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    Post Letters of Recommendation

    I'm going to be interviewing for a firefighting job and the department asked me to turn in letters of recommendation to them before the interview. I currently work two jobs and also volunteer fire and EMS. I've had a few other jobs before this as well. They all would probably give me letters, but how many is too many? I'm at least going to get a couple, but I don't want to give the chief so many that it makes them all look insignificant. What would those of you here suggest?
    Until you've been on a Harley-Davidson, you haven't been on a motorcycle

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSmith View Post
    I'm going to be interviewing for a firefighting job and the department asked me to turn in letters of recommendation to them before the interview. I currently work two jobs and also volunteer fire and EMS. I've had a few other jobs before this as well. They all would probably give me letters, but how many is too many? I'm at least going to get a couple, but I don't want to give the chief so many that it makes them all look insignificant. What would those of you here suggest?
    I'm currently in the process with Chicago and they requested 3. Anything over 4 would probably be overkill.

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    I agree, three is a good number. OCFA didn't give us a number so I turned in two.

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    I would think more in terms of quality and not quantity. Think about which of these people would write professional sounding letters. Which of these people would sound intelligent if they were called as a reference? Which of these people know me best and know my work habits best? Also, look at what these people do. A letter from your vol. FD Chief may have more weight than a letter from the Asst. Produce Mgr. at the local Giant Foods.

    I think 3 quality letters would be a reasonable thing to shoot for.

    PS: Stay away from letters from politicians. It may look like you are trying to influence the process.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    I would be very selective about who you ask to write them. When you get one, take the time to READ IT. It's easy for us to identify those who really wanted to write one on your behalf, and those who were coaxed nto it.

    The ones who are coaxed into writing because they simply did not know how to say no, generally state:

    Fred has been employed for the past 12 months. He shows up to work and does his job........

    The ones who really feel strongly about a candidate say things like:

    Fred has been a vital part of our crew for the past 12 months. He shows up to work with a smile on his face and is very pleasant to be around. He works well under pressure and can always be counted on to get the job done right the first time. He works well with minimal supervision......

    You get the idea.

    The letters do not have to be from firefighters. They can be rom employers, coworkers, teachers and coaches. They should be from people who KNOW you.

    It always amazes me when people turn in letters and don't read them. Choose wisely as they are a reflection of you.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    All good advice hear. 3 or 4 is a good number.

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