1. Resume Examples
  2. Criminology
Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

Criminology resume example & writing guide

Don’t handcuff your job search with an average application. Read on for the keys to creating a criminology resume that unlocks opportunity.
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Criminology resume example & writing guide
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A criminology resume unlocks access to the job market. A great criminology resume is designed to hand you the key to the job you truly desire. Settling for an average version of your career story could mean an extended hunt for your next opportunity.

What makes the difference? Clarity of message, talent showcasing, and targeted information.

Criminology is the research and study of crime and criminal behavior. As in any other scientific pursuit, it requires investigation, inquiry, data collection and analysis, and an understanding of human nature. That takes time. Unfortunately, time is of the essence to recruiters, so your criminology resume needs to shine from the start. Set your sights on a speedy result with a resume that recruiters want to investigate in detail.

Resume guide for a criminology resume

Give yourself every advantage to succeed with Resume.io. Our guides and resume examples cover over 500 professions, and our intuitive resume builder smoothly guides you through the creation of a resume for criminology that will grab the attention of the HR department.

This resume guide and corresponding car sales resume example will cover the following:

  • How to write a criminology resume
  • Choosing the right resume format for criminology
  • How to add your contact information
  • Using summaries
  • Adding your criminology experience
  • Listing education and relevant experience
  • Picking the right resume design/layout
  • What salary you can expect in criminology

How to write a criminology resume

Researchers take it step by step. Your first step toward writing your criminology resume is understanding what sections to include. Your resume should contain the following elements:

You may be more comfortable analyzing data, but to get there you have to sell yourself in your resume. Tell employers what unique talents you bring to the table that will benefit them. Use your research skills to investigate exactly what they do and what they need, and display in your resume how you will apply your criminology knowledge to solving their problems and adding value.

Stick with this framework to get your winning message across:

  • Focus on results. Put your accomplishments under the microscope instead of listing your responsibilities. A list of tasks sounds like a job ad, not a story of career success. Always focus on successes that will translate to the position you seek to give your prospective employer a specific picture of what you can do for them.
  • Personalize it. Speak directly to each employer. That means customizing your criminology resume each time you apply for a new job. Since no two positions are exactly alike, no two resumes should be either, even if that means simply reordering the bullet points in your employment history to emphasize different achievements.
  • Stay professional.  Use a professional— perhaps even a bit conservative—resume design that contains clean lines and easy-to-read fonts.
  • Use keywords. Take the ATS filtering system into account when you apply online by sprinkling in keywords and phrases from the job ad into your resume.
Expert tip

Leap the ATS hurdle

Applicant tracking systems are used by the majority of HR departments. Whenever you apply online, you are inputting your data into one of these systems. They use algorithms to rank resumes based on information the employer has keyed to the job.

For example, if you see a criminology job listing that requires:

  • “A degree in criminal justice”
  • “Proficiency in data analytics”
  • “Knowledge of scientific method”
  • “Two-year’s research experience”

You could incorporate all these keywords into your summary in a few sentences such as these:

“Criminologist with two years of research experience post criminal justice degree and in-depth knowledge of scientific method. Proficient in use of data analytics to inform study of criminal behavior.

For more details on the ATS, check out our article Resume ATS optimization.

Choosing the right resume format for criminology

A resume for a criminologist needs the same attributes as a criminologist: attention to detail, clarity and professionalism. The best format for showcasing those attributes is reverse chronological order, in which your work history and education are listed from most recent on back.

This format allows recruiters to immediately find your level of responsibility and expertise at this time. Below is an example of this format.

Different circumstances, such as entry-level job seekers or those who are embarking on a second (or third) career may find that an alternative format such as the functional format suits their needs better. This format emphasizes skills and education over employment history.

When exploring the many resume templates in our resume builder, select the format that best suits your situation. We have plenty of versions of the three formats available as resume examples.

Criminology is a fairly conservative field, so a resume template from among our professional or simple options will serve you best.

Include your contact information

What’s the main idea of your resume? Contact from the recruiter! Make sure your details are both easy to read and highlighted sufficiently. Here’s what to include and what not to):

  • Full name and title. List your first and last name. Use the title of the role you are pursuing.
  • Professional email address. Use a clean format like [email protected]. Don’t use a quirky, unprofessional email address.
  • Phone number. List a number where you can be readily contacted, with a professional voicemail greeting.
  • Location. List only your city and state. Don’t list street address or zip code. It’s both outdated and unsafe. Note 'Willing to Relocate' here if applicable.
  • LinkedIn. If your LinkedIn profile is active, relevant, and shows your sales network, include it here.

Don’t include:

Do

LaToya K. Stoneham, criminologist

[email protected]

(805) 230-9984

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

www.lkstoneham.com

Don't

ToyToy Stoneham, criminologist

[email protected]

(805) 230-9984

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Facebook: ToyToyStone

Make use of a summary

When you write a criminology paper reporting on your research methods and findings, you also write a brief abstract, or an overview of your work that will interest people in reading on. The summary of a resume for criminology serves the same function.

In 2-3 sentences, a summary does more than summarize your career. It shines a spotlight on your biggest achievements while clearly stating your value proposition. In essence, it answers the question: “Why should I hire you?”

While you will use a scientific style of writing in your research results, a resume requires more active language. Choose strong action words and descriptors to demonstrate what you have accomplished and how. Add data and details whenever possible to quantify those accomplishments.

There’s no need to lift phrases from your work history. Instead, offer a broad picture of you as a professional. For example, “Seasoned criminologist with 10+ years of detail-oriented research into the effects of childhood food insecurity on criminal activity.”

Aim your summary directly at the job for which you are applying and emphasize the traits and skills the employer seeks. Decide how you want to portray yourself and what your goal is. Do you want to conduct field research? Focus on that experience. Do you prefer to crunch numbers? Call yourself an expert data analyst proficient in coming to well-grounded conclusions. 

Looking for more summary examples? Check out our related resumes

You can find adaptable criminology resume examples summary below:

Entry-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Recent graduate with bachelor’s degrees in criminology and data science. Strong foundation in research, criminal justice and theories of crime. Proficient in IBM SPSS Statistics, SAS and MATLAB. Eager to apply my knowledge in the real world. 

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Mid-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Criminologist with five years’ experience analyzing complex data, developing perceptive reports and providing innovative recommendations to public safety officials. Detailed understanding of criminal behavior, crime prevention techniques and investigative methods. Skilled in collaborating with law enforcement, community and governmental agencies.

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Senior-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Highly experienced criminologist with 10+ years of developing comprehensive crime prevention strategies through detailed research and data analysis. Expertise in shaping policy,  managing large research projects, and leading multidisciplinary teams to address complex criminal justice issues.

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Outline your criminology work experience: an arresting story

Making use of reverse chronological order, list your current or most recent position first in your employment history section and work back. You are building a story of your career successes and how you added value in your position, so leave out mundane daily tasks. 

Under each job listing, create bullet points describing how you contributed in your role. Begin each item with a strong verb such as researched, recommended, analyzed, mentored, collaborated or investigated. Include what you did, why and what the results were.

Remember to focus on achievements, not tasks, in your criminology resume. Here’s what we mean. 

Compare these examples to see how the first version doesn’t leave the same impact as the second:

  • “Conducted research.”

vs.

  • “Designed and implemented research study focused on petty crime in a town of 45,000 residents illuminating several reasons for criminal behavior.”
  • “Responsible for making suggestions to reduce crime.”

vs.

  • “Recommended crime reduction technique that resulted in 15% fewer burglaries.”
  • “Studied environmental factors of crime.”

vs.

  • Conducted field research into environmental factors of crime in mid-size city and presented results at criminology convention.”

The second options offer details and specifics instead of generic job responsibilities. When you are trying to beat out the competition to earn an interview, you need to explain in the greatest detail possible what results you achieved through your work. “Conducted research” offers no information to a prospective employer. What was the research? What were your results? Where did it occur?

Try to show an increase in expertise, a widening of your skills or other career growth such as taking on a leadership or mentoring role. This demonstrates that you are willing to continue to learn and develop in your career.

Take a look at the criminology employment history resume sample below:

Adaptable resume employment history example

Research Assistant at UIC Department of Criminology, Chicago, IL 
January 2018 - May 2020 

  • Supported faculty members in conducting research on various criminological topics.
  • Collected and analyzed data via SPSS statistical software and generated research reports documenting results.
  • Presented research findings at undergraduate research symposiums.

 

Intern at Chicago Police Department, Chicago, IL 
June 2019 - August 2019 

  • Contributed to analysis of crime data and produced reports supporting investigations.
  • Gained hands-on experience in law enforcement through ride-alongs with police officers.
  • Performed research on community policing strategies and presented findings of results to the department.
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How to write a criminology resume with no experience

How do you get job experience when most jobs require experience? The truth is you have more experience than you realize. If you are compiling a resume for a criminology graduate, you have conducted research for school. If you have completed an internship, that is experience.

But you have other experience as well. Even if you didn’t work during school, you may have been a club president or participated in a sport. Those activities give you transferable skills, or skills that apply to any entry-level position.

Communication, leadership, time management and reliability are all desirable skills employers seek, especially in recent graduates and those new to the job market. Focus on these soft skills and any other transferable hard skills you may have demonstrated outside a full-time job.

Include the relevant key skills that make you a great criminologist

In your skills list, create a blend of hard and soft skills that offers a complete picture of criminology expertise. Hard skills, or those that can be learned, such as technology and data analysis, research methodology, and criminal justice knowledge are all necessary in your field.

Soft skills are also sought after by employers, because these interpersonal skills are more difficult to teach and can trip up otherwise expert workers. As a criminologist, communication (both written and oral), collaboration, detail-orientation and an understanding of human behavior are equally as important skills for criminology in your resume as your expertise in Excel.

The resume builder offers several pre-written key skills to choose from with proficiency ranges you can set. You can also write in your skills.

Here’s what the skills box looks like in our criminology resume template. 

Key Skills and Proficiencies
  • Research
  • Data Analysis
  • SPSS
  • Criminal Justice
  • Crime Analysis
  • Reports & Presentations
  • Law Enforcement
  • Vehicle Patrols
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Criminal Law
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While the skills section of a resume for criminology provides recruiters with an at-a-glance opportunity to suss out what abilities you have (and which you think are most important), it is not the only place you should be including skills, especially since this section offers no chance to show how you use these abilities.

Within your employment history and summary sections, take the opportunity to highlight:

  • Innovative thinking by showcasing a crime-fighting solution and the results of it that you developed after completing a research project
  • Research initiative by detailing a project you designed based on a problem a community organization faced
  • Leadership by listing a multi-organization task force you headed.
Expert tip

Go one step further than soft skills

Looking for a leadership role or simply want to demonstrate that you are in command of your emotions and understand those of others? Try listing emotional intelligence (EI), or some of its components, in your skills section.

EI comprises empathy, emotional regulation, self-awareness, relationship management, conflict management, adaptability, organizational awareness, motivation, adaptability, influence, coaching or mentoring, inspirational leadership, and teamwork. Adding one or more of these attributes shows you cannot only function well in a workplace but to assist others as well.

Detail your education & relevant criminology certifications (200)

Criminology requires at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, justice studies, legal studies, psychology or a related field. The education section of a criminology resume is a simple listing of any and all degrees, but you may also include other categories.

Consider the following:

  • Training and certificates. These can be post-graduate certifications or other training classes you have completed that enhance your skills as a criminologist.
  • Internships or cross-training. If you have not listed these in your employment history section, you may do so here.
  • Professional development. Any seminars, conferences, other learning experiences, or membership in professional organizations shows you’re motivated to continue updating your knowledge.

If you are new to the field and your education is more impressive than your work history, highlight this section by placing it above your employment section.

Expert tip

Special sections

If you are a seasoned criminologist with several published works or presentations, you may add a “Publications and Presentations” section to showcase your professional authority.

Adaptable example for education and certifications

Bachelor of Science in Criminology, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 
May 2020

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Pick the right resume layout and design for a criminology resume

A resume for criminology must look authoritative and professional, and lean toward the visually conservative side while remaining eye-catching and memorable. This first impression will last, so be sure your design conveys the image you intend and reflects the message within your text.

Grabbing the recruiter’s attention does not require flashy design or bright colors. These elements can detract from your resume or project a more frivolous image than you intend. While you don’t want to seem stuffy or boring, you can add visual interest with one muted color (or none if you prefer).

We recommend you aim for a bold header, standout section titles, clean lines, and an easy-to-read font. Choose from one of our professional or modern templates—all of them can be customized to suit your needs or peruse all our field-tested resume templates. Leaving the design and formatting to us affords you more time to focus on delivering your message exactly the way you want to.

Criminology text-only resume example

Criminology resume example (text version)

Profile

Detail-driven and analytical Criminologist with recent education and field experience in the field of criminology. Passion for criminal justice, with commitment to making a positive impact on society. High proficiency in Windows, MS Office, and analytical tools such as SPSS, with ability to utilize various additional computer and office tools.


Employment history

Research Assistant at UIC Department of Criminology, Chicago, IL 
January 2018 - May 2020 

  • Supported faculty members in conducting research on various criminological topics.
  • Collected and analyzed data via SPSS statistical software and generated research reports documenting results.
  • Presented research findings at undergraduate research symposiums.

 

Intern at Chicago Police Department, Chicago, IL 
June 2019 - August 2019 

  • Contributed to analysis of crime data and produced reports supporting investigations.
  • Gained hands-on experience in law enforcement through ride-alongs with police officers.
  • Performed research on community policing strategies and presented findings of results to the department.


Skills

  • Research
  • Data Analysis
  • SPSS
  • Criminal Justice
  • Crime Analysis
  • Reports & Presentations
  • Law Enforcement
  • Vehicle Patrols
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Criminal Law


Education

Bachelor of Science in Criminology, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 
May 2020

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What type of salary you can expect in criminology

Criminologists who conduct research into crime and its effects on society earn an average of $83,400, according to Criminal Justice Degree Hub; however, Comparably calculates an average of $45,187 with a range of $21,269-$195,686.

Key takeaways for building a criminology resume

A career in criminology can be a rewarding way of helping illuminate ways to make communities safer places through the use of skills such as data analysis, research methodology, and an understanding of human behavior. A great resume demonstrates the results achieved with those abilities.

Criminology also requires soft skills and those who can demonstrate emotional intelligence within their resumes will have an added advantage when it comes to leadership roles.

Our online resume builder will take the tedious task of formatting out of your hands so you can jump into the job market that much sooner.

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