Information Management Technical Specialist (Unified Communications)
United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement Number: IMTS-UC-2016-0001
Position Title: Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialist – Unified Communications
Open Period: 11/24/2015 – 12/10/2015
Salary: $43,812 – $64,339
Promotion Potential: Senior Foreign Service
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies – Washington, D.C.
Who May Apply
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 (FS) Information Management Technical Specialists–Unified Communications (IMTS-UC) are responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of a wide range of digital and telephone equipment.
To find out more specifics about the IMTS-UC program, please click here for the IMTS-UC Career Track Quiz: https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/career-track-quiz/imts-uc
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 https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/career-tracks
- 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 yrs old and at least 21 yrs old to be appointed.
- Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).**
An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to our 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 orientation in the Washington, DC area, a new IMTS-UC will be assigned to a one-year domestic assignment in the Washington, DC, area followed by a two-year directed assignment at an overseas location or Ft. Lauderdale, Florida based on the needs of the Foreign Service.
Essential IMTS-UC duties include:
- Providing IT solutions including designing, installing, and maintaining various classified and unclassified telecommunications and computer networks in order to provide reliable, modern digital and voice information processing, distribution, and storage for formal and informal communications.
- Providing applications support including remote and on-site IT support for Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) applications and Department of State and post-specific applications.
- Supporting the Department’s IT projects involving its global IT infrastructure (e.g., Enterprise Integration & Remediation, Diplomatic Telecommunications Service Programs Office (DTS-PO) circuit upgrades, Global IT Modernization, etc.) in order to meet the IT demands of the Department.
- Serving as technical advisor to the IT management and other offices and bureaus concerning technical specialty, equipment selection, installation, and maintenance programs to provide cost-effective, user-friendly communications solutions to the Foreign Affairs community abroad.
- Performing frequent, intensive international travel to provide regional support, VIP travel support, and global crisis support, including planning travel, filing trip reports, and escorting classified equipment.
- Supporting building, moving, and renovation of diplomatic posts, including gathering requirements, performing site surveys, writing scope of work, generating cost estimates, developing Bill of Materials, and providing communications infrastructure backbone.
- Deploying new communications solutions such as communications products and support world-wide connectivity, including leading installation teams and training IT professionals and end users.
- Providing on-going technical support by maintaining resource kit, maintaining parts inventory, performing preventative maintenance, maintaining standard operating procedures, identifying and resolving problems (including both initial and in-depth support), replacing equipment and parts, and tracking problems.
- Providing customer/post support including upgrading communications, coordinating circuit restoration, maintaining correct operating environment, promulgating best practices, negotiating contracts, performing acceptance testing, monitoring communications contracts, and assisting local procurement.
- Monitoring and implementing security controls including protecting classified material, auditing COMSEC accounts, assessing information security, reviewing telecommunications security, maintaining internal controls, reporting incidents, counseling users, and researching incidents.
- Serving as a member of the information management team including supporting organizational performance, managing individual performance, maintaining inventory, keeping records, instructing junior staff, and representing the Department.
- Performing other duties such as observing safety regulations and gaining and maintaining certifications in the specialty.
Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. An IMTS-UC may periodically perform work that requires regular and recurring periods of prolonged standing, bending, and stretching. At times they may perform work at construction sites with ambient noise and other environmental factors. IMTS-UCs frequently may be required to:
Work in confined areas such as crawlspaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes and other confined spaces.
Work from heights to include rooftops, ledges, bucket trucks, scaffolding, and extension ladders.
Perform manual installation operations to include hammer drilling, core drilling, pulling wire and cable, running and installing conduit and terminating various cables.
Move and handle heavy objects such as crates, equipment racks and other building materials as required.
Open shipping crates; perform proper inventory of the contents while noting/reporting deficiencies.
Follow established safety regulations, work in and around electrical service panels and Uninterruptible Power Source (UPS) units. These duties include changing batteries, taking electrical measurements, and making appropriate electrical connections.
Withstand challenging physical stress involved with lack of sleep, extremes of heat or cold, and extensive travel.
IMTS-UC must be able to work independently without supervision, often act as their own technical engineers and be innovative, especially at isolated overseas posts. Frequently, IMTS-UCs make on-site repairs or devise novel solutions to equipment problems in the field. They may be required, to work on equipment outside their area of specialty, such as radio equipment, and are required to travel frequently, often on short notice. They may be required to travel approximately 60 percent of the time, or more, from a regional office to constituent posts. They are also required to travel to locations where unhealthful and hazardous conditions exist.
Specialized Experience (Experience must have been acquired within the last five years.)
Individuals in these positions need to have specialized experience in applying broad technical knowledge and have hands-on experience in one or more areas on specific systems or applications. The work requires knowledge of customary approaches, techniques, and requirements appropriate in evaluating, analyzing, planning, installing, operating, maintaining, managing, or improving one or more of the following: LAN/MAN/WAN environments, communications protocols to include TCP/IP, VPN, VoIP and Ethernet, high-speed circuits (T1, E1), commercial satellite terminal, Cisco and Juniper switches and routers, CSU/DSU, modems, fiber optics, peripheral devices (laser printers, scanners, digital senders) and associated cryptographic systems, and traditional telephone PBX systems. These include Avaya/Nortel PBX systems, VoIP systems and peripherals (call accounting, voice mail and threat recording systems). Individuals must be knowledgeable in the use of associated test equipment for testing and trouble resolution.
IMTS-UC must have in-depth technical knowledge of VoIP and other computer-based, office telephone exchanges and systems, an understanding of fiber optical cables, media cables such as CAT5 and CAT6, and be able to install and terminate all in accordance with building industry standards.
Experience on AT&T, Avaya/Nortel, or similar computer-based telephone switching equipment is desirable. Experience installing and repairing cryptographic equipment, and knowledge of Tempest Standards and Red/Black installation criteria. Applicants should possess a working knowledge of Windows Server 2002/03/08, Windows XP, Windows 7, MS Office Suite MS Exchange (Outlook 2007), MS BackOffice, and UNIX. Microsoft certified professionals (MCP/MCSE) are preferred. UNIX, SQL, Oracle and Citrix experience. Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) Installer Level 2, BICSI Registered Communications Distribution Designer, and familiarity with EIA/TIA grounding systems standards is also desirable.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Expert knowledge of complex digital and voice communications systems to include classified and unclassified computers, printers, modems, multiplexers, fiber optic isolation devices, Local and Wide Area Network (LAN/WAN) systems, satellite communication systems, cryptographic systems, and building electrical wiring, power distribution boxes, and electrical codes.
- Knowledge of information technology, including processes, design, technical specifications, diagnostic tools, repair techniques, safety principles, security, problem/resolution tracking procedures, customer service techniques, laws and regulations, and instruction techniques.
- Specialized skill in problem recognition, rule application, troubleshooting and problem solving, providing technical assistance over a variety of media, customer service, self-management, stress tolerance, learning and keeping abreast of a rapidly changing field, electrical work, inductive reasoning, and deductive reasoning.
- General skill in systems evaluation, equipment selection, installation, repairing, equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, systems analysis, operations analysis, operations monitoring, quality control analysis, mathematics, science, technology design, active listening, speaking, reading comprehension, writing, active learning, critical thinking, complex problem solving, judgment and decision making, instructing, persuasion, coordination, time management, service orientation, management of material resources, and management of personnel resources.
- Ability to maintain attention for extended periods or work long hours; tolerate heat, cold, noise, or pollution; bend, stretch, stoop, twist, or reach; lift, push, pull, carry, climb ladders, or balance; perform movements repeatedly or continually, including the ability to stand for extended periods or take frequent extended trips by plane or car; and hear speech or other sounds at construction sites with ambient noise and other environmental factors that are typical for such sites.
- Other requirements include: the ability to adapt to changing physical environments, work with differing levels of technology, and keep abreast of the latest developments and innovations in the IT field, cross-cultural awareness, tolerance of intensive world travel, tolerance for working overseas, worldwide availability, tolerance of living away from family, tolerance of varying work environments, attention to detail, dependability, teamwork and cooperation, flexibility in changing work team roles, and integrity.
Successful 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).
- Bachelors of Science (BS) or Arts (BA) in IT degrees listed below and a minimum of one year of technical communications or IT work experience in the past three years. (No certification required).
- Associates of Science (AS) or Arts (AA) in IT degrees listed below and a minimum of two years of technical communications or IT work experience in the past three years. (No certification required).
Study and/or AA or BS/BA degrees must be in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering, Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Science, IT Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Information Security or related fields.
Applicants who do not meet the above Educational Requirements, must have a high school diploma or equivalency and provide documentation demonstrating one of the additional requirements listed below:
- U.S. military IT- or technical communications-related training as substantiated by a military training report and/or DD-214 and a minimum of three years of technical communications or IT work experience in the past five years. (No certification required). If only a DD-214 is submitted it must clearly showing one of the Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) listed here: https://careers.state.gov/downloads/files/irm-mos
- Specialized training from a technical school and a minimum of three years of technical communications or IT work experience in the past five years. (Certification required). To find a list of approved certifications, click here: https://careers.state.gov/downloads/files/irm-cert
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 application questions, please visit: https://jobs.mgsapps.monster.com/dos/vacancy/previewVacancyQuestions.hms?orgId=1&jnum=96443
For more information FSS Benefits, please click here: https://careers.state.gov/work/benefits/fss
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, tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.
For information about the Department’s Information Technology Skills Incentive Program, please click here: https://careers.state.gov/downloads/files/irm-sip
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: http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam
**For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit: https://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.
Steps to Apply
- Register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov.
- Create an online federal resume. Your online resume may be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided. Your resume must include your work history for the last 10 years or since completing formal education, whichever is the shorter period.
- From the announcement, select the Apply Online button. This button will transfer you to Gateway to State.
- Follow the instructions at Gateway to State and answer self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying, complete the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest in the online application.
- Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it. You may interrupt your application process and return to it until you submit it.
- As specified in the announcement, upload or fax required or supporting materials.
- For those uploading or faxing documents, multiple pages must be sent as a single document. Only the most recently uploaded documents will attach to your application and will replace previously uploaded documents.
- If faxing, you will be prompted to print out a fax coversheet once you have successfully completed your application. It is essential that you use this coversheet for all faxes, because it is bar-coded to link your fax to your application.
- Complete, review, and submit.
- After you complete and submit the above including attaching all required documents, this becomes your online application and will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this career.
- You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully upload or fax any required documentation outlined in this 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. 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 announcement.
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 helpdesk 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 https://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: https://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.
- Completed online application which contains the completed required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest.
- Transcripts or other documents as stated in the Educational Requirements.
- Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted for the application process. It is essential that your transcript include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of the key elements above will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended.
- Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.
- Additional required documents such as certifications or professional licenses as stated in the Qualifications Required section.
- If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214.
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.
- Practical Problem Solving: Using your technical knowledge of networks and voice communications, describe what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you found 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.
- 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.
- Handling Conflicting Priorities: 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 the quality of your work performance was maintained at a high standard. Indicate any resources you had to organize, and the pressure you were under to change the order of priority.
Statement of Interest
Required narrative Statement of Interest not to exceed 5,000 characters, which discusses your:
- Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
- Comments about your work experience, and
- Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.
The Statement of Interest must be completed inside the online application, not as an attachment.
Agency Contact Info
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St NW, Washington, D.C. 20520
What to Expect Next
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 https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/selection-process