Feds Hire Vets

Discussion in 'Military-related education topics' started by NorCal, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Has anyone else visited this website? It seems like a minimalist attempt to attract veterans to apply for federal employment. I have to say that I am not impressed by their efforts (or lack there of) to put veterans into jobs with the federal government.

    I guess I expected more than a minimalist website offering nothing truly beneficial . . .
  2. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

    This is the first time I have heard off it.
  3. Sauron

    Sauron New Member

    Veterans have a significant advantage when applying for federal positions in the government.
  4. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Do tell, cause I'm curious to see how?
  5. I would have to side with NorCal on this one. It may appear as if Veterans do but I honestly don't think that's the case. I have lost count how many of my friends (many of them being well qualified) have gotten "passed over" for jobs within the federal and state governments. "Veterans preference" is a helpful thing but I would venture to say it is no where near as significant as most people come to think.
  6. Sauron

    Sauron New Member

    My experience may be tainted since I work at VA in DC but Veterans are able to find federal employment if they have the appropriate KSAs, background, education and experience. Of course if one does not qualify for a job they should not get it and being an incumbent for the role such as currently working as a contractor in the position does not hurt.
  7. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I will say this. I recently brought up issues about vet jobs being done by non vets for the State Agency I work for. I got the feds involved, and several higher up management types got their hand severly slapped. Talk about stirring up the pot! I am a Job Steward, which means I had to put the finger on my own very higher up bosses! Oh well, too bad for them. They don't have to love me. :smile:

    Since I come from a very pro military family, I take these issues very seriously. When my dad came back from Germany many years ago, he was treated like was asking for hand outs by trying to use some of his vet schooling benefits. He gave up and paid as he went. I had three uncles that came back from Korea, same thing. Not cool after serving our country. Vets deserve these benefits. Vet preference needs to be taken seriously, and DOL Fed vet funded jobs needed to be filled by VETS only (vet jobs funded specifically for vets only). Agencies sometimes play fast and loose, and Management thinks if they get away with it, or nobody says anything, it is ok. They then think it can become their policy. WRONG.

    Abner :mad:
  8. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I guess my the biggest issue I see with federal employment, is that I've sent out numerous applications I've sent out over the years with several federal agencies, and I never even got a rejection letter, let alone phone call for an interview. Everything I submit seems to fall off into obscurity.

    The way veterans preference is sold to veterans, it seems like a nice benefit. However, the federal government seems to large and too loose to truly track the veterans who apply and give them any serious consideration. I have applied to local government positions and got far better results in regards to veterans preference, or just communication overall.

    I'm always curious to hear peoples experience with federal employment, because I know several veterans and nobody I know has had much luck and they all seem qualified. It appears that the federal government likes to develop websites dedicated to helping veterans find jobs, but their attempts seem more like a public relations move than a genuine effort.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2012
  9. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    Your experience applying for federal employment is typical. With hundreds to thousands of applications for many individual job openings, I assume that the sheer volume of job applicants is so large that most agencies' human resources (called Human Capital, in the federal government) personnel are too busy to keep individual applicants informed. It's no excuse, but it does seem to be the situation.

    As a federal employee who has hired more than a dozen new employees in the last few years, I will tell you that it is extremely difficult for us not to hire a veteran. The veteran's preference is so overwhelming that I occasionally see less qualified veterans hired over more qualified non-veterans who have applied for the same position. I can only think of one non-veteran we've hired in the past few years, not including employee transfers. I assume that managers at other federal agencies share these experiences.

    I'm an Army National Guard veteran from before 9/11, but wasn't eligible for veteran's preference points when I was hired. I don't know if the requirements are the same, but I believe I needed three years of active duty time, a full career of reserve duty, combat duty, or to be disabled to receive preference. These days, nearly everyone in the military seems to be eligible (rightfully so) because so many have served tours in combat zones. It is possible that the number of federal job applicants with veteran's preference is much larger than before, which makes it challenging even for fellow vets to get hired by the federal government.

    Civilian Federal service is especially attractive to veterans because you can apply your years of military service towards retirement and government employment allows vets to continue to serve their country and the American people, albeit in a different way. The importance of the mission can be so significant and meaningful, especially when compared to many for-profit corporate jobs. I think this appeals to a lot of people I work with, especially veterans. This might be why the caliber of job applicants for federal jobs is typically much higher than the applicant pool for comparable jobs at the state and local level. At least in my organization, even your routine decisions may have a significant impact nationwide.

  10. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I understand the challenge, but with that being said, how do we move past it? I'd love to find my way into a federal job, being that I already have 7.5 years of government service towards retirement. But if I keep applying and having my applications fall off into obscurity, what is the point?

    I wonder if Director John Berry of the US Office of Personnel Management will ever get the message . . .
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2012
  11. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    As a former US President used to say, "I feel your pain." Those of us you have been through the federal hiring process are all too familiar with its shortcomings. I submitted many applications in the years before I was finally hired and frequently never received a response. Things aren't much better for federal hiring managers who sometimes receive less than ideal candidates on the "cert list" of qualified job applicants. I, too, hope that Mr. Berry will be able to improve the federal hiring process. I've noticed some improvements recently.

    For other users on this board who might be interested in applying for federal jobs, the USAjobs website (USAJOBS - The Federal Government’s Official Jobs Site) is the place to go to see what jobs are open. USAjobs lists the vast majority of, but not all, current job openings. People can save a copy of their resume on the website and simply hit "apply" when they find an opening for which they wish to apply. OPM is working with federal agencies to eliminate separate "narrative statements" for individual KSAs. Instead, hiring managers are supposed to review resumes and, if necessary, applicant questionnaires in order to determine which applicants should be selected for an interview.

    One common misconception that I often hear is that job applicants need to have a security clearance in order to apply for federal jobs that require a security clearance. This is not true for federal jobs (although, it is frequently true for federal contractor jobs). The Federal Government will conduct a background investigation and grant or deny a security clearance once someone is provisionally offered a job that requires a security clearance.
  12. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

  13. recruiting

    recruiting Member

    I too work in D.C for the feds!! But it took me over a year and a half to find federal employment, well ANY employment. I had to move across the country to find work. After all the years in the service, experience, and education I thought that I was a shoe in once the war was over for me, lol - ahh no! I do believe that in no small part that my extended unemployment was due to where I was living at the time. Las Vegas had the worst employment outlook in the nation with California coming in a VERY close second.

    Due to my disability I went through the VA VOC REHAB program. I also had program management, investigative, analytic, active security clearance, and extensive researching in my background. This was in addition to being a DAV, and despite 100's of USAJOB apps I got NO calls from Uncle Sam. When it was clear that this was not going to work, we picked up and moved to Northern VA. Very soon after getting here I got hired by the government WITHOUT an interview. This is how it went down!! I got an EMAILl asking if I want the job as a VRA appointment, and gave me a proposed respose time and proposed start date had I accepted. When they asked I said hell yes. To tell you the truth, I thought that the HR CPAC email was a scam, boy was I wrong. :)

    Soon after relocating, and being hired with the government, I started getting calls for high paying contractor positions looking for my expertise and experience, however I decided to say working for the feds. I like the security that the feds provide. I just finished my 3.5 month training last month and I am out there making it happen.

    So, does veteran's preference work, yes. However, IMHO I believe that it is where one lives that will do the trick. If you have to move due to unemployment MOVE! It was hard to relocate but we did it, and look at it as just another adventure in our lives...

    Like Sauron, I may have a tainted view of this situation BUT I do know how if feels to be out in the cold without a job for a very Loooong time, Vet or not.

    Good Luck
  14. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    That's great news Recruiting. Smart choice deciding on government work over private industry work. You will have MUCH more job security.

    I work for a State Agency, and it has worked well for me, through thick and thin.

    Take it easy,

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2012
  15. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

  16. Earnit

    Earnit New Member

    I have found in my experience that if you have a 10 to 30 percent or higher disability rating, your chances are better than one with only a 5 percent rating. I know some veterans with a 5 percent rating that applied for the same previous federal government position they held 3 years before. They were told that they were qualified but not selected due to not having a high enough rating. Getting a bachelors or master’s degree definitely gives you other options though.
  17. recruiting

    recruiting Member

    Well it has been a year or so since this thread was started. How have you all (job seekers) been making out?

    I have more insight into the federal hiring process - I am nosy and ask the CPAC (HR) people lots of questions. :)

    When scanning resumes they use key words, in some cases they have a list of key words and use the FRIGGIN SEARCH function to locate how many match, THEN they actually look it over.

    For non national security type positions they do NOT check refs either! She said they mostly leave that up to the selecting officials. She then whispered "pssst most of them don't do it either." It's not the most or best qualified applicant that gets the job in the federal government it's the best resume unquote. Yes, I've seen MANY people hired around me that do NOT live up to their stellar resume, which is sad.

    Do veterans get hired over regular folks - yes a lot of the time. A problem that was alluded to in an earlier post is the sheer volume of qualified, preferenced vets that are applying for federal jobs leaves the ones not called feeling forgotten.

    For my position I was one of six vets he had to choose from. My Chief thought he was going to get recent college grads in the 20 something age range, lol. We were all in our 30's and 40's with a service connect disability rating and college educations. It was a very hard choice he said.

    Advice: Vets if you want to get into the federal system one thing you have to remember is your RESUME!! No more KSA's required.
    Your resume has to be squared away, no questions asked. You HAVE to modify the resume for EVERY position for which you apply, no exceptions whatsoever. This is KEY!

    Read the job announcement, look under duties and qualifications and start writing, paraphrase and adapt your skills to the resume using their words. A six or SEVEN page resume is the norm in federal hiring. The longer the better, they are looking for KEY WORDS by scanning with a document word search function. Get the one or two page resume format out of your head for federal employment.

    If you have any questions on this process PM me and I will get back to you with some answers if I can.

    The process is not simple however it's a lifetime job that you can take anywhere in the U.S. and some parts of the world with you. The pay may be on the low end when you start but it gets better pretty fast. Through the VRA program I have been promoted (pay wise) twice since getting hired - amazing programs.

    Was it worth it - a resounding YES! :banana:
  18. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    In all honesty I gave up on the federal government, but I was picked up by an international (French) company who is big on diversity and gives US veterans more than a fair shake. It's kind of sad when foreign companies give you more preference than the federal government does, but such is life . . .
  19. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Well I'll give you a recent example I had with the FED:

    I found a management position with MHS and considering a have a lot of private healthcare management experience, 30% disability rating, and a bachelors degree in the bag; I shot them my application.

    My application status is "Application Incomplete"
    Required Documentation: "Other Veteran Documents"

    When I applied I sent in my DD-214, my SF-15 for veterans preference, and my proof of VA disability. So I contacted the HR Department for the hiring authority to inquire what exactly "Other Veteran Documents" means as the job announcement only asks for a DD-214 and SF-15. I was told that is all that is required, and he couldn't articulate what "Other Veteran Documents" entailed and could not offer any resolution that would take my application out of incomplete status.

  20. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    That sounds like:


    Dear Candidate:

    You're not qualified for the position. Keep looking employment somewhere else.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Hiring Manager


    Dear Candidate:

    Your profile looks amazing in term of experiences, military services, and educational credentials; however, we have better qualified candidates. Sorry that we cannot offer your employment at this time; however, your file will be considering in near future opportunities.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Hiring Manager

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