United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement No: IMS-2013-0002
Position Title: FOREIGN SERVICE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST
Open Period: 06/27/2013 – 07/24/2013
Series/Grade: FP – 2880 05
Salary: $42,948 - $63,071
Promotion Potential: Senior Foreign Service
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World, WW
For More Information: HR/REE, 202-203-5160, IMSVacancyInfo@state.gov
Who May Apply
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
Applicants must be American Citizens and at least 20 years old to apply. They must be at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law, all career candidates must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
Applicants are not eligible to reapply until one year after the application date of prior announcements, provided there is a new open Vacancy Announcement at that time.
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible candidates to fill a limited number of Information Management Specialist vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.
Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-05, $42,948- $63,071
The U.S. Department of State is the lead foreign affairs agency formulating and implementing the President’s foreign policy and representing the interests of the United States throughout the world. The Department carries out this mission at over 270 embassies and consulates around the world, offices in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and other locations in the United States.
Foreign Service Information Management Specialists (IMS) are responsible for the Department’s Information Resource Management programs and Information Technology (IT) systems world-wide. The work is diverse and challenging. At overseas posts, IMS manage both staff supporting these programs and perform hands-on duties themselves. IMS provide customer support, knowledge management, application support, and manage a world-wide telecommunications network, computer networks, telephone systems, radio networks, and the Diplomatic Pouch and Mail program. At embassies and consulates abroad, IMS are expected to perform other duties, such as supporting visits of high-level officials, including the President of the United States, in support of U.S. foreign policy.
Department of State Foreign Service IMS must have the ability to adapt to changing cultural and physical environments, work with differing levels of technology, follow developments and innovations in the IT field and successfully apply emerging technology solutions to the art of diplomacy.
Competitive Promotion and Within-Grade Increases:
Following two directed assignments as an entry-level employee, the IMS bids on subsequent domestic or overseas assignments every two or three years. Employees can expect to serve in any IT area depending on the needs of the embassy or consulate. Specialists serve with the embassy or consulate management team. They may have the opportunity to participate in non-technical embassy work and in social and community activities as part of the embassy family. After the first two assignments, employees may request assignments in any embassy or consulate world-wide. Assignments are made in consultation with the employee’s Career Development Officer, taking into consideration the needs of the Department, the particular interests or skills of the employee, career development requirements, family circumstances, and individual preferences.
All employees are evaluated, in writing, at least once a year. The employee is an active participant in this process. Evaluations form the basis for promotions, which are made by a panel of more senior employees. In addition to the formal training program, Information Management Specialists advance in their career by performing well and taking assignments with progressively more managerial responsibilities. In general, Foreign Service employees with documented satisfactory performance are eligible to receive a within-grade step increase annually through step 9 and bi-annually from step 10 through 14.
IMS serve at U.S. embassies and consulates world-wide. Candidates must agree not only to serve at any U.S. diplomatic or consulate post abroad, but also at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., and other domestic locations as needed by the Foreign Service. A career in the Foreign Service involves uncommon commitments and frequent hardships, as well as unique rewards and opportunities. As a member of a diplomatic team, you will help accomplish the mission of the Department of State and also be a representative of your country to the people of other nations. A decision to enter this career involves strong motivation and a firm dedication to public service.
Many embassies and consulates are in countries where harsh climates, health hazards, and other discomforts are prevalent and where American-style amenities are frequently unavailable. Personal security often becomes an area of concern, particularly in countries where there is political unrest or terrorist activity. For this reason, family members are not permitted to accompany the IMS on assignments to a number of overseas posts. However, careers in the Foreign Service offer special rewards, including the pride and satisfaction of representing the United States and advancing U.S. interests abroad.
The Foreign Service strives for diversity in representing America abroad. Diversity is one of America's greatest strengths. In representing the United States to the world, the Foreign Service aims to reflect and respect our rich heritage and varied backgrounds in its workforce.
All applicants, in order to be considered for selection, must:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law (Foreign Service Act of 1980), all career candidates (except for preference-eligible veterans) must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
- Be available for worldwide service.
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
- Be able to obtain an appropriate medical clearance for Foreign Service work.
- Be able to obtain a Suitability Clearance, based on a review of the candidate's record for conduct in accordance with suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process or http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam.
If you are 59 1/2 years of age or over and claiming a 5 point veteran's preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 with your application. If you are claiming a 10 point veteran’s preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15 with your application. (This is required if you are preference eligible.)
The duties of IMS vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. At various times, at posts around the world or in domestic locations, the following are some examples of the types of duties and responsibilities an IMS is expected to perform.
- Provide assistance to users of information management services (for example, by configuring and optimizing software).
- Train users in the use of new software applications, providing guidance and assistance with new or amended IT-related policies and procedures.
- Advise post staff on the use of social media technologies for Mission outreach activities.
- Set up, administer, and support software and hardware digital conferencing systems.
- Manage Department of State knowledge bases.
- Promote end-user involvement in technology and technical decision-making.
- Promoting the use of emerging technologies, and improving and supporting connectivity with U.S. government foreign affairs partner agencies.
- Install, operate, and maintain new hardware and software applications.
- Ensure that IT operations comply with Department of State and federal government operating and security policies and practices, and ensuring that applicable management controls are implemented.
- Administer, operate, and troubleshoot classified and unclassified telecommunications network equipment, including but not limited to, cryptographic equipment, multiplexers, modems, routers, switches, and satellite equipment.
- Administer secure and non-secure telephone and wireless programs at embassies and consulates by installing new equipment, as well as maintaining and repairing existing equipment.
- Install, test, maintain, and deploy various wireless and satellite emergency communications systems.
- Administer classified and unclassified Diplomatic Pouch and Mail programs at overseas locations by providing appropriate supervision, reporting and oversight.
- Monitor and implement security and management controls on Department of State automated information systems.
- Support operations in the area of cyber security, contingency planning, disaster recovery, general security operations, and risk management.
- Supervise teams of foreign national systems administrators, mailroom employees, telephone technicians, radio technicians, or switchboard operators.
- Serve as part of the embassy or consulate management team.
- Perform additional duties outside normal information resource management activities as determined by embassy or consulate management or as dictated by specific circumstances.
Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, Information Management Specialists are required to:
- Work in confined areas such as crawlspaces, attics, communication closets, and other confined spaces.
- Work from heights to include rooftops, scaffolding, and climb extension ladders.
- Move, handle, and lift heavy objects. For example: move desks to troubleshoot computer issues, move computers with or without carts, and move other equipment and tools.
All of these tasks are at times performed at construction sites with ambient noise and other environmental factors that are typical for such sites.
All Information Management Specialists must meet the following requirements:
|GENERAL AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS|
|Grade Level||Annual Salary||Education||Specialized Experience|
|FP-05||$42,948 - $63,071||MS, BS, BA or no degree.
Please note certification may also be required. Please see full details in the next matrix.
|Please see full details in the next matrix.|
|Educational Background||Specialized Experience Required||Certificate|
|Master’s degree in Information Technology related field||None, if the degree was earned within two (2) years of the opening date of the announcement.
If IT or IT related degree was earned more than two (2) years before the opening date of the announcement, you must have a minimum of two (2) years of professional IT experience within the past three (3) years.
|No certification required|
|Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology related field||None, if the degree was earned within two (2) years of the opening date of the announcement.
If IT or IT related degree was earned more than two (2) years before the opening date of the announcement, you must have a minimum of two (2) years of professional IT experience within the past three (3) years.
|No certification required|
|Master’s degree in non-related IT field||Minimum two (2) years of professional experience within the past three (3) years.||Certification required.|
|Bachelor’s degree in non-related Information Technology field.||Minimum two (2) years of professional IT experience within the past three (3) years.||Certification required.|
|Associate’s degree in related Information Technology field or Equivalent||Minimum two (2) years of professional IT experience within the past three (3) years.||Certification required.|
|Completion of U.S. Military IT related training curriculum||Minimum of three (3) years of professional IT experience in the past five (5) years.||No Certification required.|
|No degree||Minimum four (4) years of professional IT experience within the past five (5) years.||Certification required.|
*Please note: All candidates without a Bachelor/Master’s Degree in an IT-related field or Military IT related training, are required to possess a minimum of one approved certification.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for Federal jobs. To view how foreign education is evaluated for federal jobs please CLICK HERE.
Qualifications and Specialized Experience
A. Specialized Experience Requirements:
Specialized experience is professional work that demonstrates the applicant has acquired, and is able to apply, specific knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to Foreign Service Information Management Specialist positions.
Candidates who have served a complete tour in any branch of the U.S. Military and who have obtained an honorable discharge are encouraged to apply, provided the candidate has successfully completed an IT-related course of study at an accredited Military Technical School, and can demonstrate the required experience.
Qualifying specialized experience must have been acquired within the periods specified above and must demonstrate the potential to perform in progressively more responsible positions in the information resource management field. An applicant's work experience will be evaluated for level of responsibility and length of experience.
B. Desired Experience
- Knowledge of information technology, information security, problem and resolution tracking procedures, telecommunications, off-the-shelf software, radio and telephone systems, customer service techniques, and techniques in leveraging IT, to include social media, to satisfy business needs.
- Specialized skills in problem recognition, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, rule application, troubleshooting and problem solving, learning and keeping abreast of a rapidly changing field, translating business needs into technical solutions, customer service, self-management, stress tolerance, and simply stating technical concepts.
- General skill in reading comprehension, active learning, critical thinking, complex problem solving, troubleshooting, active listening, social perceptiveness, networking, speaking, attention to detail, instructing, persuading, writing, coordination, time management, operations analysis and monitoring, systems evaluation, equipment selection, installation, and maintenance.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
- Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, world-wide availability, dependability, teamwork and cooperation, personal and professional integrity (ethics), tolerance for working overseas, travel and being on call, varying work environments, and living away from family.
ABILITIES AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
IT or IT Related Master’s Degree: Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Information Security, Data Processing, Library Science or other related IT or IT management field.
IT or IT Related Bachelor’s Degree: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Information Security, Data Processing, Library Science, or other related IT or IT management fields.
IT or IT Related Associate’s Degree or Equivalent: Associate’s degree from an accredited college of university in Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Networking, Information Security, Data Processing or other related IT or IT management field.
The equivalent to an Associate’s degree would include such items as a two-year technical certification from an accredited technical school. This certification would be in fields directly related to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; courses of study and/or certificates must be in Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Networking, Information Security, Data Processing or other related IT or IT management fields.
IT or IT Related Military Training: Military IT training from a U.S. military facility or Academy in fields directly related to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; training and/or courses of study must be in Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Networking, Information Security, Data Processing or other related IT or IT management fields.
Important: Training should be duly noted on the applicants DD-214 or Military training report and should be uploaded where a transcript is requested. If you need the degree to qualify, the degree must have been awarded by the date you submit your application.
Certifications required: Applicants requiring industry certifications must supply valid certifications earned within the past five (5) years. Only the below certifications will be considered for the purpose of fulfilling the certification requirements. If certification is required, candidates need possess only one of the following:
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) Server Administrator on Server 2008
- MCITP Enterprise Administrator on Server 2008
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Expert or above
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Cyber Security NSTISSI 4011 Certificate
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator on Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Windows Server 2003
Please note: Certification identification numbers must be clearly visible.
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.
Part-time work experience will be prorated. Candidates will be evaluated through a file review, a personal interview, a writing exercise, and an on-line subject matter test.
Those who have successfully gone through the selection process will be required to:
- Obtain a medical clearance
- Obtain a Top Secret security clearance
- Undergo a suitability review
Once all clearances are received, candidates are put on a rank order register. Candidates’ rank order on the register improves by receiving additional points for qualifying military service and/or proven language ability as determined by the Foreign Service Institute. More information on these two points, as well as on the clearance process, is available on the following website, http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process. Selection for this position will be made from candidates on the register who possess the best qualifications and receive the highest rankings.
In cases where education is substituted for experience, copies of college transcripts, diplomas, etc. must be presented at the time of oral assessment. Such materials will then become the property of the Department of State and will not be returned. Failure to adequately substantiate education and work experience by virtue of documentation and verification will result in termination of your application for the position of Information Management Specialist.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 20 and 59, high school graduates or equivalent.
Superior Oral and Written Communication Skills: In order to pass the Foreign Service assessment process, successful applicants 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). Those who fall short of this standard will have little chance of advancing through the Foreign Service’s highly competitive assessment process.
Professional-level speaking ability in a foreign language is welcome, but not a requirement for applying. However, the applicant must be willing to be trained by the Department of State in a foreign language to meet a job requirement or expectation.
How to Apply
We are not currently accepting applications for this position. Please subscribe to receive email updates regarding this vacancy.
To apply, applicants must first register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov and create an online federal resume. Your online resume must be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided. Once you have completed the registration process, select the "Apply Online" button to the right of the vacancy. That button will transfer you to Gateway to State. The deadline to submit completed applications is 07/24/2013.
Follow the "Apply Online"instructions at Gateway to State by answering self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the Gateway to State questions will become your application. Your registration, resume, and responses to questions will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this job. In addition, you may need to fax or upload some information to complete your application package.
Please note: Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it. You may interrupt your application process and return to it until you submit it.
You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.
Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the application announcement. IT IS THE RESPONSIBLITY OF THE CANDIDATE TO VERIFY THAT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. Applicants can do so by going back into your application and verifying that documents have been attached. Applications received without required documents will be deemed ineligible. You are encouraged to submit your application early, and to go back into your application to confirm that your documents have been attached.
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the helpdesk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:
A. Proof of Education and/or Certificates:
Applicants can submit required documents either by uploading them or by fax. You will be prompted to print out a fax cover sheet once you have successfully submitted your application. The fax cover sheet will give you the correct fax number to use. Required documents must be received before midnight Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of this announcement.
B. Supplementary Questionnaire:
Purpose: The Supplementary Questionnaire allows you to describe experiences related to the skills listed below and show your ability to handle various aspects of Information Management Specialist work. The information you give will be used to help structure the oral assessment. Please note that this section is mandatory and responses must be provided.
Instructions: During the application process, you will be asked to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting your responses, to 2000 characters or less for each item. Describe how you have used the following abilities and/or knowledge, and identify the source of this work-related experience. Your examples can be drawn from any part of your experience, but they must describe things that you have done. You should compose your replies carefully because one of the skills required of Information Management Specialists is the ability to write English clearly and concisely.
- Practical Problem Solving: Using your knowledge of PCs, local area networks, and software, give what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you found an innovative solution to a practical problem. Indicate the nature of the problem, who was affected by the problem, and in what way, and the results or benefits of your solution.
- Organizing Your Own Work: Give an example of a situation that shows your ability to think logically, analyze problems, communicate with others, and apply sound judgment; 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.
- Withstanding the Rigors of Overseas Life: What cross-cultural experiences have you had, either in the United States or abroad, which might suggest you could handle the difficulties of overseas life? In addition, list any experience of living, working, or traveling abroad, and any evidence of aptitude for foreign languages.
C. A Narrative Autobiography (two-to-three page typed equivalent – no more than 5,000 characters) which discusses your:
- personal background
- personal interests, hobbies, and travel
- professional experience which was not included in the employment application
- motivation for applying for a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist career.
Applicants must submit the following documents:
- Completed Online Questionnaire (Gateway to State online application via USAJobs), including supplementary questionnaire section.
- College transcripts and copies of diplomas if applicable. Unofficial copies are acceptable, so long as they contain pertinent information such as applicant’s name, courses taken, degree/course awarded, date degree course awarded, etc. Incomplete transcripts are not acceptable.
- Proof of certification completion if applicable.
Once you have completed the online questionnaire, you will be prompted to decide either to upload your documents or to print out cover sheets generated within the application that must be used to fax the above required documents.
You have until 11:59 p.m. Washington, DC Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.
Important: Whether you upload or fax, please submit all your documents at the same time. If you must send any additional documents after your first submission, be sure to include your first group of documents along with the additional documents. This is because subsequent submissions erase prior submissions.
For additional information please refer to our web site at careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process.
Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process. However, if you are selected for an interview you will be asked to bring your official transcripts to your oral assessment. These materials will become the property of the Department of State and will not be returned.
If faxing, it is extremely important that only these system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used for faxing these documents. The cover sheets are coded to insure that your documents are automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate system generated cover sheet.
These documents must be either faxed or uploaded before the closing date of this announcement, which is midnight Eastern Standard Time.
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
What to Expect Next
The Department of State will be hiring a limited number of candidates. Please note that the average processing time for an application is 7-9 months, including the completion of the medical, security and suitability clearances.
All applicants will be notified within several weeks via e-mail of the outcome of their applications. Selected candidates will be invited to come for an oral assessment at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
Selected candidates: All travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, and a chance to see the world and experience different cultures are major benefits of a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. Overseas benefits include paid housing or a housing allowance and paid education for dependent children between K-12.
Additional Benefits: Tax free housing overseas, tax free educational allowance, etc. (See Benefits on our website, careers.state.gov/specialist/benefits, for more information.)
New Hire IMS training in the Washington D.C. area includes at least 17 weeks focused on hardware and software currently in use by the Department of State. Failure to successfully complete any aspect of this training is grounds for separation. Immediately following the initial training period, the Department assigns the New Hire IMS to their first of two directed overseas assignments, each lasting one to two years.
All Foreign Service IMS career candidates are considered for tenure after they have acquired two years of experience in the Foreign Service as a career candidate and have been administratively promoted to FP-04. A tenuring board recommends tenure based on demonstrated ability to perform satisfactorily along with the potential to perform at a higher level. If tenure is not granted during the first review, a second review will be made one year later. Failure to achieve tenure in the prescribed time frame of four years is grounds for separation.
Initial Salary, Salary Increases and Tenure:
Initial salaries are determined in accordance with paragraph 1 or 2 below:
Information Management Specialists appointed at class FP-05 will be administratively promoted to FP-04 following completion of 18 months in class with satisfactory performance. Further promotions are competitive and based on merit. Individuals promoted to the next higher grade receive additional salary equivalent to approximately six percent of base salary.
In general, individuals with good performance will receive a within-grade increase annually in steps 1 through 9, and bi-annually from step 10 through 14 of the FS salary schedule if they have not received an equivalent increase during that period. 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 may not 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 that 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 of State at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov within one week of receiving their invitation. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.