Prepare to Serve: Attend the Public Safety Virtual Career Fair
By Jaymie Pompeo, Career Services at American Military University
Starting a career in public safety can be challenging. Such jobs require lengthy application processes, extensive background investigations, significant physical fitness requirements and are often highly competitive. As someone interested in a career in public safety, do you ever wish you had the opportunity to connect with employers one-on-one?
If you are an American Military University or American Public University student or graduate, the Department of Career Services has arranged a virtual “meet and greet” opportunity with local municipalities, public safety organizations, and select federal agencies such as FEMA, U.S. Border Patrol, and USAF Reserves.
On Tuesday, April 26, the university will host a Public Safety Virtual Career Fair where students and alumni have exclusive access to meet with these employers. If you have a background, education, or career interest in the areas of criminal justice, emergency and disaster management, fire science management, or security management, be sure to sign up to attend this career fair.
How to Prepare for the Career Fair
After you RSVP for the career fair, it’s critical that you invest the time to thoroughly prepare. Know what to expect from this type of venue, familiarize yourself with the specialty areas employers hire for, and understand how you fit in order to engage in noteworthy conversations that cultivate your professional network.
Once you’ve spent some time preparing for the career fair, reach out to the AMU/APU Department of Career Services for a review of your resume and advice on approaching employers. You can also register to attend one of our live Prep Clinics.
As part of your preparation, take some time to reflect on your interest in this field to ensure you market yourself effectively. Ask yourself the following questions:
Why do I care about this industry?
Often, people jump into a career without answering this question, and it’s truly a foundational concept that is threaded throughout a personal career journey. Take the time to think about what energizes you about public safety. Do you have a desire to protect citizens from violent crimes? Do you thrive in managing people and resources through crisis or natural disasters? Do you strive for a role in securing the nation against terrorism?
Be sure to think about your personal commitment to honesty, integrity, compassion, and empathy as part of why you want to be involved in public safety. As a job seeker, it’s important to understand why you care about this career path and how you will find personal fulfillment through this meaningful work.
What types of positions are best suited for me?
Public safety professionals often have an altruistic need to help society, so it’s important to align your natural strengths with appropriate job roles. For example, a devout career interest in criminal justice may initially point you towards a career in law enforcement. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a police officer. Depending on your natural abilities, skills, and interests, you may be better suited for a career as an investigator, correctional officer, forensic technician, or a dispatcher. Other areas may include roles that provide supportive services to those who commit crimes such as advising victims of their legal rights, or research on legal proceedings to support court cases.
Where are these opportunities found?
Public safety careers aren’t just limited to federal, state, and local government agencies. Opportunities can also be found in nonprofits (public and private), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), healthcare, education, homeland security, international aid – just to name a few.
Whether you are an established professional considering your next career move or you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to get your foot in the door, take advantage of the university’s Public Safety Virtual Career Fair. This may prove to be the moment to push that application to the next level or build your professional network.
About the Author: Jaymie Pompeo completed her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with Florida Atlantic University. Her career journey began in human resources where she handled several aspects of the employee experience such as new-hire orientations, team buildings, employee relations, and exit interviews. Motivated to help others succeed, she transitioned into higher education with American Public University System (APUS) in 2010. The experience she gained in academic advising helped shape her passion towards empowering students and alumni with their career journey, particularly those transitioning from military to civilian work. She is currently a career coach supporting students with interests in Homeland Security, Emergency and Disaster Management, Criminal Justice, and Security Management.
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