VBeachR32 and all (as this contains clarifications to some very popular misconceptions):
I had contacted Aviation Careers (6 or 7 times) and most of the regional offices (4 or 5 times each), and kept getting the "we are not currently filling vacancies", to which I always asked "Then why are you posting announcements?" or "Why are you requesting that announcements be posted?" No responses were ever received for that question.
I bet Congress knows why, though. Budget Padding: acting like you need money to get more money. Example: "See guys, we are hiring, now can we get the money we need to pay these new hires?" In reality, no referral lists were ever created for many of those old announcements, meaning nobody could be hired, since a list of potentials wasn't forwarded to a hiring office. But Congress didn't know that, because they didn't apply (a key step which is necessary to be updated as to the status of the hiring lists from a given announcement).
I have always selected all of the road warrior options:
- travel 35+ days per month....I know, it's a joke
- temp, term, part-time, and full-time - all announcements state "temporary excepted appointments not to exceed (13) months while attending training"
- I have a scan of fronts and backs of pink card and cto that I always fax through (to the fax number provided). It is no longer provided, though, and they simply state to provide proofs upon request.
CTOs & VRA Announcements
Lack of a CTO does NOT disqualify you from a VRA posting, just the possibility of getting a $20,000 sign-on bonus (if you actively pushed traffic around within the previous 2 years). The VRA Announcement and having a CTO and not mutually exclusive.
They just require you to have: 52 consecutive weeks of ATC experience demonstrating the applicant has knowledge of (not necessarily application of) the KSAOs to be an ATCer.
It only ever refers to "having a knowledge of", not "having a history of exceptional application of", so true experience isn't even required by the posting either.
Thus, a CTI grad or other aviation major (gaining a knowledge of many things ATC) who is a VRA eligible (but has no experience yet) can - and should - apply via this avenue, too, regardless of their specialty while in the service, as they meet the requirements. It is just on them to prove this within the limited text areas of the ASAP system.
On to the VRA
VRA is for prior service military, regardless of experience. The FAA simply requires their VRAs to also have active experience, although VRA is also applicable in their PUBNAT announcements (VRA has the most weight there, as it gives you preference over others in competitive external hiring... which is what all of their announcements not labeled solely as FAA-WIDE or INTERNAL ONLY are.
Do not misinterpret their application of the VRA system as the way it actually works, as most VRAs would get hired much quicker via a PUBNAT than they ever would using just the VRA announcements. This is because VRA against OTS results in VRA being placed at the top of the stack from the start, not as a result of primary qualification determinations (the 'first cut' is what HR calls this). So, you automagically make it to 'stage 2', and receive an additional 5 or 10 points to your 'hiring score', depending on VRA status.
When you only apply to VRA postings, your points are cancelled out by their points, and those people getting 10-points (service connected disabilities mostly) become the top of that stack. You are essentially voluntarily placing yourself back on the bottom of the stack by only applying for VRA postings.
Just some things for the rest of you VRA folks to think about.