If you are looking to become a career firefighter, you are probably looking for jobs at a variety of firehouses. Before any of those potential fire chiefs see you in person, they see your resume. Even if you show up to an interview looking great, ready with answers, your degree in hand, that resume could have killed your image before you ever get your foot in the door.
Resumes are meant to show people who you are in less than a minute. Because of this, you should keep your resume to two pages or less. Long explanations are meant for the interview, not your firefighter resume. The resume is just a sample of your highlights, not the entire story. Think of it as the slipcover of a book; it gives you a hint as to what is inside. The interview is when your chief actually gets a chance to see who “you” are. If you’ve done some networking in your professional circles, it’s also going to help in this area because people in positions of authority will more than likely know you if you’ve done a good job of networking.
Education: Making sure you have all the details of your education is important and vital to providing your potential Fire Chief that you’ve done what’s required to become a firefighter. Make sure this is highlighted, usually first so that anyone reviewing your resume knows what steps you’ve already taken to educate yourself in the field of firefighting.
Experience: Resume writing can be difficult, but a good place to start as a firefighter is with the most applicable and relevant experiences and education in relation to your potential career. If you’ve never worked with a department before, then put your education first. If you don’t have education, then put your volunteer experience first. If a potential employer doesn’t see firefighting or anything related to it in the first scan of a resume, they’re just going to throw it aside and forget about it.
Skills: Listing your skills is important. If you have any experience in emergency services, then mention it. Are you CPR or first aid certified? Did you run security at any point? The emergency services will show you what skills you already have under your belt and that you’re willing to learn. Technical and mechanical skills are also appreciated by fire departments. If you work on cars, plumbing, or carpentry, highlight those skills. Hobbies can be included in this part as well, especially if you’re young and don’t have a lot of on-the-job experience as of yet. Make sure to list out if you’ve met any basic firefighting requirements as well.
Objective Statement/Summary: Some people have both an objective statement and a summary; other people have just one or the other. If you have an objective statement, make sure to customize it specifically for the department you’re applying to. That means that, yes; you have to keep modifying your resume every time that you apply somewhere. Keep track of where you are applying and get organized.
Achievements: Lastly, if you have any achievements that are related to firefighting community involvement, firefighting, or emergency services, make sure to list those as well. These will really make your resume stand out and help you to show how serious you are about becoming a firefighter.
Remember this: most firefighting jobs are government jobs. That means that the resume process and the interview process for firefighting is incredibly standardized. If you went to college and/or fire academy for fire sciences, the school you attended usually will have a career services center that can help you adapt your resume for a firefighting position.
Like I said above, your resume is a reflection of who you are. Take your time on it and let it reflect exactly what you want to reflect to potential employers. Your first impression should be your best impression, and it can help you to nab that job in firefighting that you’ve always dreamed of.
Below is a sample firefighter resume template that you can use as a base for your own resume.
SAMPLE FIREFIGHTER RESUME
5678 Your Address
New York, NY 12345
January 1st, 2013
Mobile: (243) 576-9810
I have recently completed my firefighting training and am looking to join a fire company as a career firefighter.
Bachelor of Arts in Fire Science
New York University
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
ABC Fire Department – Volunteer
March 2009 to December 2012
- Fire suppression in structures
- Fire suppression in wild land environments
- Emergency medical services
- Fire prevention
- Public education
- Station maintenance
- MVP Volunteer with ABC Fire Department: 2009-2012
- Graduated Fire Training Program with Honors 2013
|Category||Name||Proficiency||Yrs experience||Last Used||Value|
|Computer||Microsoft Office||Advanced||10 yrs||Use currently|
|Computer||Internet Explorer||Advanced||10 yrs||Use currently|
|Computer||Typing||Advanced||10 yrs||Use currently||65 wpm|
|Language||Spanish||Fluent||10 yrs||Use currently|
References available on request.
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