It wasn’t the first VA job fair that Abduel Gibbs or Deonnion Green attended, but it was the last.

Gibbs, a program specialist with VA since October 2020, attended a job fair that ultimately led him to a position with VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, Recruitment & Placement Policy Service.

“VA job fairs are a great way for Veterans to get a true snapshot of what federal government and various other types of agencies offer,” Gibbs said. “Most importantly, it enables Veterans a forum and an opportunity to correspond directly with hiring managers and talent acquisition leaders.”

Green, who hired as a program specialist after attending a VA job fair, said that “the most beneficial portion of the job fair for me was being able to identify where my skillset would best be of service within the federal government.”

VA job fairs can play a pivotal role for transitioning service members and Veterans. Although “National Hire a Veteran Day” is only observed July 25, the department’s goal is to provide training resources and employment opportunities for service members and Veterans throughout the entire year.

VA accomplishes this is by working with Recruit Military to host monthly job fairs across the country. These fairs provide service members exiting the military with preparation for employment in the civilian world.

Recruit Military is hosting Veteran job fairs in Tampa, Florida, on July 28 and in Norfolk, Virginia, on July 29. Additional dates are scheduled on its website.

And, on July 30, VA’s Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) will be co-hosting a job fair with Microsoft Software & Systems Academy, seeking applicants in the following fields:

  • Computer science.
  • Business.
  • Program/management analyst.
  • IT (A+, Net +, Security +, etc.)
  • Technology.
  • Customer service/support.
  • Software engineering.

More information, here: July 30 VA MSSA job fair_FINAL.

Unemployment and resources for other challenges

Unemployment can bring its own challenges, and both Gibbs and Green mentioned the most challenging for them was understanding the resume writing and hiring processes, along with the anticipation of whether they would even get referred.

Zelda Davis, a management analyst for VA’s Veterans Employment Program, has been hosting career workshops at virtual hiring fairs for several years. In fact, Gibbs recalls attending one of Davis’ learning sessions, lauding it as “the most informative of all the workshops.”

“VA provides various resources for Veterans, including career-coaching, resume writing webinars and virtual training opportunities on the VA for Vets website, and during Veteran outreach events to prepare them for the civilian job market,” Davis said. “Additionally, the Veteran Employment Program formerly known as the Veteran Employment Services Office coordinates with the Office of Personnel Management Veteran Services to provide virtual career-readiness training to Veterans, transitioning service members and eligible dependents seeking support.”

What you need to know as a Veteran:

Military Veterans bring a multitude of expertise to the civilian work force and continue to serve in capacities that harness their previous experience and skills. Many Veterans have spent half a lifetime working to mature their knowledge and have mastered specific skills. They are subject matter experts in their fields and have the proof to back it up.

Here’s why you should hire a Veteran:

  • Veterans bring life-time unprecedented skills to the table, based on training and experience.
  • They have diverse experience in various stressful and overwhelming situations.
  • Many Veterans have various educational backgrounds, up to graduate level education, professional certifications, and/or have attended vigorous educational and training regimens to strengthen their leadership skills.
  • Service members develop a keen sense of critical thinking skills.
  • They are put in situations that cause them to think creatively and be problem solvers.
  • Military personnel learn how to make informed decisions while meeting tight deadlines.
  • Lastly, Veterans are team players.

What you need to know about VA:

VA is focused on building a strong Veteran workforce and hiring transitioning military service members or seasoned Veterans looking for a career with VA. Read success stories about Veterans who have found meaningful careers within the department.

Currently, VA is providing training for Veterans under the American Rescue Plan. Veterans who are still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are unemployed may be eligible to sign up for VA’s Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program.

By Tatjana Christian is a public affairs specialist for VA's Office of Media Relations

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Published on Jul. 23, 2021

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