Finding a job in the private investigation industry is a daunting task. There are more people looking to become a private investigator than there are positions available. As I write this the economy in the United States is not at its best so it makes the job market look even bleaker. Most people continue their education through classes or seminars while they wait patiently for an opening somewhere in their area. Below are 11 locations to place your focus on when looking for a job in the private investigation industry.
Yes I said the Newspaper. People continue to place help wanted ads in the Newspaper. I responded to several ads before I was hired as a private investigator. Of the several ads I responded to I had two phone interviews and one in person interview. I only had my military and loss prevention experience when applying for those positions. For one reason or another those employers were not interested in me at the time. The companies I was apply to were small and likely didn’t not care for the salary I told them I must make if I were hired. I was only asking for $16.00 if I remember correctly and they probably felt like they could get someone for less money. I don’t blame them personally. I also believe everything happens for a reason.
State Unemployment Website
This is a wonderful resource for not only private investigators but anyone. Many companies list jobs on the state site. I actually found one of the companies I worked for through this website. Within a few weeks or so after applying I received a call for an in person interview. I nailed the interview and was hired on the spot. Leave no stone unturned and start searching these sites.
If you have not done so already you must set up your resumes on both of these sites. If you know of other job posting sites I would put your resume up on there as well. Not only did I job search every day on these sites, I set up alerts for job postings that focused on key words that I was targeting. I had keywords focused on telecommunications because I was interested in jobs in that field and had email alerts that let me know when private investigation key words were mentioned in job postings. Keywords you may want to search for are private investigator, investigator, claims investigator, scene investigator, death investigator, accident investigator, background checks, etc… Monster or Career builder make you aware of jobs that have your key words within the job posting. This saves you a bit of time each day.
Hint: Make sure you build a quality resume on the career websites. Believe it or not, employers do check these services for applicants. I recently received an interview request from Home Depot for an investigator position. I passed this opportunity on to someone who needed it more than me but the point of the story is that companies actually check your resume.
Searching company websites directly is a quick way to see what jobs are available. It has been my experience that companies will post jobs on their own company website before reaching out to monster.com or Careerbuilder.com. I have seen this strategy used to allow internal applicants a chance in positions in other areas of the company. Many companies have profiles that you can build on their websites and you can sign up for alerts to open positions within the company.
Here are 6 companies you can start looking for jobs at right now:
- ICS Merrill (Nationwide)
- G4S (Worldwide)
- Factual Photo (Nationwide)
- Global Options (Nationwide)
- Hub (Nationwide)
- Horsemen (Big on the west coast)
To be honest I have only observed a handful of P.I. companies try to recruit through job fairs. It never hurts to check out a job fair to see what companies are looking to hire. At the very least job fairs give you a chance to learn about a company before you pursue a job with them.
Throughout the year there are investigative conferences all over the United States as well as internationally. I have only been to local conferences which are informative and instructional. These conferences were associated to the association I belong to WALI. This does however give you a chance to meet many small and large investigative business owners (depending on what conference you attend).
There are other conferences that focus on the insurance industry. Nationwide investigation companies from all over come to these conferences to reach out to those that make decisions as to where investigative work goes. If you are in the area of one of these events it might be worth attending and trying to meet with these companies. To be honest I have never done this nor been to one of these large events. I am only speculating on the opportunity.
Networking (make friends with other private Investigators)
Attending one of the aforementioned conferences is a great way to meet a ton of investigators. You might able to pick their brain and find out if either they are hiring, looking for an intern or maybe they know someone who is.
I have just started doing this. With Google Alerts I can choose specific keywords I want alerts on when they are mentioned on the internet. Recently I have seen new job postings under the keyword, “Private Investigator”. When setting up your alert make sure to diversify your search with terms like investigator, claims investigator, insurance investigator, background checks, internal investigator, private investigator, etc… You can set your program to search as something happens, once a day or once a week and then report the findings to you. I think you will like using it.
Email or Send Letters Directly to Private Investigation Companies
Every so often I receive emails or letters in the mail from individuals wanting to gain experience or just get a break in the industry. I personally don’t have the work to support a second investigator. With that being said you never know who might be looking to train someone or looking to expand.
If this is something you are interested in doing I would write a template email explaining your experience and your objective (what you want from the employer). Make it so that all you have to do is make some minor adjusts to your email or letter for each business and start sending them out. With some luck you may hear back from an employer.
There are private investigation groups that you should be a part of. One in particular I like to keep my eye on is The Private Investigator and Security Group and of course the Private Investigator Advice and Tips Facebook page. You never know if there may be an employment opportunity.
Lastly search Yahoo Groups is another great way to see if anyone is hiring. Many mid-size investigative companies post job openings that they have. Some companies are looking for employees and some are vendors (sub-contract work). I receive email daily from these groups and it has helped me find work.
I don’t know that any one way of finding a job is the best but it is helpful to be everywhere in your search other then one specific target. Don’t put all your hopes and dreams on Monster or CareerBuilder to get the job you want. We have to be a bit more creative to meet the right people and make the right contacts.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps you find that private investigation job.