Frequently Asked Questions for Firefighter Resumes

Creating the perfect resume that brings out the best in you as a firefighter candidate.


This article is going to deal with the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) relating to resumes, based on my experience and opinion. Creating the perfect resume that brings out the best in you, as well as showcasing your knowledge, skills, and abilities, is not that difficult (at least it...


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Do I need to list every certificate I have ever received on the resume? Please don't bore the panel with all of your certificates. Stick to the major selling points (EMT, Paramedic, Firefighter 1 Academy, Firefighter 1 Certificate, etc.). That shouldn't mean you should stop preparing yourself by not taking any more certified classes once you get the above listed certificates, it just means you might not have time or space to discuss all of them.

How often should I be updating my resume? I am a firm believer in the belief that if you are not updating (adding) to your resume at least once every two months, you are probably not doing as much as you probably should be doing in the way of preparing yourself for the position (entry-level or promotional). You should be always looking at ways to add items such as new certificates, educational accomplishments, professional accomplishments, and/or volunteer accomplishments. Think about it this way. You turn your application and resume in today. It will probably be anywhere from two months to six months (or even a few years depending on how long the list will remain active) before you even get that first interview. If you have been adding accomplishments to your resume, here is a perfect way to present that updated resume to your oral interview panel.

Many times, when you try to provide a resume during the oral interview, they will usually tell you that they already have a copy of one that was provided by the Human Resources/Personnel Department. At that point, you can advise them that you understand that, but that you have also added some educational accomplishments, certificates (whatever) since the time you first filed the original application and resume. You then let them know that you wanted to make sure the board had the most up-to-date information about how much you are preparing yourself to become a firefighter. If I were on the panel, I would be very impressed if I saw a great deal of improvement since the first resume. A good majority of the candidates do not either bother to update their resume or have not been doing as much as they probably should be doing in the way of preparation and motivation.

Summary

Creating the perfect resume should not have to be a major ordeal. If you stay on top of your resume, always keeping it updated, and always looking at other people's resumes (to see if you can learn something good or bad in relation to how they have packaged their resume), you should find yourself to be successful and have more time to worry about other things such as better preparing yourself for the job or taking time out for fun, family, and friends!