300 people minimum apply for 10 available spots, each at least as qualified as the last. You don't have to spend long on this forum to realize that EVERYONE here is vying for the same thing as you...and you have to outshine 97% of them!
But how are you going to do that? What does it take?
One word: Hunger.
How hungry are you?
The majority of my clientele have had this in common: they get caught up on worries like "I don't have a trade," and "I don't live in an area where I could be a voly," but spend little to no time covering THE BASICS. The basics are literally the cheapest, easiest, most "old-school" options, and often the most effective.
Have you taken your 1031 or 1035? How many times have you volunteered with the service on the top of your list? - Does the Chief know you by name?.
Making an impression takes less (courses) and more (personal effort) at the same time.
Here is an example of what your competition is doing:
One client of mine, let's call him Pete, is volunteering with his top service at least once a month. He's even gotten creative by creating a Twitter account, posting photos of himself volunteering and tagging the Chief, the Association, and other firefighters. Through station visits, which he also does once a month, Pete has met almost the entire fleet of firefighters, and he always asks smart, humble questions.
If this sounds over-the-top, get over yourself. THIS personal touch is exactly what is needed nowadays that basically everyone looks the same on paper. In all honesty, if the idea of making a hall visit makes you uncomfortable, then your passion is lacking, and you should re-evaluate whether or not this career is really for you. It is a public service position (aka frequent public interaction), and vapid introversion is not a desirable trait in applicants. Being timid will also likely cause you workplace stress and compounding job dissatisfaction over time, both major contributors to PTSD (a real and increasing crisis in all front-line, emergency responders).
Now, I'm not suggesting that everyone hop on the Twitter train and start creating accounts, I'm merely saying that this kind of creativity and physical presence is a very effective means to get your name out there and to be remembered. Another simple way? Career Expos.
The competition isn't getting any less challenging, so make it easier on yourself by focusing more on the interpersonal and get hired in 2019.
If you feel you need more advice to get hired, a brutally honest resume review, or a kick-in-the-butt, reach out to me through this link.
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