The importance of staying patient

A physician recruiter shares his advice


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As many VA job seekers know, the VA hiring process can be lengthy and at times, frustrating. Health care positions have strict requirements for both education and experience, and as large as VA is, not all locations are hiring for specific skill sets at any given time. No one knows this better than Tim Blakney, the National Healthcare Recruitment Consultant for VISN (Veterans Integrated Service Network) 19.

Tim, a retired U.S. Air Force Veteran, applied for 32 positions at VA before finding the perfect fit recruiting mission critical health care providers in the Rocky Mountain Network (Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado).

As a job seeker Tim refused to get discouraged, instead choosing to have faith in the thorough process, knowing that the competitive field ensures VA has the highest quality professionals providing service and care for Veterans.

“For many positions, depending on where you apply, there could be an excess of 100 applicants,” says Tim. “For me, I had to think there was someone out there for each position who was a better fit. And I did finally fit the mold.”

To find the best fit and be successful in your job search, candidates need to find a position for which they are best qualified. Read the job announcement carefully, and reach out to the point of contact to get clarification. It’s also helpful to expand your career search. VA allows health care professionals to practice anywhere in the U.S. with only one active state license, so you are not limited to your current location.

Tim prides himself on being transparent as both recruiter and career counselor to candidates eager to work at VA. Whether emphasizing the virtue of patience, or in one case, encouraging an experienced physician to renew his board certification, Tim knows his ultimate purpose is to find the best health care providers for his fellow Veterans.

If you are considering a career at VA and have questions, Tim encourages you to find a personal connection. “Reach out to someone who knows VA and ask them for clarification on whatever questions you have. VA is a great place to work and there really is no better calling in life than to provide for a Veteran…Do not let anything stand in your way of providing care to a Veteran.”

To connect with Tim or another VA national healthcare recruitment consultant in your region, visit the Contact A Recruiter page on the careers site. To explore all VA opportunities and apply, visit VACareers.va.gov.

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VA Careers