I'm looking for some encouraging advice. I have been looking for work for over a year now and have received denial after denial because of my lack of experience. I am a prior security forces officer from the United States Air Force, I have an Associate's in Administration of Justice and a Bachelor's in Criminal justice with an emphasis in crime scene investigations.
This is what I think my problem is; I choose to have a family first before starting my career. I have been out of work for almost 7 years so I could stay home with my girls. Now that I am ready to start my career I believe choosing to stay at home has negatively impacted me career wise.
I am starting to become very discouraged. Does anyone have any advice for a veteran with a degree, but lack of experience?
Do not get discouraged! I have been in the same boat and I have 13 years crime scene experience and 7 of those as a supervisor. I do know that many agencies have had so many budget cuts in the past several years that they do not have any funds available for training. So to rectify that situation for training a new recruit, I believe many agencies are looking for experienced CSI's. Things are getting better though. Most agencies have gone to requiring BA degrees which has caused me many problems even with my experience. Agencies look at that piece of paper instead of experience which can be very discouraging in itself. I am still trying to finish my AA but because of work schedules I can only take a few classes at a time. And then I have to get my BS after that.
Keep checking with Indeed as a job search, and the International Association of Identification, and AAFS for good sites for forensic positions. Find the Right Job is another. Type in several job types, such as investigator, crime scene, and forensics.
Thank you TJ for your advice. I'm gonna keep pushing forward no matter what. Good luck to you with finishing your degree. It was hard for me to finish school with my kids and I can only imagine how hard it is to finish while working full time.
You can sign up for a daily email of new CSI and Forensic Science job postings. The email alerts go out Monday through Friday and have 10 to 15 new jobs each day. Or you can sign up on twitter and receive the new job post alerts that way. Sign up at http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/jobalerts.html
Volunteer work with different agencies will be helpful.
Here is a tip if you are having trouble getting a job: Apply for a "related" job, such as a Forensic Autopsy Technician, Evidence Custodian, Property Officer, Community Service Officer, etc. This can be a way to "get your foot in the door" or gain on-the-job experience that will help in getting the job you want later.
Another issue is the competition. Sometimes you are qualified but don't quite "ace" the interview so they select someone else who came across better in their interview.
Check out these two articles regarding preparing for interviews:
To get in this career field you may find you need to move to a different location to get an entry level job. But once you have worked a while in that entry level position you will have the experience required for other jobs.
I'm looking for some encouraging advice. I have been looking for work for over a year now and have received denial after denial because of my lack of experience. ... I am starting to become very discouraged. Does anyone have any advice for a veteran with a degree, but lack of experience?