A firefighter application is one of the most important documents you will fill out if you are seeking a career in the Fire Services Industry. Most candidates fail in this unofficial test designed to narrow down hundreds of applicants to the few most desirable candidates. This is the first impression that you are presenting of yourself, and you have all the time to prepare and make sure that your application will stand out from the rest. Attention to detail and being organized in preparing this application can improve your chance of being a successful candidate.
Reading and understanding instructions is very important. Different fire departments have specific instructions, so you have to pay attention and follow them accordingly. They will ask for different copies of documents like a high school diploma and certifications. Do not forget to turn these documents in with your application because they will disqualify applications that are incomplete. It also helps if you spend a little extra and have color copies of your certificates because it makes for a professional impression. You should never fax your application; this is a perfectly acceptable way of sending most documents but not for a firefighter application. Your application will not compare well to the others who have researched and prepared their application.
Include your resume; this is very helpful to the person who will review all the submitted applications. The reviewer’s job is to find the best candidates among the pile and a well-written resume can help the reviewer quickly see your qualifications and whether or not you have the minimum requirements for the job.
Arrange your documents and prepare them so the important required documents are easily accessible and will not require the reviewer to sift through all your attachments. It is impressive to have copies of special training certificates, but this will not help you if your application form is incomplete. This is why a lot of qualified candidates are disqualified.
It is smart to have a friend read your application before you send it. Another set of eyes can help you proofread and improve your answers. Avoid writing “same as above” and “see attachments” in your application. This is a red flag to most fire departments, because it will translate as laziness and a complete disregard for instructions. Make it clear what your experiences are and word it appropriately to show your strengths, write solid descriptions of your previous jobs. If you have served in the military, attach a copy of your separation papers. Fire departments will want to know what branch you served in: level of responsibility, how long you served, and if you were discharged honorably.
Do not forget to send your college diploma and transcripts. Keep in mind that these documents will be scrutinized and favor is given to candidates with higher grades. This application will be viewed as a representation of yourself, so make it as professional and organized as you can. Take time to make sure every instruction is followed and that every required document is included before you submit your application. Remember that resourcefulness and attention to detail are some of the most desirable qualities in a firefighter.