As 2021 takes a bow and leaves the stage to make room for the new year, it’s time to take all that career advice you’ve received over the last 12 months and put it to work for you.
Now is the perfect time for Veterans and job hunters to plan their next career moves, and there’s no better way to do that than reviewing some of the best career advice we’ve offered to applicants over the last year.
Beginning the hunt
Whether you’re just beginning your search or returning to the market after a holiday break, it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at our guide to “Six old school job search tips to forget – and one to remember” to get you started. From targeting your job search to networking tips, these are strategies that can put you on the right track in your hunt for a new career.
While you’re at it, take a look at “Three reasons why you should continue your job search this summer.” Yes, we’re well aware that we’re nowhere near summer, but the advice is evergreen. Specifically, applying now can put you closer to the top of the stack for recruiters and hiring managers, as other applicants may have put their search on hold for the holidays, just like they do in the summer.
No matter the time of year, VA is always hiring. As the country’s largest integrated health care system, with locations across the U.S. and some of its territories, VA has more than 6,500 jobs available, including health care professionals, executives, administrators and support staff.
When it comes to paperwork portion of your application, everything you need to do can be daunting. It helps to take things step by step and work your way through each piece of the application puzzle.
Starting off, freshen up your resume with a look at our post on “Land a job at VA with these federal resume tips.”
You may also have some specific concerns, especially if you’re a Veteran looking to make the jump to a civilian career. If that’s the case, our “Three easy tips to help you focus your post-military resume” is a must-read. As Tim Blakney, a recruitment consultant for VA, shared, “Veterans bring a lot to the table, but you may need to define your skills and translate them in a way that someone outside the military can understand.”
For Veterans, as well as their spouses, gaps in your resume can also be a challenge. That’s why we shared the tips included in “Mind the resume gap: How to address employment breaks.” Whether it’s reformatting your resume to focus on your skills – rather than your jobs – or addressing those gaps in your cover letter, there are tools available to make your application stand out.
Since we’re on the subject of cover letters, we highlighted “Four reasons why you should write a cover letter for your VA application,” as well. A cover letter is just a great way to market yourself, and a chance to talk up the soft skills not covered by your resume and how you’ve put them to use in your career.
With a sharp cover letter and a fresh resume in hand, take a minute to make sure you’re not missing anything before you hit that submit button. As we shared in “Applying for a VA job? Here’s how to keep your application forms in order,” the federal application process is different than in the civilian world. While we try to streamline the application process as much as possible, you’ll want to make sure your application includes everything you need.
If at first you don’t succeed
In any job hunt, success is not guaranteed. Whether it’s your first application or your fifth, you may not get the job you hoped. Only a rare few hit the mark the first time out. Inevitably, you may need to tap into our “Four strategies for Veterans rebounding from a rejection letter,” which offers some helpful advice to civilians, too.
Then, when you’re ready, it’s time to get back on the hunt for that new job. It’s waiting out there for you, and you need perseverance to find it. As mentioned in our blog post “Win the job search race with these four effective habits,” a job search is like a marathon, and just like a runner in training, you need to develop a regimen to help you toward your goal.
Work at VA
As we close this chapter and look ahead to the coming year, we hope these tips will help you find your way onto our team in 2022.