Investigator Cover Letter

Investigator Cover Letter (With Examples)

From tax fraud to unsolved murder, investigators are the backbone of any major criminal investigation. These experts work with police, lawyers, witnesses, forensic specialists, and others to get to the bottom of a case, and as such, the position requires strong communication and organization, as well as adept knowledge of laws and the criminal justice system.

Fortunately, if you’re looking to become an investigator, or are simply hoping to land a new Investigative position, there are ways you can improve your chances of being hired.

Typically, one of the most effective ways to land an interview is to include a professional cover letter that highlights your relevant skills and qualifications. As a prospective investigator, your cover letter can give you a prime opportunity to outline your most impressive achievements and demonstrate why you’re qualified to handle the many moving parts of an important case.

In this article, we’ll discuss what makes an investigator’s cover letter successful, as well as provide professional tips and examples.

Parts of an Investigator Cover Letter

As a prospective investigator, you’ll want to convey your understanding of the criminal justice system, your experience working on complex cases, and your puzzle-solving skills. While prior experience in the field is preferred, a relevant college degree can land you an entry-level position.

Degree-wise, most employers will be on the lookout for a degree in criminal justice, forensic science, or a law degree.

Luckily, a well-written cover letter allows you to outline your qualifications by briefly explaining why you’re the right person for the position.

Remember, you should do your best to include as many relevant details as possible, while also keeping your letter fairly brief. To keep everything focused and highlight your most important qualifications, here are some traits to keep in mind:

  • Organization. Investigators can handle complex cases that come with dozens of important files, contacts, and other information. With that in mind, a skilled investigator needs to know how to effectively organize their workspace.

    For instance, instead of throwing case files around their desk, an experienced investigator might organize the files into particular categories, or choose a filing location that’s easy to access.

  • Problem-solving. To be an investigator is to solve the mystery of an unsolved case. Therefore, it’s vital that they can tackle complex problems, and lend critical thinking to any investigation. After all, no employer wants an investigator who can’t solve cases.

  • Communication. Typically, investigators need to gather information by communicating with police, lawyers, witnesses, forensic specialists, and others who may be involved with a case. This level and frequency of communication require someone who’s an effective and confident communicator.

  • Caution. While many people can have moral reasons for becoming an investigator, it’s important to know the limits of the law, as well as your own personal limits. Employers will want someone who plays by the rules and doesn’t come across as reckless. No employer wants a vigilante or someone who might make a mistake and throw a case.

  • Dedication. When embroiled in a case, investigators often have to work long hours and in a high-pressure environment. Therefore, it’s important that they’re hard-working and dedicated to solving the case.

Structurally speaking, your letter also requires a few vital components. After all, wowing a potential employer isn’t very useful if they don’t know how to contact you. In general, your letter should include:

  • Your contact information

  • The company’s contact information

  • An introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion (typically 3 small paragraphs)

  • Letter formatting (e.g. Beginning with “Dear [Hiring Manger’s Name],” and concluded with “Sincerely, [Your Name]”).

Investigator Cover Letter Opening

First and foremost, any professional cover letter should include your contact information at the top of the page, and properly address the potential employer. Not only is this formatting standard for any type of cover letter, but more importantly, also ensures that your employer will have your information. Here is an example of how to properly address your letter:

Now that you know how to address your cover letter, keep in mind that it’s also important to open strong with an eye-catching introduction. Typically, the average employer spends less than 10 seconds reading your application, so leaving a positive and lasting first impression can be a vital part of moving forward in the hiring process.

In the case of an investigator application, showcasing your most valuable experience working on relevant cases, making breakthroughs, and communicating with others in your department can be a worthwhile way to start your cover letter.

For instance, if you can think of a particularly impressive project you worked on, or a time that you made a worthwhile discovery that progressed a stagnant case, you could kick off your letter with one of those examples.

Here’s an example of an eye-catching introduction:

Stating a meaningful accomplishment in your opening paragraph shows the employer that you have the hard skills to succeed in your field. However, remember that even if you’re applying at entry-level and lack experience, you should still try to start with a noteworthy accomplishment related to your college degree or any other relevant skills you have.

Investigator Cover Letter Body

Now that you’ve outlined one of your most impressive accomplishments, your body paragraph will serve to maintain and pique the potential employer’s interest. As an investigator, employers will want to see that you have relevant education, knowledge of protocols, and success in cases.

After all, your job will be an integral part of the local or federal criminal justice system. With this in mind, it can be especially useful to do some research on the department you’ll be applying to, so you can use the information you find to further express your interest in the position.

However, keep in mind that though you’ll want to be thorough, it’s also important to ensure that your letter is brief enough to maintain the hiring manager’s attention. For example, to make your accomplishments, skills, and qualifications easier to digest, you might want to list them as bullet notes.

Here is an example of an effective body paragraph:

Investigator Cover Letter Closing Lines

You’re on the right track, and now you just have to finish strong. To do so, use your words to mobilize the employer, as you’ll be encouraging them to contact you.

Here’s a good example of how to end your cover letter:

Example of an Investigator Cover Letter

When you put everything together, it looks a little like this:

Additional Tips

Though writing a competitive cover letter can feel overwhelming, here are some additional tips to aid your writing:

  • Be motivated. Working on a case can require you to work long hours, pick up extra shifts, and be on call for your department. Therefore, in order to ensure that you’ll be up to the task, employers will want to see that you’re highly motivated and dedicated to your work. Try to make your passion for the field clear and concise in your cover letter.

  • Keep it brief. Though it’s tempting to bombard the employer with every reason why you’d be a great employee, that strategy will likely backfire. Instead, only highlight your most impressive and applicable achievements so you can keep your letter under 250 words. Employers are busy people and don’t have endless time to read your application.

  • Stand out from the crowd. Investigative and other criminal justice work can be extremely competitive, meaning that you’ll have to be the best of the best if you want to land a job. Use your cover letter as an opportunity to outline what makes you uniquely qualified by highlighting your most impressive accomplishments.

  • Don’t forget about the less glamorous parts of your job. Catching the bad guys is a whole lot more exciting than filing paperwork, but both are a crucial part of being an investigator. For that reason, your cover letter should mention your organizational skills and experience with aspects of the job that are typically less highlighted.

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