Forensic science is a fascinating field that allows you to solve crimes and bring justice to victims. It’s also one of the most sought-after professions in all of the law enforcement.
The competition for these positions is fierce, though, so it’s important to put yourself in the best position possible to land your dream job as a forensic scientist. Here are some tips for how you can do just that:
Start At The Bottom
If you have ambition and a desire to learn, it’s possible to find your way up from the bottom. Starting with a part-time job is a great way to gain experience and make contacts in your field.
A volunteer position can give you even more experience and help get your name out there. If anything, this will help eliminate the competition when applying for full-time jobs later on in life!
I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying their hand at forensic science it might be your calling, after all, but if you’re looking specifically at becoming a forensic scientist, it’s best not to expect too much right away.
If you try something like teaching or writing instead of lab work early on (which could still lead eventually), then when things do start happening for real later down the line it’ll seem like nothing but good news!
Join A Relevant Professional Organization
Join a relevant professional organization. There are many different types of professional organizations, so it’s important to find one that supports your specific mission as a forensic scientist.
For example, if you want to work in law enforcement or government service, the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) is an excellent resource for networking and learning more about this field.
Find local chapters within those organizations. For example, if you live near Washington D.C., there are over 2 dozen chapters within NFSTC alone! If there isn’t already one near you or in your area, start one yourself!
Join online communities that also support career development in forensic science.
Find A Mentor
Finding a mentor is going to be one of the most important steps in landing your dream job as a forensic scientist. A mentor can help you learn the ropes, find the right job, get promoted, and more.
If you have an academic background, it’s recommended that you look for someone who works at the same university or research center as you do. This way they’ll know what types of positions are available there and how to apply for them.
If not, consider asking around online in your area and see if anyone knows of any opportunities that might fit your interests and skill sets better than what’s offered at their organization (and/or which they’d be willing to share).
Consider Advanced Education
If you have some college under your belt, but not a degree in forensic science, consider getting an advanced degree.
This could be a master’s or doctoral degree. You could also get a certificate of completion from an online program if you want to pursue further education while working full-time.
If you already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but no formal training in forensic science and are interested in pursuing graduate studies, remember that there are countless options for obtaining graduate degrees with a focus on forensics including online programs!
Be Willing To Relocate
You’re a college student and you want to land your dream job as a forensic scientist. You know that moving around the country for training is one of the requirements for getting hired, but how do you find out which cities are best for this?
For starters, take stock of where you live now. Is it close to any major universities? What about nearby colleges with good programs?
Are there any large corporations or government agencies nearby that might need forensic scientists on staff? If so, these are all factors worth considering when deciding whether or not relocation is necessary before seeking employment.
Network And Make Connections
Networking is a great way to get your foot in the door. It’s also a great way to learn about new opportunities and what other people are doing within the industry.
If you’re looking for a job, networking will help you find out about openings that aren’t advertised anywhere else. You might even meet someone who knows someone hiring at your dream company!
The best part about networking is that it doesn’t require any special skills or talents just be genuine and friendly (and make sure you’re wearing something presentable).
Learn As Many Forensic-Specific Skills As You Can
If you want to become a forensic scientist, you’re going to need a lot of knowledge and skills. These will help you in your job as well as during the application process.
One way to get this knowledge is by taking classes at a local college or university, but not all schools offer these programs. If your school doesn’t offer forensic science classes, look into taking courses online instead.
Some community colleges also have these programs available for students who are interested in pursuing higher education but cannot afford it otherwise.
You may even be able to take classes at trade schools or technical schools if those options are available where you live!
But just remember: not all trade schools or technical schools have the same curriculum requirements for their students so make sure that whatever institution fits best with what kind of degree program works best for YOU!
Apply For Every Relevant Position You Can Find
As a forensic scientist, you’re going to have a lot of competition. With so many people seeking jobs in the field, you must stay on top of the latest openings and try to apply for everyone that seems relevant to your skills and experience.
Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs that require more experience than you have or even totally unrelated ones you never know when someone might see something special in your application (like a strong cover letter).
Apply With Confidence
Even if it feels like overkill (or even imposter syndrome) at first, don’t be afraid to apply for any job that seems like it could be a good experience or even just fun!
You may not get hired right away, but every resume sent out gives you valuable practice in putting yourself out there as a professional and who knows? You might just land your dream job sooner than expected!
Be Clear About Your Career Goals In Your Cover Letter And Resume
When you are applying for a job, it is important to make sure you are clear about your career goals in your cover letter and resume. Show that you have taken the time to research what the job entails so that you can explain why you would be good at it.
You may also want to include something about yourself, such as a personal passion or interest related to this career path.
This could be anything from spending time with family and friends to volunteering at an animal shelter as part of their humane education program (with plenty of pictures on social media showing off how cute those animals are!).
You should consider sending a few different versions of your cover letter. It’s always better safe than sorry when it comes down to choosing which applications to send out first!
Be Open To All Types Of Opportunities
As you’re looking for a job, be open to all types of opportunities, including ones that may seem out of your wheelhouse.
If you’re in school or training to be a forensic scientist but are afraid of leaving school without an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree, don’t let that stop you from applying for jobs at hospitals or clinics where there are other growth opportunities.
If working in the field isn’t something that interests you and instead has always been your dream to work in an office setting and have more structure around your daily activities, then apply for those types of positions as well!
There is no right way or wrong way when it comes to finding the right fit: whatever works best for YOU will ultimately get YOU there faster than anything else!
And remember: don’t be afraid if things don’t go exactly according to plan it happens all the time! Everyone makes mistakes along the way; it’s how they handle them that matters most (and what they learn from them).
Take Continuing Education Classes Any Chance You Get
In addition to the required degree, you can beef up your resume by taking continuing education classes. These may be offered through local colleges, universities, or online. You can also take classes at professional conferences and workshops.
For instance, if there’s a conference for forensic scientists in your area or an industry-related event near your hometown (or local state), this might be an opportunity for you to add something interesting to your resume that sets you apart from other applicants for the job:
Attendance at the American Academy of Forensic Scientists Annual meeting from 2010 through 2012
Attend Workshops On Forensic Topics That Interest You
Forensic science is a broad field, and it’s important to know your way around different subcategories within it.
You can do this by attending workshops, reading books, or taking classes on the topic of forensic science that interests you most (for example fingerprint analysis).
Taking advantage of online resources like YouTube and podcasts will give you more information about current techniques in forensic science as well as historical cases involving similar evidence types (e.g., DNA testing).
If you’re interested in becoming a forensic scientist, we hope this article has given you some helpful information on how to get started!
If you have any more questions or need more resources, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are always happy to help those who want to learn more about our profession and the steps involved in becoming one of us.