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  • Captain Bob...

    Hey how bout these:
    How do you feel about listing all of your certifications and whatnot in applying for depts that have their own academy and don't want people with too much training? How do I assuage any thoughts that I carry bad habits from "my last department"?
    I'm taking a pension physical in two weeks. Is there anything I should be aware of or prepare for?
    ...if you put the handline in the right spot, you won't have to jump out the window...
    -Andy "Nozzles", SQ18, 9-11-01

  • #2
    I'm confused when you wrote:

    I'm taking a pension physical in two weeks. Is there anything I should be aware of or prepare for?

    What does this mean? Are you retiring from a department? Disability?

    I'm a one page resume guy. Save a tree. Don't give me a book. You can attach any certs, etc, but they are seldom if ever read.
    Veterans Taking Entry Level Tests

    I often hear comments like this one where seasoned firefighters test for entry level positions for another or larger department:

    I have been in the fire service for 20 years both vol and full time. Last year I had to relocate across the state, leaving my full time ff/pm position. It took me 10 years to get that job as a white male - Now I'm

    looking over here and have been passed over several times for the younger people. I have all the credentials and the certs and still -
    I've been passed over! I think the testing should be thrown out if you have been working in this career for over 5 years, let's look at the resume and past employers!

    The biggest problem I've seen on oral boards with these seasoned veterans is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for; that of being a snotty nose rookie. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board's skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie. They need to leave their time and rank in their locker.

    It's not the younger candidates that are keeping them from getting the job. It's them! Presented correctly, there is no way a younger candidate can match their personal life and firefighting experience. This is a delicate balance here. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to the oral board panel. Without this bridge, you're dead meat. This is not easy for many seasoned candidates. An attitude adjustment is needed. Attitude is a small thing that can make the big difference. Remember the position you're applying.

    The seasoned veteran candidate can roar past any of the other candidates if his attitude and game plan is in place.

    "If your bent on revenge . . . You had better dig two graves".

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

    "Captain Bob"

    Comment


    • #3
      I guess I should clarify: I have a medical exam, as part of the hiring process, in about two weeks. Having never progressed this far in the process before, I'm not sure what all to expect.
      Maybe I could clarify the second query as well: I am ex-military (4yrs), and have the standard complement of certs that it seems like anyone who served in military fire protection has, FFII, haz-mat ops, driver/op pumper, emt-I...In applying for depts that have their own academy, should I let on that I have FFII, or even FFI for that matter? If it takes 5 yrs. to become a driver, should I let them know (from the start) that I have experience doing that? The way I look at it, and I may be wrong which is why I'm asking you! But if I only list a little more than the minimum requirements, I have to focus on making the salespitch in the interview more than I would have to if I was hoping my certs would do it for me...
      ...if you put the handline in the right spot, you won't have to jump out the window...
      -Andy "Nozzles", SQ18, 9-11-01

      Comment


      • #4
        First of all, if you have the slightest concern for a medical problem, have the leading expert in this field of medicine (no, not your family doctor) evaluate your condition. If they feel you're fit for duty, have them give you a letter.

        Next, the biggest problem I've seen on oral boards with seasoned veterans is they can't place themselves in the position they are applying for; that of being a snotty nose rookie. They try to hammer the oral board with their credentials thinking the board will just hand them the job. Their oral board's skills are rusty and antiquated. It's hard for them to remember how it was to be a rookie.

        It's not the younger candidates that are keeping them from getting the job. It's them! Presented correctly, there is no way a younger candidate can match their personal life and firefighting experience. This is a delicate balance here. You must be humble, place yourself in the rookie position and build a natural bridge to the oral board panel. Without this bridge, you're dead meat. This is not easy for many seasoned candidates. An attitude adjustment is needed. Attitude is a small thing that can make the big difference. Remember the position you're applying.

        The seasoned veteran candidate can roar past any of the other candidates if his attitude and game plan is in place.

        "If your bent on revenge . . . You had better dig two graves".

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

        Learn more from our FREE "101 Inside Secrets How to Get a Badge" off the job page of our web site @ www.eatstress.com

        "Captain Bob"

        Comment


        • #5
          I was also in the military, the experience that I got there was hands down some of the best that there is. I'm not just talking about firefighting, but about maturity and leadership. When I had my final interview the chief told me that he was in the bussiness of hiring future leaders, not just firefighters. So what I'm saying is, be confident in your abilities. Sell yourself and your experience. Captain bob is right when he says that there is no waythat a younger, less experienced cantidate can match your experience. You have to ask yourself how bad do I want it? What do I have to do to get it? Make a game plan. Resarch the departmentthat you are trying to get on, and act on that info. Do ride alonds and network. I was out of the navy for only nine months when I got hired. I got lucky, but I was also hungry for the job.

          Comment


          • #6
            Capt. Bob and zedlav are absolutely correct. Your attitude and your hunger for the job is key.

            I would put down every cert you have on that one-page resume', even if you have to use a tiny little font to squeeze it in! The board will see it on there and if they have questions about them, they will ask you. When you give your opening statement ("Tell us about yourself"), you should have an outline in your head that you've practiced over and over and over. This is the time to say that you were a firefighter in the Air Force (I'm assuming, I was an AF FF at Eglin from '90-'91 and Eielson from '91-'94) and what you did there (firefighter, engineer, company officer, haz-mat team, etc.). I wouldn't talk about the actual certs unless they asked, because a lot of the DOD certs don't have a direct civilian equivalent and the board might not know what it is (i.e. a P-19 school cert).

            When I got out of the Air Force, I thought I would get hired right away. I had a rude awakening! Luckily, I got Capt. Bob's audio tapes (I know this sounds like one of those bad infomercials) not long after I had started testing. I saw all of the things I was doing wrong in my interviews, and was able to correct them. I listened to those tapes everytime I drove my car.

            Make no mistake about it, you are making a salespitch. You need to rehearse that interview so many times that the answers just naturally roll off of your tongue. You'll know that you've practiced it enough when you actually feel relaxed in your interview.

            Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions or b.s. about Air Force stuff.

            [ 08-22-2001: Message edited by: NoCalFireman ]
            Living the dream...

            Comment


            • #7
              There is a way to place all your professional experience and education on a one page resume without reducing the fount. The secret "Nugget" is to put your education and certs in two or three columns without the date and school.

              The dilemma is shall I have a short or long answer for the typical opening question "Tell us a little about yourself".
              Remember "a little". This is just an ice breaker question to get you comfortable in the chair. A one minute or less answer about you and your hobbies is all that is needed here. They don't need your name (they already have it) and NEVER tell them your age (they don't have that and never will until you're hired). A "Nugget" here: If they look baffled after your short answer, ask if they want more. They usually won't.

              Most candidates make a big error on this question by dumping the whole load on why they want to be a firefighter, what they have done to prepare, why this city and on and on. That's not what this question is about. It's only to get you comfortable in the chair. Then, when the panel starts asking why they want to be a firefighter, what have they done to prepare and the other standard 30 possible oral board questions, they have to reiterate what they have already said. They lose valuable time and points here.

              When some candidates start talking in an oral, it’s like going on a journey. There could be no final destination. Most panel members aren’t packed for the trip. I asked a candidate to tell me a little about himself during private coaching one day. I stopped him 12 minutes later. I said you have just used up 12 minutes of a 20 minute oral. What do you think we have time for now?

              "Absolutely Nothing counts until you have a real BADGE . . . Nothing!

              How would you like to get ahead of the curve with the cutting edge interview skills to get that badge? Then you want to sign up to receive Fire "Captain Bob's" exclusive information rich FREE e-mail FireZine Newsletter off the job page of the web site www.eatstress.com

              "Captain Bob"

              [ 08-23-2001: Message edited by: Captain Bob Smith ]

              [ 08-23-2001: Message edited by: Captain Bob Smith ]

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