If responding to emergencies and saving lives is your calling, a firefighter position is waiting for you. Trained firefighters are needed to handle medical crisis, wild and home fires and a variety of other emergencies. So how do you land this job and start making a big impact in your community?
It all starts with this firefighter resume example. We'll show you how to highlight your strengths and write a resume that makes the fire chief excited to have you on the brigade. Here's what you'll learn in the rest of this guide along with our firefighter resume sample:
- How to write a great firefighter resume for today's job market
- The best format for firefighter resume samples
- Tips to make your experience and achievements shine
- Formatting ideas for a professional presentation
We hope our firefighter resume sample will help you land your next position. But for more inspiration, you can always check out our 250+ other resume examples.
What does a firefighter do?
Firefighters are first responders who work to protect others in emergency situations such as fires, vehicle accidents, and other hazardous situations. Firefighters perform safety inspections, respond to emergency calls, and handle various emergency situations where their expertise is needed. It is essential that firefighters maintain an updated knowledge of paramedic and firefighter knowledge, allowing them to be highly prepared in the event of an emergency.
Firefighters are required to follow a comprehensive checklist for safety inspections to ensure all building systems, where safety is a concern, have systems that meet safety standards. A firefighter should possess excellent analytical thinking skills and superior physical stamina due to the heavy equipment and strenuous situations they work with. An ideal candidate holds at least a high school diploma or equivalent and has the proper professional training required to become a firefighter.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for firefighters will grow by 6 percent over the coming decade – faster than average for other professions. While the number of domestic fires is (thankfully!) decreasing, firefighters will still be needed to respond to medical emergencies, wildfires and other environmental disasters.
Don't forget to check out our other resume examples from the security and protective services category:
How to write a firefighter resume
A winning firefighter resume should highlight one’s passion for public service, as well as their dependability. Your community is counting on you to protect them so a commitment to the role is key for a firefighter resume. Here are the most important sections for your resume, taken from our firefighter resume sample.
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
A firefighter resume should showcase a variety of qualities that prove one’s ability to work actively in the prevention and fight against fires, as well as in other emergency situations. Firefighters should be adept in minimizing fire damage and injuries by responding to alarms, operating firetrucks and equipment, combating and extinguishing fires, and rescuing and reviving people in emergency situations. It is important that firefighters follow safety policies and procedures to maximize safety efforts. The ideal candidate works well in a team and has excellent emotional control.
Choosing the best resume format for firefighters
If you've only ever heard of one resume format, you wouldn't be alone. Most people are aware of the reverse chronological resume format which starts with your current or most recent position and works backwards until you've listed all relevant experience. This is the best resume format choice for career firefighters who have worked in a variety of departments and want to highlight their many years of service. This is the format you'll find on our firefighter resume sample.
However, if you are making a career change or applying to a volunteer firefighter position, you may want to consider a combination resume format. This format begins with an "Experience" section which highlights any skills, relevant training or areas of expertise related to firefighting. Below, you can continue with a shorter Employment History section to show either your firefighting experience or your positions in another field.
How long should my resume be? It's a common question that gets more challenging as you advance in your career. In general, people with less than 10 years of experience should stick to a one page resume. This length is most commonly preferred by hiring managers since they have limited time. Condensing your experience to the most important points also helps make sure they take the time to read it and don't give up halfway through a wordy resume. However, if you're a career firefighting veteran who has had multiple leadership positions, awards and accolades, you may opt for a two page resume if it's the only way to convey the depth of your experience.
Profile summary example
Your summary, also called a profile, is one of the few places on your resume that you'll be able to speak directly to the fire chief or hiring manager. The goal here is to highlight your biggest accomplishments and attributes while saving the details for later on. Remember to use as many powerful action verbs and job specific information as you can. Firefighters have an enormous responsibility to keep the public safe, so it is important that your resume portrays you in the best possible light.
You should also aim to describe yourself and your professional demeanor in a few words in your summary. Make sure to highlight any relevant training or certifications as well. Check out this text from our firefighter resume example for more info.
Dedicated and passionate firefighter with over five years of experience working towards fire prevention and protection. Bringing forth extensive knowledge of safety protocols and firefighter procedures as well as basic emergency response protocols. Experience providing aid to victims of disaster including fires, car accidents, and other high risk situations. Adept at using sound knowledge and experience to accurately assess a situation and move forward with a logical plan of mediation. Proven track record of superior performance and a clear dedication to the safety of people everywhere.
Firefighter employment history sample
The employment history section of your firefighter resume is the best place to prove that you have the necessary skills and experiences to success in the role. List all positions relevant to the work of a firefighter, or positions that have transferable duties and/or required skills necessary for a firefighter position. Add importance to each bullet point by describing your duties with powerful action verbs, numbers, facts and statistics.
Check out the employment history section from our firefighter resume example below.
- Responded to all emergency calls and followed safety protocols.
- Performed fire prevention and fire suppression duties as needed.
- Used sound judgment and analytical thinking skills to respond to emergency situations.
- Handled high risk situations with a sense of calm and careful thought.
- Maintained department equipment and vehicles.
- Worked collaboratively with my team members to best serve the public.
- Mentored and trained new firefighters and supervised them during emergency responses.
Firefighter resume education section
Firefighters need to hold at least a high school diploma or equivalent, so the education section is the best place to list this. If you hold a bachelor's degree or higher, you may leave your high school off your resume. The education section is also the place to mention any certification or training you've completed related to the firefighter position. Paramedic knowledge will highly increase your chances of landing the job, so make sure to include it here.
Check out this excerpt from our firefighter resume sample to see the best way to format your education section.
1999-2003 Harrison High School, High School Diploma Harrison, NY 2003-2004 New York State Fire Academy, National Certification New York
Skills Section Example
Your skills are some of the most important assets you bring to the firefighting job so the skills section is the place to show them off. This section is best suited for skills that can be described in just a few words. In order to be considered a strong candidate you must present yourself as a hardworking and physically able person, who has excellent judgment and a commitment to service. Be sure to include a mixture of hard and soft skills as seen in our firefighter resume example below.
- Fire Safety
- First Aid
- Team management
- Arson Investigation
- Careful listening
- Emergency Medical Knowledge
CV layout and design
Firefighting may be a manual profession, but that doesn't mean you can leave your CV layout and design to chance. Hiring managers are expecting polished layouts that exhibit clean design. You don't need to go overboard with fancy colors or graphics – in fact, a neutral color palette and well-organized layout is the best choice for firefighter CVs. If you need help getting started, check out one of our resume templates.
One of the most important aspects of your layout is an attractive header that houses your name and contact information. Since it's located right at the top of the page, it will help to grab a hiring manager's attention and draw them into the rest of your firefighter resume.
Here are some more taken from the layout of our firefighter resume example.
- Create a good balance of white space to text
- Use common section heading names like "Education" and "Skills"
- Choose a template that is easy to read
- Use more than 1-2 different fonts on your resume
- Create a resume longer than one page unless you're a career veteran
- Forget to proofread before submitting
Key takeaways for a firefighter resume
- A strong resume is key to land a position in the quickly growing field of firefighting.
- Make sure to describe both your most important achievements and your professional personality in your summary section.
- Check out our firefighter resume sample for the best way to format your employment history bullet points.
- Don't forget to include some soft skills as well as any medical training you may have in your skills section.
- A great CV layout goes a long way in catching a hiring manager's attention so keep yours organized and attractive.