A while ago, I wrote an article titled "25 Reasons NOT To Hire You As A Firefighter." This time, we are going to switch gears and focus on 25 reasons to hire you as a firefighter. The process to become a firefighter is very challenging and frustrating. I would venture for every person hired in the fire service there are at least ten that are not hired in the fire service. The number ten may be small and in reality the number is probably much, much higher.
However, that should not deter you from obtaining the career of your dreams. While it will not be an easy process to become a firefighter, it will sure be worth all of the time and effort you put into the journey once you receive that badge. It took me approximately four and a half years to become a firefighter, and it was time well spent. I could not think of anything else I would want to be doing with my life. For a 30-year career in the fire service, spending a few years trying to become a firefighter is the cost of doing business.
Does luck play a part in getting hired as a firefighter? Of course it does. However, luck is not the primary reason you get a job offer. To get that far in the hiring process, you must have first successfully passed all phases of the hiring process and also shown some promise that you would be a good return on a department's investment.
While this list is not inclusive, it does provide a good starting point of how to properly prepare and market yourself to a fire department that is looking to make a good investment and hire the best personnel to serve their customers.
Use this list not only when you are preparing to become a firefighter, but also while you are preparing yourself for each phase of the hiring process — completing the application, taking the written test, taking the oral interview, etc. — and while you are participating in each phase of the hiring process.
Here are 25 reasons to hire you as a firefighter:
You have significant formal education — a two-or four-year degree — in fire technology or a closely related field.
You have more than the minimum in the way of certifications and licenses. Having just the minimum allows you to apply for the position. Going above and beyond, and getting the certificates and licenses that are considered highly desirable will help set you apart from the other candidates.
You have an extensive, significant and diverse life experience background to offer.
You have an extensive, significant and diverse work experience background to offer.
You have an extensive, significant and diverse volunteer/community service background to offer.
You have excellent oral communication skills.
You have excellent written communication skills.
You have an extensive knowledge and understanding of mechanical ability.
You have a sparkling, cheery and positive personality.
You have a contagious enthusiasm in whatever you are doing or wanting to do.
You have an extensive and significant track record of being dependable.
You have excellent computer skills.
You demonstrate exceptional leadership ability.
You demonstrate the ability to get along with others.
You have a clean background to offer in the way of credit history, employment history, arrest record, and character references.
You have bilingual ability in any two languages, at least one being English.
You are physically fit and are able to demonstrate you lead a relatively healthy lifestyle.
You are capable of being a low maintenance employee for your supervisors. Someone that needs little direction or correction.
You demonstrate solid decision-making ability.
You understand the word integrity, and are able to demonstrate you have it.
You are able to demonstrate that you are a hard-worker, and someone that does not mind getting dirty and doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.
You have sincere and incredible passion for the fire service and for helping and serving others in time of need.
You have military background to offer and understand the chain of command and working in a paramilitary environment.
You are a self-starter and do not rely on others to tell you what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
You demonstrate that you are unique in a positive way. Most firefighter candidates all look the same in regards to preparation, education, looks, etc. Be the one that stands out in a positive and unique way throughout the hiring process and you will rise to the top.
Remember, there is no "one-size-fits-all" formula to use to get hired as a firefighter. What works for one person may not work for another. What works in one fire department may not work in another. It is up to you to find out what works best for you and to stick with that course of action, ensuring that you are doing as many of the abovementioned items as possible to increase your chances for successfully becoming a firefighter. You can have the best resume in the world with the most qualifications, but if you cannot sell yourself, your knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as your qualities and traits to the oral board, you will never get hired!
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