect to the technologies used at the correctional facilities
  • Workshops: Workshops that may relate to the role of a correctional officer, or with respect to security, with respect to the technologies used at the correctional facilities
  • Trainings: Trainings that may relate to the role of a correctional officer, or with respect to security, with respect to the technologies used at the correctional facilities
  • Volunteer work: Volunteer work is also that will add value to your resume. It shows that the person is compassionate, is sympathetic, empathetic and a person who cares about the people in this world. It does not have to be grand, even small volunteer work shows all of the above. You would need that as a correctional officer since you're dealing with humans, and when it is required you should shows those qualities and emotions and not be immune to them owing to their crimes.
  • Freelance: If one has done any freelance work remotely related to the job of a correctional officer, then please mention it i.e., being a personal body guard, security guard
  • Relevant experiences: As previously mentioned if you've done any freelance jobs during your tenure then mention that, but do also mention any other relevant experiences apart from being a guard, detective, police, military, etc.

Lastly, if there is something else that the aforementioned points do not convey or portray, and show only a partial image than please add in that in either your summary, your hobbies, interest sections to highlight them.

Corrections Officer Resume

How do I increase my chances of getting shortlisted?

To ensure that your resume is shortlisted you need to use the keywords. Your professional resume is going to be scanned and filtered through the applicant tracking systems or the ATS or what you may know as the artificial intelligence software that hiring managers use to check your resume.

The ATS functions on the basis of set parameters of the software user employer company or the hiring managers. The parameters are nothing but the relevant keywords of your role or designation, job description, job duties, industry and potential employers.

All you need to do is include the keywords throughout your correctional officer resume and make sure that you use them sensibly and in meaningful manner. It should not be obvious and visible that you have used keywords, that might happen if you stuff the keywords randomly anywhere or the repetition of the keywords is not sensible and exceeds the normal amount.

You should pick the keywords that are most important from everywhere but especially the job description because the hiring manager is likely to use the job description directly as the parameter of ATS for scanning and filtering the resume and job applications that they receive.

We have curated a list of relevant keywords for your professional resume of correctional officer:

  • correctional officer
  • correctional officers
  • administrative or punitive measures
  • security procedures
  • criminal justice
  • correctional facilities
  • incident reports
  • inmate food service area
  • incoming inmates
  • correctional facility
  • regular and irregular intervals
  • high school diploma
  • inmates remain
  • relevant skills
  • supervise inmates
  • maintain control
  • housing units
  • facility procedures
  • maintain security
  • instruct inmates
  • transport inmates
  • initiate counts
  • escort inmates
  • inmate population
  • inmate activities
  • data entry
  • conflict resolution
  • inmate behavior
  • daily reports
  • emergency situations
  • conduct searches
  • escape attempts
  • inmate population

You can use these keywords throughout your resume in the resume summary section, in the work experience section where you describe the details of your job, your education section where you may have gained theoretical knowledge and your skills section. Ensure that you use the keywords in sentences that are meaningful and make sense.

Key Takeaways

If you have read the whole article carefully, now you know all about writing an efficient and impactful correctional officer resume. You should also refer to many resume examples to get even better insight of professional resumes.

We have exhaustive collection of resume examples, resume writing guides, resume templates and more that you must check out. We have resume builder resource that you can use and reduce your task stress and save time as well as energy; as it will provide you with AI prompts for your resume content, similar to ChatGPT, which will make your resume writing task even easier.

Some of the key takeaways you may want to keep in mind are:

  • Proofread your resume twice and remove any errors
  • Choose the right resume format for efficient profile presentation with focus on important sections and information on your correctional officer resume
  • Always edit the template after replacing the sample information with the information of your own professional profile
  • Do not forget to label your document in a professional manner (discussed in the article above)
  • Ensure visual appeal along with the information presentation, with the editing of template, white space, font size and margins
  • Include as many keywords as possible but do not overstuff the keywords either

And that's all you need to know! Now you are ready to write your own professional correctional officer resume. Good luck with the job hunt!

Corrections Officer Resume

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long should my correctional officer resume be?

Ideally, your professional correctional officer resume should be 1 to 2 pages long, not more than that as longer resumes can lead to hiring managers not paying attention or taking a look at your resume carefully.

Do I need a relevant degree on my correctional officer resume?

Not necessarily, you can have a high school diploma and any relevant courses or even a degree with relevant subjects and you can mention those on your correctional officer resume and you will be qualified enough.

Should I include my private agency experience on correctional officer resume?

Yes, you should include any and every relevant experience on your correctional officer resume because the transferable skills and experience aspects will prove your compatibility and competency which in turn will convince the hiring manager to give you a shot at the job.

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