Finding a Job

What Is a Veteran's Recruitment Appointment?

December 31, 1969

Veterans serve their country bravely, yet many struggle to find a job upon returning home. A Veterans' Recruitment Appointment serves as a solution to this issue. If you are a veteran or currently serving in the military, understanding what a VRA is and how to apply can help you begin a successful career after active duty. In this article, we discuss VRA eligibility requirements, benefits and how to apply.

What is a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment?

A Veterans' Recruitment Appointment is a special hiring opportunity with a focus on finding jobs for United States veterans. With a VRA, government agencies can hire eligible veterans for work in government jobs. In addition, veterans can find rewarding careers without competing with other job applicants.

The Veterans' Recruitment Appointment authority is classified by the United States Office of Personnel Management as an excepted authority within the federal government. Once a veteran receives a VRA, they are eligible for excepted service positions such as federal or civil service positions. These jobs have unique qualification requirements as well as specialized training.

Only certain veterans are eligible for a VRA. You may apply for one if you meet the following criteria:

  • You possess a campaign badge for service during a war, campaign or expedition
  • You are a disabled veteran
  • You have received an Armed Forces Service Medal for your participation in a military operation
  • You are a recently separated veteran (within the last three years)
  • You separated under honorable conditions with either an honorable or general discharge

Veterans that receive a VRA can be hired at any grade level up to and including a GS-11 or its equivalent. After being hired and completing two years in a position, veterans are then converted to the competitive service.

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Importance of a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment

A VRA is important because it allows veterans to have access to government jobs and receive preference over other job candidates. Some companies may prefer hiring veterans for many reasons, including:

  • Veterans understand and value teamwork. Any member of the U.S. military is familiar with being part of a team and working together to accomplish a common goal. Veterans have been part of a team since basic training and are willing to work together to get the job done accurately and efficiently. For this reason, veterans can sometimes obtain employment on a Congress member's staff or as an agent within the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Veterans have a unique skill set. Due to the different types of training that members of the military undergo, veterans have been trained in a wide range of areas, including technology, medicine and more. Because they have undergone such advanced training, veterans possess a specialized skill set that they can use to further their careers. A physician position within the Department of Veterans Affairs would be ideal for a veteran if they have medical training.
  • Veterans have respect for policies and procedures. After a career in the military, veterans are familiar with receiving and following orders. Veterans understand the need for policies and procedures, and they tend to respect them. Whether hired by NASA as an analyst or hired to a position within the Department of Justice, veterans take pride in their duty by adhering to the guidelines laid before them.
  • Veterans can perform in high-pressure situations. Members of the military are highly trained for dangerous and high-pressure situations. This skill set can carry over into the workplace in terms of meeting strict deadlines and other challenging circumstances. For example, job openings within the Federal Bureau of Investigation may be particularly interesting to veterans that have a military law enforcement background.
  • Veterans are fast learners. In the military, you have to be a fast learner and ready to manage any challenge that comes your way. Because veterans must go through so much training, they are skilled at learning new things quickly. Positions for engineers, technicians and mechanics may be well suited for veterans that are skilled in learning on the go.

Advantages of a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment

A VRA is beneficial for veterans in a variety of ways, including:

  • Employment opportunity: With a VRA, veterans have access to government jobs that they may not have had access to previously. Getting a position with a government agency can help veterans pursue a fulfilling career.
  • Non-competitive hiring: A VRA allows veterans to receive preference in the hiring process. This appointment enables veterans to be hired in a non-competitive way, so veterans are not competing with others for the job.
  • Career advancement: When veterans begin or resume a career with a VRA, they have an opportunity for career advancement in their government job. As they advance their career, veterans are able to achieve their personal and professional goals.

How to apply for a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment

The application process for a VRA is straightforward and includes the following steps:

  1. Provide documentation
  2. Claim veterans' preference
  3. Prepare your resume
  4. Apply

1. Provide documentation

Veterans must provide acceptable documentation of eligibility. The Member-4 copy of the form DD214, which is the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty form, is the most widely accepted form proving eligibility.

Form DD214 can be obtained online from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Through the Veterans Affairs website, veterans may register for an eBenefits account to access all their military records.

2. Claim veterans' preference

To claim veterans' preference, you are required to provide a copy of the DD-214 form. If you are claiming 10 point preference, you must fill out and submit Form SF-15, which is the Application for 10 point Veterans' Preference form.

To qualify for 10 point preference, veterans must have been discharged under honorable conditions and have a service-connected disability or have received a Purple Heart.

3. Prepare your resume

Before applying, prepare your resume by updating it and tailoring it to the specific job that you are applying for. Use active language and only include relevant information from your education, career, volunteer work or other experiences. Resumes should be easy to read and look polished and professional.

4. Apply

Once you have identified the jobs you wish to apply for, you will need to fill out a job application online or in person. It is important to be honest and thorough when completing a job application, so be sure to answer all the questions. After you have provided the required documentation, submitted your updated resume and completed the job application, you will be waiting to hear back about an interview.

Veterans of the U.S. military are given some degree of preference when seeking positions of employment with the federal government. This preference allows veterans to become more competitive in the workforce and does not penalize them for their years in the military when they would otherwise have been working. Among its many benefits for veterans, a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment enables veterans to use their valuable skills and contribute to the workforce.