Help how to be more competitive!

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
Peppercorn
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Help how to be more competitive!

Postby Peppercorn » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:08 pm

Hello,

As we all know becoming a police officer is very competitive process. I wanted to reach out and ask if anyone has any courses or certifications that can be taken to be more competitive. I know if the police knowledge network, I’m just wondering what other people have done to make their applications more competitive. Any advice means so much.

Thanks!!!

Fonthill
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Re: Help how to be more competitive!

Postby Fonthill » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:17 pm

Peppercorn wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:08 pm
Hello,

As we all know becoming a police officer is very competitive process. I wanted to reach out and ask if anyone has any courses or certifications that can be taken to be more competitive. I know if the police knowledge network, I’m just wondering what other people have done to make their applications more competitive. Any advice means so much.

Thanks!!!
Having a 2nd language and explain how you used it.

Sending an email to Recruiting never hurts also.

Good luck

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noanykey
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Re: Help how to be more competitive!

Postby noanykey » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:01 am

Volunteer if you’re not already doing so.
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redemptionmaster
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Re: Help how to be more competitive!

Postby redemptionmaster » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:11 am

Remember, you don’t need to specifically only do Criminology or Criminal Justice related courses.
I have seen accountants, engineers, security officers, airport managers, etc, get hired into law enforcement.

Make smart choices, stay away from bad influences, know who you associate with and their lifestyle, and ensure they are on the same path as you.

Moreover, volunteer, get a new skill such as a real estate license or mutual funds certificate, tutor kids, open a business you passionate about, and apply for a leadership role such as a supervisor or management role; some agencies mention on their sites how they like seeing candidates in leadership roles.

Also, take a deferral as a learning experience, improve and keep trying. A deferral doesn’t mean your not good, you just need to improve and become more competitive. Don’t ever give up, keep trying, it will work out one day. Took me nearly 3 years to get an offer from CSC after being rejected from other agencies, but it was all worth it over those 3 years, the deferrals, improvements, and changes all made me more mature and resilient.

Peppercorn
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Re: Help how to be more competitive!

Postby Peppercorn » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:35 am

Thanks for all the helpful replies!

To add some context, I am 30 I currently work as a caretaker in the school board. I do volunteer but that’s on hold due to Covid. I got poor marks in school and dropped out of college 10 years ago due to some life circumstances. I currently am doing a few online college courses marks are all in the 90’s. I feel I have a ton of life experience to being to the career. Unfortunately I have had many deferrals and I do take them as a chance to learn and grow, I am always looking for ways to better myself and learn. I just feel my application isn’t strong enough compared to people with degrees. Unfortunately I have kids a house ect I can’t go fully back to school and to get a degree/ diploma online I can’t afford for one and two it would take 7 years at least! That’s kinda where I am at I appreciate anyone’s help.

Highland2012
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Re: Help how to be more competitive!

Postby Highland2012 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:41 pm

My philosophy is to always apply to what you'd love to do. You never know what could happen and getting spots often times includes a lot of dice rolling/timing. I didn't think I'd get into the position I'm in, but I applied and gave it my all and got accepted. I’m happy where I am, but I’m always continuing to pursue my dream!

Every time you are rejected, and reapply it shows initiative. Its better to take a shot and miss then to never take the shot at all. I think to myself I might as well apply, and if its not something really really want to do pull the application.


I've laid out a few ideas that I've followed to become competitive to a police service;

1. Having any kind of prolonged employment for a few years looks good, even if it not law enforcement related. It shows you have a level of commitment, and a good work ethic. If it is law enforcement or security related that is a bonus. It shows you are capable of dealing with conflict in the work place, and are able to practice up on your verbal judo. Additionally, if you are able to work your way up to a leadership position/shift super visor level that is another thing police services look for in a candidate. Police officers are seen as leaders/pillars in the community and as such having leadership experience helps a lot.

2. Experience with diversity helps a lot as we live in Canada, which is inherently a very diverse country. Recruiters look fondly on experience with working with people from other cultures. Being able to deal with language barriers or other cultural practices with patience and understanding goes a long way working in our climate.

3. Volunteer work is also very important. As police, or law enforcement members we serve our community. Volunteer work shows that you can give back to the community and you value it. There are many volunteer avenues you can do with the police such as Auxiliary Police, Victim Services, or Speed Watch programs. If you do decide to volunteer with a service, it will give the police staff a chance to get to know you, and for you to get to know the staff. I'd go ahead and put an astrix beside this one and say that if you volunteer with an auxiliary program you’re getting MANY of the valued experiences and your volunteer work at the same time.

4. Secondary school / vocational experience: Many departments will allow you to skip various steps of the application process with a diploma or degree from a university. Additionally, having said degree makes you that much more competitive in the police candidate market. Having a degree is not the be all end all of police recruits BUT it does show that you are devoted and dedicated enough to finish a degree program. Having a degree will help push you through the leadership positions. Similar to academic degrees, having a vocational skill also shows your dedication, as well as life experience related to the other career. Police recruiters like to have well-rounded departments and tend to hire people from all walks of life. If every officer they hired only had crim degrees it would definitely be a detriment to that force. I know an automotive mechanic who worked at a dealership for 10 years, with no other education get on with a very sought after, well paid municipal department.

5. Interview skills: Make sure you study up on competency based interview skills. Learn how to answer with the S.T.A.R and A.R.C principles. What I did for this was to hire an interview strategist or interview coach. They can help you develop competencies A.K.A experiences, in your past that can applied to the interview questions. This is very important, as these interviews are usually scored using a matrix. These coaches can teach you how to get the maximum score and really milk those competences and help you articulate your experience in a way that a recruiter would like most and score the highest!

6. Fitness: Make sure you keep up on your physical fitness and nutrition. Most police services incorporate their own physical fitness test. The RCMP's PARE test is very popular amongst federal agencies and POPAT for Municipal departments. There are many other tests specific to the occupation EG. COPAT, SOPAT, PIN, Ect. I would suggest that a relatively good goal to have would be able to run 2.4k (6 laps of a high school track) in 12 minutes or less, 5k in 30 minutes and a good level of physical fitness for the push-pull portion. Again, if you Google the agency you want to apply to the test will be laid out there. It would be a good idea to try and beat the minimum requirements.

There are many many aspects that recruiters look for that I didn't cover that could quickly be googled. Obviously a short list, but if you'd like to PM me I am happy to assist.
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