9 Steps for Writing a Correctional Officer Resume Objective

Updated 30 September 2022

A correctional officer, also known as a prison guard or prison officer, is an individual who supervises, monitors, assists and disciplines criminals in a prison facility. They typically possess excellent interpersonal qualities and core skills that help them maintain order in a relatively hazardous environment. By reviewing some example resume objectives, you may consider things to focus on in your own objective. In this article, we define a correctional officer resume objective, detail tips for writing one and share several resume objective examples.

What's a correctional officer resume objective?

A correctional officer resume objective is typically a section on your resume that details primary motives for applying for the role, your credentials and your aspirations for the job. Your resume objective doesn't necessarily require all of these elements. For example, you might only detail your primary credentials, such as experience and qualifications. The purpose of the objective is usually to gain a hiring manager's attention and convince them of your employment eligibility for the role of a correctional officer. The content you include can depend on your expertise and the hiring organisation's preferences.

How to write a correctional officer resume objective

Below, you can examine nine helpful tips for writing a resume objective for a correctional officer role:

1. Focus on your skills

It can be important to understand that, as a correctional officer, you typically complete several weeks of paid training under the supervision of a hiring facility. For this reason, your qualifications and technical skills aren't necessarily as valuable as your interpersonal qualities and core skills. Hiring managers typically value interpersonal qualities more than technical competencies because personality can be more challenging to train than job processes or activities. Some of the interpersonal qualities you can focus on for your objective may include awareness, teamwork, communication and empathy. You can also highlight soft skills, such as problem-solving and strategic thinking.

Related: What Are Soft Skills, and Why Are They Important at Work?

2. Highlight work experience

Work experience can be extremely valuable, as experienced correctional officers often provide effective leadership and mentoring to junior officers. If you possess work experience as a prison guard, it may be worth mentioning in your resume summary. Hiring managers may appreciate you as a candidate if you have work experience because it can suggest you require less training and may transition into your new role comfortably. Your work experience can also highlight your practical experience in correctional responsibilities, such as detaining inmates, resolving conflicts and negotiating diplomatic resolutions.

Related: What Does a Security Officer Do? (With Skills and Salary)

3. Detail relevant qualifications

There are several qualifications you may complete that are relevant to the prison industry. Qualifications might not be necessary when applying for a correctional officer role because you receive most of your training during courses provided by the hiring institute. If you possess qualifications, it can still be worth including them in your objective because they can highlight your commitment to personal development and a desire to become a professional. Qualifications most relevant to a correctional role usually include certificates, though you can also consider a university degree that focuses on community justice and law enforcement.

4. Mention your licences

Depending on where you gain employment as a correctional officer, you may require several licences or certifications. For example, to become a correctional officer in Western Australia, you usually require a C-class driver's licence, police clearance and a first-aid certificate. Because these are specific employment requirements, it might be worth including them in your objective. The job listing for the vacant role usually highlights these employment requirements. It can be important to understand that these licence requirements can vary between prison careers, employers and state locations.

5. Discuss your motives for applying

Discussing why you want to become a correctional officer isn't always necessary, but some hiring institutions may want to understand your motives. Your motives for becoming a correctional officer might reflect your personality. For example, if you're applying because you want to help the community and make a difference in inmates' lives, it can suggest you're selfless, humble and community-oriented. These are traits that prison facilities typically value highly. While it's usually unnecessary to discuss your motives, it can be an excellent opportunity to portray yourself as a suitable candidate.

6. Highlight the attributes you can contribute to the organisation

Many resume objectives only detail what the candidate hopes to gain from the employment. Discussing this can be acceptable, but it might be a better idea to discuss what you can contribute, rather than what you can gain. Similar to discussing your motives, this can highlight your selflessness and professionalism. Discussing what you hope to achieve may still be a good idea, as it can highlight your ambition and commitment to the industry.

7. Write a relatively short objective

A resume objective is typically three to five sentences long. This is because your objective usually references your most notable achievements and credentials, rather than all of them. A resume objective is a section on your resume, so there are still other sections detailing your work experience, qualifications and skills. If your resume objective is excessively long, you might repeat yourself, which can reduce the reader's engagement with your resume. If you feel you have an abundance of outstanding attributes to discuss, you can include a cover letter with your resume highlighting your primary attributes in more detail.

8. Relate your objective to the hiring organisation

When creating a resume, it's usually a good idea to tailor it toward the hiring institute. This can include your resume objective. For example, if the facility you're applying to values fair treatment and empathetic service, you can refer to these elements in your objective summary. You might discuss how you're empathetic and believe in treating everyone with the same level of respect, regardless of their history. Relating yourself to the hiring institute can highlight the suitability of your personality, which can suggest you're a good candidate for the environment and work culture.

9. Address each employment requirement

Your resume objective is usually the first section on your resume that hiring managers might view. For this reason, it can be important to ensure it's impressive and engaging. An excellent method for achieving this can be to address the important employment requirements. If you review the job listing, you can typically identify these requirements and refer to them in your objective. For example, if the job listing states candidates need have time management skills, you may list time management as one of your primary skills.

Example resume objectives for a correctional officer position

Below, you can explore some example resume objectives for correction officer candidates with varying levels of expertise, experience, qualification and skills:

Resume objective for an experienced candidate

Here, you can explore an example resume objective for a candidate with experience, qualifications and skills as a correctional officer:

Example: Experienced correctional facility officer applying for the role of a senior corrections officer with State Prison. Has several years of experience in high-security environments, transferring prisoners, monitoring grounds and evaluating facility security. Developed advanced situational awareness, defensive tactics and restraining techniques during prior employment. Excited to begin a new career in a professional and modern corrections complex and contribute expertise to the State Prison team.

Resume objective for an inexperienced candidate

Below, you may examine an example resume objective for a candidate applying for their first job in the prison industry:

Example: Motivated and committed individual hoping to gain employment with West Correction Facility as a correctional officer. Has no experience in the prison industry, but has motivation for developing advanced skills and knowledge to provide professional service to West Correction. Has excellent core and interpersonal skills, such as communication, situational awareness, teamwork and empathy. Can contribute a highly energetic mindset and enthusiastic personality to the team at West Correction Facility.

Related: Entry-Level Resume Summary Examples (And How to Write One)

Resume objective for a candidate changing careers

Below, you may examine an example resume objective for a security guard changing careers to a correctional officer role:

Example: Former security guard applying for the role of a correctional officer with South State Prison. Developed transferable skills during prior employment, such as apprehending unruly customers, diplomatically resolving conflicts, monitoring environments for dangers and enforcing rules and legislation. Excited to begin a new career as a correctional officer and apply skills to a new environment. Can contribute expertise, leadership and an enthusiastic mindset to the team at South State Prison.

Related: Resume Summary for a Career Change (With Tips and Examples)

Resume objective for a recent graduate

Here, you may review an example resume objective for a candidate who's recently graduated with a certificate relative to correctional duties:

Example: A recent graduate from Security Institute with a Certificate of Correctional Facility Practices, applying for a corrections officer role with North Correction Facility. Developed in-depth theoretical knowledge of typical procedures and techniques utilised in correctional facilities during studies. Committed to improving important interpersonal qualities, such as negotiation, communication and teamwork. Can contribute an excellent work-ethic and team-oriented mindset to the team at North Correction Facility.


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