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Correctional Officer Resume—Job Description + Examples

Looking for a correctional officer job but don’t know where to start? See this by-the-book correctional officer resume sample with tips and examples to get called up rapidly.

Marta Bongilaj
Marta Bongilaj
Career Expert
Correctional Officer Resume—Job Description + Examples

You have a watchful eye and the ability to ease the hardest conflicts. They call you the second Paul Edgecomb, and you can prove it through your leadership and problem-solving skills.

But before you iron out that sleek tie for an interview with a warden, you must prepare a stunning correctional officer resume that makes them believe people bury the hatchet after your intervention.

Ready to prove that? Read further to learn how.

In this guide:

  • A correctional officer's resume sample better than most.
  • How to make the perfect correctional officer job description for resumes.
  • How to write a resume for correctional officer jobs that stands out.
  • Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing a correctional officer job.

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Need a resume for a similar position? Check these guides:

Correctional Officer Resume Sample

Charles M. Tate

Correctional Officer

321-946-0789

charlesmtate@email.com

linkedin.com/in/charlesmtate

Summary

A self-disciplined correctional officer with 6+ years of experience in security and safety control. As a Correctional Youth Security Officer at the Colorado Department of Human Services, helped to tackle 85% of incidents peacefully. At Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, resolved 95% of safety and security issues at the first point of contact. Motivated to join the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a Correctional Officer to use highly-developed interpersonal skills and supervise inmates in a well-balanced way.

Work Experience

Correctional Youth Security Officer

Colorado Department of Human Services, CO

May 2020–Present

  • Maintained a safe environment for youth through appropriate supervision and interventions, helping reduce incidents by 25% monthly.
  • Implemented safety plans and 150+ behavior agreements yearly for youth demonstrating severe behavioral concerns. 
  • Inspected common areas and living units to maintain safety and sanitation standards.
  • Developed professional relationships with youth to assist them in their programming. Commended 2 times by a Senior Security Officer for exceptional dedication to work.

Key achievement:

  • Used conflict management skills in challenging situations, helping to tackle 85% of incidents peacefully.

Security Guard

Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, CO

August 2017–March 2020

  • Monitored properties and facilities daily. Made extensive reports on non-compliance with 100% accuracy.
  • Responded to all burglar, fire, or trouble alarms with 99% on-time operation.
  • Handled incidents and coordinated them with General Manager, EMS, or Fire Brigade with maximum efficiency.
  • Secured designated areas at the appropriate times, reducing the number of external incidents by 20% monthly.

Key achievement:

  • Assisted guests and associates with appropriate service, resolving 95% of safety and security issues at the first point of contact.

Education

BA in Criminal Justice

University of Colorado, CO

September 2013–June 2017

GPA: 3.80

Skills

  • Conflict resolution
  • Negotiation skills
  • Monitoring systems
  • Inspection
  • Training
  • Resilience
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Stress management
  • Physical fitness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Self-discipline

Certificates

  • Certified Corrections Officer, ACA, 2022
  • First Aid, CPR, and AED Instructor, NSC, 2021

Awards

  • 2022 Correctional Youth Security Officer of the Year

What is the job description of a correctional officer?

Correctional officers keep order within jails or prisons, supervise inmates, and provide care and correctional treatment. They also inspect facilities as regards security and safety. A correctional officer's resume must prove you excel at managing conflicts and handling emergencies with a cool head.

Here’s how to make a correctional officer resume step by step, with expert judgment included:

1. Prepare a Deliberate Resume Format

Documentation is an essential part of a correctional officer’s responsibilities. Your reports should be up to scratch, mainly because carefully-prepared documentation protects you in the event of a suit.

Though a badly-written resume doesn’t entail serious consequences (besides a rejected candidature), it’s essential that you take a few minutes to polish its layout and formatting.

Here are the key rules to pursue:

  • Use the reverse-chronological resume format to highlight recent jobs.
  • Pick one of the recommended resume fonts like Calibri or Helvetica, in 10–12pt.
  • Use 1-inch margins,and save enough space for readability.
  • Keep your resume length within a one-page limit.Your resume doesn’t need extensive contents.
  • Include these resume sections: Header, Summary, Experience, Education, Skills, and Additional.

In the end, save your resume in PDF. DOC formats are landing on the scrap heap nowadays.

2. Start with a Correctional Officer Summary or Objective

Time to reveal yourself. You’re an adept correctional officer who represents good manners, emotional stability, and consistency. You serve as a role model for inmates, promoting appropriate behaviors and correcting improper actions. Sounds legit.

When writing your resume, consider how to punctuate your strengths and present yourself as a pro. For starters, use a resume summary and develop it into a representative example of a specialist they seek.

Here’s how to achieve it in a few steps:

  1. Put one indicative adjective at the outset (self-disciplined, dependable, cooperative).
  2. Bring up your job title (correctional officer, corrections officer).
  3. Inform about the years of experience on your record (5+, 6+).
  4. Say how you’ll contribute (e.g., to lead and supervise inmates professionally and effectively).
  5. Mention 2–3 key achievements you’re proud of (helped to tackle 85% of incidents peacefully).

Now, see a good and a bad example that clear any doubts:

Correctional Officer Resume Summary—Example

Good Example

Summary

A self-disciplined correctional officer with 6+ years of experience in security and safety control. As a Correctional Youth Security Officer at the Colorado Department of Human Services, helped to tackle 85% of incidents peacefully. At Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, resolved 95% of safety and security issues at the first point of contact. Motivated to join the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a Correctional Officer to use highly-developed interpersonal skills and supervise inmates in a well-balanced way.

Bad Example

Summary

A correctional officer with over 6 years of experience working in jails, prisons, and custodies. Previously, mostly responsible for report writing, out-count work, securing buildings, and disciplinary procedures. Would eagerly join the Department of Corrections in Washington to tackle resident behavior problems. I am a professional who can handle such issues immediately.

Can you make an easy judgment?

The first example sums up a candidate’s career in a few lines. It highlights the key achievements and points out the skills that might benefit a new employer.

The second one? It’s way too general. An employer knows the typical correctional officer’s duties by heart. Instead of mentioning regular responsibilities, think of situations where you’ve used your skills and knowledge and succeeded in your role.

But what if you have little or zero experience?

No worries. Correctional officers typically need just a high school diploma to kick-start their careers. But, to strengthen your application, you can apply a resume objective that calls out achievements from your former gigs and practices or simply mentions your skills valuable in the role of a correctional officer.

Correctional Officer Resume Objective—Example

Good Example

Objective

Cooperative security assistant, well-versed in monitoring systems and facility security. As a Security Assistant at Chukchansi Park, reported 3 significant security threats. During 3-month correctional officer training at San Joaquin County, commended by a prison governor 2 times. Motivated to join San Bernardino County as a Correctional Officer to use conflict resolution skills and help people deal with stressful situations.

Bad Example

Objective

A beginning correctional officer with a bit of experience having shifts in custody. My supervisor evaluated my work as excellent. I learned to supervise inmates, interpret rules and regulations, and react quickly in emergencies. Would like to join County of Napa to develop my skills and mental resilience.

See the difference? 

In both cases, the applicant has some initial experience as a correctional officer, but only the first one puts it as an achievement. What’s more, it emphasizes skills that will be advantageous for a new employer.

The second example is too candidate-oriented. Plus, an extra clue: when writing your resume summary or objective, you should stick to the third person consistently.

3. Set the Bar High with a Perfect Correctional Officer Job Description

How to define a good correctional officer? They know they can handle a challenging situation with their emotions in check. Since their work requires lots of responsiveness, they have ready-made answers for unexpected events.

So, here comes question 1# on your upcoming interview.What would you do in scenario X? No matter how worrisome it sounds, an interviewer will expect you to provide a clear action plan.

Brace yourself and show them how much you’ve already handled. When creating your work experience resume section, focus on actions instead of tasks. Whether you want to summarize resolved issues, reports made, or conflicts avoided, don’t spare on numbers and brag about your unequaled skills.

Here’s how to write a sample correctional officer job description:

  1. Read the job ad. You’ll know what they expect from you.
  2. Look for a correctional officer's skills and duties listed there.
  3. Recall situations when you’ve used such skills and performed similar duties.
  4. Create resume bullets with achievements, applying action words and numbers.

The below example explains:

Correctional Officer Job Description for a Resume

Good Example

Experience

Correctional Youth Security Officer

Colorado Department of Human Services, CO

May 2020–Present

  • Maintained a safe environment for youth through appropriate supervision and interventions, helping reduce incidents by 25% monthly.
  • Implemented safety plans and 150+ behavior agreements yearly for youth demonstrating severe behavioral concerns. 
  • Inspected common areas and living units to maintain safety and sanitation standards.
  • Developed professional relationships with youth to assist them in their programming. Commended 2 times by a Senior Security Officer for exceptional dedication to work.

Key achievement:

  • Used conflict management skills in challenging situations, helping to tackle 85% of incidents peacefully.
Bad Example

Experience

  • Supervised youth and intervened when needed. 
  • Prepared safety plans and behavior agreements for youth.
  • Inspected common areas and followed key safety procedures.
  • Maintained good relationships with detainees and showed off dedication to work.

The divergence? A good example pinpoints particular achievements with an emphasis on outcomes. The bad one? It has vague sentences that don’t state clearly how you did in your former role.

Think of quantifiable results that you can mention. The numbers inspire awe, so use as many as possible.

4. Include Your Top Correctional Officer’s Skills

You’ve probably watched The Shawshank Redemption or at least have heard about Captain Hadley. This guy was physically powerful, but how he used his strength led to severe abuses. 

Being a correctional officer is a tough job where emotions are often put to the test. It’s easy to lose control and overuse your power unless you’ve shaped the inevitable skills.

Use the resume skills section to list abilities that help you succeed as a correctional officer. The examples below will make it easier for you to combine your skills.

Skills for a Correctional Officer’s Resume

  • Conflict resolution
  • Negotiation skills
  • Monitoring systems
  • Inspection
  • Training
  • Resilience
  • Patience
  • Dedication
  • Impartiality
  • Communication
  • Open-mindedness
  • Decision-making
  • Observational skills
  • Stress management
  • Responsiveness
  • Physical fitness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork
  • Self-discipline

Before making your personalized skills list, look at the job ad to get a glimpse of what is required from a correctional officer they want to hire. While most correctional officer jobs demand a universal skill set, some may emphasize particular traits.

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.

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4. Show You Have Critical Education Background

With a well-prepared work experience section and a grand list of skills, you’re already worthy of a few-minute call with a supervisor. But what if they are stuck in your education section, seeing no relevant schooling?

Education requirements vary between correctional officer opportunities—some jobs demand only a high school diploma. But usually, to become a correctional officer of increased responsibility (and salary, too), you need a degree in criminal justice or related fields.

 If you have one to show off, go for it. Here’s how to prepare your education entry:

Correctional Officer Education—Example

Good Example

Education

BA in Criminal Justice

University of Colorado, CO

September 2013–June 2017

GPA: 3.80

No schooling to showcase here? Scroll down to learn more about added sections you can include. For instance, you can mention training or certifications to make up for education shortages.

5. Finish Your Correctional Officer Resume with Added Sections

Not every employer gets that far when scrolling through a resume. A governor will likely make a recruitment decision before their cigarette burns out. Work experience, skills, and education are critical, that said.

But what if you’re applying for a highly competitive job? Then, think about added sections you can fill with some bonus info. This is to make sure you’ve packed your resume with all relevant data in the nick of time.

Go over these bonus sections examples that you can use:

Then, see this sample to get the picture:

Correctional Officer Resume—Extra Sections

Good Example

Certificates

  • Certified Corrections Officer, ACA, 2022
  • First Aid, CPR, and AED Instructor, NSC, 2021

Awards

  • 2022 Correctional Youth Security Officer of the Year

Now that you’ve written an A-Z correctional officer resume, send it to the proper person and await a call. Considering they’ll contact you sooner than later, check these typical phone interview questions not to be caught unawares.

Expert Hint: To power up your application, write a tailored cover letter. With many candidates applying for one role, a cover letter increases your chances of getting an edge over others.

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.

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Want to try a different look? There's 21 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

Key Points

To prepare a correctional officer resume that raises interest:

  • Use the correctional officer resume example included in this guide. It follows the best resume practices.
  • Highlight your achievements. Include them specifically in the resume summary and the work experience section.
  • Collect the right correctional officer resume skills.Check the ones enlisted in the job ad first.
  • Mention your education degree as it speaks in favor of your candidature. It may also qualify you for more experienced roles.
  • Write a correctional officer cover letter at the end.Focus on how you’ll be of help to the workplace you want to join.

Questions on how to write a correctional officer resume? Struggle to prepare a good correctional officer job description? Tell us in the comments!

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Marta Bongilaj
Marta Bongilaj
Marta Bongilaj is a career expert and a professional resume writer. She's a member of the National Career Development Association and the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. She has a vast marketing background, which helps her give relevant advice on bringing out candidates’ strongest points and making their resumes a compelling read. In her articles, she underlines the importance of showcasing the most prominent skills, experiences, and qualifications in a resume to stand out in increasingly competitive job markets. Marta provides on-point tips on how to promote one’s candidature efficaciously at every career stage. Holding a philology degree, she believes that concise, persuasive language lies at the core of a successful resume. If you seek advice on marketing yourself to employers, no matter your recruitment stage, you’ve come to the right place.

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