VA has more than 45,000 open jobs, one could be yours

Jonathan Kaupanger
September 05, 2018 - 1:45 pm

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Information on your new career is located somewhere in VA’s cavernous website, you just need to know how to find it.  Here are a few tips on how to find that perfect job at Veterans Affairs.

First, figure out what type of extra points you get for being a veteran.  This is called Veterans’ Preference.  Government jobs are filled in two ways, competitively and noncompetitively.  Competitive jobs are announced to the public, conversely, noncompetitive jobs are not announced to the public, but veterans receive special consideration.  Veterans’ Preference is applied to competitive jobs during the application process.

The basic requirement for Veterans’ Preference is having an honorable or general discharge.  Retirees at the rank of O-4 or higher are not eligible unless they are disabled.  There are three levels of preference:

  • 0 - Point Preference: You are evaluated on the basis of your qualifications only. Submit a copy of your DD214 when applying for a job.
  • 5 – Point Preference: Submit a copy of your DD214 when applying for a job. You receive 5-points if you served during any of the following:
    • During a war
    • From April 28, 1952 – July 1, 1955
    • For 180 or more consecutive days after January 31, 1955 and before October 15, 1976
    • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990 through Jan 2, 1992
    • For 180 or more consecutive days between September 11, 2011 and the date of the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom
    • In a campaign or expedition where a campaign badge has been authorized
  • 10 – Point Preference: Application for 10 points is Form SF-15.  Submit a copy of your DD214 when applying for a job.You receive 10 points if you served at any time and have a service-connected disability or received a Purple Heart.

Most government jobs are posted at USAJOBS.gov.  You can find templates for applications and cover pages here.  Read the job description completely and attach all required documents.  If the job description mentions a qualification that you can prove you have, attach that document.  You’re shooting for “best qualified.”  Only best qualified and sometimes qualified applicants are forwarded on to the next level in the process.   If your qualifications are not attached to the application packet, it will not be considered.

VA breaks down open positions into three ways on its site.  Students, Experienced Professionals and Transitioning Military.  Finding open positions for experienced professionals takes a couple extra steps, but VA has it sorted in a convenient way for you.  When you drill down to the job title that’s appropriate for you, you can filter your results by state. 

Right now, there are several jobs at VA that fall under direct hire authority.  This means a supervisor can hire a qualified applicant on the spot.  The positions that qualify for this at VA right now are: Accountant, Boiler Plant Operator, General Engineer, Health Science Specialist (for Veterans Crisis Line), Health Technician, Histopathology Technician, Human Resources Assistant and Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, Personnel Security Specialist, Police Officer, Realty Specialist, Utility Systems Operator and Utility System Repair. 

Finally, when you click on the job description, you see a list of duties, work schedule, pay range and if there are any recruitment incentives for the position you’re interested in.  Each job description has links to benefits and how to apply as well.

Remember to read all the directions when applying for a VA job.  Your application should be thorough, but avoid flowery language, when in doubt just keep it simple. 

            Contact us about this article or share your story at gethelp@connectingvets.com