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Be cautious when providing resumes, and be aware of its content. Using too many terms on your resumes like deans list, honor roll, chief of academy, valedictorian, 4.0 GPA, etc. It can send the wrong message to the interviewer. Sure you can list you were at the top of your academy, but don't over do it. If the instructions for the hiring process states No resumes. DO NOT BRING A RESUME! If you do all it will do is irritate the interview panel, and let them know you can not follow directions. If they do allow resumes wait to hand them over till the end. This way your greetings and the interview process will not be interrupted. Also, by giving the resume in the beginning it sets you up for more difficult questions or the possibility of detecting faults/flaws/exaggerations in the resume.

Courtesy of Steve Prziborowski, Captain with the Santa Clara County Fire Department. Steve also publishes a free monthly newsletter geared toward better preparing the future firefighter for a career in the fire service, "The Chabot College Fire & EMS News," that is available on his web site at

Resume Profile

Many candidates think they need to include their strengths or career profiles on their resumes. Here are a couple of examples from resumes sent to me for review: Strengths: Performs effectively within group atmosphere. Continuously strives for improvement by education and work experience.
Career Profile: An experienced Firefighter whose professional responsibilities expanded his knowledge in the areas of fire suppression, emergency medical service, rescue, hazardous material, public relations, public education, fire prevention, and decision making. Qualified by:
1. A proven record of success with progressively increasing
responsibilities based upon experience, knowledge, and superior work performance.
2. Strong interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work effectively with individuals in all levels.
3. Excellent communication and time-management skills and abilities.
4. The ability to remain calm and utilize deductive reasoning in critical and demanding situations.
5. Committed to promoting a positive public image of the fire service. yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. The first thing I do when I see these types of statements is line them out and write, "Who Cares?" Understand the board doesn't! Candidates who put these on their resumes tend to be anal. This is the type of resume material that belongs on a regular job interview resume. Not a
firefighter resume. We don't have time to look at this mindless garbage and it takes away from the stuff you really want us to read. I'm a one-page resume guy. Don't give me a book.
Courtesy of Steve Prziborowski

Chit Chat & Handouts

Generally handing out material in an entry level oral is not a good idea because it upsets the normal flow of the interview and takes up too much time. The review panel probably won't read them anyway. The time to have this material read is before you walk into the room. Have it placed with your application before the day of the test. Don't Chitty Chat! You don't have enough time to chitty chat. I would be careful chatting after your interview. You might say something that you weren't prepared for or something that could hurt you. You are applying for a rookie position. If you came across as too familiar, it could work against you. Explaining past work history like Vol. work/Reserves/Paid call/etc doesn't give you any time in this situation. In fact it can give you false impressions that it can give you an advantage. The reviewers are not your friends. They are looking for reasons to eliminate.

Courtesy of Capt. Bob @ Capt. Bob Smith, Speaker, Author, Publisher, Information Products. 5565 Black Ave. Pleasanton 94566 Phone: (925) 846-3959

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