How to Get a Job at an Embassy

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There are more than 250 U.S. embassies across the world in exciting and dangerous locations. The best way to get a job in an embassy overseas, is to apply for a Foreign Service Office job. You will begin by enrolling through U.S. Department of State and then going through a long process that could take years. Knowing what to expect will help you start off in the right direction.

Things You'll Need

  • Willingness to work overseas
  • Willingness to work in danger
  • Knowledge of politics and world history
  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Access to the Internet
  • Good speaking skills
  • Good writing skills

What to expect:

  • Be prepared to serve anywhere in the world, and remember, you may not be able to take your family with you.

  • Understand the dangers. The work can be difficult and risky, and you could be placed in politically unstable areas or in war zones.

  • Plan to learn a foreign language. Although it is not a requirement when you apply, you may be asked to learn one.

Requirements:

  • Show proof that you are a U.S. citizen.

  • Make sure you fit the age requirements. You must be between the ages of 21 and 59.

  • Submit a registration package online. This is your application to be considered for the job.

  • Stay calm under pressure and be able to work with people who have different political beliefs and cultures. The U.S. State Department will want to know what you have learned from your previous experiences.

  • Be able to remember detailed information on the fly, and use that information to make reasonable decisions.

  • Brush up on your speaking and writing skills.

To be selected:

  • Register your application online. This will include background information and a personal narrative.

  • Pass a Foreign Service Officer Test. This is an intricate three-hour test that will show your overall knowledge of history, culture, psychology, and other topics.

  • Be prepared for an evaluation. A Qualifications Evaluation Panel will determine whether you may move on.

  • Pass an Oral Assessment test.

  • Get a check-up. The State Department will make sure you are in good health, and give you a medical clearance. You will also have to go through an extensive background examination before you can be given a security clearance for top secret information.

  • Start your job. A review panel will determine whether you will get the job as a Foreign Service Officer, and if you've passed, you can start.

Once you've been accepted:

  • Go through orientation. The orientation program takes seven weeks. This will teach you about the State Department and get you acquainted with policy and the specifics of your job.

  • Get your first assignment. Once you know where you will be going, you will be given specialized training, which could include learning a foreign language. This process takes three months to one year.

  • Travel overseas. You will be given two overseas assignments. These will last two years each, and you will hold a variety of positions.

  • Complete your probation. The probation period is five years. Although you can request a specific assignment in a particular country, you are not guaranteed to get your request. Once you are finished with probation, you have a bit more seniority.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are plenty of employment opportunities and different areas to focus on. These include consular, economic, management, and political affairs, and public diplomacy. An online questionnaire will help you determine which track is best for you.
  • You may be asked to serve in economically depressed areas, or in dangerous war zones.
  • It could take more than a year before you receive your first assignment.

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