Prison officer CV examples & writing tips

Grab the attention of recruiters by using this prison officer CV example, complete with writing tips to highlight your law enforcement skills.



Table of Contents

  1. What to highlight in a prison officer CV
  2. Structure of a prison officer CV
  3. Do’s and don’ts for a prison officer CV
  4. FAQ: prison officer CVs

What to highlight in a prison officer CV

When applying for prison officer positions, you will want to:

  • Highlight your experience in previous prison officer jobs or relevant roles
  • Include all the soft and hard skills needed to succeed in this type of role
  • List any certifications you have
  • Describe your relevant education 

In this article, we will take you through the structure of a prison officer CV and give you all the CV writing tips you need to complete the strongest job application and impress hiring managers.

Structure of a prison officer CV

There are three CV formats you should consider using when writing your CV. Each format focuses on a separate area of your professional profile, allowing you to choose a structure that suits your experience level. The three CV formats are:

  • Functional: If you don’t have much work experience, using a functional CV format is a good option as you can highlight your skills.
  • Chronological: The chronological CV format is best for those with several years of work experience.
  • Combination: If you prefer to create a CV that balances your skills and experience, a combination CV format is a better option. This format is best for those who have gaps in their employment history or are making a career change.

Once you have selected the CV format, you can fill out each of the CV sections.


The header section contains the contact information that the recruiter needs to get in touch with you. You should include your name, phone number, email address and professional social media links, such as your LinkedIn profile.

Professional summary or career objective

Next, you should include either a professional summary or a career objective. A professional summary is used to summarise your professional profile and give the employer an insight into your most significant achievements and most relevant experience. A career objective sets your career goals, stating that you are ready to move into a specific position.


For your skills section, it is best to include hard skills and soft skills that you picked up over the years from relevant experience, adding a few mentioned in the job description. The specific requirements stated in the job posting are essential, as you must ensure you fit the profile.

Here are some common prison officer skills:

  • First aid
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to handle emergencies
  • Teamwork
  • Detail oriented
  • Experience carrying out incident reports and security procedures
  • Self-defence skills and understanding of when and how to use physical restraint
  • Experience monitoring and supervising inmate behaviour to lower risks of contraband

Work experience

To become a prison officer, it is likely that you will have had some previous experience in law enforcement or correctional facilities. Therefore, you must highlight this relevant work experience to prove that you can work in the criminal justice system.

List your previous jobs in reverse-chronological order, keeping your most recent and relevant professional experience at the top of your CV so recruiters can easily see this information.


The education section of your CV shouldn’t be too long. Still, it must include a brief outline of your education to give the hiring manager a general idea of your background. You must at least have completed secondary school to become a prison officer, so you will need to highlight this in your CV. Some roles may also be desirable to have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or criminology.

Do’s and don’ts for a prison officer CV

Here are some do’s and don’ts for writing your prison officer CV:


  • Use a prison officer CV sample to ensure you stick to a professional layout that includes all the necessary details.
  • Use bullet points to break up paragraphs and make writing more fluent.
  • Use a CV format that reflects your professional profile.


  • Use long paragraphs that will take the hiring manager a long time to read. A busy recruiter will quickly put your application aside if it takes more than a few seconds for them to understand your skill set.
  • Include unnecessary details, such as your hobbies. Only include your hobbies if you can relate them to the job you are applying for.
  • Go into detail about classified information in previous roles. This may be tempting if you have worked in a previous prison officer position but refrain from including personal information on inmates.

FAQ: prison officer CVs

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for a prison officer application?

You should always include a cover letter when applying for any job. This will ensure that you give yourself the best chance of impressing recruiters as you can fully explain your skill set. In addition, you can use a cover letter template to help you keep your cover letter professional and precise.

Q: How can I write a prison officer CV without a lot of experience?

Using a functional CV format, you can write a prison officer CV without extensive experience. This format will allow you to go into detail on skills you have learnt from volunteering and education, with a smaller section for your experience.

Q: How do I change my prison officer CV to apply to different jobs?

You can adjust your prison officer CV to fit different jobs by reading the job description and highlighting critical requirements for the specific role. Then include these key terms in your CV. This will ensure that you include skills for which the hiring manager is specifically looking.

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