Paranormal Investigation 101
The Investigator's Resume
Like with any employment situation a good resume shows the founders of a paranormal investigation team that you are a professional first. It doesn't have to be fancy or printed on special stock paper, but it should highlight your most relevent experience.
If you have a lengthy employment history you should only list jobs that have skills you could apply to an investigation. For example: Nurses or Nursing Assistants can identify certain medications or health conditions that may trigger hallucinations, dizziness, nausea and anything else that might contribute to claims of paranormal activity. (This does not mean you should go through a client's medicine cabinet mind you)
Not only does a resume help you list your skills, it also shows the team that you respect schedules and are reliable. As members of any paranormal group will likely have jobs of their own plus classes, family life, and other personal matters that come first it will help them to know that you also have a life aside from this rather time consuming hobby.
How to Join a Paranormal Group
You have an interest in the paranormal. Either you had a personal experience and you want to find answers or you're a big fan of Jay and Grant and you imagine yourself working with a great team like TAPS.
Where do you start? You could build your own team of course. But that usually takes money and commitment. Plus if you're just starting out no one is going to invite you to investigate their home unless they're really close to you, like a friend or a relative.
The best place to start looking of course is the internet. Social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook are good places to find other people who are into paranormal investigation, or, ghost hunting. Facebook is especially useful because you can track people who live near or in where you are located. Also look in alternative newspapers and other places where people post ads. When I joined Vermont Spirit Detective Agency I found them through an ad in Seven Days, the local Northern Vermont alternative paper.
So you've found a team near your area. The team founder has put his contact info on the website or in the ad. The next step is to do your research. Do they have a website? Is it updated frequently?
When you contact them you should find out how long they have been active and what their methods are. The ideal team is going to be scientific in their approach, professional and respectful. It also helps to know if the members of your team have day jobs or are in school as a person with responsibilities is far more likely to respect your schedule as they would want you to respect theirs.
Keep in mind also that paranormal investigation is like any other job or volunteer experience. You need to sell yourself and convince the founder to let you join their team. A short resume is a good way to show you're serious and professional, along with a short paragraph about why you are interested in joining their team. If you have a good world knowledge or you have skills from your job that could be applied to the team be sure to mention those as well.
Above all, be patient. Keep your eyes open. Maybe you'll come across a client who needs an investigation done in their house, which would give you the window to invite your prospective team mates out and join them on an investigation. Keep in touch with your team founder, always reminding them that you're still interested. Offer to do research, review evidence, and anything you can think of that will make them more eager to meet you and invite you along. But don't be discouraged if you don't get to go on an investigation right away. After all, it took me six whole months of patient waiting before I was invited.
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