Region 9 jobs
I was hoping perhaps I could receive some advice. I applied to a job in Region 9, the Eastern Seaboard, however I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice to both make my resumé 'stand out' in addition to giving me an idea of my chances at getting said job. Lastly perhaps some advice preparing myself for the Pack Test, just in case I do get the job...
The one I put in for is as a Forestry/Range Aid (GS-03; the lowest grade around here.) The advertisement listed as 'a few' positions open. What are my odds of landing this job? I missed the early consideration deadline (oops!) but when i submitted my application on-line the job posting says they're still hiring... hopefully it's current!
How do I make my resumé stand out? I mean is there anything that recruiters really look for (if anyone has any insider info... :D ) I know I am at a disadvantage by not having my red-card, although no-one around here that I know of has it! Is this a simple training program to go through upon hire, or is it a long drawn out process that will really hinder my chances?
Lastly, does anyone have and advice for getting ready for the Pack test? Someone mentioned to me that climbing stairs would be an idea, but does anyone know if this actually works? I am out of shape, but not bariatric; I have never been very good at running/walking type tests (always bombed high school PE testing...) although thats not to say I can't walk for distances...
The best thing you can do is go to the station or duty locations that you applied for. Employers will literally get hundreds of faceless applications, stand out by visiting the station or at least calling. Especially at the GS3 level, with such a huge pool of applicants it's probably one of the toughest grades to get picked up at! List any skills you have ie: medical training, welding, carpentry and things like that.
The job itself is much more difficult than any pack test on flat ground, you need to be able to walk the three miles in 45min or under.. Practice by actually doing it! You wanna get good at push ups? Do push ups. You wanna be a good hiker...go hiking!
Good point. I will definitely look into calling-- it's the national seashore though, so I have a hunch I might not get too far! Do they really get hundreds of applicants, even in the North East?
Absolutely the pack test should be one of the easiest things. I suppose its just that lingering time limit that scares me. If only the weather gets better (ie: no more blizzards...) then perhaps hiking and stuff will be in the itinerary.
@Highschoolvolunteer - I have a question - Have you applied anywhere else outside of Region 9?
I haven't. I figured I would be too late for housing anywhere, and I can hardly stomach commuting to California from Massachusetts every morning! :D lol
Originally Posted by FF14
That said Im open to ideas.
I would say just apply for everything you qualify for. There are still a lot of jobs open and you never know what might happen. I have applied for every job I qualify for (GS-03), and I have been referred close to 50 places. Which is a lot better than last year where I only got referred for 10 places. Now, if I get a job out of this, it's a wait and see game. As for housing, it's hard to say. Maybe some of the Captains who work for the FEDs can shed some light on that issue?
I took your advice and put in for some out west. Hopefully the local one comes up... but I guess you have to do what you have to do to get a foot in the door...
Is second season any easier? Or can I look forward to this process of 'blind, drunken darts' when it comes to finding a job?
This is my second season applying, so hopefully it will be easier this time around. But at the same time, I don't know what to expect, so in a sense it is like 'blind drunken darts'.
Also, I completely agree with DullChainz. Start calling people and start making those connections. They will help in some many ways. I just got referred for a place in CA, so I'm planning on calling the Captain this week. Also, the senior members on here are some awesome people to have on your side. You never, the people you talk to on here can be come your greatest connections. I know I've made some connections on here that have helped me get in contact with other captains in places I've been applying to.
My connections are probably already digging a hole to put me in! lol. Kidding aside, how long does it take before you are referred to a place?
You'd be surprised at how many people apply to locations, it's literally as easy as clicking a box. Don't worry about housing, barracks will most likely be available. I can't stress enough how important it is to make contacts, I can almost guarantee you will not get hired if you don't have any contact with stations.
Don't worry to much about being "referred" all that means is you made a cert list with most likely many other people. Interest calls and emails are when you're getting a little closer.
Once you're picked up you'll most likely be offered a spot for the next season, it's not really starting all over. Be flexible and apply to as many places as possible. Get on it, time is running out to apply for 2014 temp spots. Good luck!
One more thing, Trails and Recreation jobs are a good way to get started with no experience. A lot of times they may get you red carded, plus it's a great way to make contacts. I started in Trails met a lot of people and after 2 seasons got picked up in Fire.
I applied from Massachusetts to Oregon, and places in between!
Trails and Rec? Like DEM?
In an interest call, what do I say? Not to sound too 'hold my hand'-ish but I have never done one!
Someone mentioned to me, does this often turn into a case of 'who you know, and...' (you can finish it... lol) ? Ie: A senator's son's friend's cousin twice removed is apt to sneak in ahead of someone else. Or is the hiring process pretty much devoid of that?
If you have not clicked through this site
Get with someone and have them ask you questions and record the session to see how you sound
Rec and trails as in forestry aid or forestry technician with the Forest Service or NPS. Don't worry too much about interest calls or emails, they're pretty informal.. Just answer honestly, there aren't any tricks to it.
How long does it take to be referred to the position? Not to sound too impatient, but needless to say I am anxious!
I realized that I missed the first consideration date... does that mean that I am royally 'effed' or do I still have a chance? Do they routinely hire out all the positions immediately to those who applied, or do I still have a shot-- I have some fire experience (interior and brush, albeit limited) so I know that should give me a leg up over Johnny What's-a-fire...
Don't worry so much. Just apply around, 85% of the stations have bunkhouses so that would be your place of living during your employment besides fire camp of course or the side of a mountain in the dirt.
We had 3 people hired on our crew that had no fire experience at all.
Be patient because places are still putting out their respective job announcements. Some places continue to hire all the way into june.
Sorry I have been M.I.A from this forum. I have been really busy with my EMT training. We have just been assigned squads and I am the squad leader of my squad, so I'm going to be really busy. So I'm sorry if it takes me a long to time to respond. :)
I have a question: When a job announcement closes, how long does it take a department to start selecting people for the positions?
The announcement will close, a referral list will need to be generated, the overhead will receive a generated list and go from there.. reviewing apps and resumes, probably contact your supervisory references and then contact you.. Its different all over, but thats generally what the FS does.. also depends on how many apps they have to review.. I'd say 2-3 weeks after the announcement closes you could hear something.. Also after Fire Hire some temps will accept permanent positions which will open up some more temp spots so like StrengthBuilder said you could see some fairly late hires.
Yeah, these jobs don't close till the end of March, but I know atleast my #1 had that early-consideration date...
Another question, yes I know I need babying... lol: how many references should I have, and what kind? I have 2 at the moment, a 3rd just offered, are personal references worth a damn or should I just do all professional ones-- I have worked alongside all of them, although one of them I am good friends with...
Sorry for the baby-level questions, I have never really had to do real resume like this...except for uni, and even then that wasn't the same...
do not put your girlfriend, next door neighbor, teacher or the like, I like to hear from firefighters or people you have worked with
Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer
From my experience it's your previous supervisors they'll be interested in talking to.
These are all firefighters... one of which was my Chief. Can I put my cat down as a reference? :D lol
Originally Posted by fire49
I'm a bit late to this, but you have already received some very good advice.
As far as making your resume look good, have somebody read over it who has fairly decent writing skills. It might seem trivial to worry about spelling and grammar when you are being hired to push dirt, but having a resume that looks like it was written in crayon will put you in the not this year pile.
Take the time to explain your work history. You don't need to write a book, but give enough that someone reading it will understand what kind of work you do.
If you tailor it to the job, make sure you get the agency name right. If you are applying to the United States Forest Service, don't put down National Forest Service or United States Department of Forestry.
I got a fairly decent resume from a candidate last year, including a cover letter telling me what an honor it would be to work for the California Department of Forestry. Nice letter, but I was hiring for the United States Forest Service. Again seems trivial but an error like that doesn't send the message that you are serious about the job.
Absolutely agree with Dullchainz, get out there and talk to some captains. Those who are too far to visit, get online and find some office numbers and at least give some a call. We literally get hundreds of applications and probably 80-90% look the same on paper.
I do call past supervisors and listen to what they have to say. I also listen to what they don't have to say.
As far as the pack test, get out there and start doing something. It is an awkward test, a very fast walk with weight. I know of people who struggle with the test but are mountain goats on the fire line. Have also run across people that can smoke the test, but don't do so great in the field. Personally I find using a treadmill set to 4 mph is a good way to get used to the pace. While that may help you pass the test, if you think you are out of shape you probably are. Start getting some regular exercise. I would aim for being able to complete a 3 mile run and start working on your hiking with at least 20 lbs.
You will be given the pack test when you arrive for work. If you fail, you have no job so you want to know you will pass before you show up that first day.
Originally Posted by Here and there
But no matter how many times you say you work for the Forest Service, it will always be the "forestry service" and you jump out of airplanes.
Speaking of cover letters, necessary or not? And is it appropriate to write them as non-tailored-- I am applying to the NPS, BLM, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife service-- all through USAJobs, so I figure something generic might make more sense than to try and tailor them.
I went through my resumé a couple times (had a few things change on me after I wrote the bloody thing!), and I am a decent writer-- I chose my finest marker to write it in; crayons are so last year! :) Maybe I will have someone review it though: it can't hurt!
Yeah I absolutely understand about the test, I may actually have to start hitting the gym. Been running outdoors when the weather is good, but out of the last week, it has snowed atleast 3/4's of that! lol
Thanks so much!