Police and Law Enforcement News
Monday, December 16, 2013
For those new to the world of applying to law enforcement agencies,
the first shock you will receive - aside from the competitiveness - is
the size of the application.
20, 30, and 40-page applications are not uncommon. It does
make sense when you think how important it is to properly screen
aspiring law officers.
The front cover (or first page) of many of these applications
usually asks for a photo of the applicant.
And you would not believe how many applicants waste such a valuable
This photo will be seen by your background investigator every day
for a month. It will be seen by other officers assisting with
the background and even other officers just asking to take a look.
And it will be seen by the entire interview panel - which is
normally made up of high ranking decision makers - on the day of the
So, this photograph will play a large role during the background
investigation. It will represent the applicant during the
entire hiring process.
So, with this in mind, why do so many applicants just slap any
photograph on the application?
We've seen photos of applicants in t-shirts, in camouflage hunting
clothing, and with friends in the background. And, rest
assured, it does get discussed.
The photo submitted with the application is going to be your
ambassador to the agency, so choose a photo that is worthy of such a
task. If you don't have one, get one.
Very simply, the photo should be neat, clean, and of the applicant
in professional business attire. That means a suit for
gentlemen and the equivalent for the ladies.
You should also be clean shaven to the standards of the agency to
which you are applying. You want the officers reviewing your
application to be able to easily picture you in the position.
If the agency prohibits all facial hair and you have a beard, that
will be difficult.
Take some photos with a smile and some without. Just
avoid a goofy smile.
Bottom line, you want to give yourself every advantage. And,
you want to stand out from your fellow applicants wearing
Good luck, and use the scroll box below to share you thoughts and
see those of others.