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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Federal Employment

For Foreign Service family members interested in working for the US Federal Government, there are a number of resources available. 

Federal Employment Inside a U.S. Embassy or Consulate Overseas
If you are interested in working in a U.S. Mission overseas, visit the Overseas - Working in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate page.

Resume Help
When applying for a Federal job, pay careful attention to the paperwork you submit.  FLO recommends that family members visit our Resumes page and seek the help of the Career Development Resource Center (CDRC) to assure your paperwork is correctly done before you submit your application.   

Federal Employment in the United States: Applying for Civil Service Positions
It is essential that individuals applying for Federal employment follow the instructions that are given in the vacancy announcement and that your application contain the following:

Job Information - Announcement number, title and grade.

  • Personal Information - Full name, mailing address (with zip code), day and evening phone numbers (with area code), social security number, country of citizenship, veterans' preference, reinstatement eligibility, highest Federal civilian grade held.
  • Education - High school name, city and state, colleges or universities, name, city and state, majors and type and year of any degrees received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours).
  • Work Experience - job title, duties and accomplishments, employer's name and address, supervisor's name and phone number, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours per week, salary and indicate whether or not your current supervisor may be contacted. Prepare a separate entry for each job.
  • Highest Previous Rate and Superior Qualifications Rate - Link to what you need to know to get the best rate of pay.
  • Other Qualifications - job related training courses (title and year), job related skills, job related certificates and licenses, job related honors, awards, and special accomplishments.
  • Ranking Factors - Applicants must also address the ranking factors listed on the Vacancy Announcement on a separate page to include with your application. If you fail to take this step, you will lose points and be prevented from making the certification list. Addressing the ranking factors is an important step towards getting an interview.

See also Applying for a Federal Job, a helpful brochure from the Office of Personnel Management.

Determining If You Have Non-Competitive Hiring Status
Family members seeking Federal employment should first determine if they have Non-Competitive Hiring Status when returning from employment in a U.S. Mission overseas. Executive Order 12721 enables certain eligible family members (EFMs) to be appointed non-competitively to the Civil Service once they return to the United States. This information is important to family members because it explains how work performed in an overseas mission can help them to gain employment with the Federal Government.

Career Resource Links

The Career Development Resource Center (CDRC), US Department of State Resources 

Government Agencies
A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies

Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office


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