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Department of State

The Department of State's mission is "Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system."
--From the FY 2009 Agency Financial Report, released December 2009

Perhaps you are working for the DOS or interested in working for the DOS. Here is a forum to share your experience with the DOS.

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someoldguy  
#41 Posted : Tuesday, November 11, 2014 3:56:33 AM(UTC)
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I applied to an announcement that closed 9 October 2014. Not a word yet.
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cur679  
#42 Posted : Thursday, November 20, 2014 9:31:48 AM(UTC)

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Just received an NOR for the SC location. EL for 5 and 7. What's odd about this NOR is that it's different from the usual, "You are EL for both grades, however, better qualified applicants will be moving forward."

The NOR says nothing about that.
Fniod130  
#43 Posted : Thursday, November 20, 2014 10:18:39 AM(UTC)
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I applied for the Charleston location, as well as Portsmouth and one in VT- I rec'd the Notice of Results today as well, it only says I am eligible for Grade 7, nothing else...
Fniod130  
#44 Posted : Thursday, November 20, 2014 1:23:45 PM(UTC)
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Ugh. Just received another notice, not among the most highly qualified. I scored very high on the assessment so I'm guessing vets and status candidates are the front runners.
ayleon  
#45 Posted : Thursday, November 20, 2014 1:34:51 PM(UTC)
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EL for both 5 and 7 in Charleston, but not referred. It was worth a shot!
someoldguy  
#46 Posted : Saturday, November 22, 2014 6:11:52 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Fniod130 Go to Quoted Post
...I scored very high on the assessment...


Assessment? What assessment? What score? I did the questionnaire as part of the online application, that's it. Coming up on two months since the announcement closed...
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Womacks-jp-23  
#47 Posted : Monday, November 24, 2014 8:15:13 PM(UTC)
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I received a tentative offer last January for the Tuscon office (GS7). I finally received an EOD this week and ended up turning it down, so keep your eyes open for a new job posting.

Best of luck to everyone.

Edited by user Monday, November 24, 2014 8:16:58 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Fniod130  
#48 Posted : Tuesday, November 25, 2014 11:22:42 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Fniod130 Go to Quoted Post
...I scored very high on the assessment...


Assessment? What assessment? What score? I did the questionnaire as part of the online application, that's it. Coming up on two months since the announcement closed...


Yeah, the assessment being the questionnaire- if you apply for multiple openings it gives you the option of using your previous "score", and will show you where you stand from 0-100.
someoldguy  
#49 Posted : Tuesday, November 25, 2014 1:48:22 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Womacks-jp-23 Go to Quoted Post
I received a tentative offer last January for the Tuscon office (GS7). I finally received an EOD this week


Womacks I looked up your old posts... it said you first applied over a year ago? It has taken that long for them to actually give you a starting date??? Yow.

It also looks like you heard back from them within a month of applying... its been about two months now since the announcement I applied to closed.

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someoldguy  
#50 Posted : Thursday, December 4, 2014 6:43:00 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
I applied to an announcement that closed 9 October 2014. Not a word yet.


Been about two months now, no change in my status. I'm starting to think it is going nowhere. I sent an email to the POC listed in the announcement, no reply (usually State gets back to you in a few days, even if it is just a standard form letter reply). I "hid" the application status on my USAJobs page and if I hear anything it will be a pleasant surprise.

Edited by user Thursday, December 4, 2014 6:51:50 AM(UTC)  | Reason: added note that I emailed State

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nightchop  
#51 Posted : Thursday, December 4, 2014 5:59:10 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Womacks-jp-23 Go to Quoted Post
I received a tentative offer last January for the Tuscon office (GS7). I finally received an EOD this week and ended up turning it down, so keep your eyes open for a new job posting.

Best of luck to everyone.


Why did you turn it down? Did you receive a better offer in the interim?
Grad09  
#52 Posted : Thursday, December 4, 2014 9:13:13 PM(UTC)
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Same here, still haven't heard anything back.
Womacks-jp-23  
#53 Posted : Thursday, December 4, 2014 9:49:06 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: nightchop Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Womacks-jp-23 Go to Quoted Post
I received a tentative offer last January for the Tuscon office (GS7). I finally received an EOD this week and ended up turning it down, so keep your eyes open for a new job posting.

Best of luck to everyone.


Why did you turn it down? Did you receive a better offer in the interim?


A couple reasons really.

My ultimate goal at the Department of State is to become a foreign service officer. Through networking with people I found out that becoming a passport specialist is not a good path to take to get where I want to be and transitions from that job series into the foreign service are basically non-existent. I was personally advised by multiple DOS employees that becoming a passport specialist would actually hurt -not help- my chances of ever becoming an FSO.

The second reason was financial. I make significantly more than the step 1 GS7 rate and live and work in Japan. DOS wasn't willing to offer relocation even though it was authorized in the posting and they would not negotiate with me for a higher step.

So I was in a situation where my heart wasn't in the job and the financial hit would be too great. I decided to give them one more opportunity to increase the package. They refused and so I turned the job down.

Right now I'm still trying to join the FS and passed the FSOT again in October. I'm also a PMF semi-finalist and really think that might lead to a better opportunity for me.

Edited by user Thursday, December 4, 2014 10:07:50 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Womacks-jp-23  
#54 Posted : Thursday, December 4, 2014 9:58:20 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Womacks-jp-23 Go to Quoted Post
I received a tentative offer last January for the Tuscon office (GS7). I finally received an EOD this week


Womacks I looked up your old posts... it said you first applied over a year ago? It has taken that long for them to actually give you a starting date??? Yow.

It also looks like you heard back from them within a month of applying... its been about two months now since the announcement I applied to closed.



I could have started in February on an interim clearance but I choose to wait until the clearance was finished.

The clearance took forever.

Overseas work experience, foreign spouse...all that stuff added a few months to the process.
nightchop  
#55 Posted : Friday, December 5, 2014 5:48:51 AM(UTC)

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Thanks for the insight. As someone considering similar options, it is really helpful.

Did your State contacts say why being a Passport Specialist would hurt your FSO chances?
Womacks-jp-23  
#56 Posted : Friday, December 5, 2014 7:37:40 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: nightchop Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the insight. As someone considering similar options, it is really helpful.

Did your State contacts say why being a Passport Specialist would hurt your FSO chances?


Your milage may vary, but a bunch of people told me that the skill set you develop as a passport specialist is simply not valued that much in the foreign service.

I thought that just having my foot in the door would be a great first step and help me eventually get over to the foreign service, but people warned me over and over again that there is no real value of having your foot in the door unless you are on the policy making side. They mentioned that the program to transfer over to the foreign service from the civil service (mustang) was an absolute joke - with only a handful of people converting every year and none of them coming from passport specialist or other administrative roles.
someoldguy  
#57 Posted : Friday, December 5, 2014 8:56:27 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Womacks-jp-23 Go to Quoted Post
They mentioned that the program to transfer over to the foreign service from the civil service (mustang) was an absolute joke - with only a handful of people converting every year and none of them coming from passport specialist or other administrative roles.


I thought that the "Mustang" program mainly was a way for people to convert from Foreign Service Specialist to Foreign Service Generalist. The only GS employees I ever knew of who converted did so by first doing tours at embassies in "Hard to fill" positions, then they became Specialists (in my limited exposure).

According to the careers.state.gov discussion groups, some Passport Specialists are able to do embassy tours as adjudication officers. I suppose that must be limited to places where they do a ton of visas.

Edited by user Friday, December 5, 2014 8:58:39 AM(UTC)  | Reason: clean up quote

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Womacks-jp-23  
#58 Posted : Friday, December 5, 2014 8:48:03 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post


I thought that the "Mustang" program mainly was a way for people to convert from Foreign Service Specialist to Foreign Service Generalist. The only GS employees I ever knew of who converted did so by first doing tours at embassies in "Hard to fill" positions, then they became Specialists (in my limited exposure).

According to the careers.state.gov discussion groups, some Passport Specialists are able to do embassy tours as adjudication officers. I suppose that must be limited to places where they do a ton of visas.


I'm pretty sure the Mustang program is only civil service to foreign service. There might be other programs for specialists to convert to generalists.

The international posts for passport specialists are in the public record on OPM's HR data site (fedscope). I think the last time I looked through fedscope there were 10 or so passport specialists working outside of the US.

9 in Mexico and 1 in Mongolia of all places.

Edited by user Friday, December 5, 2014 8:49:28 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Typos

someoldguy  
#59 Posted : Saturday, December 6, 2014 6:26:13 AM(UTC)
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Mongolia?!? I can see sending Passport Specialists to help with visa adjudication in Mexico but Mongolia? Who knew...
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Kiernyc  
#60 Posted : Friday, January 9, 2015 8:08:27 AM(UTC)
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Hello everyone, just wanted to ask if anyone else here applied to the Passport Specialist Recent Graduates opening in Portsmouth, NH. It closed December 30, so I am sure it will still be awhile before NORs go out. Man I really hope I get referred...last recent graduate position I didn't even get that far...
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