EMTLife.com - The #1 Online Forum for EMS-Related Discussion  

Go Back   EMTLife.com - The #1 Online Forum for EMS-Related Discussion > Main EMS Forum > EMS Talk

EMS Talk General EMS Discussion. Not quite sure where to post? Try here first!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-07-2010, 03:50 AM   #1
MMiz
Community Leader
I put the M in EMTLife
 
MMiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Down South
Posts: 1,000,004,678
Training: EMT-Basic
How to get an EMT Job


Weíve seen countless threads over the past year or two from EMT-Basics and Paramedics looking for advice on how to get hired in this tough economy. The belief that graduating with a certification and a smile will guarantee you a job doesnít hold true these days, and gaining employment is a tough job. Ultimately your perseverance and determination will help determine how quickly you find employment in EMS.

Using the wisdom and guidance of the EMTLife community, Iíve put together this guide on how to gain employment as an EMT or Paramedic.

  1. Go to a good school. One thing that we all agree on is the importance of a good EMS education as the foundation of being a good EMT. While an Associates degree is great, and a Bachelors degree is fantastic, itís important that you make the most of your education and attend a school with a rigorous curriculum. The Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs also provides a list of nationally accredited Paramedic programs. The general consensus is the more school you attend; the more appealing you are to a prospective employer.
  2. Obtain your National Registry. This simply provides you more options and opportunities, as many employers seek EMTs who have passed the NREMT. Sure, all states donít require it, and some states require more, but itís a good starting point.
  3. Gather your Papers! Itís important that you anticipate what youíll need for employment, and that you have copies and originals readily available. Youíll most likely need:
    1. Your driverís license and Social Security card
    2. Your EMT license/certificate
    3. American Heart Association BLS Healthcare Provider certification
    4. Your FEMA NIMS courses that may be taken entirely online
    5. A resume and cover letter
    6. Some states may require a background check, Live Scan, finger printing, ambulance drivers license, etc. Check with colleagues and your EMS institution to see what they suggest.
  4. Create a Resume and Cover Letter. Create a simple one or two page resume and cover letter for perspective employers. After youíve edited it for spelling and grammatical errors, print it on fancy resume paper. The extra investment up front will help you stand out when HR is sifting through hundreds of resumes.
  5. Make a List. Go online or check the yellow pages to make a list of all of the local ambulance services in your area that interest you.
  6. Call ĎEm! In this digital age itís so easy to simply send off an email or attempt to apply online. As someone who has created websites for employers, including ambulance services, I can tell you that rarely do they update their job postings. Call each perspective employer and inquire about job opportunities. Beyond asking a simple question, create a conversation and inquire as to what you can do to gain employment at the company.
  7. Follow up with Email. Now that youíve made the call, follow up with a professional email thanking the person. I always call my colleagues over when I get a really serious email from hotstuffXOXO@whatever.com, and it sure doesnít make you look professional. Register a professional email address (jsmith@gmail.com) if you donít have one already.
  8. Keep Calling and Visit. Keep calling and following with your contact, and it may even be appropriate to stop by the station. You want to be persistent and seem ambitious, but not annoying.

You got an interview? Great! If not, go back to number six. There are hundreds of posts on EMTLife about interviews, interview questions, and almost everything else about interviews. Weíve probably already answered your question. Just a few reminders:
  1. Show up on Time (or early)! There is nothing worse than showing up late to an interview. Even if you have to wait in your car for half an hour before you go in, itís important that youíre on time.
  2. Dress for Success! Your first impression means everything, especially in a difficult job market. Dress nicely and conservatively. If possible, remove any excessive jewelry or piercings, and try your best to cover and tattoos.
    1. Men: suit, shirt, conservative tie, nice shows, and a professional haircut.
    2. Women: suit, nice pants, and conservative shoes. This is EMS.
  3. Answer the Questions. There are some questions that I can almost guarantee youíll be asked:
    • Tell us about yourself.
    • Why do you want to work for X service?
    • What separates you from the other applicants?
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    • Where do you see yourself in x years?
    • Answer the questions honestly and confidently.
  4. Ask Great Questions: Usually at the end of the interview youíll be asked if you have any questions. Now is not the time to ask all 100 questions youíve saved up. Those should have been asked via email, phone, or in person prior to the interview. Now is a good time to ask when you can expect to hear back from the person regarding the position, or any other general question you might have regarding the process.
  5. Thank the Person with a Shake & Letter. Now that youíve finished the interview, thank the person by name and a firm hand shake. Iíd argue that one of the most important steps is the thank-you letter youíll send at home following the interview. When you get home send the person a thank-you letter thanking them for the interview and their time. It really makes a great impression and will help to separate you from the masses.

If you get the job, congratulations! If not, go back to step five and start again.

Getting a job isn't easy, but with persistence and a willingness to adapt you certainly will be successful. It's only a matter of time.

I'll continually update this thread with suggestions. What do you suggest?


__________________
Matt
EMT-B

MMiz is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 02-07-2010, 06:31 AM   #2
Hockey
Quackers
 
Hockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: MI
Posts: 1,213
Be confident in yourself and your abilities. Thats the weakest part of applicants I see all over.
Hockey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 06:58 AM   #3
MrBrown
Forum Deputy Chief
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,929
Being an ambo is 98% people, reasoning and communication skills, 1% common sense patient care and 1% advanced patient care.

You can teach a rock about cardiology but you cannot teach life skills, maturity, how to interact with people and solve whatever problem they present to you.

With that in mind, differentiate your people management, maturity, problem solving and communication rather than "oh I got 100% on my Technician course"
MrBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
LucidResq
Community Leader Emeritus
Community Leader Emeritus
 
LucidResq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: CO
Posts: 2,031
Volunteer somewhere to gain hands-on experience if you're having trouble due to lack of experience.

Be willing to work a job somewhere besides the street or an ED. Think amusement parks, dispatch, other clinical settings, etc. Even if it isn't your ideal job, it will build experience so you can work your way up to that job.
__________________
The best part of your worst day....
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
LucidResq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 09:37 PM   #5
Fbarba123
Forum Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 145
Training: EMT-Paramedic
Send a message via AIM to Fbarba123
This is an Amazing Guide! Now my adversaries are going to be better equipped!
Fbarba123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 09:59 PM   #6
DEmedic
Community Leader
Stooge
 
DEmedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Mid Atlantic
Posts: 5,810
Training: NREMT-P
Can this become a sticky?
__________________
*My statements are my opinion and do not reflect those of my employer*
DEmedic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 10:03 PM   #7
nomofica
Forum Asst. Chief
 
nomofica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 685
Training: FF/EMR
Wonderfully written. Like Lucid said, volunteer. Not just to gain experience on the job but to make contacts with other people and get your foot in the door. You'd be surprised who you could meet while volunteering... I became friends with a district fire chief and a fire captain by simply raising money for the Firefighter's Burn Treatment Society, Edmonton Chapter.
__________________
The full moon bathes all
In a fine silvery glow
We watch the wierdness
nomofica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 01:09 AM   #8
46Young
Level 25 EMS Wizard
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
Posts: 2,843
Training: EMT-Paramedic
Know how to speak proper english, slowly and clearly. Keep eye contact with your interviewer as well.
46Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 01:50 AM   #9
Tonester
Forum Probie
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 28
Training: EMT-Basic
This is a true story:

I applied to a bunch of private ambulance companies towards the end of December 2009 and the beginning of January 2010. I only received 1 call back for interview which I had last week. I was told there was 12-16 spots available; however, the company was interviewing 82 candidates.

So I started calling back up all the ambulance companies where I had submitted an online application and asked if I could come in and drop off copies of all my credentials. Only 1 ambulance agreed to allow me to come in but they told me they weren't hiring.

As I was about to walk out the door in my sneakers, jeans, and t-shirt I made a last minute decision to put on a full suit. I even polished my dress shoes. I dropped off my paperwork and was told that when hiring resumed it would look favorably that I was proactive to bring in copies of all my credentials.

I walked to my car and was getting in to leave. A man followed me out and told me he was impressed with the fact that I suited up just to drop off my paperwork. He also liked my proactive approach and told me he would pull my file.

The next day, I got a call for an interview which I have tomorrow. I still don't have the job but I learned in these times going the extra mile can make a big difference. Employers want to hire employees who are dedicated and motivated. Keep that in mind!

I will let you know how the interview goes tomorrow.

Last edited by Tonester; 02-08-2010 at 01:51 AM.
Tonester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:13 AM   #10
MusicMedic
Forum Captain
 
MusicMedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 499
Training: EMT-Basic
Send a message via AIM to MusicMedic
can we get a Sticky on this?

yeah ive had about 4 interviews and lemme say, DONT BE NERVOUS
and make sure you have an answer ready to the most common questions
Write it down and practice it
Especially the question "Tell me about your self?"
__________________
"Whoever Kills an Innocent Man, is as though he Killed all of Mankind, Whoever Saves a life is as though he Saved all of Mankind" Holy Quran 5:32
MusicMedic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nurse Arrested after Assaulting EMT who Asked Her to "Step Back" Mountain Res-Q EMS-Related News 69 05-13-2014 02:34 AM
ABC's of being an EMT! RWC130 EMS Humor 65 06-26-2009 12:45 PM
Question about EMT JosephW NREMT 13 01-29-2009 05:40 AM
WEMT certification, getting hired as an EMT in urban setting evelknielle Military/Tactical/Wilderness EMS 17 12-30-2008 06:15 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2001-2014, EMTLife LLC. All rights reserved.