How To Apply to Become a Firefighter
There are several steps in the initial application process, including obtaining and completing an application, submitting a résumé if requested, obtaining necessary information about a scheduled examination, and determining if special circumstances apply to you.
Obtain and Complete an Application
Applications for the job of firefighter are obtained in many different ways, depending on the jurisdiction in which you reside. Some municipalities make the application available on their governmental Web site, where it can be downloaded, completed, and mailed in to the agency coordinating the candidate process. Modern methods may allow candidates to fill out their application online. Follow the directions carefully on how it should be submitted. If mailing in the application, consider having it certified with a return receipt requested in order to document its transmittal and receipt.
In other areas, applications may be acquired by visiting fire department headquarters, the local fire station, or a designated municipal office building. Always read the directions for completion of the application carefully before you attempt to fill in the required information. Should you use pen or pencil to fill out the form? Does the application need to be notarized? Is additional documentation (birth certificate, driver's license, résumé, etc.) required to be submitted with the application? And, finally, make sure you place the correct amount of postage on the envelope containing all the forms.
Provide a Résumé, Cover Letter, and References
If a résumé is required as part of the application process, it should be one or two pages summarizing your contact information, main objective, education, military history, work background, job-related life experiences, and pertinent activities, hobbies, and interests. It should always be sent along with a cover letter. The cover letter should be geared to the particular needs and requirements of the fire service position you are seeking. A cover letter allows you to focus the reader's attention on your specific strengths and accomplishments, which are summarized in the résumé.
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