With over 1,300 VA facilities across the United States and its territories, the opportunity for you to transfer from one VA location to another couldn’t be easier.
Being able to relocate is one of our more popular benefits. Whether you’re looking for a change or dealing with a hardship that requires you to move, there’s no reason to leave your VA career behind. However, you will have to take a few steps to make sure your transfer is successful, whether you’re moving across the state or across the country.
The first step in moving from one facility to another is verifying that you are eligible to transfer. Typically, an employee may transfer to another location without a break in service of a single workday. That means your transfer lets you to keep your “time in service” intact, preventing any gap in benefits or pay.
You may transfer to a position at a higher, lower or the same grade level. Regardless, you must meet all requirements for the position, just as you would if you were an outside candidate.
To apply for a transfer, you must first conduct your own job search, as there needs to be a position available, or an anticipated vacancy, at your preferred, new location for the request to be considered. Currently, USAJobs lists over 7,000 jobs across our network, so chances are there is a facility somewhere that needs your particular skill set.
As you search for open positions on USAJobs, you can also filter your results by jobs that are “internal to an agency,” which may help you narrow your search and limit the potential competition for jobs you want.
Once you’ve settled on a location, you can apply for the job just as you would if you were an outside candidate. Proceed through the usual application steps – resume, cover letter and all necessary documentation – just as you did when you first joined VA.
However, take the time to update your resume to highlight the work you’re already doing at your current facility and showcase how you would be an asset at the new location. Use your cover letter to its fullest, describing your qualifications and why you want to move to the new location.
There are many reasons why a VA employee may need to request a hardship transfer. Perhaps you need to move closer to home to care for sick parents or to be closer to your children after custody is settled in a divorce. Whatever the reason, you can request a hardship transfer if you have personal matters that create an undue problem for you or your family.
Instead of applying for an available or anticipated vacancy outright, you will work through internal channels to pursue your transfer. In this case, you’ll want to prepare a cover letter to attach to an updated copy of your resume with the details of your hardship request.
All this documentation should then be presented to your current supervisor, who will forward your request to the next level of management with their recommendations. You also should coordinate with your local human resources department to address any specific policies or procedures that come with requesting a hardship transfer.
The fine print
As with any job application, being eligible for a transfer does not guarantee you a job offer. But with an already existing career inside VA, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.
Work at VA
If you’re considering a transfer to a new facility, contact your human resources office for more information about your eligibility and the application process.
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