Private Investigator Job Description Example
What Does a Private Investigator Do?
Private investigators are third party agents in the criminal justice system. They are often hired by individuals, groups or organizations with a job description centering on investigating criminal cases.
They work for virtually all kinds of individuals or groups who can afford to pay for their services.
They work with attorneys and layers helping them to find out facts about criminal and civil cases.
In the insurance sector, they undertake the investigation of suspicious claims and expose cases of stolen fund or fraudulent claim.
They also work for partners in marriage; helping whoever hires them to find out evidence to seek for divorce, like adultery.
Such evidence of bad behavior by partners makes easy for the aggrieved partner to claim alimony and child custody.
In business, private investigators are hired by investors where their role is to carry out a thorough scrutiny of companies or businesses they want to invest in to avoid loss of fund to fraudsters.
They do this by unearthing the history of the company and unraveling potential risk associated with investing in the business.
They also work for companies intending to hire particular kind of candidates by digging up the candidates’ family history, criminal records, and employment history.
Private investigators’ work description may also involve conducting rigorous research to identify the family and criminal history of crime suspects.
They may also interview witnesses, relatives, and acquaintances of suspects and victims.
Their duties and responsibilities may also entail monitoring and observing crime suspects or individuals they are hired to observe and reporting findings to the client.
Private investigators often search computer databases, public records, legal filings and host of other sources to compile accurate information for investigations.
At the end of every investigation, a private investigator is expected to write a report or case summary highlighting his or her findings.
Private investigators may also appear in court trials as expert witnesses and present evidences.
They may apprehend suspects and criminals and release them to the police.
They may also assist law enforcement agents in analyzing available information on crime suspects so as to arrive at valid conclusions.
To be employed or to establish a consulting firm as a private investigator, a background in criminal justice, criminology, or law is important, though not mandatory.
In addition, Most states and employers alike often demand that one be certified before pursuing a career in criminal investigation.
The major certifications often required are the Certified Legal Investigator Certification offered by the National Association of Legal Investigators and the Professional Certified Investigator certification offered by ASIS International.
Other skills required of a private investigator are discussed in details below.
Private Investigator Job Description Example/Template
The job description example below shows major responsibilities, tasks, and duties commonly performed by most private investigators:
- Assist attorneys and lawyers in finding out facts about criminal and civil cases
- Undertake the investigation of suspicious insurance claims to expose stolen fund and fraudulent claims
- Undertake investigations to identify evidence of bad behavior in spouses and partners in marriage in divorce cases
- Investigate prospective investment opportunities and partners for businesses and investors
- Undertake investigations for hiring firms to discover candidates’ criminal, family, and work history
- Interview witnesses, family members and acquaintances of crime suspects and victims
- Monitor and observe crime suspects or individuals when hired to do so
- Appear in court trials to present evidences and stand in as expert witness
- Prepare reports and case summary at the end of every investigation
- Assist law enforcement agents in analyzing information available on crime suspects.
Private Investigator Resume Preparation
When you are preparing a resume for a private investigator job, you should have a section to highlight your experience of the job.
This will involve highlighting the functions of the position that you performed.
To help you create a compelling job experience section, the sample private investigator job description shown above provides the job duties you can use.
Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for Private Investigator Role
To be considered as a private investigator by employers, there are certain skills, qualities, and qualifications expected of candidates. These are highlighted below:
- Education and Professional Certification: Investigators are often required to be graduates with minimum of Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, political science, law, or in a related discipline
- Professional Certification: They are also required to be trained and certified by appropriate boards such as the ASIS International that offers Professional Certified Investigator certification and the National Association of Legal Investigators that offers the Certified Legal Investigator Certification. A strong background in any of the above disciplines and the appropriate training will expose one to the knowledge and ethics of crime investigation
- Observant and Logical: He/she must have the ability to keep a keen eye on assigned individuals or details, as well as be able to draw valid conclusions following observed traits and changes
- Conversational skills: To be able to obtain relevant information from people, a private investigator must have good conversational skills.
Private Investigator Skills for Resume
Also, when making a resume for the private investigator job, the skills section is a part to be included.
This section is your opportunity to show employers the skills and qualities you have that will enable you to excel on the job.
If you have the qualities stated in the employers’ requirements above, you shouldn’t hesitate citing them in your resume.
Employers can easily connect with them since those are the skills they expect applicants for the role to have.
Whether you are seeking the job of a private investigator, or you are an employer looking for the best people to hire for the position, knowing the functions of a private investigator is beneficial.
You will be able to develop the needed skills, and to prepare adequately for the tasks of a private investigator before you are even hired.
For employers, from the job description template for private investigator provided above, you can easily make one for your firm’s use in recruiting new staff and assigning responsibilities to them.
What do you think about the private investigator duties and responsibilities highlighted in our job description above? Please share your thoughts in the box below. You may also share with us what you do as a private investigator if you are one.