Border Patrol Agent Application: Tips for Preparing your Resume

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If you see a law enforcement career in your future, then working as a border patrol agent with the Customs and Border Protection, a special agency under the Department of Homeland Security is both challenging and rewarding. You not only ensure that the borders are safe from those who might try to gain entry illegally, you also see to it no weapons of mass destruction enter our country and cause another tragedy.

But it’s not easy to become a border patrol agent. You have to meet the basic qualifications and pass the rigorous selection process. And one of the crucial aspects of your application is your resume. You have to take the time to craft a very effective resume; otherwise, your application won’t go further than the initial screening. Here are more helpful guidelines to follow when making this very vital document:

First, use keywords. This is the reason why you have to study the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities needed for a border patrol agent position posted in the vacancy announcement. Check out the keywords used there and where it applies, sprinkle them reasonably in your resume. These “buzzwords” will convey to the Customs and Border Patrol recruiter your skills and will give your resume a more thorough perusal. Remember that no matter how qualified you are for the position but if you don’t use keywords then you can be sure that your resume will not be given a second look.

Second, make it a point to “sell” yourself in the first quarter of the page. The recruiter should be able to skim through your resume in 15 seconds and say: “Yes, this person would make a good border patrol agent. I will call him for an interview.” To do this, all your important accomplishments that would relate to Customs and Border Patrol and being a border patrol agent should be summarized at the top of the page.

Third, be sure to address all the KSAs in the job announcement. You should be able to show that you have all the necessary traits that would make you a good border patrol agent.

Fourth, be sure to quantify your accomplishments by using figures. For example, if your previous job had you training new recruits everyday, don’t just say “physically trained new recruits.” Rather, it would be more impressive if you said that you “supervised the physical training and workout of 20 cadets for two hours in the Academy.” It gives the recruiter an idea of the difficulty of the task involved.

Finally, showcase how you have saved your previous employer time and money or how you were an asset to the organization. For example, you could say that you “helped formulate policies that saved the company $10,000” or that “gave suggestions that decreased patrol time by one hour.” Time and money are prime considerations even in the Federal government and by letting CBP hiring personnel know this, you increase your chances of getting hired.