The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of Office Management Specialist vacancies based on the needs of the Department.
To learn more about the Department of State and a career as a Foreign Service Specialist, please visit us at https://careers.state.gov.
This is a 9017 Foreign Service equivalent to the 0318 Civil Service series.Learn more about this agency
The primary responsibilities of a Foreign Service Office Management Specialist (OMS) vary greatly depending on the size of the post and the particular position to which assigned. A strong command of the English language, superior office management skills, and in-depth knowledge of office computer software are essential for this position.
The following list is neither exhaustive nor in priority order; however, basic duties may include the following:
- Supporting Department personnel and offices: maintaining and coordinating calendars, coordinating and requesting meetings, tracking and responding to external event invitations, courtesy calls, visitors, phone bills, preparations for meetings, arranging travel, and processing expense vouchers;
- Supporting official events: planning events, tracking event budget and expenses, requesting or monitoring event supplies, coordinating event attendance, maintaining event guest lists, receiving and recording visitors, and serving as event control officer;
- Preparing written materials: preparing briefing materials, drafting documents, facilitating agendas and follow-up from meetings, processing meeting notes, processing information requests, and maintaining procedure manuals;
- Supporting management of office staff: editing position descriptions, supervising staff, tracking performance reviews, participating on committees, maintaining databases, reporting time and attendance, maintaining leave information, and supporting temporary duty staff.
- Supporting information technology and records: providing computer software support, maintaining tasking and other document tracking systems, using travel systems, using an electronic message delivery system, maintaining biographic data, maintaining files, and supporting other electronic record systems as needed;
- Managing the office: supporting emergency response processes, ensuring security of classified and sensitive information, submitting work orders, tracking office equipment maintenance, requesting supplies, answering phones, and distributing mail; and
- Integrating with local culture: learning cultural norms, developing professional relationships, and participating in local organizations.
It is not uncommon for an OMS to regularly perform duties outside of the normal business hours of the office due to needs of the post, official visits, or as part of a regular after-hours duty rotation.
At small posts, OMSs may also be required to provide additional services as back-up Information Management Specialists (handling official telegraphic messages and diplomatic pouches), with training provided.
Occasional travel - A Foreign Service Specialist generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State's overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
- Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
- 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 prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***
Foreign Service Office Management Specialists (OMSs) serve at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide and a few domestic locations. OMSs provide professional office management and administrative support at our posts in various embassy sections such as the Political, Economic, Management, Public Diplomacy, Consular or Security Sections.
Responsibilities include providing and managing a range of administrative and office management functions including:
- - Managing the calendar(s) and schedule(s) for senior staff;
- - Proofing, editing, tracking and filing documents;
- - Preparing agendas and materials for meetings;
- - Providing computer and mobile device support;
- - Knowledge management; and
- - Planning and assisting with official events and visitors.
An OMS must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, dependability, attention to detail, teamwork and cooperation while accepting the need to travel, to live overseas, and when necessary, to live away from family.
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. All qualifying Specialized Experience must be of a progressively responsible nature in office management and/or administrative functions and MUST have been acquired from supporting one or more senior individuals.
To qualify as Specialized Experience, the duties must have a combination of secretarial, administrative assistant or office management components of at least 60% of the work duties.
Examples of Specialized Experience include, but are not limited to:
- Managing calendar(s) and schedule(s) for one or more senior staff;
- Proofing and editing documents, as well as tracking written materials and maintaining office files;
- Preparing documents, handouts, or computer presentations (e.g. PowerPoint) for meetings, including drafting agendas and following up on commitments made at meetings;
- Providing computer support of all types (e.g., basic and specialized applications, troubleshooting, mobile devices, latest apps, tools and social media) and knowledge management (e.g., developing and maintaining databases, capturing information, and conducting research);
- Planning and assisting with official events and visitors, including tracking budgets and expenses, building and managing guest lists, submitting and monitoring supply requests, tracking guest attendance, and official gifts.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- The applicant's experience, education, and training must show that they have an in-depth knowledge of their field and possess the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to successfully perform Office Management Specialist duties worldwide.
- Knowledge of Organizational and Personnel Structures: Knowledge of organizational hierarchy and structure and the roles and responsibilities of key personnel or offices supporting the organizations goals and objectives, in order to quickly know who to contact for any given issue.
- Knowledge of Open Source Research: Knowledge of key issues within the organization and between the organization and outside entities, including researching information on web sites, social media and/or publications, in order to perform such tasks as examining reports or documents for items of interest to the organization and maintaining files.
- Knowledge of Office Computer Programs: Knowledge at the Microsoft Office Specialist level in Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Access or SharePoint, in order to perform tasks assigned and troubleshoot information technology issues. NOTE: Applicants who successfully pass the Oral Assessment MUST provide a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification in Word 2010 or more recent within 30 days of passing the Oral Assessment (OA). Certifications are obtained from an authorized testing center. Information about Microsoft MOS certification can be found at www.certiport.com. It is the responsibility of the candidate to locate a testing center. All cost incurred in connection with qualifying for this position are the responsibility of the candidate. If the MOS certificate is not received within 30 days of passing the OA, the candidacy will not be continued.
- Knowledge of Office Equipment and Troubleshooting: Knowledge of the use of and ability to troubleshoot standard office equipment including high speed copiers, fax, multi-line telephone systems, cellular or smart phones, tablet or lap top computers and digital senders and scanners.
- Cross-Cultural: Ability to work with people from varied backgrounds, educational levels, and cultural surroundings in order to create and maintain an amiable and success-oriented working environment.
- Interpersonal: Ability to work positively with colleagues in order to promote harmony, cooperation, and good morale.
- Decision Making: Professional judgment and experience 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.
- Planning and Organization: Skill at organizing multiple and varied tasks into an achievable system quickly and accurately with minimal supervision in order to complete duties on time.
- Time Management: Skill in time management and prioritization of work, often under conditions of political unrest and tight deadlines, in order to perform assigned tasks.
- Oral and written communication: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. Foreign Service Specialist must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
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 in Office Management or Business Administration 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.
You MUST submit a copy of your high school diploma or equivalency certificate, or your university transcript(s) with your application. If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, you will not be given credit and your candidacy will not be continued.
Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. 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 the candidacy will not be continued. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.
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, in order to be credited towards qualifications or your candidacy will not be continued.
Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that 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 when applying. 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 be continued.
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.
*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) – Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.
U.S. law requires organizations to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee’s information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.
**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: https://fam.state.gov/.
***For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-
No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.
An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).
Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.
It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.
The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.
How You Will Be Evaluated
Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in the application not being considered further. There are no exceptions.
1. USAJobs Resume Builder is the only resume format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
2. Completed online application including the completed required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives in the online application.
3. Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
4. For applicants who are age 60 to 65, you must provide your Veteran’s Preference documentation at the time of your application. 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 that certifies 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.
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 an Foreign Service Specialist. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Specialist is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application or the candidacy will not be continued.
1. Describe what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you had to find an innovative solution to a practical problem. Indicate who was affected by the problem and in what way, and the nature of the difficulties faced.
2. Describe your work experiences that demonstrate you have a high level of proficiency in performing administrative duties like managing files/records/databases, proofing text, processing documents, and maintaining office equipment.
3. Give an example of a situation where you had to plan, organize and prioritize your own work, particularly where you had to meet tight deadlines or work long hours. Indicate the complexity of the task you were organizing and the consequences if you had failed to meet your deadline.
4. Give one example which best illustrates a situation where you had to handle several different tasks at once and where it was important to ensure that the quality of your performance was maintained at a high standard. Comment on the pressure you were under and indicate any resources you used to help you prioritize tasks.
5. 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 solve a problem. What was the technology you used and how did your skill with the program contribute to resolving the problem?
Statement of Interest
Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:
- Motivation for joining the Foreign Service;
- Comments about your work experience, include special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, 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 U.S.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
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.
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing overseas and tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.
For information on FS Salary, please visit https://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/foreign-service-salary-matching-pay-tables-danger-pay-overseas-moving-expenses-and-taxes.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date/time to be considered. There are no exceptions.
- From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log into your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
- Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department online application site, Monster Government Service (MGS). Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
- The application system allows up to four methods to submit required documentation: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; resubmit documents from a previous application; or fax. If you are submitting documents by fax, you must follow the fax directions, and generate and use the fax coversheets for your set(s) of documents.
- After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including the links for your submitted documents.
- Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.
Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement.
Application packages must be complete and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.
You should submit your application early, and may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement. We strongly recommended that you go back into your application and verify that your documents are attached.
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Monster Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time.
For more information on the Foreign Service Specialist hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at http://careers.state.gov/faqs. If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please visit our Careers.State.Gov site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section: http://careers.state.gov/connect/forums.
Agency contact information
AddressU.S. Department of State
2201 C St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20520
Visit our careers page
Learn more about what it's like to work at Department of State - Agency Wide, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.
Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred” or “not referred” after the close of the announcement. This status on USAJobs will not be updated further.
All applicants will be notified via his/her Monster account about the outcome of the initial application review and if they will be further considered for this Foreign Service position. Additional notifications to applicants concerning the application status will be by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State.
Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications.
We recommend adding the Department of State domain (@state.gov) as an approved sender.
For more information, please visit http://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/selection-process.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/548710200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.