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How to Apply for an Embassy Job in the United States

by Lee Grayson

Work at American embassies includes careers at facilities in South and Central America, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Near and Far East, Africa and the Pacific, as well as assignments in the United States. Employment fields vary with the embassy, but most installations hire foreign and civil service officers and diplomatic security. Embassies occasionally have jobs for students and intelligence workers. Military veterans and family members of federal government workers stationed in foreign countries typically have hiring preference for embassy and consulate jobs.

Career Field Selection

American citizens apply for embassy jobs by looking at the job opportunities on the Department of State or the official federal employment website USAJobs. Jobs with embassy foreign service operations, for example, include 22 different specialists careers that feature jobs in the fields of construction, administration, information technology, management, security, medical and health. Most assignments require specific skills, training and advanced degrees. Some careers, such as Foreign Service Officer, allow job seekers to meet with a current employee to discuss the duties and assignment.

Formal Registration

USAJobs, the official federal government employment site, requires job seekers and career researchers to formally register with a name, e-mail contact account and personal contact information. The registration then allows review of job openings and formal application for positions. The website also allows job seekers to upload a number of different resumes to apply for various jobs, and it collects the names and contact information for references, and stores school transcripts, college and technical school diplomas and any special licenses and certifications.

Skill And Requirement

Applying for an embassy job requires matching skills with the job posting. Embassy employment postings itemize specific applicant requirements under a separate heading on the job announcement. In order to be considered for positions, applicants must meet key requirements. This typically includes having the type of security, suitability and medical clearances necessary to do the work and meet any age and citizenship requirements. Potential employees must also meet general requirements. Job postings list all of this information. Positions specify the number of years of prior service required, and also itemize the education, knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to apply. Most embassy jobs require applicants to complete an online questionnaire and some also ask for a narrative autobiography or an online exam.

Locating Job Openings

Potential employees can search the official employment openings on the U.S. Department of State website or USAJobs for embassy jobs. Candidates can also register on both sites to receive announcements for future employment postings, including notification for all embassy assignments or limiting the notice to specific jobs at one embassy. The State Department posts general job summaries with a link for future openings on the agency site and also on USAJobs.

Job Application

Once job seekers receive notice of an embassy opening, or discover the opening while searching the federal or agency website, application must be completed for the position using the USAJobs site. Log in and review the job posting to answer any special questionnaires or complete qualifying quizzes or exams. Applicants then upload a resume and any transcripts and click the final button to apply for the open position. It's important to note the job application deadline. Candidates occasionally wait a day or two to review an application before submitting, but embassy jobs sometimes list a qualifier that the position can close without advance warning.

About the Author

Lee Grayson has worked as a freelance writer since 2000. Her articles have appeared in publications for Oxford and Harvard University presses and research publishers, including Facts On File and ABC-CLIO. Grayson holds certificates from the University of California campuses at Irvine and San Diego.

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