Foreign Service Office Management Specialist
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.
Relocation expenses reimbursed Yes After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two consecutive overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.
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. 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.Read more
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. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
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