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Thread: Reference Letters

  1. #1
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    Default Reference Letters

    Are reference letters a huge part of whether or not you might go on in a hiring process? If so, how many reference letters are a good number to have, and from who should they come from?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Armyfire245 View Post
    Are reference letters a huge part of whether or not you might go on in a hiring process? If so, how many reference letters are a good number to have, and from who should they come from?
    A lot of your answer will come from where you are applying. Most of the larger departments (at least out west) will specifically tell you what you can attach to your application. As for the interview, it's the same thing. They'll say you can bring X copies of your one page resume and so on. I don't think it's bad to have them handy, but I've only been in one process that said they would let you bring in letters of recommendation. All the rest limited you to just the resume or nothing at all.

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    my personal opinion NO, I mean have not seen anyone give a reference that said " NO do not hire that person""

    as stated above we only ask for the names, just make sure it is not your girlfriend, next door neighbor, preacher.

    Use someone that know your work history, or trained with

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    If you meet the minimum standards any recommendation letters should not make any difference. Don't include anything that is not asked for. As mentioned, have you ever read a bad reference letter? Keep it simple.

    As you know everyone becomes an expert on these issues once hired. They will fill you head with all these crazy ideas and stuff. And because "They Said" (I've been trying to find "they" for 30 years) you needed to have all that extra stuff or the other candidates are going to get ahead of you. So, how is all this extra stuff going to help you, really? Keep it Simple.
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    I guess the better question would be, does having these make you a better Candidate than someone that doesn't have any?

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    no not really in my opinion

    cannot hurt but may not help, as the saying goes

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    Default Reference letters

    As it has already been said..."Do what they ask not what you hear." Follow directions and all will be fine.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armyfire245 View Post
    I guess the better question would be, does having these make you a better Candidate than someone that doesn't have any?
    Not unless they're telling you to bring them. If they say bring XX and you bring more, it makes you the guy that can't follow directions. You don't want to be that guy.
    JayDudley likes this.

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    I personally do not put much stock in letters of recommendation. In the literally hundreds of interviews I have conducted I have yet to read a letter that stated, "The candidate sitting before you is a poor worker and has difficulty gettting along in the fire station. Do not hire him whatever you do." I am even more curious to speak to the person who refused to write a letter.

    IF you are so compelled to have letters, I prefer to see some from people NOT associated with the fire service. Virtually everyone knows a firefighter who will write a letter. I am much m ore interested in reading a letter from your current supervisor, a coworker, or someone who knows you away from the fire service.

    I am also interested in seeing copies of your current employee evaluation. This especially true if you have a job outsidemofnthe fire service. One of the most powerful statements about a person's character is when a person has a job in which he does not see as a career and yet has a great employee evaluation.

    One of the most memorable candidates I ever interviewed worked as a waiter at PF Changs. When I asked him what his current supervisor would say about him he replied, "I am confident he would say very good things about me. In fact, I have a coy of my last performance evaluation in my folder (he had sitting on the floor next to him). May I show it to you?"

    I read a glowing report from his current supervisor. The comments were things like "team player, great representation of the company, and can be counted on". I was shocked to hear that the candidates absolutely hated his job. Further in 3.5 years he had never called in sick, had never missed a shift, and had never come in late! I consider myself a very good employee and am very dedicated to my job. I cannot stanthat i have not called in sick in the lastn3.5 years and i love my job This candidate hated his job and is a model employee. Imagine if I hired him on the fire department. What kind of employee would he be in a job that he loves?

    Fast forward the clock. Scott has been on the job for 5 years. Predictably, he is a great worker and has earned the respect of the men and women of his department.

    The interview process is designed for us to determine not only who will pass the academy and probation, but to select people who will be an asset and contribute toward making gate department better.
    Paul Lepore
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    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    Last edited by BCLepore; 01-22-2013 at 05:57 PM.
    Paul Lepore
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    I personally do not put much stock in letters of recommendation. In the literally hundreds of interviews I have conducted I have yet to read a letter that stated, "The candidate sitting before you is a poor worker and has difficulty gettting along in the fire station. Do not hire him whatever you do." I am even more curious to speak to the person who refused to write a letter.

    IF you are so compelled to have letters, I prefer to see some from people NOT associated with the fire service. Virtually everyone knows a firefighter who will write a letter. I am much m ore interested in reading a letter from your current supervisor, a coworker, or someone who knows you away from the fire service.

    I am also interested in seeing copies of your current employee evaluation. This especially true if you have a job outsidemofnthe fire service. One of the most powerful statements about a person's character is when a person has a job in which he does not see as a career and yet has a great employee evaluation.

    One of the most memorable candidates I ever interviewed worked as a waiter at PF Changs. When I asked him what his current supervisor would say about him he replied, "I am confident he would say very good things about me. In fact, I have a coy of my last performance evaluation in my folder (he had sitting on the floor next to him). May I show it to you?"

    I read a glowing report from his current supervisor. The comments were things like "team player, great representation of the company, and can be counted on". I was shocked to hear that the candidates absolutely hated his job. Further in 3.5 years he had never called in sick, had never missed a shift, and had never come in late! I consider myself a very good employee and am very dedicated to my job. I cannot stanthat i have not called in sick in the lastn3.5 years and i love my job This candidate hated his job and is a model employee. Imagine if I hired him on the fire department. What kind of employee would he be in a job that he loves?

    Fast forward the clock. Scott has been on the job for 5 years. Predictably, he is a great worker and has earned the respect of the men and women of his department.

    The interview process is designed for us to determine not only who will pass the academy and probation, but to select people who will be an asset and contribute toward making gate department better.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    Since you are involved in the hiring process, how do you go about determining to hire someone with mutilple arrest?

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    Quote Originally Posted by almostthere View Post
    Since you are involved in the hiring process, how do you go about determining to hire someone with mutilple arrest?


    mutilple arrest


    For what?????????????

    It varies by department, if you look ny looks llike they will hire felons

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    It may vary from dept to dept, maybe from size of the city as well. The dept I'm applying to is where I did my FI's for paramedic school and the city where I reside.

    I spoke with FF's, my LT, my BC, and multiple captains. They all without being asked did recommend the reference letter due to the amount of time I was there(25 shifts of 24hrs). I asked my FF/MICT preceptor if he was comfortable writing me a letter, although he already said he would, and he made it happen. He wrote me an unbelievable letter of rec that reflected the hard work I put into the internship.

    Some of these big dept guys also say a ride along is bad... however the dept's around here use it as you being interested and a chance to know you. They view it as less of a risk from some perspectives. Sure you might be a deadbeat and screw it up, but you weren't likely going to get the position anyhow. These are city's of around 100k in population that all recommended the ride outs.

    Sorry to get off track but there is a lot of "the ONLY way" or the "absolute best way" advice here.

    Take the advice from the members of the actual department you are applying to. Take the time to figure out what that department wants, not what an ex or current chief/ff/cpt/lt says is the ONLY way. There is no one way for anything.

    I'm not saying a letter of rec is good for everywhere, but here at some of the smaller dept's of 5-10 stations in a city, they know everyone and a letter from within the dept means a lot. Big city's I'm sure there are many employees who've never met everyone that works for the dept.

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    As has been pointed out above, departments do vary. I can tell you that being arrested once MAY be able to be explained away. Being arrested multiple times is much more difficult. I would not want to be in your shoes.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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    Arrested multiple times?

    Remember two things:
    1. For your one application (with the background of having been arrested multiple times) there will be 20 applications from guys with clean backgrounds.
    2. Mcdonalds is always hiring.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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