Veterans

July 18, 2014

VA implements new online tool for military members, Families, transitioning out

Maranda Flynn
Staff Writer

In conjunction with the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, the new Veterans Employment Center, or VEC, is the federal government’s single authoritative online resource for connecting transitioning service members, veterans and their Families to meaningful career opportunities.

The VEC is the first government-wide product that brings together a reputable cadre of public and private employers with real job opportunities and it provides military personnel and their Families with the tools to translate their military skills into plain language and build a profile that can be shared with employers who have made a public commitment to hire veterans.

Roger Shepard, the transition services manager here, explained that there are many tools that are available on the site for transitioning military members.

“There are about 150,000 employment opportunities on [the VEC site] and the organization goes out and scans all the cooperate websites and looks for more opportunities, and pulls them into this system,” he said. “They scan the jobs in and then they consolidate them, check them and change them on a regular basis. So there shouldn’t be old jobs in there, it should just be new stuff.”

The Departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, Defense and Education, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management collaborated to design and develop the VEC to incorporate the best features of existing employment tools.

There is a slight change in the process now. On the VEC website, user will now build a profile instead of a resume. Shepard explained that employers are being encouraged to change the way they search for potential employees using profile points instead of a formal resume.

“When a service member goes in and builds their profile, they are still adding things like strengths, objectives, and experience but it is being built differently than a resume,” Shepard said. “Part of the reason for that is because these profile points are searchable so an employer can more easily search a profile for strengths a service member has rather than reading through an entire resume. It helps narrow the search.

“It should help the veteran too because rather than using verbiage to create a resume, they are basically creating bullet points to create a profile,” he added.

For those that are seeking employment, tools available on the VEC website include:

  • Military Skills Translator – Users can translate military occupational codes into equivalent Civilian skills and learn about related Civilian career paths.
  • Profile Builder – Users can import results from the skills translator into an online profile that users can download or publish to employers on the VEC. Publishing a profile instantly connects users to thousands of employers looking to hire veterans.
  • Veterans Job Bank (VJB) – The VJB allows users to search over 1.2 million jobs from the private sector and includes jobs in federal, state and local governments.

For employers that are looking to hire, resources available on the VEC website include:

  • Veterans Job Bank (VJB) – Employers can easily post job opportunities that will be visible to and searchable by job seekers.
  • Search Profiles – The VEC provides employers with access to a vault of verified career profiles from transitioning service members, veterans and their Families. Searches can be narrowed using keywords and/or geographic location.
  • Hiring Commitment – Launch public relations campaigns by making a public hiring commitment to veterans on the VEC.

The VEC can be found at www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs. For a tutorial video on how to use the VEC, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWfhI-eSoWk.
For more information, email the Department of Veterans Affairs at oeoecsupport.vbavaco@va.gov.

Editor’s note: Much of the information in this article was provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.




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