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Top 10 ways to build your firefighter resume

By FireRescue1 Staff

Fire Recruit Job Listings

It's getting more and more difficult out there to find a job, the fire service included. We decided to ask our more experienced fans out there on Facebook to give their nuggets of wisdom on how to build a resume and land a job. 

Here are your top 10 responses!

Advance your knowlege in all aspects and keep well-rounded and pick a field to specialize in at the same time. - Marshall Flick

Don't take classes that are beyond your experience. Don't take an advanced firefighter survival course if you haven't been in a non-training fire. I see too many guys taking courses way beyond their experience level. Aggression is good, but in moderation. - Brian Farris

First go to a fire department and talk to them and ask to go along and find out what it's really all about. It's a pain to find you're not really into the job after training. - John Polk

Write a cover letter that covers lessons learned from major fires you have worked and list follow-up courses and seminars you have taken to better your knowledge after encountering something out of the ordinary; this shows your willingness to learn. - Gary Schlotterbeck

Take the 100 percent free classes FEMA puts on multiple times a year. It blows my mind that I see the same people every time. It's free! - Chris Rodriguez

Organize your resume based on job experience — even volunteer time counts — college classes and then skills. Don't list every class you have ever taken. - Bryan W. Waagner

Do things that show leadership. Be a medic or advanced EMT to be able to take charge and responsibility. - David Boykin

List your experience chronologically, mentioning the most important things first to catch the recruiters' interests. I always advise people to not give a list of references unless specifically requested. Instead say "Recent References on Request", that way you will know when they call and ask that you are being shortlisted. - Nuri Josephus

Keep it one to two pages. After 600 resumes, trust me on this, nobody has time to read how you effectively redirected traffic at 22 incidents. List your formal training, relevant certifications, touch on your experience, then pass the exam and get the interview! Then you can amaze them with the details of your experience and public servant personality! - Ken Burnthorn

I have found that resumes get you in the door, but the testing and interviews are the only ways to get the job. Remember that you are trying to beat 100 other people for the job. Good luck! - Sid Darvill

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Douglas Cremeans Douglas Cremeans Sunday, January 13, 2013 2:36:56 PM I don't agree with #8. There are alot of places that want you to list references, because they don't want to waste time calling you back, they might just pass you over.
Eric Lorenz Eric Lorenz Sunday, January 13, 2013 2:47:46 PM How about proper spelling and grammar? It seems like a no brainer but I have seen a lot of applications that looked like a first grader filled it out.
Robert Erwin Romesburg Robert Erwin Romesburg Sunday, January 13, 2013 3:29:21 PM Whoops, i dropped the ball on that one!

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