So, you want to be a career firefighter? Be careful what you write! It could cost you a job...

Just a note here regarding the use of Facebook, MySpace, FFN, etc. in case you are working toward becoming a career firefighter...

Anything that you say, post, share, or comment on will be read by someone from personnel or human resources when conducting routine firefighter background checks. This is becoming the standard when making subjective decsions about a persons morals and character. Who you associate with is also evaluated so be careful who your friends are as well. The job is much too valuable for you to loose from careless instant messaging, blogging, or posts.

So, what is appropriate content for your website? How can you use the FFN and other sites for your personal benefit? Read on folks and make sure that your image matches the person you want to be seen as. The FFN staff is pretty good about what they do and do not allow as far as content but MySpace, Facebook and other sites have a tendency to be much more personal so be careful what you write!

Here's an example from the internet of the kinds of things that can be found about yourself on the internet now:

One in four managers now ‘Google’ potential employees and 51% of applications were rejected because of what was found.

When asked to divulge the types of information discovered on the Web that caused them to dismiss potential employees, hiring managers pointed to the following:

31% - candidate lied about qualifications
25% - candidate had poor communication skills
24% - candidate was linked to criminal behavior
19% - candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee
19% - candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs
15% - candidate shared confidential information from previous employers
12% - candidate lied about an absence
11% - candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs
08% - candidate’s screen name was unprofessional

Hiring managers said the following information discovered on the Web helped to confirm their decision to hire a candidate:

64% - candidate’s background information supported their professional job qualifications
40% - candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests
34% - candidate had great communication skills
31% - candidate’s site conveyed a professional image
31% - got a good feel for the candidate’s personality, could see a good fit within the department culture
23% - other people posted great references about the candidate
23% - candidate was creative
19% - candidate received awards and accolades

It's not hard Googling (for employee, business or general research reasons) e-mail addresses, names, businesses. That’s the case for other employers too. Most of them search your name in the search engines, trying to find online references and discussions, simply because they know how to do it and because they found that this works brilliantly to their advantage. Those online references make his decision about you easier and shed some impartial light on his opinion about you (other than your interview or CV references).

So be careful what you write on the Internet. If your CV states that you are qualified to do something and your employer finds you on the Internet asking how to do those things (or how to search inbound links in Google) or swearing and harassing people for no reason (like I have been soooo... tempted to do but don't) that won’t be in your best advantage right ? … Again seize the moment and use the FFN as a tool, a kind of billboard to who you are. Same goes for other sites. Learn from others, be polite and be humble.

The best quote I have ever heard on this subject was from Death Valley Scotty who passed away January 24, 1954... (my birthday...) This quote is written on his gravestone and stands true 55 years later...

"don't complain, don't explain, don't ever say anything bad about no one and never give advise because no one ever listens anyway..."

original link - click here

Good luck if your endeavors are working as a career firefighter!


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Very good words to the wise.
hopefully more of a roadmap for folks new to using online sites... hope your world rocks Oldman. TCSS, Mike
Never under estimate the power of the internet.
Pretty good Mike, but I don't know that I'd have posted the information. After all, it's telling people that we might not want in the service to effectively start lying any time they're posting on the net! Then again, if they do lie and so come across OK, then it'll make things nicer for the rest of us here! Of course, those that are generally OK, but get a bit silly sometimes, might just wake up a bit...
The City of Bozeman, Montana has publicly stated they are doing more
Great point, we've dismissed a couple volunteers for things posted on their MySpace in the past. Then there was the whole wearing dept turnout gear on Halloween while on a pub crawl! He denied it till the photos from the internet were shown to him. Do stupid things and a career position isn't the only thing you will lose.
Mike, words of wonder and delight. Thanks for sharing Bro. Hopefully many will read and understand that what we say and write on the net is seen by anyone and everyone. Never ceases to amaze me of people coming on here writing about other members of their Department or complaining about their Dept leadership or Chief? One would say What were they thinking? Obviously that is the point they arnt.
Two sayings spring to mind here.
1. What happens on tour stays on tour.
2. Live by the sword die by the sword.
You guys are right on the button.

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