Private Investigator Resume Example (Free Guide)

Create an Private Investigator resume that lands you the interview with our free examples and writing tips. Use and customize our template and land an interview today.

Private Investigator Resume Example
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Private Investigator Resume Example

Are you looking for a job as a private investigator? Our private investigator resume example is the perfect way to write your own successful resume. With a comprehensive overview of the profession and tips on how to create an impressive resume, this guide will help you stand out from the competition. You'll learn how to highlight your skills and experience to create a resume that will get you hired.

We will cover:

  • How to write a resume, no matter your industry or job title.
  • What to put on a resume to stand out.
  • The top skills employers from every industry want to see.
  • How to build a resume fast with our professional Resume Builder.
  • What a resume template is, and why you should use it.
Plus, we will provide expert resume writing tips and professional examples to inspire you.

What does a Private Investigator do?

A private investigator (PI) typically works for individuals, businesses, or attorneys to conduct investigations and gather information. They use a variety of techniques, such as surveillance, interviews, research, and database searches to obtain information. Private investigators may also provide services such as background checks, process serving, locating people, missing persons investigations, and more.

What are some responsibilities of a Private Investigator?

  • Conducting surveillance
  • Conducting background checks
  • Gathering evidence and facts
  • Interviewing witnesses and suspects
  • Providing investigative reports
  • Testifying in court
  • Performing skip tracing to locate missing persons
  • Performing computer and database searches
  • Providing security consulting services
  • Conducting undercover operations

Sample Private Investigator Resume for Inspiration

Private Investigator

John Smith
123 Main Street
New York, NY 10001
(555) 555-5555


John Smith is a Private Investigator with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has extensive knowledge of investigative protocols and has successfully solved numerous cases with successful outcomes. He is adept at gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and researching complex cases. He is also well-versed in surveillance and has an excellent record of solving cases in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Work Experience

  • Private Investigator, ABC Agency, New York, NY (2012-Present)
    • Conducted investigations and surveillance on a variety of cases
    • Interpreted and analyzed investigative information
    • Interviewed potential witnesses and suspects
    • Prepared and executed search warrants
  • Investigative Analyst, XYZ Agency, New York, NY (2010-2012)
    • Conducted background checks on individuals
    • Reviewed financial records and documents
    • Analyzed data for financial fraud cases


  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, University of New York, New York, NY (2008)


  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong knowledge of investigative protocols and procedures
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience with surveillance equipment and techniques


  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)


  • English (Fluent)
  • Spanish (Conversational)

Resume tips for Private Investigator

Creating a perfect, career-launching resume is no easy task. Following general writing rules can help, but it is also smart to get advice tailored to your specific job search. When you’re new to the employment world, you need Private Investigator resume tips.
We collected the best tips from seasoned Private Investigator - Check out their advice to not only make your writing process easier but also increase your chances of creating a resume that piques the interest of prospective employers.

  • Highlight any experience you have in the investigative field, such as prior law enforcement experience or related roles.
  • Include any relevant certifications, such as those related to surveillance, investigations, or criminal justice.
  • Focus on the specific qualifications that make you a good Private Investigator, such as problem-solving, attention to detail, and communication skills.
  • Provide examples of your ability to conduct investigations, such as successful cases or outcomes.
  • Make sure your resume is up-to-date and accurate, with no errors or typos.

Private Investigator Resume Summary Examples

Using a Private Investigator Resume Summary or Resume Objective is beneficial for a Private Investigator because it allows employers to quickly learn about their abilities and experience. It also provides an opportunity for the Private Investigator to highlight their top accomplishments and demonstrate their professional qualifications. It can help employers better understand the Private Investigator’s skillset and why they would be a great fit for the job. It can also help the Private Investigator stand out from the competition and showcase their unique skills and qualifications.

For Example:

  • Experienced Private Investigator with 5+ years of experience in conducting investigations, surveillance, and background checks. Skilled in identifying and utilizing available resources to gather evidence.
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented Private Investigator with 7+ years of experience in conducting complex investigations, surveillance, and background checks.
  • Dynamic Private Investigator with 3+ years of investigative experience. Adept at using a variety of investigative techniques to uncover evidence and uncover new leads.
  • Knowledgeable Private Investigator with 10+ years of experience in the field. Demonstrated ability to work independently and effectively in high-pressure environments.
  • Seasoned Private Investigator with 15+ years of experience. Proficient in conducting investigations, surveillance, and background checks. Skilled in providing detailed reports and presentations.

Build a Strong Experience Section for Your Private Investigator Resume

Building a strong experience section for a private investigator resume is important for several reasons. First, private investigators often use their experience to demonstrate their skills and abilities to potential employers. This section should be tailored to each job application, highlighting relevant experience that is applicable to the job at hand. Additionally, a well-crafted experience section can help an applicant stand out from other applicants. It also provides an opportunity for potential employers to get a better understanding of the applicant's qualifications and experience. Finally, a strong experience section can help to ensure that the applicant gets the attention they need from potential employers and can help to secure an interview.

For Example:

  • Conducted extensive investigations into various cases, including corporate fraud, insurance fraud, and criminal defense.
  • Acted as a liaison between clients, attorneys, and outside agencies to ensure proper investigation of cases.
  • Gathered evidence and intelligence through interviews, surveillance, and research.
  • Analyzed data and compiled reports to present to clients and legal teams.
  • Provided testimony in court proceedings and hearings.
  • Maintained strict confidentiality of all documents, evidence, and information obtained.
  • Utilized various resources such as databases and public records to locate individuals and information.
  • Performed background checks, asset searches, and other types of investigations.
  • Developed relationships with law enforcement agencies to further investigations.
  • Managed a caseload of up to 10 complex investigative cases at a time.

Private Investigator resume education example

Private investigators typically need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the field. However, some employers may prefer to hire investigators with a college degree, particularly in criminal justice, legal studies, law enforcement, or a related field. Some employers may also require that applicants have prior experience in law enforcement, the military, or security.

Here is an example of an experience listing suitable for a Private Investigator resume:

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (2006)
  • Certificate in Private Investigation, Brightwood College, Orlando, FL (2008)
  • Advanced Private Investigation Techniques, Professional Investigators Training Institute, Miami, FL (2010)
  • Forensic Evidence Analysis, Orlando Police Academy, Orlando, FL (2012)
  • Surveillance and Counter-Surveillance Training, International Association of Private Investigators, Tampa, FL (2014)

Private Investigator Skills for a Resume

Adding relevant skills to a Private Investigator Resume is important because it allows employers to quickly assess the candidate's qualifications and experience. It also provides insight into the types of investigations the person has conducted and their ability to handle complex cases. Examples of relevant skills include proficiency in conducting investigations, research and analysis, interviewing, surveillance, and report writing.

Soft Skills:

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Organizational Skills
  4. Communication
  5. Research
  6. Negotiation
  7. Interviewing
  8. Adaptability
  9. Detail Oriented
  10. Observational Skills
Hard Skills:
  1. Investigative Skills
  2. Surveillance
  3. Data Analysis
  4. Report Writing
  5. Interviewing
  6. Law Enforcement
  7. Computer Forensics
  8. Research
  9. Photography
  10. Evidence Collection

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Private Investigator Resume

In this competitive job market, employers receive an average of 180 applications for each open position. To process these resumes, companies often rely on automated applicant tracking systems, which can sift through resumes and eliminate the least qualified applicants. If your resume is among the few that make it past these bots, it must still impress the recruiter or hiring manager. With so many applications coming in, recruiters typically give each resume only 5 seconds of their attention before deciding whether to discard it. Considering this, it's best to avoid including any distracting information on your application that could cause it to be thrown away. To help make sure your resume stands out, review the list below of what you should not include on your job application.

  • Not including a cover letter. A cover letter is a great way to explain why you are the best candidate for the job and why you want the position.
  • Using too much jargon. Hiring managers do not want to read a resume full of technical terms that they do not understand.
  • Omitting important details. Make sure to include your contact information, educational background, job history, and any relevant skills and experiences.
  • Using a generic template. Take the time to customize your resume to the job you are applying for. This will show the employer that you are serious about the position.
  • Spelling and grammar errors. Always double-check your resume for typos, spelling mistakes, and grammar errors.
  • Focusing too much on duties. Make sure to include accomplishments and successes to show the employer that you are a great candidate.
  • Including personal information. Avoid including any personal information such as age, marital status, or religious beliefs.

Key takeaways for a Private Investigator resume

  • Highlight any relevant experience, such as in law enforcement or criminal justice
  • Demonstrate investigative skills, such as being able to obtain and analyze evidence
  • Include any specialized training, such as in surveillance or forensic science
  • Emphasize your ability to work independently and be self-motivated
  • Showcase your organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Prove you have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Mention any certifications, such as a private investigator license

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