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Correctional Officer Resume Examples & Writing Tips

Grab the attention of recruiters by using this correctional officer resume example, complete with writing tips to highlight your law enforcement skills.

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By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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What to highlight in a correctional officer resume

When applying for correctional officer positions, you will want to:

  • Highlight your experience in previous correctional officer jobs or relevant roles
  • Include all the soft and hard skills needed to succeed in this type of role
  • List any certifications you have
  • Describe your relevant education 

In this article, we will take you through the structure of a correctional officer resume and give you all the resume writing tips you need to complete the strongest job application and impress hiring managers.

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Structure of a correctional officer resume

There are three resume formats that you should consider using when writing your resume. Each format focuses on a separate area of your professional profile, allowing you to choose a structure that suits your experience level. The three resume formats are:

  • Functional: If you don’t have much work experience, using a functional resume format is a good option as you can highlight your skills.
  • Chronological: The chronological resume format is best for those with several years of work experience.
  • Combination: If you prefer to create a resume that balances your skills and experience, a combination resume format is a better option. This format is best for those who have gaps in their employment history or are making a career change.

Once you have selected the resume format, you can fill out each of the resume sections.


The header section contains the contact information that the recruiter needs to get in touch with you. You should include your name, phone number, email address and professional social media links, such as your LinkedIn profile.


Resume summary or objective

Next, you should include either a resume summary or a resume objective. A resume summary is used to summarize your professional profile and give the employer an insight into your most significant achievements and most relevant experience. A resume objective sets your career goals, stating that you are ready to move into a specific position.


For your skills section, it is best to include hard skills and soft skills that you picked up over the years from relevant experience, adding a few mentioned in the job description. The specific requirements stated in the job posting are essential, as you must ensure you fit the profile.

Here are some common correctional officer skills:

  • First aid
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to handle emergencies
  • Teamwork
  • Detail oriented
  • Experience carrying out incident reports and security procedures
  • Self-defense skills and understanding of when and how to use physical restraint
  • Experience monitoring and supervising inmate behavior to lower risks of contraband

Work experience

To become a correctional officer, it is likely that you will have had some previous experience in law enforcement or correctional facilities. Therefore, you must highlight this relevant work experience to prove that you can work in the criminal justice system.

List your previous jobs in reverse-chronological order, keeping your most recent and relevant professional experience at the top of your resume so recruiters can easily see this information.


The education section of your resume shouldn’t be too long. Still, it must include a brief outline of your education to give the hiring manager a general idea of your background. You must at least have a high school diploma to become a correctional officer, so you will need to highlight this in your resume. Some roles may also be desirable to have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or criminology.

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Do’s and don’ts for a correctional officer resume

Here are some do’s and don’ts for writing your correctional officer resume:


  • Use a correctional officer resume sample to ensure you stick to a professional layout that includes all the necessary details.
  • Use bullet points to break up paragraphs and make writing more fluent.
  • Use a resume format that reflects your professional profile.


  • Use long paragraphs that will take the hiring manager a long time to read. A busy recruiter will quickly put your application aside if it takes more than a few seconds for them to understand your skill set.
  • Include unnecessary details, such as your hobbies. Only include your hobbies if you can relate them to the job you are applying for.
  • Go into detail about classified information in previous roles. This may be tempting if you have worked in a previous correctional officer position but refrain from including personal information on inmates.
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FAQ: Correctional officer resumes

Have questions? We’re here to help.

You should always include a cover letter when applying for any job. This will ensure that you give yourself the best chance of impressing recruiters as you can fully explain your skill set. In addition, you can use a cover letter template to help you keep your cover letter professional and precise.

Using a functional resume format, you can write a correctional officer resume without extensive experience. This format will allow you to go into detail on skills you have learned from volunteering and education, with a smaller section for your experience.

You can adjust your correctional officer resume to fit different jobs by reading the job description and highlighting critical requirements for the specific role. Then include these key terms in your resume. This will ensure that you include skills that the hiring manager is specifically looking for.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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