May 15, 2023

Graduates' Guide to Getting Hired by the City of Virginia Beach

Here's helpful tips to give you an edge when applying for one of our positions.
Grad cap and congratulations sign 2023

Graduating from college is a major accomplishment, as well as an exciting time for students to figure out next steps. Working in local government for the City of Virginia Beach is a great way to kickstart a meaningful career in a sunny, active beach town.

Serving the largest city in the state of Virginia, our organization offers college graduates a variety of job opportunities in departments as diverse as libraries, stormwater engineering, environmental planning, IT, nursing, social work, communication, recreation and the Virginia Aquarium—just to name a few.

In addition to competitive pay, excellent benefits, vacation days, and opportunities to work from home, there’s plenty of room to grow here. Last year more than 900 City of Virginia Beach employees were promoted in responsibility and salary.

Navigating the hiring process as a new graduate can feel challenging. This guide can give you an edge when you’re applying for one of our positions. Here’s what every applicant needs to know:

Meet the minimum experience required

Every position you apply for will list minimum job requirements, which are the basic qualifications a candidate must have to be considered for that role. Demonstrating these basic requirements—especially in education and years of experience—are crucial for being invited to be interviewed. Be sure to clearly list all applicable qualifications on your resume and application.

With us, your degree = years of experience

The City of Virginia Beach highly values the education you’ve received. That’s why applicants are given credit for college degrees in the form of work experience.

In our application system, an associate degree earns you the equivalent of two years’ work experience. A bachelor’s earns you four years, and a master’s up to six. So congrats, grad! You’re already that much closer to meeting the minimum work experience required for our positions.

Get relevant experience

The requirement for job-specific experience can feel like a catch-22. How can applicants get experience if they haven’t been hired…and how can they get hired if they don’t have experience?

This is where it pays to be strategic and play the long game. If a specific career field interests you, it can be beneficial to get any relevant work experience in your field or a similar role—even if you feel overqualified.

That might mean starting in an entry-level position, doing temporary work, or working another job in Virginia Beach that will give you local knowledge. Eventually, your work experience and professional connections can open the door for the roles and responsibilities you’re seeking.\

Include your transferable skills

When you apply for one of our positions, be sure to tell us about the professional skills you’ve gained through your coursework, internships and jobs—even if you haven’t worked in the field you’re applying for. That’s why it’s helpful to list any transferable skills.

These are skills you’ve learned through previous work experience, volunteering or education that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a recreation center that requires customer service experience, be sure to share if you’ve provided customer service in any type of work environment, like a retail store or restaurant.

Talk to a recruiter

Whether you have questions about a specific job description or the interview process, speaking directly with a recruiter is a great way to get those questions answered. The City of Virginia Beach has two ways to do that—virtually and in person.

The Human Resources Department offers a virtual Q & A every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. All you have to do is reserve a spot.

A great way to connect with a recruiter in person is to attend a job fair. City representatives often attend job fairs at colleges in the region, and occasionally the City will host its our own career fair. To learn where our team will be next, follow us on LinkedIn.

Make a great first impression

When interacting with our recruiters and hiring staff, come prepared for the conversation with thoughtful questions and stories from your background that highlight your ability to excel in the position you seek.

Whether in person or virtual, dress to impress and be a few minutes early for your meeting. This extra effort shines through and can help you stand out as someone the City wants in our workforce.

Learn more about us

The more you know about the City of Virginia Beach as a community and an organization, the better equipped you’ll be throughout the hiring process. Take a few minutes to read about our mission and values, our history, and our government structure.

Follow us on social media, read our latest news, and sign up for our Be in the Know newsletter. If you live out of the area, come visit. The more you know, the more equipped you’ll be to serve this community with excellence.

Ready to apply? Check out our current job openings at virginiabeach.gov/careers.

Contact Information

Department of Human Resources

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