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Ten Common Ways to NOT Get Hired

Ten Common Ways to NOT Get Hired

Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith

You don’t really want to be a cop, do you? Fighting crime, saving lives, big guns, fast cars, a cool uniform, hot calls; that stuff’s not for you. The hours are long, the gratitude is short-lived, and there may occasionally be people trying to kill you when you’re just trying to make a living and do a little good. Take some advice from the front lines of police hiring and training, here’s ten way to make sure you do not get hired by any law enforcement agency.

10. That 20-page application they want you to fill out? Just consider that pesky document merely a guideline; they can’t possibly expect you to waste your time filling out every single box, blank, and question. Why would anyone really want a certified copy of your high school transcripts, an official duplicate of your birth certificate, and an accurate list of everywhere you’ve ever worked or lived.? Do they really need to know how to contact your grandparents, your old roommate and your college resident assistant? Just fill out what you can, you’ll have plenty of time to show them how organized and thorough you are once they bring you on board as one of their officers.

9. Don’t worry about your level of fitness. Police testing can take a long time; you may sit on an eligibility list for months, even years, before you begin the academy. So why worry about what kind of shape you’re in? Wait until you get confirmation that you’re about to start recruit training to get serious about working out, especially if you have youth on your side. You played high school football, you’re on a summer softball league, and you’re awesome at Wii boxing so you’ll get in shape in no time, right?

8. Always remember that you are owed a good police job. Don’t think that you have to work hard, prove yourself, or compete with anyone else; you are entitled to this opportunity. After all, how many people are willing to make the sacrifices you’ll have to make as a crimefighter: working shifts, facing down armed criminals, cutting your hair really short? They should feel fortunate that you’ve chosen to apply at their agency, and it’s that agency’s responsibility to make sure your career dreams are realized.

7. Make sure your social networking sites show what a fun-loving party animal you really are. The person doing your background check will certainly get a chuckle out of that picture of you passed out in front of your fraternity’s record-breaking beer can pyramid. And those racy boudoir portraits you had taken for your ex-boyfriend, the ones of you wearing nothing but a toy shoulder holster and a smile? I’m sure the chief of police will understand that it’s not your fault that your ex posted them on his My Space page after you guys broke up, complete with all of your contact information. Besides, the cops can’t actually access that stuff, can they? Can they!?

6. Why worry about your personal appearance? “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” isn’t that what your grandma always said? You’re applying to be a cop, not a Marine or a Wall Street broker. When you show up for the physical agility test, everyone is sure to love your Female Body Inspector t-shirt you bought in Cancun, or be impressed with those Victoria’s Secret PINK short shorts you just got at the mall. Besides, that scruffy Brad Pitt look or the high school Goth girl fashion statement may be just what they’re looking for in the Narcotics Unit of the agency you’re applying for.

5. Don’t bother to read anything more difficult or thought provoking than the latest issue of People magazine or your buddy’s fantasy football blog. Even though studies show that the number one predictor of success in the police academy is your level of reading comprehension, you did more than enough reading in school, and it was painfully boring then. Reading actual books interferes with your emailing, texting, Skyping, and keeping up with all that great reality TV. You’ll have no problem catching up once you’re in the academy.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    Was it Einstein whose teacher told him he would never amount to anything ....and orginally he dropped out of school......only to realize she was "dead" wrong?

  • Scan0006_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    jtw... are you serious? WOW. I remember one of the first papers I signed "WILL WORK WEEKENDS, HOLIDAYS, ANY SHIFT and ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTY"

  • Joefriday_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Actually having worked applicants tthis is not sarcasim. we have a complet generation of "whats in this for me" who apply today.

  • Ohio_state_vs_michigan_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I remember when I was an FTO, we hired this recruit that had a BS in criminal justice, and had put herself through the academy. When the Decemebr schedule came out she saw that she had to work on Christmas.. She was shocked, she didnt think that we were "open" on Christmas. She quit because she didnt think that she should have to work holidays

  • Jack_bauer_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I like to see those show up to interviews with crazy shirts, and bad personal experience. I can see if they tell you up front to be there in pt gear(as many do) but I would always lean on throwing caution in the wind and try to look my best....leave some pt gear in my car to change into real quick.

  • Buford2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    LOVE IT!

  • Me_nam_max50


    over 4 years ago


    well said mam

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    haha.. great tips, love sarcasm

  • 9_11_01_max600_max50


    over 4 years ago


    hahahahaalmost feel out my chair a few times lol

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    loved it.... now i know what ive got to focus on.......thank u....

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    I loved this article. I understood the sarcasm, and I appreciate it. Quick tip, most social networking sites have a way for you to shut down your account if you already have those racy or inappropriate pictures or stories, as well as a way to get those vindictive private pictures your ex posts. Good luck fellow future cops.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    I am 25 and currently enrolled in a criminal justice program. It is quite shocking to see all the kids in their second semester that all have some kind of black mark against them already. The truly shocking part is that they are all proud of their misdeeds.

  • 21122007861_max50


    almost 5 years ago



  • Car6_max50


    almost 5 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago

    I agree with siscosolid... However it'll be a big "welcome to the real world" slap in the face when someone reading this would actually try it out! And when the citizens that want to be in LE are so unethical rude and take the majority around them for granted why post something that shows they care for them? Look at what they need to be in order to be a Police Officer. Look at the generations growing up. There needs to be someone to stand up to the new thought process and lack of ethics now especially in these hard times...... Some of the departments Ive applies with are just now realizing the major contractors and business owners that they've hired are only there for job security not because its their calling which bums out people like me that work sooo hard to get into LE and I get turned down cause one of those 100 business men just got the spot! People think its a joke and I think thats where this sarcasm is coming from!

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