United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement No: GSO-2016-0001
Position Title: Foreign Service General Services Officer
Open Period: 01/06/2016 – 01/20/2016
Series/Grade: FP - 1640 - 04
Salary: $54,610 - $80,197
Promotion Potential: FP-01
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World
Position Information: Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) Tenure Board.
Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career.
Applicants may not reapply for one year after the previous application for the same position.
If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs.)
The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.
Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique career.
Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.
Foreign Service General Services Officers (GSO) are responsible for a broad range of functions including the management of physical resources and logistics at U.S. government (USG) diplomatic and consular posts worldwide and in the United States. GSOs develop, plan, implement, and manage ongoing support programs including contracting, warehousing and inventory of property and supplies, shipping and customs, motor pool, housing, travel, and VIP visit support. At some locations, GSOs are responsible for physical facilities and space management.
Areas of responsibility include:
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of FSS vacancies based on the needs of the Department.
To learn more about the Department of State and a career as an FSS, please visit us at http://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/career-tracks
An FSS 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.
After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two 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 General Services Officers’ (GSO) primary responsibilities include the management of physical resources and logistical functions at United States embassies and consulates, where they serve not only the Department of State but also other USG agencies. GSOs are responsible for the overall management of acquisition and supply chain operations (or some portion of these operations), the supervision of subordinate staff, and the actual performance of some or all of the following functions:
Applicants must have a minimum of six years’ experience in the last ten years as follows:
Note: Please see the Educational Requirements section below for information about substituting educational achievements for General Experience.
General Experience is work at the professional, technical or administrative level, which has been progressively more responsible in nature.
General Experience includes:
Specialized Experience is professional work of a progressively responsible nature which demonstrates that the applicant has acquired and is able to apply specific knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to a GSO position.
Your Specialized Experience must include experience in three or more of the ten general services areas listed below:
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA)
The education, work experience, and other qualifications evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements have been identified as important to successful job performance as a GSO based on extensive job analysis research. Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.
Superior oral and written communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. FSS 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).
High school diploma or equivalent is required
Substitution of Higher Education for General Experience:
A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in such fields as public administration, business administration, industrial engineering or industrial management is the equivalent of three years General Experience.
Substitution of Education for Specialized Experience
Graduate courses may be substituted for Specialized Experience at a rate of six months for each full-time year of study in such fields as public administration, business administration, industrial engineering or industrial management. A Master's degree in such fields as public administration, business administration, industrial engineering or industrial management is the equivalent of one year Specialized Experience.
If substituting education for experience to meet the minimum qualifications, you must submit a copy of your transcript as described in the Required Documents section below. If you do not submit transcripts to support your educational achievements, you will not be given credit.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet federal job requirements for this position if the applicant provides an international education evaluation certifying the degree earned is equivalent to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for federal jobs. For more information, please view How Foreign Education is evaluated for Federal Jobs: http://careers.state.gov/downloads/foreign-education
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.
For more information on FSS Benefits, please click here: http://careers.state.gov/work/benefits/fss
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, a chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing 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.
*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.
We are not currently accepting applications for this position.
View the previous vacancy at USAJOBS.
Steps to Apply:
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time.
For more information on the FSS 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
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 your application not being considered further.
The 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 FSS. 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. Responses are 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 an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. These items must be completed in the online application, not as attachment.
Substantive Knowledge: Describe your skills, knowledge and experience that are applicable to performing the work described in this vacancy announcement including experience in supervision and performance management of subordinate staff.
Intellectual Skills: Describe an example of when you used such skills to respond to unanticipated circumstances to solve a problem. (What was the situation? What steps did you take to think through the situation? How did your action address the situation? What were the results?)
Interpersonal Skills: Describe how you have used your interpersonal skills in a specific situation to resolve a problem or achieve a goal. (What was the goal or problem? What specific steps did you take? What was the result?)
Communication Skills: Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills, including foreign language skills if appropriate, to further an aim or achieve a goal. (What was the situation? What steps did you take to deal with the situation? What was the result?)
Management Skills: Describe a project you managed or helped to manage and how you planned and organized, set priorities and allocated time and resources to achieve the project’s goals. (What was the project? What steps did you take to manage the project? What was the result?)
Statement of Interest
Required narrative Statement of Interest equivalent to two-to-three pages typed and no more than 5000 characters, which discusses your:
The Statement of Interest must be completed inside the online application, not as an attachment.
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St NW, Washington, DC 20520
Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred to hiring agency only” after the close of the announcement. After the announcement’s closing date, all “referred” applicants will be notified via e-mail from the U.S. Department of State of the status of their applications.
Please note that the “referred” status on USAJobs will not be updated throughout the entire evaluation process.
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