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Adam Quirk | Tips for Landing Your First Job

It’s unfortunate that many get into the study of criminology not knowing what they want out of it once they graduate. To some degree, Adam Quirk thinks popular media is to blame for this, because the field isn’t accurately depicted on TV or the movies. Criminology graduates don’t go to the scene of a crime and gather evidence unless they are working as police officers or forensic scientists. But even then, criminology graduates still have a tough time finding a job because they don’t know what they’re qualified for.

In that respect, these are some tips shared by Adam Quirk. The FBI and DEA former employee believes that aside from skills and negotiation, criminology graduates must learn how to market themselves to their potential employers. Most criminology students study the same subjects so it’s how students apply what they learned in college which can set them apart from their peers.

When looking for that elusive employment, here are some tips to start:

Perform research – Right now, STEM degrees are heavily favored by employers, but by demonstrating your willingness to work with numbers you might just catch the attention of an employer. Criminology students are in a good position to work with numbers because they have research backgrounds. This makes them well equipped to gather data and test theories that have been pulled from the data gathered. Of course, a strong background in statistics will greatly help as well. Businesses are more reliant than ever on data and feedback to help improve their products or services. If you’re lucky to have an internship, ask your employer if you can do research for them. The gesture will be greatly appreciated, says Adam Quirk.

Find opportunities to volunteer – Graduates can’t afford to sit on their hands, especially if they have student loans waiting to be paid, but this applies to all new graduates, not just criminology graduates. If you aren’t getting calls for interviews, Adam Quirk suggests finding opportunities where you can volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience, as it gives you a chance to apply what you’ve learned in college. It can boost your confidence and get some momentum going. Think about it from the point of view of your employer: a new graduate that hits the ground running even if they’re working for free will certainly show initiative and determination to succeed.

Network with your professors – Generally, people who have been in the field for years have already built up their network. That said, they would be the first to know if there’s a job opening somewhere. As a new graduate, one of the first people you should network with are your professors, says Adam Quirk. If you want to stay in the field, ask your criminal justice professors specifically if they can help you. They may even give you your first work experience, such as hiring you as their research assistant. If you’re planning to take up a master’s degree, working as a research assistant will look great on your resume.

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