NVTI ARTICLE SERIES: JVSG COMPANION PROGRAMS
JVSG Companion Programs: Useful Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Resources for JVSG Staff and Veterans Seeking Employment
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In this sixth article of the JVSG Companion Program Series, we examine various resources for veteran job seekers offered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) program personnel provide individualized career services to help veterans realize and sustain employment. When veterans seek employment opportunities with the federal government, they want to understand veterans’ preferences, how agencies staff federal jobs, and how unique veteran appointing authorities help veterans find federal jobs. A veteran’s first steps when seeking employment opportunities with the federal government will be to reach out to an American Job Center (AJC) in their community and meet with a designated veteran employment representative.1 From there, JVSG staff and associated AJC team members can facilitate the application process for eligible veterans seeking federal employment.
For JVSG staff to be successful, they must understand how applying for a federal job requires time, preparation, and attention to detail. OPM’s website at https://www.fedshirevets.gov/ provides resources for veterans on employment planning, preparation, and the application process for federal employment. Some important points that JVSG staff will want to remember when informing veteran clients about the federal job application process are:
How federal jobs will be filled is determined by the federal civil service laws and regulations, augmented (in some cases) by additional statutes and Executive Orders. However, the hiring process may differ depending on the agency and the nature of the position.
Many federal agencies permit applicants to contact the agency directly for additional job information and to better understand the application process.
Federal jobs can offer greater stability than jobs in the private sector. Many federal agencies place particular value on candidates who are veterans because they regard such candidates’ skills as highly transferable. For many veterans, pursuing opportunities in the federal government is a natural transition, making such positions highly competitive.
Candidates compete against other highly skilled, educated, and qualified veterans as well as non-veteran applicants interested in federal service.2
Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and consolidated staff looking for a quick way to inform and train veterans on the federal employment process should start with the OPM’s Virtual Classroom.3 Videos and resource guides provide continuing education on the following topics:
- Transitioning to Federal Employment: A Guide4
- Resume Writing Handbook5
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)6
- The Federal Hiring Process (external link to Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) videos)7
- Federal Pay and Benefits
- Veterans Preference and Pathways Program
- Finding and Applying for Federal Jobs
- Writing Your Resume for Federal Employment
- What Happens to My Resume?
- Where to Learn About Federal Careers
Veteran Employment Program Offices (VEPO)
OPM Veteran Employment Program Offices (VEPOs) provide agency-specific points of contact and snap-shots of open positions from almost 30 federal employers at https://www.fedshirevets.gov/veterans-council/agency-directory/. There are additional veteran family resources provided via the National Military Spouse Network found at https://www.nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org/.
USAJOBS for Veterans
When investigating agency guidance for employment, JVSG staff can find available jobs at the OPM’s USAJOBS Veterans Help Page8. This page identifies numerous links to a variety of different resources, to include information on the hiring process as well as directions to a dedicated site that JVSG staff can use as a tool for specifically helping veterans with their employment search. This veteran-specific landing page walks a career coach and the candidate through:
- Veterans’ preference
- Documentation the applicant will need
- Veteran recruitment appointment and other hiring authorities
Tools for JVSG staff
Lastly, JVSG staff should consider developing a checklist of documents required and standard of procedures to complete a federal employment application. Below are a couple examples that illustrate what a federal employer expects to see in a competitive job application, as well as the level of attention and detail required by the veteran applying.