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  • Cover Letter for Captains Position

    I am applying for a captains position for my department. I have a great resume done, and I am stuck on a cover letter. Does anyone have any suggestions, or samples that might help me out. Thanks for any help you guys can provide.

  • #2
    Try the book "Facing the Promotional Interview" by John Mittendorf. Several examples of Cover Letters from good to bad.

    Comment


    • #3
      Did they ask for a cover letter or do you just feel you need one?
      _____________________________________________

      "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

      More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
      http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


      Fire "Captain Bob"

      www.eatstress.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I would like to provide one. I think it is appropriate to include a cover letter with the resume. Is this wrong? And to answer your question specfially, no they did not ask for one. Thanks for any help!!

        Comment


        • #5
          You might consider an "open" and "close" statments during your interview to emphasize certain qualities of yourself. This is if you choose not to have a cover letter. Sometimes people will not give you the time of reading it (cover letter) versus actually listening from you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Resumes

            A candidate faxed me his resume for review. The cover letter for the position he was applying for stated, “Attached is a 'brief' description of my qualifications.” I laughed aloud because he had sent me a book. The printer ran out of paper. Save a tree, the raters will not read these volumes.

            I’m a one-page resume guy. The resume is easier to read if it’s not in a folder. No cover letter unless requested. Most raters will not read a cover letter. That same information is going to be on your resume, right? But too many candidates have convinced themselves by the four inches between their ears they must have a cover letter. That’s a corporate resume format, not fire. One candidate wrote: The oral board complimented me on submitting just a one-page resume.

            Don’t send me out on a search party or a treasure hunt to find your great stuff on your resume. Hit me with your major qualifications, starting with your experience, on one page. Keep it simple. Many promotional candidates forget to start with any officer acting time.

            Write the resume believing the raters won’t go past the first page. If you must put your resume in a folder so you will sleep better, don’t cover up the first page with a title page. You can put any supporting details, documents, and certificates following the first page. Letters of recommendation are seldom read. Have you ever read a letter of recommendation that said something bad?

            Suggested firefighter resume format: http://www.eatstress.com/resume.htm
            Last edited by CaptBob; 10-25-2006, 06:13 AM.
            _____________________________________________

            "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

            More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
            http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


            Fire "Captain Bob"

            www.eatstress.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks guys, that is very helpful..

              Comment


              • #8
                Openings and Closings

                Originally posted by ffchun
                You might consider an "open" and "close" statments during your interview to emphasize certain qualities of yourself. This is if you choose not to have a cover letter. Sometimes people will not give you the time of reading it (cover letter) versus actually listening from you.
                [FONT=Verdana]Believe it or not you're not running the promotional interview process. I have yet to see a cover letter that does anything more than the acutal resume except to go on and on yada, yada, yada.

                Openings and Closings

                Too many candidates open with dumping the whole load on why they want to be an officer, what have they done to prepare for the position, why they want to work for this agency, etc. What they don’t realize is the opening or Tell us About Yourself question is just an icebreaker to get you comfortable in the chair. What’s real important to understand here is that answer is not scored! That’s right, there is generally not a box to score an opening or closing statement.

                So after you dump the whole load on a question that is not scored, then, they ask you questions where your answers are scored and you start reintegrating what you already have said, losing the edge and valuable points. A one-minute or less answer about you and your hobbies is all that is needed here. A "Nugget" here: If they look baffled after your short answer, ask if they want more. They usually won't.

                For the most part Closing Statements aren’t scored either. But if you
                said something important that was not already covered on the previous questions it could cause the raters to go back and adjust your scores. The raters will also adjust your scores if you say something stupid.

                So the “Nugget” here is if you are given a chance to give a closing
                statement first scan you mind looking for anything important that was
                part of your script that was not already asked like why you want to work for this agency, what have you done to prepare, etc.. Then deliver a condensed segment as part of your closing. You can obtain a sample for a script here: http://eatstress.com/workboolette.htm
                Last edited by CaptBob; 10-25-2006, 11:38 AM.
                _____________________________________________

                "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                Fire "Captain Bob"

                www.eatstress.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been an evaluator on three different Battalion Chief promotional panels in the last three months.

                  Here are my suggestions for résumé’s:

                  First and foremost PROOFREAD it before you turn it in. It is the first impression we have on you as a candidate. I can usually find errors in grammar and punctuation. Not the first impression you are looking to create.

                  Second, do not “pad” your resume with useless crap, rather include committee work, and department involvement.

                  Third, take the time to put it in a nice folder (leather preferred), with plastic page protectors.

                  Fourth. Make COLOR copies of all of your relevant certificates and include them

                  Fifth, DO NOT include your school transcripts if you are not proud of them

                  Paul Lepore
                  Battalion Chief
                  www.aspiringfirefighters.com
                  Paul Lepore
                  Battalion Chief
                  www.aspiringfirefighters.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I proof read the resume many times. It is by far the best resume I have ever submitted. I also included 4 copies of the resume in the folder so when the time comes they can be handed out. Thank you guys very much for your great opinions. Hopefully soon I will have "The Badge".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnemt76
                      I also included 4 copies of the resume in the folder so when the time comes they can be handed out.
                      Keep it simple

                      Consider not going into your interview handing out resumes expecting the raters to read them. They usually won’t. The time to read your resume is before you walk into the room. Get enough copies of your resume to the Personnel Department in enough time to be placed in your file. The resume will be given to the raters before you walk into the room.
                      _____________________________________________

                      "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

                      More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:
                      http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10544410/bob-smith


                      Fire "Captain Bob"

                      www.eatstress.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here is an idea!

                        I am currently a career firefighter but am applying at other departments. I recently had an interview and I gave several copies of my resume to the secretary that checked me in. She gave them to the interview panel and they reviewed it before I entered the room.

                        If I would have handed it to them when I walked in the room, I would not have been able to shake their hands and chances are they would not read it. Or if they did read it, they might be reading and not concentrating on what I was saying in the interview.
                        Good Luck

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          my resume

                          I’m not spamming so don’t jump all over me. There are several resume sites out there and I just happened to stumble across one of them.

                          I used www.fdresume.com for help with my resume and they did a good job. The price was a little lower then other company but the product was top notch and it was written by a firefighter that also teaches professional development for the University of IL.

                          There are several companies out there so take a look at them all and chose the one that is best for you if you really need help. I can post the resume and cover letter they wrote if anyone would like to see it and maybe it can help you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wow! It must've been a slow week at bobby abd boobie's ranch. 3 spam posts in one thread.

                            FDNY2TRUCK, don't worry. It's only spamming if you are selling stuff that can be obtained for free in other places.

                            johnemt76, there is a thread just below this one where we discussed this very subject. Here is the post I made at that time. And don't worry, I don't have any books, tapes, cd' DVD's or speeches for sale.

                            There are three very important things to consider about your cover letter before you worry about the what to put in it.

                            1. The letter MUST be free of grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.
                            2. The letter MUST be written in a business format. Leave out the fancy fonts, clip art and "eye-catchers". I disagree srtongly with using bold fonts and bullet points. Your reviewer can read. That stuff is a distraction.
                            3. Under no circumstances should the cover letter be in excess of one page.

                            Make sure the letter is addressed to a specific individual. Using the greeting of "Dear Sir" when the letter may be read by a female is a faux pas that may be deadly.

                            Your cover letter should to three things.

                            1. Introduce yourself and state that you are applying for a particular position.
                            2. Show career highlights or landmarks that may or may not be on your resume. For example, if you are applying for a position as a training officer, the fact that you participated in a project that highlights you knowledge and skills as a training instructor may be lost in the resume. The cover letter is the place to bring that stuff out. There is little need to restate what is on your resume. The exception to this would be if there is a specific certification or other qualification that is needed for the position. In that case, you can state it. But remember, the reviewer can read your resume.
                            3. Ask to be considered for the position. In your case, there is a specific time and date for the interview already set. If that were not the case, there is alot to be gained by asking to be considered and then telling the reviewer that you will call them on (a date two weeks or so in the future) to set up an appointment for an interview. Then actually call. It shows enthusiasm and initiative.

                            Don't forget that your resume should be prepared in a business like manner and be concise as well. People misunderstand resumes. For the most part, the resume and cover letter are not getting you the job. They are getting you the opporunity to interview for the job. Once you get the interview, YOU are getting you the job.

                            Good luck.


                            PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Need help with resume...

                              Hey Guys,

                              I need someone to write my resume and cover letter that is due in a few weeks for a department I am applying for. I have found a few resume writing services out there and don’t know which is better. If you have used www.fdresume.com or any other services, can you let me know how they did and if it was worth it.

                              I have a resume I wrote in high school but it looks like crap and I could use some help adding structure and some creativity to my sentences so I stand out from the other thousands of applicants.

                              I’m not looking to bring out the spammers, if you would like to e-mail me your opinion on the service you used, that would be wonderful too.
                              If you have used fdresume and have a copy of the work they did, could you e-mail it to me so I can see what their product looks like?

                              Thanks guys

                              Comment

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