Education versus experience.

Posted on 3rd July 2013 in News From Outside VH

By Darren Sherrard
VACareers Blog | Advice on VA Careers
















In the beginning there was only experience. Wisdom was obtained by doing and learning thru action. Over time, man began sharing life lessons and educating others. What evolved were teachers and doers, leaders and followers. Then along came education.

1939- Business executives, who do most of the hiring, were less impressed than hopeful parents by a college diploma. Some 42% of them favored a high-school graduate, only 29% a college man.

2012- Those on both sides of this debate would agree that success in the classroom, combined with experiential education through internships, is the best of both worlds for “real world” preparation.

2013- It Takes a B.A. to Find a Job as a File Clerk



A Veterans approach to a job search.

Posted on 26th April 2013 in News From Outside VH

By Darren Sherrard VA Careers—Department of Veterans Affairs

The military teaches us many things that we may never use again outside of the military. Most employers feel that Veterans are great employees who bring valuable skills to a company. I have noticed employers have formed opinions of Veterans as employees through enculturation. I know, big word; it’s the forming of opinions based upon one’s culture learned through experiences, observations and instruction. As such, some love and see value in Veterans, some may not.

Like many Veterans today, I am taking advantage of my GI Bill benefits and one of my assignments is to choose a topic and write a persuasive essay. There were many topics to choose from, but my background led me to “Mandatory Military Service”. I am instructed to pick a side and write about it. I will not get into my view on the topic, but I assure you that I am enjoying expressing it. Some will be for and some will be against, but it really makes one think about Veterans. What is a Veteran? Can anyone be a Veteran? I spent some time in recruiting and know first-hand that not everyone can be in the military, and that is the first step towards earning the title of Veteran.


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Recharge Your Résumé!

Posted on 18th March 2013 in News From Outside VH







Have you been using the same resume throughout your job search? For every opportunity, tailor your resume for the specific position you are applying for. VA for Vets can help! Our Resume Builder allows you to create and save five different federal resumes that highlight your unique experience. You may upload one of your new and improved resumes to the Veteran Resume Database, where federal hiring managers are looking for candidates to fill open positions.


Get started today in the VA for Vets Career Center. If you need assistance, call a VA for Vets career coach at 1-855-824-8387

(TTY: 1-855-824-8833) or send an email request.


VA for Vets Password Updates

To better protect your profile, VA for Vets is strengthening password requirements. Your password needs to be at least 8 characters with:

  • At least one upper case letter
  • At least one lower case letter
  • At least one number
  • At least one special character (examples include !, @, #, $)

You’ll need to change your password every 90 days. If you don’t access your account for 210 days, you’ll be prompted to change your password the next time you log in.

The Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO) oversees VA for Vets, a comprehensive career management program that enables Veterans to successfully join the federal civilian workforce. To learn more, visit Get the latest VA for Vets news by joining the conversation on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Enhance Your VA for Vets Profile!

Posted on 14th February 2013 in News From Outside VH




Are you taking advantage of all the VA for Vets Career Center tools? Widen your job search through self-assessments. Taking a series of self-assessments generates a snapshot of your professional strengths. You can identify your levels of proficiency associated with common skills (like leadership or time management). A variety of tests evaluate:

  • Actual work experience
  • Current skills
  • Work activities you enjoy
  • Interests and work preferences
  • Aptitudes and abilities

Armed with the results, you can highlight those strengths in your resume. Get started today in the VA for Vets Career Center. If you need assistance, call a VA for Vets career coach at 1-855-824-8387 (TTY: 1-855-824-8833).


The Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO) oversees VA for Vets, a comprehensive career management program that enables Veterans to successfully join the federal civilian workforce. To learn more, visit


Get the latest VA for Vets news by joining the conversation on LinkedIn and Facebook

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Veteran Employment Information for Employers

Posted on 8th January 2013 in News From Outside VH


VA is dedicated to helping homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness secure and maintain employment leading to increased residential and personal stability. Our goal is to afford Veterans the opportunity to return to healthy, productive lifestyles within their own communities.


Veterans served our country well. You can help honor their service – and benefit your business – by employing them. Veterans have a proven track record of dependability, teamwork, and individual problem solving from their military experience that can be put to work in your organization. Hiring service-connected Veterans could also qualify you for sizable tax benefits and other incentives from the federal government. Providing jobs for homeless Veterans is one of the most important things you can do to help those who served our country.

For more information about how to hire America’s Veterans, Make the Call. Contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline at 1-877-4AID-VET. A trained VA representative will be available to help you. Benefit a Veteran – benefit your business.


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Job Search Secret

Posted on 4th October 2012 in News From Outside VH
By Darren Sherrard October 2nd, 2012 at 8:46 am

It is mind-boggling to me that there are 13 million people looking for 3.2 million jobs according to Department of Labor. Because of such statistics, it is easy to get over-whelmed and not know where to start in a job search. Employees working at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are often asked how to get a job at VA. It is usually followed by a concern that it seems that you have to know someone at VA to get a job there. I try to focus on this topic often, because it is just so relevant daily.

First, I did not know a single person at VA when I became an employee, so much for that theory. Second, a very large number (around 40-60%) of all hires in America are from employee referrals. Therefore, the reality is, yes; it does help if you know someone who can refer you to his or her manager as a qualified prospect.

There are two types of job seekers. Highly qualified in a skill or trade and those not qualified. I love the bluntness of this article 6 Secrets To Beat The Job Market, Nick Corcodilos, Ask The Headhunter. VA is no different from many other organizations. We have a great mission, great job satisfaction and great benefits. That in itself means competition can be steep. The greatest competition exists in non-health care occupations. The Federal Government, including VA, honors Veterans’ hiring preference In accordance with law.  Most occupations currently open at VA are in health care. However, most Veterans are not health care providers. Thus, VA hires many non-Veterans also. While we are about 40 % Veterans, the Veteran demographic simply cannot meet the hiring needs for VA in health care.

That brings me back to my point. If you are a Veteran, VA has set up VA For Vets and they are excellent at networking and building contacts and bridges to identify available positions for Veterans within VA. I encourage all Veterans to use all of their resources to improve your options for a job offer.

Of course everyone one should review open positions often at for your next position.


Mr. Sherrard is Deputy Director, Recruitment Marketing and Advertising for the Office of Workforce Management & Consulting with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Opportunity for former medics, med techs and corpsmen

Posted on 17th August 2012 in News From Outside VH

Join the ER Intermediate Care Technician pilot program in 15 VA medical centers across the country. ICTs will perform technical health care procedures and work under the supervision of physicians in the VA Emergency Departments.


Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has developed a one-year pilot program that offers Intermediate Care Technician (ICT) positions to separating or recently separated Medics, Med Techs, and Corpsmen. The pilot program will operate in 15 VA Medical Center emergency rooms across the country.

ICTs will perform technical health care procedures under the supervision of Emergency Department Physicians. While employed by VA, participants in the pilot program will be encouraged to leverage existing benefits and VHA education programs to earn degrees and further their healthcare careers.

Apply now: (send resume or inquiry with contact information TODAY!

Who May be Considered

Army Medics, Air Force Med Techs, Coast Guard Hospital Corpsmen and Navy Corpsmen who have recently separated or will soon be separating from the military are welcome to apply. Former Medics, Med Techs, and Corpsmen who are currently VA employees may also be considered for the program.  Veterans eligible for a noncompetitive appointment (30 Percent or More Disabled Veteran, Veteran Recruitment Appointment, or Schedule A).  The eligibility criteria for each appointment is noted below.

30 Percent or More Disabled Veteran

  • Disabled Veterans who retired from active military service with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more; or
  • Disabled Veterans rated by the Department of Veterans as having a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.

Veteran Recruitment Appointment

  • Disabled Veterans; or
  • Veterans who served on active duty in the armed forces during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; or
  • Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the armed forces, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; or
  • Recently separated Veterans (within last 3 years); and
  • Veterans discharged under honorable conditions.

Schedule A

  • Veterans who have a severe physical, psychological or intellectual disability.
  • Veterans who can show proof of disability documented by a licensed medical professional, licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or Federal or State agency.
  • Veterans who can provide a certification of job readiness for the job applied for from a licensed medical professional, licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or Federal or State agency.

Apply now: (send resume or inquiry with contact information TODAY!


Registration Now Open for Aug. 21-23 Virtual Career Fair

Posted on 16th August 2012 in Career Fairs







You are invited to attend the Free Veteran Virtual Career Fair on August 21-23, 2012.  Through this event, you will be able to learn about new VA job opportunities and participate in the following career-readiness activities:

  • Chat with career coaches
  • Participate in training webinars
  • Receive VA career match assistance
  • Conduct a federal-wide job search


Veterans and Military Service Members are welcome to attend.  To register, please visit and complete your profile.


If you have any questions about the event, please contact a VA for Vets Career Coach at 1-855-VA4VETS (1-855-824-8387).

The Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO) oversees VA for Vets, a comprehensive career management program that enables Veterans to successfully join the federal civilian workforce. To learn more, visit