How to Write an Effective Police Department Job Announcement


Are you getting the best applicants for your open law enforcement positions? If not, you might want to take a look at your job announcements. Ask yourself these questions about your police job announcements to make sure you’re attracting the best candidates for your department.

Are your job announcements organized and easy to follow? The easier your job announcements are to follow, the more likely candidates are to read them all the way through and actually submit an application. Police department applications have to include quite a bit of information (see below) so they don’t necessarily have to be short, but they should be clear, straightforward, and organized into clearly labeled sections so potential applicants can quickly scan to learn more about specific aspects of the position.

Do your job announcements meet local and state requirements? Several aspects of police and public safety practices and procedures are governed by accreditation standards such as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which is designed to improve the delivery of public safety services through a number of standards, including fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices and departmental management procedures. Make sure your job listings abide by all applicable standards.

Do your job announcements include all the necessary information? Applying to become a police office is a more involved process than with regular civilian jobs, and new applicants may have a lot of questions about whether they qualify, what the hiring process entails, and what they will be expected to do. Having a complete job announcement that provides answers to these questions and walks candidates through what the process will be increases your chances of getting informed, prepared, qualified applicants. Your police department job announcements should include ALL of the following:

  • A brief overview of your department or agency
  • A brief overview of your community
  • A job description including duties and responsibilities
  • Minimum qualifications or conditions of employment
  • Automatic disqualifiers
  • Information on the hiring process, including:
    • Written exam
    • Physical agility exam
    • Oral exam
    • Background investigations
    • Medical exam
    • Drug testing
    • Psychological exam
  • Testing times, dates and locations
  • Employment benefits
  • How to apply
  • Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) statement

Are your job announcements engaging and exciting? Your job announcement is your first, and sometimes your ONLY, chance to make an impression with candidates. Give potential applicants a better sense of your department and community by adding images and videos to your job announcement—show photos of your officers interacting with the community, create a recruiting video that shows what it’s like to be a police officer in your department, or record a greeting from the chief.

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