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Home / WLF TheySaid / tips for resumes and the SME process

  • 04/04/2014
  • Been there
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To: Bitter and Over it

Here are some hints for your resume and how the SME process works. First, your master record is now required on all fire jobs, so you do not need to put  in your resume that you took all these classes, it is on your master record. If you do have a degree, attach your transcripts when you apply in USA jobs. The only class work I would put in a resume is something that does not show up on transcript or a master record.

As for the SME (Subject matter expert) stuff:
A SME reviews the application to determine the applicant’s KSAs (Knowledge, skills, abilities) in different areas. As an example at some point — one of the KSA in your career will be "the ability to communicate in writing". So what does an SME look for to document this strength? The first thing I look at is your application. Did you show any writing skills in it or is it all bullets? Was the application professionally prepared, yes those professional ones stick out. Have you ever written a burn plan? Provide input to a NEPA document? Did you take any writing classes? Did you help write a lesson plan? A shift plan? Did you write a contract, JHA for a project, or a SOP for your station? These are all examples that an SME would document as a strength, demonstrating that you have the ability to communicate in writing.

Most panels I have been on as a SME have 4-5 KSAs that we look for in application review to document the specific strengths. Those KSAs are stated in the application. Read those KSAs and make sure they are addressed in your application. The best thing I have found yet for how to improve your resume is to be an SME yourself – even for a non-fire position, it will teach you what the process is and you will learn from other people’s mistakes.

The other KSA that is getting applicants included or excluded is the KSA on supervision. That KSA is not about ability; you have to demonstrate you’ve supervised in your application – for example, one way I demonstrated it is 2 days a week I supervised the crew and I did timesheets. When the supervisor was gone for two weeks at a time, I supervised the crew and dealt with staffing, timesheets, travel, and problems etc.

Anyhow, I hope this helps and if you have any more questions let me know thru ab.

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1 Comment
  1. AB
    April 4, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the info. Ab.

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