Social Media

28 January 2024
Chief Brent Collins, President,

Social Media

By now, all of you are well aware what kind of impact your social media presence can be in the hiring process.  If not, you need to be.

Be careful of what you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or on whatever the latest social media outlet you are using.  Make sure you don’t show any political or racial bias.  The department WILL go and search your social media accounts to see what kind of person you are.  They may ask you if they can have access to your pages. 

If your social media shows anything controversial at all, you will more than likely be passed over.  Learn to keep your emotions in check and don’t instantly fly off the handle or demonstrate any type of aggressive or angry behavior.

You’ve all seen posts from other people, and you thought to yourself – What were they thinking?  A lot of those posts are hair trigger, spur-of-the-moment responses.  Once out there, you can’t take them back.

If you are working part-time or as a volunteer for a department and miss required drills or monthly meetings, yet on your social media pages you are shown out partying or with friends, that is not going to go over well.

You can use your social media to present yourself in a positive way.  If there are fundraisers in your community, for example, a fundraiser for a child that is sick or has passed away in your community or a drive for the homeless, take part and post that on your Facebook page.

Seek to have positive messages on your social media page.  If you post something, make it count.  If you are working part-time or volunteering for a fire department and there are pictures of you working with the crew, post those if you are allowed by the department.  Post pictures where you are helping out in your community – maybe you volunteer at your church or with youth sports. 

When you post, use proper grammar.  You don’t want to show poor communication skills that will reflect badly on you.

Use social media for networking with other firefighters.  Keep track of departments you are interested in working for.  They may post activities that you can participate in – like a toy drive or food drive.  You may pick up information about the department that you can use in your oral interview to show that you are keeping up to date – new apparatus, firefighters hired, etc.  This is also a good way to keep track of when departments are testing.

If you have pictures on your social media account that you would be embarrassed to show your parents or grandparents, take them down.  There are even companies who clean up your social media accounts.

Not having a social media account at all could also be a red flag to a department.  They may wonder what you are trying to hide if you disabled your accounts.

Bottom line – social media can benefit you or can be a total detriment.