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Making yourself stand out

There are hundreds of enthusiastic and suitable applicants for every firefighter job, so what can you do to make sure you stand out from the rest? Here are some recommendations.

  • Volunteer for a charity or community group. This can be in your local area or as part of travel/ overseas volunteering. Volunteering in your local community shows your awareness of, and sensitivity to, the vulnerabilities of diverse groups, and gives you an opportunity to gain experience with interacting people who are different from yourself who need support and understanding. These are important skills to be able to demonstrate as a firefighter applicant.
  • Look into opportunities to visit a local station for an open day or to shadow a firefighter. Some FRS make a familiarisation visit available as part of their recruitment process, particularly for under-represented group.
  • Reflect on your current work experience– are there elements of your existing role which are relevant to the role of firefighter? If you aren’t sure how to assess this, our Application workbook will be able to help you. If you aren’t sure that your work experience to date allows you to show similar skills to those needed by firefighters (not technical skills, but personal such as problem solving, team work or providing support to vulnerable people) make sure your next role will give you more suitable experience which you can draw on in your application and interview.
  • Learn about the firefighter Personal Skills and Qualities (PQAs), values and competencies. We have a whole section on this so don’t worry if you aren’t sure what these are.
  • Use the help we provide to make sure you are the very best candidate possible. We can help you by advising you on how to correctly complete your application form. Our advice isn’t the same as you will find elsewhere. We will help you understand how to present your experiences in a way that matches what the FRS is looking for, we will explain how you need to structure your answers and help you chose the right experience to match the questions. All of these things are very easy to get wrong, and most people do. By preparing properly you will avoid making superficial mistakes and put you in a strong position to be selected to become a firefighter.


Next Page: Firefighter Career Development

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