What You Should Do To Prepare for a Career in Criminal Justice

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If you are planning on pursuing a career in the field of criminal justice, the time to take action is now. The manner in which you use your time at SHU will prove critically important to your chances of landing a relevant entry-level position and building your criminal justice career across posterity.

Create a Plan

There is no guarantee that a job in the criminal justice field will await you upon graduation. This is precisely why you should be proactive while enrolled at SHU. Take some time to write out a plan of action. Spend some time thinking about the type of work you would like to perform in the criminal justice field. Narrowing your focus in the next year or two just might save you plenty of heartache in the future.

Consider the wide array of criminal justice jobs: police officer, detective, investigator, forensic scientist, parole officer, legal secretary, paralegal etc. Create a pros and cons list of each potential criminal justice profession from your unique perspective. Key in on those that have the most positives and begin researching exactly what sort of preliminary steps you can take to obtain employment in those professions. Your degree from SHU will undoubtedly help you land an interview and impress human resources professionals but there’s always more you can do. There are a myriad of other actions you can take to heighten the chances of actually being hired in the field of criminal justice.

Prep for the Hiring Process

When it comes to hiring in the field of criminology, most employers are demanding. The hiring process can be a bit grueling. It is almost guaranteed that an extensive background investigation will be performed to verify your merit and legitimacy as a candidate. 

If you have a felony on your record, obtaining work in this field might prove to be quite difficult. A drug charge has the potential to become a hurdle in the hiring process. If you have a DUI offense or a marijuana-related offense on your record, employers at the local level might over look it, but not those at the federal level.

You might be subject to a polygraph test. This is precisely why it is prudent to be upfront about your personal history. Some candidates will receive a psychological assessment and/or a physical ability test. The purpose of these tests is to determine if you are suitable for the job in question.

Build Resilience

The average person is not capable of working in the field of criminal justice. Indeed, criminal justice work requires a special type of person. It requires individuals who do not mind the sight of blood, individuals who are not easily flustered and individuals with considerable patience. There is a chance that you will deal with people who are somewhat volatile in personality and behavior in this line of work. Memorize instances where you have exerted seemingly super-human self-control when under duress. Use these scenarios as examples of your grace, self-discipline and leadership when questioned during interviews.

While it’s not for everyone, working in the field of criminal justice can be extremely rewarding for people who greatly value the law, safety, and, obviously, justice. Just be sure to take the necessary steps while receiving your undergraduate or graduate degree to increase your chances of being employed quickly and successfully.  

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