Thread: Not qualified?

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    Default Not qualified?

    So I applied online and was rejected right off the bat for a job as an Army Civilian Firefighter. This was a GS4 level job on a base near my home. All the posting said they required was BLS/Firefighter.

    I'm a bit confused at why the Army ANSWER resume builder would find me to be "unqualified" for the job. I currently have FF1, FF2, EMT-I, Haz-Mat Tech, Driver/Operator Pumper, 50 credits of my Associates Degree, a year of full time firefighter/EMT experience, eight years as a volunteer and another eight years in the Army National Guard (spending most of it at the paticular Army base I volunteered). When doing the online application I was very careful to include as many of the key words in the posting as possible and write my job description duties to mirror what's on the job required duties.

    Any thoughts for what I might have to do so that I can be successful next time? I'm a bit discouraged.

    Thanks.

    Brad
    Brad A. Ingersoll
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    Maple Bluff Fire Department
    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

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    I know of several people that this happened to. All I can say is that, from what I know of the system, your resume has to get through the non-FD channels first before the chief even sees it. The department near where I used to live sent off a list of preferred candidates (or something like that) from neighboring departments that they knew had applied before the list of qualifieds was even sent to them. These names came to the chief from the recommendations of some of his better guys. Not too sure how this works, but if the chief requests your application, I'm told it can navigate the system a little easier.

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    you must have missed the "keywords" that the computer looks for.

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    I can tell you from experience (I am currently a DOD firefighter) that the difference between saying you are an EMT-I and a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate can make the difference between being qualified or unqualified. Remember, it's a computer program that goes through your resume, and it is only as smart as the person who programmed it and the other person who makes the list of key words and phrases (both of whom know nothing about firefighting certifications). As for the comment about the Chief getting to pick people....that is not true at all. IF you are veterans preference (which it sounds like you are) you hit the top of the list no matter what. I know for a fact that they have to hire someone who has no experience or certs that is vet pref over someone with 10 years experience and every cert in the book. Also, a GS-4 FF job is a probie spot, so I don't understand how you could be unqualified, as there is no requirement for GS-4. To make GS-5 you need FF1, 2, HazOps and HazAw, and Airport FF if you have a flight line. EMT is required for GS-5 on a base by base basis.

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    You could have listed a certain area only that you would work, and there might not be openings there.

    You also could have priced yourself out by putting down the lowest salary acceptable in an amount that was higher than a GS4 Step 1.

    You could have not properly filled out the firefighter supplemental application, putting down you were available to work nights, weekends, holidays.

    Lotsa things. When they sent you your notice, they SHOULD have put down WHY you were not found quilified. Call the contact number for personel and ask to speak to someone about your application.

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    There could be many resons why you didn't even get referred. Your certs have to be either IFSAC or Pro-Board and you need to indicate that on your resume. Your experience sections might not have had the correct "buzz words" that the resumix systems keys in on. The other reasons listed by others are also valid. I am current Army employee, if you would like I could look over your resume and see if I find any blatant errors.

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    Oh contrare, ksfireman....

    I know a chief on a military base in this state who has passed up combat vets WITH DOD CERTS to hire certain others. IT MOST CERTAINLY DOES HAPPEN.

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    There could be many resons why you didn't even get referred. Your certs have to be either IFSAC or Pro-Board and you need to indicate that on your resume.
    I made sure to indicated that they are all IFSAC, and include the IFSAC number.

    Your experience sections might not have had the correct "buzz words" that the resumix systems keys in on. The other reasons listed by others are also valid. I am current Army employee, if you would like I could look over your resume and see if I find any blatant errors.
    I would like that. I applied at Fort McCoy Wisconsin. They're the only federal base in the state, and the only one that I'd be interested in applying for.


    You also could have priced yourself out by putting down the lowest salary acceptable in an amount that was higher than a GS4 Step 1. You could have listed a certain area only that you would work, and there might not be openings there.
    Nope, I indicated GS4 on the form and it was an application for a specific job that I was more than willing to drive for.

    What's even more frustrating is that when I was in the guard I spoke with firefighters there all the time who did NOT have all the required certifications, way less experience and no military background either. I'm just plain confused why I wasn't even forwarded on to the next round.

    Life goes on. I've still got a full time job doing it. I'll just have to wait and try again the next round.

    Brad
    Brad A. Ingersoll
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    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

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    Ksfireman- You must be a young'un, havn't been in the federal system very long or your federal chief is an angel that goes to church every sunday (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) Sorry lost my mind there for a second........Anyways, I had an SCD of 11-94, with almost 10 years on the job, with a clean record and a security clearance already in place......... was a FULLY QUALIFIED GS7-4 D/O with impeccible performance reviews and work history- I put in for one of three spots at a location which shall not be named, (closer to home) and was passed over for 3 of the chief's buddies- Seems the chief was a local volunteer chief, and he hired 3 of his vollies- all who had less than 5 years in the fire service, came no where close to being as qualified as I was, PLUS I WAS ALREADY IN THE SYSTEM! You keep thinking like that, and I'll sell you some oceanfront property in Arizona!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 12-10-2006 at 12:36 AM.
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    Whoa- hold on here.....Brad, if you already have a full time fire service gig, why would you want to go to the dark side of the force?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    Whoa- hold on here.....Brad, if you already have a full time fire service gig, why would you want to go to the dark side of the force?
    Right now I'm working as one of only two full time people on a combo department. We don't get much in the way of call volume and I'm always on the ambulance. Don't get me wrong, I like EMS calls, but I just want to get on to another full time department where I can get some more runs and ride on something other than the ambulance for every call.
    Brad A. Ingersoll
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    Maple Bluff Fire Department
    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

    Badgerland FOOLS
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    While I can appreciate your frustration of lack of action, you really need to think twice, long and hard, before you give up a municipal position, which I am assuming probably pays better, to become a Fed FF.

    Many of the Federal FD's are cutting WAY back as of late- there is a war to pay for, and the stateside DoD Emergency Services are being decimated because of it- especially the Navy & Air Force. I just heard a rumor that Wright-Patterson AFB just lost 18 positions.

    I strongly encourage you to go to Dodfire.com and educate yourself on the current status of the Dod Emergency Services. You could very well get hired now, only to be handed a RIF notice (layoff) in 2 years.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Did you not get qualified or not get picked for the job?

    Like I mentioned earlier, your letter from HRO should have given you a numerical score (I think they still do that) and mentioned whether or not you were qualified. If not, call and ask to speak to whoever processed your paperwork and ask questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by devildog4
    Did you not get qualified or not get picked for the job?

    Like I mentioned earlier, your letter from HRO should have given you a numerical score (I think they still do that) and mentioned whether or not you were qualified. If not, call and ask to speak to whoever processed your paperwork and ask questions.
    I never actually got a letter. I logged on to the Army ANSWER site and there was a note there saying that I wasn't qualified. As far as I can tell a person never looked at it, only a computer program. If it were the case that I wasn't picked, say following interviews and such, then I wouldn't be bitter about it. I can appreciate not be picked for legitiment reasons, but to say that they won't even forward my resume, given my certs and experience... I didn't understand that part.
    Brad A. Ingersoll
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    Maple Bluff Fire Department
    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

    Badgerland FOOLS
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    Don't count on getting a letter one way or the other. CHART (Navy) and Resumix (Army) just show whether you have been referred or not. You didn't even make it to the chiefs desk if you didn't get referred for consideration. That means something is inherently wrong w/ your resume.

    Pay heed to what was said about DOD FES in general. The AF is starting to RIF a lot of positions so most of those employees will be taking any/all jobs that come open. Also, if you are tired of not running calls, I can almost guarantee you will be tired of it in DOD as well-not much action due to a prevention program that is second to none. Not sure what the trucks are like at the base closer to your home, but ours are circa 1988 and look like you might expect for a 20 year old vehicle. And remember, we work 72 hour workweeks so the hours are long indeed.

    Don't get me wrong, DOD has been (and is now) good to me. But I am not on the receiving end of a RIF or trying to get my foot in the door.

    Like I said, shoot me a message and I'll give you my email address so you can send me your resume for review.

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    Just because someone has all the IFSAC Certs and time in. Does not mean they should automatically get the job over some one else with less time and just meets minimum requirement. I noticed alot that people can be certified up to F/O level and have no experience. Our department advertises to the local communities when we have opening. As well on USAJOBS. We did not adopt the IFSAC Cert program (we do have the program to test) and we go off California State Cert Program. So we can get the best pool of candidate Fed or non Fed.
    Our Chief gets the top 5 Status Candidates and top 5 Public Candidates from HRO. (It's a joke how they scan the applications. Some times the best qualified get left out.)
    Then we set up interviews and then agility (pass/fail), pumping evolution and EMT Skills Testing. Combine all scores and rank our candidates.
    As for working for the Feds. Try and visit the dept. you are applying to. You will be surprised on the wide range of depts. out there. Some do nothing and collect a pay check. While you will find Depts. that run calls on and off base on mutual aid, have good training and equipment. The pay can be ok or great depending on where it is in the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by engineer2000
    Just because someone has all the IFSAC Certs and time in. Does not mean they should automatically get the job over some one else with less time and just meets minimum requirement.
    Wow....That makes about as much sense as teats on a bull.........

    And how can your department NOT have adopted the IFSAC program since it is mandatory DoD wide?
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    DHS. Coast Guard.
    Makes alot of sense. Having all the IFSAC certs does not mean you will get hired or looked at. Just looks good on a piece of paper. The certs are water downed because you can jump on a computer take as many test as you want. If an Training Officer does not care about the program. H/she can have alot of people in the same room and take the test or at least get the test answers. The Chief can pencil whip it. Bam, someone is in the Fire Officer level in a year or two with little experience or none to that level. Stories I here from other depts. Just because someone has years in does not mean they should get the job either. From experience with our dept. When we are doing the hiring here. Their are alot of slugs out there with 15-20 years in that put in here. Thats why we have our testing process. I seen guys on our testing process with three years with minimum required certs for an Engineer spot and smoked an 15 year time in FF with all certs up the butt and ran his mouth. Does not matter. Best qualified.

    The one teat on my bull is foot long.........
    Last edited by engineer2000; 12-13-2006 at 07:35 PM.

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    911Brad here are some things to think about.

    1. You already have a full-time job in the field. A ton of people would love to have a job in the field at all (and wouldn't complain about not getting a different one.)

    2. Is your military time active or reserves? Reserve time does not equal active time unless you were called up to actice duty.

    3. The last three hires at the base you are talking about were all transfers. Don't forget Uncle Sam is closing some federal facilties and others will have proirity. That is just the way it is.

    4. And you don't like running so much EMS? What do you think they do at the base you are talking about. They have two ambulances sitting in their bay and that is a large portion of their calls.

    5. And some advice...Don't complain about the system if you plan to say who you are and where you are applying. If you do get the job, people will know all they need to know (& want to know) about you before your first shift!

    Not a good first impression at all!

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    Default Not complaining...

    TruckGuy2,

    First of all, thank you for taking the time to reply.

    I hope that you donít form your first and only impression of anybody based on what they write on an online bulletin board. Too many times things that are typed are taken out of context for what the author really meant to ask or say. This is such a case. Additionally, Iím not ashamed to admit openly online who I am and take responsibility for any of my thoughts or comments I post instead of being part of the internet mass who often hide cowardly behind their on-line anonymity.

    In no way did I intend to complain about the system or the job; I was simply looking for guidance so as to be more successful when I apply in the future. Iíll admit that I was and still am a bit confused and frustrated, but Iíve been through enough hiring processes to be adult about it and move on.

    As for my current position; yes I have a full time job in the field, but I canít really elaborate online or more people will continue to misinterpret my comments about why I wouldnít mind a new full time job anywhere else. Furthermore, my comment was not that I, ďdonít like running so much EMS.Ē I understand that the Fort McCoy Fire Department runs mostly EMS. I spent eight years going there (to answer your question, my time in the military was all in the Army National Guard with about two years of it on title 10 ADSW) and Iíve been in the business long enough to know that EMS is the bulk of anybodyís call volume. I thoroughly enjoy running EMS, but just want the opportunity to do more, something I currently donít have.

    Thanks again, I really do appreciate you and all the others taking time to respond back.

    Brad
    Brad A. Ingersoll
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    Maple Bluff Fire Department
    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

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