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“How should I post my technical rescue courses on my resume?”

We get asked quite often “How I should list technical rescue courses on my resume?”.  Without trying to deal with always and nevers, we normally suggest a format similar to this and we will explain why.  

Recommended format should be similar to this:

Company Name, NFPA standard (as on certificate), Discipline 

     Level achieved                                                         MM/YYYY

     Level achieved                                                         MM/YYYY

Example: 

RS Rescue, NFPA 1670, Vehicle Extrication

     Awareness Level                                                03/2016 or Mar/2016

     Operations Level                                               03/2016

*What ever your date format you decide, keep it the same throughout your resume.

If you are listing different technical rescue disciplines from the same company:

RS Rescue 

     NFPA 1670, Vehicle Extrication 

          Awareness Level                                             03/2016

          Operations Level                                            03/2016

     NFPA 1006, Machinery Rescue

          Level 1                                                               11/2015

Question: “Should I list all my NFPA certificates or just the highest level achieved?”

Answer: If you have a certificate that is NFPA compliant, list it on your resume.  Some may assume that if you have a technician level certificate, that you have the awareness and operations level as well. Unless you can provide a certificate for all levels, you won’t receive the marks for it.

We have been told by several fire service reps over the years that listing the NFPA standard on your resume is very important.  Often times, an HR rep is reviewing your resume, and not a fire service rep.  These representatives will have a criteria to follow when scoring your resume.  Now you may know your certificate reads NFPA compliant, but unless you list it, you may not be receiving credit for it.  

I have personally received phone calls from senior fire service reps, from various fire departments, stating that the person they interviewed recently did not receive marks for courses they had taken.  One of those phone calls was in between candidate interviews.  This was because they did not do something as simple as mark down the NFPA standard on their resume.  Ultimately, the candidate could have received a higher resume score, and hence, an interview sooner.

Few recommend tips for your resume:

  1. Don’t lie.  We know people…
  2. Change your ridiculous email address
  3. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical issues
  4. Identity accomplishments, not job descriptions

Make it easy for the rep who is reviewing it.  You should have a  standard format which will make it easy to read.  You want the person reviewing it to be able to read it, find the marks you have worked hard for, and allocate them accordingly to your resume.  Your resume should be a reflection of you.  The amount of time you spend on it will be apparent when it is reviewed.  Take the time to make your first impression a good one!