For many people, a career in criminal justice may seem exciting, but undeniably intimidating- after all, you are dealing with criminals. Adding to the already complicated career, there are also many different fields of specialism within the criminal justice system, making it hard to decide where to apply. But what if you know this is the career path you want to take? Here are some pieces of advice to help ease your application process!

As with applying for any job, researching into the possible work destinations is imperative. Within the criminal justice job market, the skills you pick up, or may indeed already have, are transferable, meaning you could potentially move to any location within the country and find employment. It is through this research that you can really understand the complexity of the different and individual jobs, such as court or probation jobs, discovering whether they are right for you.

Similarly, investigating the many jobs allows you to determine whether you have the right qualifications. Many of the more science-based jobs in criminal justice, like forensic science, understandably require higher level qualifications such as degrees or postgraduate studies, whereas the more interactive jobs may need only GCSE’s. However, for positions such as Police or Probation Officers, experience is parallel to the qualifications you have.

Whilst researching you may find it useful to talk to those who have applied for similar positions or have simply gone through the job application process themselves. Through this, there is the chance to gain work experience and create networking opportunities through your connections.

In terms of the actual application process itself, the normal route is through filling out a CV and other important documents; that being said, a few positions require applications via the individual departments- for example, to apply for a police officer job, you would need to contact your local police force. A good way to discover any job spaces available within the different sectors is to utilise websites and social media; not only does this help you to keep on top of criminal justice news, but for any employment vacancies or even advice from different companies as to how to apply.

After applying to the different employers, you may find your applications either successful or unsuccessful. If you receive the unfortunate news that you have not acquired the job, do not be put off! There will be a position for you, but job hunting requires patience and enthusiasm. If, however, you discover you have received a job offer, be prepared for the next stage; interviews and possibly even further testing. Embrace the challenges on offer and coming your way, but importantly, show your employer commitment and eagerness to succeed within your job!