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Police officers protect lives and property and serve the public. Job growth for police officers is expected to rise due to the continued demand for police services. Boost your odds of earning a job interview for coveted positions with notable police departments by using our police officer cover letter sample.
We couple our sample with an analytical breakdown and tips on utilizing action verbs as keywords to give you all of the tools you need to write an interview winning cover letter.
The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:
Cover Letter Sections
Include your name and contact information and the police department’s name and address in the heading. Follow a business letter format. Stand out by including professional credentials, such as your current rank.
Unfortunately, our sample applicant fails to do this. Nick Aras created a personalized header with all of this contact information, but he failed to indicate any previous experience as a cadet or uniformed officer. If you were applying for the same role, your cover letter might score higher than his if you include that detail.
Research the police department to find out who to address your letter to.. This will demonstrate your sincere interest in the department and joining their law enforcement staff. This additional effort can showcase your detective skills and attention to details.
Since you're probably applying to a city division, specialized department, or specific precinct, this can be relatively easy. Find the name of the police commissioner, department head, or precinct captain by calling their office and personalize the cover letter.
Grab the hiring manager’s attention in your introduction by referencing the police officer position from the job posting and your most relevant qualifications in similar law enforcement roles.
Mr. Aras is able to remedy the title oversight in his header with the first sentence in his introduction. He immediately lets Police Chief Karl Houston know that he has both Cadet and Police Academy training before expressing a sincere enthusiasm for the open role. He strengthens his argument by sharing high marks from his training, indicating that he was a top performing candidate in the academy. You'll want to provide similar academic or professional examples in your cover letter.
Highlight exceptional qualifications that demonstrate you’re a great fit for the position, including specialized training like search and rescue or hostage negotiation, and commendations or meritorious service medals. Quantify details with verifiable facts.
Mr. Aras partially achieves this. He shares his fast response times to dispatch calls, knowledge or proper booking procedures, and ability to meet monthly quotas. You can make your cover letter strong by defining your accomplishments through numbers. Breakdown the numbers of tickets issued or how your response time positively impacted your precinct.
Confirm your confidence in your ability to fill their needs and your desire for the opportunity to prove it. Politely request further steps, such as scheduling an interview, and thank the hiring manager for their consideration.
Sign off with a complimentary closing that conveys professionalism, and include your full name and rank, if applicable. Leave space between for a signature if you’re mailing in your application.
This template is perfect if you’re seeking a bold visual statement, and also demonstrates that you are as up-to-date as your potential employer.
With its striking fonts and vivid coloring, this cover letter template helps you make a strong impression with hiring managers.
For job seekers who want to show off strong qualifications and experience without distracting bells and whistles, this clean cover letter example fits the bill.
The classic cover letter template is a good choice for job candidates with minimal experience who want to project a professional image.
This sharp layout places emphasis on job experience and major achievements, highlighting your abilities as a top-level manager.
This cover letter example is easily adaptable across many professions, allowing you to detail your experience, leadership skills, and technical expertise.
This clean template emphasizes your progressive, up-to-date experience and achievements -- the qualities that pioneering, cutting-edge companies seek.
This solid template lets you get to the point with your credentials, and why you are a good fit for the job.
When you need to get all the important details about your capabilities across without wasting space, use this compact, well-organized template.
Analyze job postings to identify commonly used action verbs related to desirable skills police departments want in their law enforcement officers. Use these action verbs as keywords in a police officer cover letter sample to create a dynamic document with the skills hiring managers want to see. Common police-related action verbs might include some of those we’ve listed here:
Patrol: Give some insight into your personal method of patrolling and how that puts you above competing applicants.
Respond:Cite some examples of when you responded quickly and most effectively to an urgent situation.
Apprehend: Note cases in which you went above and beyond to apprehend suspects.
Document: Remember to also call attention to your excellent documentation and communication skills, even if they’re less exciting than your other accomplishments.
Investigate: If you can think of any particularly impressive, personalized investigation techniques, hint at this in your cover letter for the sake of standing out.
Larger police departments with numerous job candidates may utilize applicant tracking systems to cull the most qualified applicants. These systems eliminate about half of the applicants after scanning their cover letters and resumes for targeted keywords. It’s vital you identify and utilize highly specific action verbs and other keywords you find in the job posting to ensure you make the cut and a real person gets your application. You can find these keywords by highlighting any job requirements that require the same skills, like interviewing and scanning body language, or tasks that are repeated throughout the job description.
Personalize a generic police officer cover letter example with your work experience and skills that match the job ad, utilizing the keywords you’ve identified. Include skills you possess to demonstrate honesty and integrity, using common police terms to demonstrate your familiarity with the inner workings of law enforcement. If you’re applying for a position and identified the following responsibilities as keywords (“requires basic law enforcement training,” “ability to patrol assigned sectors” and “speedily respond to calls and document activity in reports.”) consider a statement like the one below:/p>
“After graduating at the top of my class from XYZ Law Enforcement Academy to earn my Peace Officer Standards and Training certification, I signed on as a patrol officer with XYZ Police Department where I would patrol my assigned sector and respond to emergency and non-emergency calls, and then document arrests and other daily activity in official police reports.”Build a Cover Letter
Add bullet points directly related to the job requirements, instead of repeating all the bullet points from your resume. If your resume includes numerous specialized training courses, but they want an officer trained in DUI detection, highlight what you learned and how you implemented this training in your cover letter.