Upon receiving an application form to join the Fire and Rescue Service, the applicant must be aware of the importance of reading and completing the form correctly and accurately. Up to 90% of applicants are unsuccessful at this initial stage due to simply not following the instructions provided on the application form.
The Fire and Rescue Service receives thousands of applications, each of which are carefully screened until only a small percentage remain therefore it is recommended that the time is taken to ensure careful consideration is given to each and every answer you provide.
This is the first impression that the Fire Service will have of you and it needs to stand out from the rest of the many applicants. As well as providing your personal details such as previous employment and qualifications, you will also be required to answer questions explaining why you feel suitable for the role of a Firefighter.
Although the competition is high and your application needs to stand out from the rest of the applicants it is very important not to provide misleading information or lie. It’s likely that you will be found out and dismissed. Ensure that the application form is sent well ahead of the closing date and that you retain a copy of the completed form to use as a reference. You may wish to look through the answers you provided prior to attending the interview.
Following these simple guidelines will help you in completing the application form and prevent you from making mistakes;
• Carefully read through the whole form and make sure you understand all the instructions and questions before you begin filling it out.
• Read the instructions given as to which colour ink to use and whether to fill out in Block Capitals. If the instructions require the form to be filled out in black ink and at first glance it is obvious that blue ink has been used. This is likely to lead to an instant fail.
• Before answering any questions on your suitability for the role of a Firefighter, such as areas in which you have demonstrated certain skills or abilities, write out your answer on a separate sheet of paper until you feel that the answer you have given covers the areas required and catches the reader’s attention. Some questions may also be looking for answers which prove the applicant has carried out research on the Fire and Rescue Service.
• Check your spelling and punctuation is correct, then check again or have someone else check. Another idea is to type out your draft answers on a word document on a computer which already has a spell check built in and corrects punctuation for you.
• Do not leave blank spaces. Forgetting to fill out a required field could lead to an instant fail.
• Carry out research into what personal qualities and attributes (PQA’S) the Fire and Rescue Service look for in applicants.
• Practice filling the application form out by making copies of it, this will give you an idea as to how large or small your writing should be as to ensure your answer fits in the area provided etc.
Remember this is the only chance you have of getting to the next stage, so take your time and do the best you can. Good Luck…