4 Things That Could Automatically Disqualify You From Promotion in the Fire Service

Deciding to take the leap and apply for a promotion in the fire service can be a very exciting time in your life. Don’t let that firefighter promotion slip away from you by doing one of these four things that automatically disqualify you.

  1. Don’t Meet Minimum Requirements

It seems like a no brainer that if you don’t meet the minimum qualifications for a job you don’t apply. However, it happens more than you may think for a myriad of reasons. You could misread the application requirements and miss one or more of them and apply without realizing it. Some people think the written qualifications don’t matter and apply knowing full well they do not meet them hoping something else on their resume or in their experience will get them the job, but I assure you, it will not. Take your time to read the job posting thoroughly, more than once, and wait to apply until you meet every requirement they stipulate on the application. A fire officer needs to be confident in their skills, but not overly so that they think they can get promoted when they don’t even meet the minimum qualifications. 

  1. Incomplete Application

Another way to get thrown out of the running for promotion in the fire service is an incomplete application. Go over the application, like you did the job posting, several times to make sure it is filled out completely and correctly. Having an incomplete application shows a lack of attention to details, which is not something that is desired of an officer and those doing the hiring will likely just throw it out without giving it a second glance. 

  1. Fail the Written Exam

Another way to get out of the running for promotion in the fire service is failing the written exam. Every department has their minimum score requirements established and if you do not meet that minimum requirement you are no longer in the running for promotion. Don’t worry though, you are able to take the test more than once and can try again during the next round of promotions. The written exam is not easy and if you want to pass it you must take it seriously and get to work on studying for it as soon as you sign up for promotion. Don’t think you can learn it all in one night because you will fail if you do that. 

  1. Fail the Assessment Center

The last way you would instantly get disqualified for promotion is if you fail the assessment center. The written exam is a portion of the assessment center, but there are other aspects as well such as physical exercises, emergency simulations and so on. If you do not pass any portion of the assessment center you are no longer in the running for promotion. You must take every step of the promotion process seriously and give it your all if you want to pass the testing portion at the assessment center. Remember, when it comes down to it, a huge part of the assessment is also attitude. Skill and physical ability are critical for the job but they are also judging your leadership skills, organizational skills, communication skills, professionalism, and so on. 

The Takeaway

Getting promoted in the fire service is a process. There are so many steps, it is easy to make a mistake and get yourself knocked out of the running for promotion. Take it slow, have confidence in yourself and do your best. If it doesn’t go as planned the first time around, there will be an opportunity to try again.