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Firefighter Cover Letter Example

Use this Firefighter cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Firefighter positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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Firefighter Cover Letter Example
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Getting a job as a firefighter can be a long and often bureaucratic process, but just as in most jobs, it starts with a great firefighter application. And we don’t mean a winning resume alone. To come out blazing in the eyes of hiring managers, you need a firefighter cover letter that will help you climb the ladder. Resume.io is a good place to start, with job search resources that include more than 180 occupation-specific writing guides and corresponding cover letter examples .

The cover letter example and guide, specifically for firefighters, will aim to:

  • Provide context in terms of the job role and outlook for firefighters
  • Convey why a firefighter cover letter is important
  • Outline the correct cover letter format, and advice how to optimize each section: header, greeting, introduction, middle paragraphs and closing
  • Address how firefighters with no experience can write a cover letter
  • Touch on psychological factors you can leverage to win over recruiters and hiring managers with your writing
  • Help you avoid common cover letter mistakes
How to write a cover letter - expert guide [2022]
Related article
How to write a cover letter - expert guide [2022]

Here is exactly how you can write a cover letter that will stand out from the crowd, and help you land that interview.

Role and job outlook for firefighters

Congratulations and thank you for your service as a firefighter! You are a first responder and we are grateful. Firefighters end up in the news when wildfires rage or disaster strikes, but you are on call and working behind the scenes even in your “down time.” Safety inspections, fire training, physical fitness training and fire station maintenance are all part of your job description. And, yes, you may even be called on to get a cat (or a dog) out of a tree.

Statistical insight
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the median income for firefighters in May 2020 was $52,500.
  • The same source indicates there were 317,200 U.S. firefighters employed in 2010. That number is expected to increase by 8% to 344,100 by 2030 — a growth rate consistent with the occupational average.

Why a cover letter is important

Within your resume, you must stick closely to a format that does not allow for much individualization, other than in the summary. But what distinguishes you from all the other candidates who want the same firefighting position? It’s your cover letter! This is your chance to introduce yourself to the hiring manager and highlight the firefighting skills and experience that make you the right fit for the job. It’s an opportunity you can’t afford to miss.

In fact, simply not bothering to write a cover letter could get your firefighter resume thrown in the trash. A Harris Poll found that 10% of hiring managers consider not including a cover letter in your application as a deal-breaker.

Take advantage of the ideas and inspiration you can gain from looking at these other cover letter examples and writing guides in our security & protective services category.

Best format for a firefighter cover letter

What do you put into a cover letter? Excellent question. A good application letter for firefighters, or virtually any other occupation, will have the same basic components. Here are the elements that a good format for a firefighter cover letter should include:

  • Cover letter header
  • Greeting
  • Cover letter introduction
  • Cover letter middle paragraphs (body)
  • Conclusion and sign-off.

This firefighter cover letter example is a good jumping-off point to start writing your own application document:

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Howell,

My three years at Carson County Fire Department taught me that you can never be too prepared when you respond to a call out. I can count the tragic fatalities on one hand, but each one has redoubled my determination to be the best I can be every time I go out.

Having personally responded to 2,000+ emergency situations, from forest fires and chemical spillages to traffic accidents and residential blazes, my training and experience have led me to make the right decisions in the right circumstances for myself, for my team and for those that require our assistance.

Having grown up as the son of a firefighter, it was a proud day when I received my Associate Degree in Fire Science from Brookson Community College. I started at the bottom at Carson and worked my way up to Senior Firefighter over three years, passing my EMT and First Responder certifications and receiving state recognition for my work on a number of occasions — for my work in school education and industrial fire safety awareness.

I keep myself in top physical condition by taking part in Ironman triathlons and all manner of state firefighting sports events. I love to compete (with others and with myself) and am always striving to become mentally and physically fitter.

My knowledge of hazardous materials handling, emergency medicine and rescue techniques evolved with every call out and I learned from one of the most decorated fire chiefs in the service. He drilled all manner of fire-fighting methodologies into his team and I soaked up the knowledge in addition to the stories that my father told as I was growing up.

Becoming a Howard County firefighter would be an honor to match anything that I achieved in my life to date. I would love the chance to discuss what skills I would bring to your team.

Sincerely,

Jamie Fulton

Copied!

You may prefer to use this cover letter sample simply for vague inspiration, or you can copy-paste and edit to your heart’s content. The choice is yours. 

Now we’ll take a closer look at each section, with advice for achieving the strongest impact.

Cover letter header

Back in olden times when snail mail was the norm, you would include all your contact information in a neat and graphically pleasing header at the top of your cover letter. Those days are (mostly) gone, but don’t give in to the temptation to exclude the header, since you most likely will be attaching your firefighter cover letter to an email. 

Besides distinguishing yourself visually from other firefighter applicants, the header has an important practical purpose. Your application materials may get printed out and passed from one manager to another. In that process, a piece may get separated from your file. If that document has your name and contact information on it, it will be easy for hiring managers to replace it. If not, it’s likely to end up in the trash and your file will be missing your cover letter.

On the chance that you are mailing a letter, your header should follow the same guidelines. 

Expert tip

Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for recruiters to contact you. That means your phone number and email are prominently displayed on your cover letter as well as your resume. Consider using a bit of eye-catching color to make this information stand out even more, but don’t get too flashy. 

Goal of the cover letter header: Set you apart visually from other firefighter candidates and make your cover letter easier to retrieve and keep together with other application documents.

Cover letter greeting

Also known as a salutation, this is the “Dear Xxxxxx,” part of your firefighter cover letter. But don’t underestimate the power of these few words. People like to be addressed by name; it creates an instant connection. Take extra care with gender. If you are not sure whether the recruiter is male or female, default to using their full name.or example: “Dear Terry King.”

Career coach and author Martin Yate suggests several different ways to address the hiring manager in your firefighter cover letter – all of them begin with “Dear.” If you cannot find the name of the hiring manager or your application is going to a hiring committee, you may say “Dear [name of employer] Hiring Committee,”. Do not fall back on the old-fashioned “To Whom It May Concern.” unless you’re completely sure the hiring decision-maker appreciates this kind of overly-formal language. 

Expert tip

Here are five ways to find out to whom you should address your letter:

  1. Look on the company’s website
  2. Make a phone call to the company (and ask for the correct spelling of the person’s name)
  3. Search online on LinkedIn or an industry website
  4. Read the job listing to see if contact information is included
  5. Research who you would be reporting to and use that person’s name.

Goal of the cover letter greeting: Establish a professional connection with the employer in a manner that’s friendly but not overly familiar.

Below is the greeting from our firefighter cover letter example.

Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Mr. Howell,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

Imagine you are at a social gathering and want to introduce yourself to a new person. Would you walk up to them and say, “I am approaching you because I want to introduce myself”? No, you would not! The same rule applies to your firefighter cover letter introduction, so do not start with “I am writing to apply …. .” The hiring manager knows you are writing to apply or you wouldn’t have answered the job ad.

Just as you want to grab the interest of the person at the party, you want to pique the interest of the hiring manager. So start with a sentence that identifies the job you’re seeking and offers an early glimpse at your qualifications. The introduction sets the tone for your cover letter, so keep it professional, but friendly.

Here’s a cover letter sample that showcases an expanded introduction, as opposed to an overly short and lackluster one:

Do

As a 5-year veteran of forest firefighting, I have the experience to lead your fire prevention efforts.

Don't

I would love to have a job working with your forest fire agency.

Goal of the cover letter introduction: Pique the reader’s interest with a glimpse at your strongest qualifications as a firefighter.

Here’s the introduction from our firefighter cover letter sample.

Adaptable cover letter sample introduction

My three years at Carson County Fire Department taught me that you can never be too prepared when you respond to a call out. I can count the tragic fatalities on one hand, but each one has redoubled my determination to be the best I can be every time I go out.

Copied!

Cover letter middle paragraphs (body of the letter)

The body of your cover letter is the meat between the bread of your introduction and conclusion. It is here, in these two or three paragraphs, that you show where there’s smoke, there’s fire. You’ve sparked interest with a tidbit about your skills and now you are going to describe your experiences and successes as a firefighter. 

Stick with one or two success stories that highlight the skills listed in the posted job description. in the job listing. One method for writing about these achievements is known by the acronym STAR, which stands for “Situation, Task, Action, Result.” The similar CAR method simplifies this model into “Context, Action, Result.”

A huge part of your job as a firefighter has nothing to do with fighting fires. You will be working and living with a team of firefighters on long shifts of 12 to 24 hours. Many firefighters work on a “24-48” schedule in which they work for 24 hours and have 48 hours off.

Why do we mention this? Because you need to do more than tell the hiring manager why you are the best person for the job. You have to prove that you can get along with different personalities in close quarters, all within a 200-400 word letter. Consider using a sentence or two to talk about your style within the fire station.

Expert tip

Review your resume and avoid repeating yourself. Your cover letter should not be a summary of that document, but rather enhance it by mentioning different skills or experiences.

Goal of the cover letter body: Elaborate on how this employer would benefit from your contributions on its firefighting team.

Our firefighter cover letter sample illustrates what you might include in the middle part.

Adaptable cover letter body example

Having personally responded to 2,000+ emergency situations, from forest fires and chemical spillages to traffic accidents and residential blazes, my training and experience have led me to make the right decisions in the right circumstances for myself, for my team and for those that require our assistance.

Having grown up as the son of a firefighter, it was a proud day when I received my Associate Degree in Fire Science from Brookson Community College. I started at the bottom at Carson and worked my way up to Senior Firefighter over three years, passing my EMT and First Responder certifications and receiving state recognition for my work on a number of occasions — for my work in school education and industrial fire safety awareness.

I keep myself in top physical condition by taking part in Ironman triathlons and all manner of state firefighting sports events. I love to compete (with others and with myself) and am always striving to become mentally and physically fitter.

My knowledge of hazardous materials handling, emergency medicine and rescue techniques evolved with every call out and I learned from one of the most decorated fire chiefs in the service. He drilled all manner of fire-fighting methodologies into his team and I soaked up the knowledge in addition to the stories that my father told as I was growing up.

Copied!

How to end a firefighter cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

You’ve detailed why you are the best firefighter for the job, and now you have to wrap up. In your cover letter conclusion, you must show that you are eager for next steps by including a call to action. Your goal, of course, is to get an interview, so let the hiring manager know that. Mention how excited you are about the position and let recruiters know you would love to hear from them. Repeat your contact information if space allows.

Finally, add your signature with a closing salutation such as “Sincerely” or “Best Regards.” 

Goal of the cover letter closing: End on a positive, enthusiastic note with a call to action that implies some expectation that the employer will follow up.

Below is the closing section of our sample firefighter letter.

Adaptable cover letter closing example

Becoming a Howard County firefighter would be an honor to match anything that I achieved in my life to date. I would love the chance to discuss what skills I would bring to your team.

Sincerely,

Jamie Fulton

Copied!

Firefighter cover letter with no experience

You have all the firefighter training you need and have passed the written exam, but you haven’t actually picked up a hose as a fire department employee. How do you write a cover letter with no experience?

Here are some tips:

  • Focus on the skills you developed in school or training such as excellent organization, calm under pressure and communication
  • Infuse your letter with enthusiasm for your chosen career and explain why you want to work as a firefighter
  • Play up your volunteer experience
Expert tip

Staying calm

Firefighters are required to go through psychological evaluation to determine whether they will be able to withstand the stress of the job. Firefighting is often listed among the most stressful jobs, so one great piece of information to put into your cover letter is how you manage stress. 

Frontline Responder Services recommends focused-stress relief activities among other methods. You don’t have to go into great detail, but if you play a sport or regularly do yoga or meditate, add a sentence about those routines in your firefighter cover letter to show that you understand the importance of stress-management.

How to write a cover letter with no experience
Related article
How to write a cover letter with no experience

When you don’t have much experience in the field you’re applying to, writing a cover letter can feel like a daunting task. While you might be tempted to submit your application without one, that would be a big mistake.

Writing psychology: tips and tricks for creating your firefighter cover letter

You’re a person of action and writing may seem daunting. So how do you write a convincing firefighter cover letter in one page? Remember that writers don’t simply start typing, get to the end and walk away. They brainstorm, take notes, develop a structure and decide on a tone. You should do the same. 

Consider asking friends or colleagues how they would describe you and incorporate those strong words in your cover letter. Feel free to Google synonyms to avoid repeating the same words too many times.

Creative Circle’s “5 Writing Tips for Non-writers” suggests writing for short attention spans, or in your case, busy hiring managers. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Get to the point and get out. It also suggests writing the way you talk. That is a great place to start, but remember that you need to strike a slightly more formal tone. 

Use a blend of emotional appeal and hard facts to impress hiring managers.

Here’s a cover letter example of effective writing within the “rational+emotional” method:

I was that child who was fascinated by fire trucks. I have wanted to be a firefighter since I was 4 and I have never wavered in that goal. In the first three years of my career in the San Francisco Bay Area, I fought the Mendocino Complex and North Complex wildfires in addition to answering 25 building fire calls.

Mistakes to avoid in a firefighter cover letter

You’re trying to ignite your firefighter career, and you need a great cover letter. Silly mistakes and oversights are the last things you can afford. Here are some issue to avoid:

  • You don’t customize your letter for each job. A generic firefighter cover letter won’t make the grade. Show you read the job listing and understand the issues unique to the municipality or district to which you are applying.
     
  • You get too casual. Sure, we all may have an image of firefighter chili cook-offs and basketball games during downtime, but firefighting is serious business, so use a tone that matches.
     
  • You leave too little white space. Ending each paragraph at the far margin, or creating paragraphs that are more than about five lines, makes for big blocks of text. White space makes your cover letter easier to read. Using professional tools is your best way to make sure you get this right.
     
  • You use a different style for your resume and cover letter. Keep it consistent. A common visual style not only looks neater, but will help prevent your materials from getting separated as they are passed from hand to hand.
     
  • Formatting errors and bad fonts. Many text editors will result in buggy letter formats and strange-looking headers. Even the choice of font can be problematic. The cover letter templates and builder tool we offer at resume.io are your best bet to sidestep all these problems.
Expert tip

If you aren’t someone who knows all the nitpicky details of grammar, have a trusted colleague, family member or friend proofread. In fact, even if you are grammar-wise, it’s always good to have a second set of eyes on your firefighter cover letter. A typos could eliminate you from the running for the job. Laszlo Bock, the former Senior VP of People Operations at Google, called typos the number one mistake that will trash your candidacy. Alternatively, choose a cover letter builder that has a grammar checker function.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your firefighter cover letter offers you the opportunity to show how your personality will mesh with the other firefighters at the station.
  2. Make sure you get personal by addressing your letter to an individual.
  3. Use a blend of emotional and factual information to connect to the hiring manager.
  4. Match the design of your cover letter to your resume for consistency and make sure you proofread!

Now you’re ready to create your professional firefighter cover letter and land that job. Resume.io makes the process easy with our expertly-designed templates and the firefighter cover letter sample covered in this guide. 

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Build your cover letter in minutes
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
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Build your cover letter in minutes
Build your cover letter in minutes
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
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