Foreign Service Office Jobs

Summary

The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank-ordered list of eligible hires for a limited number of Foreign Service Office Management Specialist (OMS) positions. To learn more about the Department of State and a career in the Foreign Service, visit https://careers.state.gov.

There is more to the Foreign Service than just salary. Refer to the Benefits section for more information on total compensation.

This is a 9017 Foreign Service position equivalent to the 0301 CS Series

This job is open to

Clarification from the agency

Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure they meet all requirements and understand a Foreign Service career. Applicants may not reapply for the same position until one year after their previous application date. If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except for Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs).

Duties

Foreign Service Office Management Specialists (OMS) serve in key support roles at U.S. embassies and consulates globally, as well as some domestic locations, performing a wide range of administrative, operational, and technical program support functions that facilitate the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. The primary responsibilities of an OMS vary depending on the size of the post, the office, and the position to which assigned. In a typical career, the scope of work for an OMS will increase as they gain experience, are promoted, and become eligible for positions of higher rank and responsibility. The work requires knowledge of administrative, operations, and program support principles, a strong command of the English language, superior interpersonal skills, and in-depth knowledge of standard office computer software programs. 

The following list is neither exhaustive nor in priority order; however, entry-level duties may include the following: 

  1. General Office Support: Maintains and certifies time and attendance records for employees in the office/section. Implements knowledge management and records management policies for the office/section. Develops, updates, and implements administrative and operations policies (such as Standard Operating Procedures) for the office/section. Provides administrative oversight of office budgets (vouchers, travel expenses, petty cash, etc). Manages inventory and ordering of office equipment, furniture, and supplies. Escorts uncleared visitors and personnel in security-restricted areas. Coordinates responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Privacy Act requests, Diplomatic Security requests, and requests from the Office of the Inspector General. Ensures sensitive information is properly managed and safeguarded. 
  2. Supporting Department Personnel: Manages and plans schedules, and arranges meetings, conferences, and VIP escorts/visits/events. Makes travel arrangements and processes expense vouchers. Makes and receives calls on behalf of other employees. Facilitates connections between key stakeholders, visitors, and internal/external officials; virtually or in person. Works on administrative and operational matters, or programmatic areas within the assigned area of responsibility. Attends meetings, takes notes, and reviews administrative documents. 
  3. Preparing Written Materials: Reviews, drafts, and responds to correspondence for approval within the area of authority. Routes official communication to the appropriate points of contact. Proofreads and edits documents for accuracy, formatting, clearance, style, and compliance with regulations. Prepares and enhances documents, presentations, reports, memos, emails, and other forms of official communication. 
  4. Supporting Official Events: Supports special events and functions of all sizes on behalf of the section or post, including after hours. Manages visitor access to government events and facilities. Learns and facilitates protocol requirements for decorum and traditions at the post of assignment in various official settings.  
  5. Supporting Office Staff: Trains staff on administrative and operations issues in the office/section. Evaluates program requirements and policy goals to ensure program plans, schedules, and support are provided at the right time and place. Conducts special projects and/or collaborates on special projects, as assigned.  
  6. Supporting information technology and records: Aids in troubleshooting and resolving basic IT issues, including hardware (printers, copiers, shredders, etc.), and software support (internet, virtual communication platforms, Microsoft Office applications, and others).  
  7. Integrating with Local Culture: Uses foreign language skills to facilitate the fulfilment of tasks. Attends and assists in the planning of representational events. Liaises with host country personnel and other Embassy interlocutors.  

It is not uncommon for Foreign Service personnel to perform duties outside of normal business hours due to needs of the post, official visits, or as part of a regular after-hours duty rotation. The type of compensation for additional hours worked will vary based on individual work schedules. 

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and accept assignments based on the needs of the FS.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to meet the minimum medical qualification standard.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
  • Be at least 20 years old to apply; at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed before age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***

An OMS must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, dependability, attention to detail, teamwork, and cooperation while accepting the need to travel, live overseas, and when necessary, live away from family. 

Qualifications

Specialized Experience 

Specialized Experience demonstrates that the applicant has acquired, and is able to apply, a combination of specific knowledge, skills, and abilities appropriate to this Foreign Service position. Qualifying Specialized Experience must be a) of a progressively responsible nature and b) must have been acquired supporting office or programmatic goals. Duties must have been comprised of at least 60% administrative components. Specialized experience must have been performed within the last 10 years to be counted towards qualification. 

Examples of Specialized Experience include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Managing schedules and calendars, arranging meetings, conferences, events, and travel. 
  2. Planning and assisting with events and visitors, tracking budgets, expenses, and vouchers, and submitting and monitoring supply requests. 
  3. Developing and implementing administrative procedures. 
  4. Analyzing technical, operational, and administrative functions to recommend process improvements or increase program effectiveness. 
  5. Formulating and implementing knowledge management and records management policies, such as developing and maintaining databases, records management, and conducting research. 
  6. Providing basic computer hardware/software support and troubleshooting, including maintaining office equipment. Skill in web-based navigation, virtual communication platforms, and common Microsoft Office applications. 
  7. Preparing materials, documents, handouts, or presentations (e.g., PowerPoint) for meetings, including proofing and editing documents for others. 

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics

The applicant’s experience, education, and training must show that they have an in-depth knowledge of their field and possess the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) to successfully perform OMS duties worldwide.

  1. Interpersonal skills, including teamwork: Interacting effectively with others, including developing and maintaining constructive and cooperative working relationships and resolving conflicts. Working with teammates, customers, and others from widely diverse backgrounds, views, priorities, knowledge, and needs to cooperate to get the work done.
  2. Customer service skills: Gathering information regarding customer requirements, assessing underlying needs, finding optimal solutions, and providing effective customer service.
  3. Communications skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling, and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity, and succinctness).
  4. Cross-cultural skills: Skill in working with people from varied backgrounds, educational levels, and cultural surroundings in order to create and maintain an amiable and success-oriented working environment. Acceptance of peoples and cultures other than your own and interest in living in such cultures.
  5. Planning, organizing, and project management skills: Skill at organizing multiple and varied tasks into an achievable system quickly and accurately with minimal supervision to complete duties on time. Identifying resources, making use of limited resources, correcting or preventing known problems, anticipating challenges, and establishing milestones.
  6. Time management: Skill in time management and prioritization of work, often under conditions of tight deadlines. We are utilizing time efficiently, handling multiple priorities simultaneously, and judging how to prioritize and delegate work appropriately.
  7. Problem-solving and decision-making/judgment: Skill in using logic and reasoning to evaluate facts, identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems, including creative and resourceful solutions, and present the alternatives in an unbiased way to others. Professional judgment and maturity to make decisions within appropriate areas of responsibility that move projects forward and enable timely achievement of section goals, including knowing when it is necessary to seek guidance from more experienced employees.
  8. Management and supervision skills: Coordinating, scheduling, tracking, managing information flow, negotiating work priorities, and supervising locally employed (LE) staff and interns. Taking initiative and showing leadership to proactively identify issues and tasks, motivate others, give guidance, and serve as a role model.
  9. Record management skills: Creating archives, saving documents, searching, tracking paperwork, and creating and managing databases.
  10. Computer skills: Assists and trains others on office and specialized department software and helps resolve computer-related problems as the first line of support, including proactively learning new systems and changes. Knowledge at the Microsoft Office Specialist level in Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access or SharePoint, to perform tasks assigned and troubleshoot information technology issues. 
  11. Adaptability and flexibility: Changing one’s behaviour to adapt to the situation and recover from setbacks and extreme job demands in a timely and positive manner to ensure effectiveness under any circumstances.
  12. Dependability and integrity: Reliable, responsible, dependable, and conscientious at fulfilling obligations in order to perform work and assist customers. Honest and ethical in all aspects of performing the responsibilities of one’s job, regardless of the demands of the situation.
  13. Tolerance for international career: accepting assignments based on the needs of the Foreign Service, experiencing frequent global travel, and living away from family.

Education

At the time of application, applicants must have one of the following:

  • A High School diploma or equivalent and three years of Specialized Experience in the last 10 years; or
    • An Associate’s degree and two years of Specialized Experience in the last 10 years; or
    • A Bachelor’s or higher degree in any major and one year of Specialized Experience in the last 10 years.

If your OMST results qualify, you will be asked via email to submit documentation demonstrating your educational achievements. Candidates should add *@state.gov as a trusted sender. You will be required to submit a copy of your high school diploma/equivalency certificate, or your university transcript(s). Diplomas from colleges/universities are not accepted. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure all required documents are attached (not linked) and sent before the requested deadline. Failure to submit documents on time, the absence of any required documents, or incomplete applications will result in the termination of your candidacy. 

DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

Official or unofficial transcripts are accepted. Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded, and have no missing pages. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and your candidacy will not continue. Transcripts are required for college-level education and above. Documents sent via link are not accepted, and diplomas for college-level education are not accepted.

Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation) to be credited towards qualifications or your candidacy will not continue.

Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements if the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not continue.

NACES: www.naces.org/members.htm
AICE: www.aice-eval.org/members

For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.

OPM: www.opm.gov
U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov

Additional information

 

Benefits

A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

Benefits include health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, and paid leave. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing overseas, tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas, and an unrivalled opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures. 

The salary listed is from the Foreign Service Overseas pay scale and the Washington D.C. pay scale. New hires entering with a grade level of FP-06 will receive an administrative promotion to FP-05 after 18 months.

Click here for more salary information.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position requirements. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

The Department will invite candidates who pass the qualifications review process to participate in the virtual Foreign Service Specialist Assessment (FSSA).

Required Documents

For information on how to submit your application and register to take the Office Management Specialist Test (OMST), visit www.pearsonvue.com/OMST. Do not apply through USAJobs.

After creating a web account, answer all the self-assessment questions, enter your work history for the past 10 years, and complete the Personal Narrative questions and Statement of Interest: 

Personal Narrative

These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming a Foreign Service Specialist. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters). Compose your replies carefully, clearly and concisely. Answers to all items in the Personal Narrative and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

  1. Substantive Knowledge: Describe your skills, knowledge, and experience in managing office policies and procedures, such as developing and implementing project proposals, budgets, or knowledge management procedures.
  2. Intellectual Skills: Describe an example of how you used your proficiency in computer technology and programs, such as those in the Microsoft Office Suite or similar programs, to collect, interpret, and/or analyze data. Comment on the technology you used and how your skill with the program helped to solve a problem.
  3. Interpersonal Skills: Describe a situation where you used your interpersonal skills to resolve a conflict or provide effective customer service.
  4. Communication Skills: Describe an example of how you used your proficiency in spoken or written communication, including foreign language skills if appropriate, to further an aim or achieve a goal. 
  5. Managerial Skills: Describe a situation where you had to plan, organize, and prioritize your work, particularly where you had to handle several different tasks with close deadlines and it was important to maintain a high standard of performance. Comment on how you set priorities and allocated time, and indicate any resources you used to help prioritize tasks.
  6. Leadership Skills: Describe a situation where you took the initiative to resolve a problem or proposed an innovative solution. Indicate who was affected by the problem in what way, and the nature of the difficulties faced.

Statement of Interest

The required narrative Statement of Interest must discuss your:

– Motivation for joining the Foreign Service;

– Relevant work experience, including any unique strengths not described elsewhere such as special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, certifications, honours, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position; and

– Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in the United States.

If your OMST results qualify, you will be asked via email to submit documentation demonstrating your educational achievements. You must submit a copy of your high school diploma, equivalency certificate, or your university transcript(s). A timeline for submission will be specified in the email. You must submit your documents by the date indicated to qualify for the next step of the selection process. If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, your candidacy will not continue. See Education Requirements for more information.

Applicants aged 60 to 65 claiming Veteran’s Preference must submit documentation by email when requested. If claiming a 5 pt. Veteran’s Preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service. If claiming a 10 pt. Veteran’s Preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service. A Certification must be from the armed forces certifying the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and should include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service and disability rating, if applicable.

How to Apply

Submit your application and register to take the Office Management Specialist Test (OMST) at www.pearsonvue.com/OMST. Do not apply through USAJobs. 

  1. Visit pearsonvue.com/OMST.
  2. Create a web account.
  3. Follow the instructions to complete the OMST online application. (Note: Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it. You can interrupt the application process and return to it until you submit it.)
    • Answer all the self-assessment questions;
    • Include work history for the past ten (10 years); and, 
    • Complete the Personal Narrative questions and Statement of Interest (see the Required Documents section for more information.  
  4. Complete, review, and submit the application.
    • Your OMST online application will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position. 
    • You have six months to complete the application process outlined in this announcement and take the OMST. If you have not taken the OMST within six months, you must restart the application process. 
    • Application packages must be completed before you can register for the Office Management Specialist Test. 
    • We strongly recommend reviewing your application before final submission.
  5. Select an appointment to take the OMST at one of Pearson Vue’s test centres. The OMST is an important part of the selection process, covering English expression, reading comprehension, and situational judgement necessary to work as an Office Management Specialist.

If you have technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Pearson Vue Help Desk by calling 1-866-389-8339 (toll-free) or 1-952-905-7483, or by utilizing the Chat function on www.pearsonvue.com. The Help Desk is available Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time; closed on local holidays.

For more information on Foreign Service Specialist hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at http://careers.state.gov/faqs.

Agency contact information

 OMS Vacancy Info

Phone

000-000-0000

Email

OMSVacancyInfo@state.gov

Address

U.S. Department of State
2201 C ST NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20522
United States

Learn more about this agency

 

Next steps

Applicants who complete the OMST will be notified by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State about the outcome of their application, and whether they will be further considered for this Foreign Service position. We recommend adding the Department of State domain (@state.gov) as an approved sender.

The Department will invite candidates who pass the qualifications review process to participate in the Virtual Foreign Service Specialist Assessment (VFSSA).

For more information on the OMS selection process, visit https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/office-management-specialist-selection-process/.

 

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