Have you ever dreamed of becoming a detective? Have you ever wondered if you had what it takes to solve crimes and be good at it? While it’s certainly not as it’s portrayed on TV and in the classic Sherlock Holmes books, being a detective is a good career, especially for someone who loves to think, look at clues, and has a passion for helping others.
However, it’s important to note at this point that not everyone has what it takes to become a detective. There are a few detective skills you need to possess, and that’s not just skills you can learn inside of a classroom, though those are important as well.
In this list, we will highlight seven detective skills needed to become a successful private investigator. If you possess many of these detective skills, you may have what it takes to become a bonafide detective!
Detective Skill #1: Strong Passion for the Job
Passion is one of the most underrated yet essential detective skills to have. The job is hard and hard is an understatement when it comes to being a detective. You have to be super-dedicated and willing to do the job. There are going to be times when you’re called away at the worst moments from your family and a lot of overtime is needed.
If you’re not the type to dedicate yourself 110% to the job you have, then this might not be the right choice for you. However, if you live and breathe detective work, whether it’s on the police force or in your own private practice, you should go for your dream.
Detective Skill #2: Extreme Attention to Detail
Just like in the movies and TV shows you devour, one little clue that’s missed can indeed let a criminal go free. You need to be able to pay attention to the smallest detail, whether it’s while combing through a crime scene or interviewing witnesses and suspects.
Many active investigations are solved by one teeny tiny piece of evidence that serves to crack the case wide open. If that evidence or detail is missed, it delays justice and impedes the investigation.
Detective Skill #3: Critical Thinking Skills
A good detective needs to be able to think logically about every aspect of the case he’s working on. Most evidence from cases is complex and you need to be able to come up with a solution for that complex problem.
You have to use these detective skills to remove your own personal opinions and prejudices so that you can objectively investigate. Critical thinking and problem solving are key detective skills needed for a fruitful career.
Detective Skill #4: Technology Skills
As with everything else in the world, forensics and police work is always changing. That’s why as a detective, you need to be great with technology and open to change.
You can learn how to handle a computer and stuff like forensics when you’re in school, however, there is also a certain instinct that detectives need that you’re just born with, sort of like a gut instinct.
Detective Skill #5: That Gut Instinct
While something you can’t learn in a classroom having a gut instinct is essential if you want to be a successful detective. You need to be able to sense when something is wrong, when danger could be right around the corner, and even have an instinct about when a witness or a suspect might be being less than honest during an interview.
This is one of those detective skills that gets stronger over time. The more you work in the field, the more experienced you become at detective work. While you do need to be born with this instinct, it gets stronger as time goes by.
Detective Skill #6: The Ability to Talk to Others
Let’s face it, someone who doesn’t like people at all is not going to make a great detective. There are also many federal laws that have to be followed during interviews and with the chain of evidence.
You have to able to effectively communicate with not only suspects and witnesses, but with your own team, law enforcement, lawyers, and even judges if you have to go to trial for a case. If you can’t effectively communicate with these people, then this career isn’t right for you. However, if you can, then the sky is the limit in this field.
Detective Skill #7: Extreme Patience
There is no doubt that if you intend to be a detective, you’re going to need to have extreme patience all the time. Cases are very seldom solved instantly, and some can even take months or years until the criminals are brought to justice. Patience is key in this type of work.
These are just a few of the skills you’re going to need if you want a career as a detective. While it’s not as glamorous as it may seem on TV, it is a good living and one that will serve you and the community well.