How to Write a Correctional Officer Resume (With Template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 23, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The corrections system manages criminal offenders and keeps them secure as they serve their sentences. Correctional officers typically work in a jail or prison environment and supervise offenders, enforce regulations, and report incidents. Learning how to write a resume for a correctional officer position can help you apply for a job in this field. In this article, we explain what a correctional officer resume is, share steps for writing one, and provide a resume template and example.

What is a correctional officer resume?

A correctional officer resume gives information about a candidate's relevant experience, education, and skills. Correctional officers typically work in jails or prisons and take responsibility for many aspects of the facility's operations. They monitor inmates for suspicious behaviour, enforce rules and regulations, respond to incidents and handle difficult inmates, help transport individuals to different areas of the facility or arrange transfers, and write reports to create a legal record of any incidents.

A corrections officer resume typically contains information about a candidate's past work in a public safety or security position and details of their qualifications, such as a corrections officer training program or police foundations diploma. Some corrections officer positions might require previous experience, while some offer training to candidates with an interest in security and policing work. Applicants might use their resumes to share information about skills such as physical fitness, report writing, and attention to detail.

Related: What Does a Correctional Officer Do?

How to write a correctional officer resume

Writing an effective resume can help you share information about your skills and experience with an employer. Here are some steps to follow to write a resume for a correctional officer position:

1. Research the position

Before you begin your resume, research the organization you plan to apply to and study the job description. Most correctional facilities fall under the jurisdiction of the federal or provincial government. Try to find the website of the agency that operates the facility you intend to apply to and learn about its organizational values and goals. You can use your resume to demonstrate that you share the same values. Reading the job description can help you identify desired skills. You may then adapt your resume to show that you have the skills the employer requires.

Related: Careers in Criminal Justice You Can Pursue with Your Degree

2. Create a header

Start your resume by writing a header containing your name and contact information. You can provide your e-mail address, telephone number, and city and province or territory of residence. Offering this information at the start of your resume makes it easy for a hiring manager to contact you and schedule an interview. There are many ways to format a resume header to make your document visually appealing. Try searching online and examining different resume templates so you can choose one that suits your goals.

Related: How to Write the Best Resume Header

3. Write a professional summary

A professional summary is a brief account of your most significant accomplishments and qualifications. You can use this summary to encourage the hiring manager to read more of your resume. Try to keep the summary to two or three sentences in length to ensure maximum impact. Provide an account of why you are a good fit for a corrections officer position by sharing details about previous security or corrections work and sharing concrete achievements from past positions.

Related: A Guide to Writing a Resume Summary with Samples

4. Share your work experience

The work experience section of a resume contains details about past roles and specific job duties. You can list jobs in chronological order, starting from your current role and working back, or share your most relevant work experiences first. Provide your job title, the start and end date of your employment, the name of the employer, and the location. Then use bullet points to share information about job duties and specific accomplishments. Applicants for corrections positions might share previous work experience in security, policing, or similar public service roles.

5. List your skills

In the skills section of your resume, you can provide information about aptitudes that can help you excel as a corrections officer. Consider dividing the skills section into categories, such as hard and soft skills, or simply list all your skills together. Remember to look at the job advertisement and try to match your skills section to any requirements for the role. Aspiring corrections officers might list skills such as physical fitness, communication, attention to detail, and sound judgment.

6. Detail your education

Most corrections officer positions don't require significant experience to apply, but including your educational history can help differentiate you from the competition. Provide the name of the degree or certification you hold and the name of the issuing institution. Some corrections positions might require a high school diploma, so you can share your school's name and your year of graduation. You might also provide details about a college diploma, such as police foundations or criminology, or a corrections officer training program certification.

7. Proofread your resume

Before you submit your resume, read it and correct any spelling and grammar errors. You can use word processing software or online editing programs to help identify mistakes. Submitting an error-free resume can help you show that you're serious about the position. Try to connect with your professional network and talk to colleagues that work in corrections. They can read over your resume and provide suggestions for improvement or advise you on specific skills to include.

Related: Resume Template FAQs and Their Answers (With 6 Tips)

8. Submit your resume

When you're ready to submit your resume, read over the job advertisement again and note any special instructions for applying. Some employers might request additional documents, such as a cover letter or copies of certifications. In some cases, you can submit your resume by e-mail, or you can copy and paste your resume into an online application. If you plan to apply for more than one position, try to customize your resume for each application. Continue to update your resume as you gain new skills and work experience.

Correctional officer resume template

A resume template can guide you as you complete your own. Here's a template to consider:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [E-mail address] | [City], [Province or territory]

Professional Summary
[Two to three sentences that highlight your years of experience, relevant skills, education, or certifications and achievements as a professional.]

Experience
[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [Province or territory]

  • (strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome, or quantified results

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [Province or territory]

  • (strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome, or quantified results

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

Skills
[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Education
[Degree], [Major] | [Date of graduation]
[Name of School or University]
[Certification name], [Host organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Correctional officer resume example

Here's an example resume to use as a guide as you complete your own document:

Brandon Marshall
456-643-6783| brendan@email.com | Kingston, Ontario

Professional Summary
Dedicated Correctional Officer with two years of experience in a medium security facility. Uses communication and an active supervision approach to reduce incidents. Collaborated with other officers to decrease violent incidents by 10% in 2021.

Experience
Correctional Officer | June 2020–Current
Ontario Corrections Facility | Kingston, Ontario

  • supervise inmates at a medium-security provincial corrections facility

  • collaborate with other staff to share responsibilities and monitor the grounds

  • search dorms and remove contraband

  • write incident reports and testify in court concerning serious offences

  • work as part of a team that reduced violent incidents by 10% in 2021

Security Guard | May 2019–June 2020
Knight Guard Service | Kingston, Ontario

  • supervised retail locations, secured merchandise, assisted staff, and removed difficult patrons

  • monitored security cameras to identify shoplifters

  • wrote incident reports and collaborated with local police to prosecute repeat offenders

Skills
Communication | Physical fitness | Report writing | Loss prevention | Camera monitoring | De-escalation

Education
Police Foundations | May 2019

Dawn College

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