Background: I will try to make this as short as possible...
I'm 29 yrs old with a young family, my daughter will be 2 in January, and I am determined to be the 1 in 150 applicants that stands out and prove that firefighting has been my calling, and I cant rest till I have achieved this goal.
- NFPA 1,2 Certified
- PCP Paramedic Qualification and License
- Swift water level 3 Tech
- Hazmat Ops
- Volunteer Fire for 5 years
- Local SAR for 2 years
- I have also done a fire season doing contract forestry firefighting
- Worked as a mountain guide, safety and security officer and have been in the sheet metal construction trade for 10 years
- My fitness background is in martial arts, I have a black belt in taekwondo but also train at the gym with jujitsu, kickboxing, and have been trying to focus on building functional fitness.
- I have my air brakes course, and have my class 3 drivers license exam next month
- I listen to podcasts on firefighting and read forums like this one.
- I try to practice aptitude questions a bit each day and have recently printed out 60 common interview questions that I plan on filling out answers when I get some spare time.
So my questions are:
What further (realistic) steps can I take to improve my position before this career city recruitment? ...Interview coaching, Resume editing, etc.
Should I just walk into the fire hall and ask a few questions on how their new guys got hired? Does that happen?
How can I get my name out there now?
The older guys say its all who you know, they younger guys say its equal opportunity for all... at the end of the day I understand that so many factors come into play, but I'm going to use everything I can to get hired. I think I am the type of person who can continuously learn, grow, and contribute to the firefighting service.
What are your thoughts on mentorship? How might one be found?
I think investing in a good resume is a great idea. Once you start to get interviews then get some interview coaching under your belt. Resume gets you the interview, the interview gets you the job. Big thing that I have found is make sure you have a stable career/job that can you can support your family. Patience is the biggest virtue while trying to land a job within the fire service. There are tons of potential candidates with similar resumes to yours that try for years before they get hired.
Do your research on the departments that you would like to work for. Each department looks for various things. When applying to departments make sure your resume and cover letter are specific and or personalized to the department you are applying for. There is nothing wrong visiting the departments that you wish to work for and asking to speak to a recent hire and learn about the process. They were successful in the process and a great resource.
Last but not least always maintain your personal and online profile in a respectful way. You are always one tweet, post, comment away from either being fired or not getting hired. Managing your personal and online presence is essential. Human resources WILL be checking these things prior to giving you an interview.
Hope this helps.
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