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Becoming a Police Officer: Internships (page 7)

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Updated on Dec 2, 2010

Make sure you start early, since the application process has a series of deadlines. In some cases, the package of application materials may have to be completed as early as one year in advance of when you may want to begin your internship. This is also a good time to start lining up people to use for references and to write letters of recommendation on your behalf.

Once you have determined when and where you would like to apply, read the application requirements carefully. Some applications may have to be submitted in paper form only, sometimes parts of the application may be submitted electronically. In some cases, the entire application form may have to be completed online. First and foremost, follow instructions. This might seem to be unnecessary advice, but a major reason internship application forms are rejected is that the instructions were not followed, resulting in incorrect, inaccurate, or omitted information. Even before you begin filling out the application, read it over and over, so you know what information is being requested. After you have completed the form, read it again to make sure you have followed all the instructions. Check your spelling. Have someone else read your application; a second opinion can be helpful. Remember, too, that the experience you gain going over your internship application very, very carefully will help you do the exact same thing when you complete a police job application.

Sometimes the application process includes one or more interviews. Make sure you dress appropriately; a business suit for men and a daytime dress or business pantsuit for women. It is more important to leave a good impression than to show how fashionable and trendy your wardrobe is. After the interview—later the same day and no later than the next day—send a note to the interviewer saying how much you enjoyed the opportunity to be considered for a position. Since you know you will be sending a note and may be asked to remain in contact with the interviewer, be sure to ask for a business card so you have the person's name and title. If no business card is available, ask the person to spell out his or name, ask for the person's title, and write it down so that in your nervousness and enthusiasm you do not forget. It is better to send a handwritten note through regular mail. An e-mail note would not have the same impact, but would be better than sending no thank you note at all. A phone message or a text message is not appropriate, and perhaps would be viewed as intrusive by the interviewer.

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