United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement No: IMS-2012-0001
Position Title: Information Management Specialist
Open Period: 02/02/2012 – 03/01/2012
Series/Grade: FP – 2880 05
Salary: $42,948 – $63,071
Promotion Potential: FE-OC
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World, WW
For more information: HR/REE, 202-203-5178, FMOInfoVacancy@state.gov
Who May Apply
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Information to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
Applicants must be U.S. 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.
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires to fill a limited number of Information Management Specialists 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 250 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 both manage 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, radio, and Diplomatic Pouch and Mail programs. 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 agenda.
Department of State Foreign Service IMS 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 technology solutions to the business of diplomacy.
Competitive Promotion and Within-Grade Increases:
Following the mandatory two 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 their 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 virtually 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. The evaluations form the basis for promotions, which are made by a panel of more senior employees. In addition to the formal training program, IMS advance in their career by performing well and taking progressively more management responsibilities in their assignments. In general, Foreign Service employees with documented satisfactory performance are eligible to receive a within-grade step increase annually up through step 9 and biannually 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 must involve strong motivation and a firm dedication to public service.
Many overseas posts are in countries where harsh climates, health hazards, and other discomforts are prevalent and where American-style amenities frequently are unavailable. Personal security frequently 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 to show the best face of 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.
- Must 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.
- Obtain a Suitability Clearance, based on a review of the candidate’s record for conduct that falls short of suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-processor http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam.
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 examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to IMS. This list is neither exhaustive nor in priority order.
- 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.
- Promote end-user involvement in technology and technical decision-making.
- Improve and support 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.
- Administer and operate classified and unclassified telecommunications network equipment, including cryptographic equipment, multiplexers, modems, routers, switches, and satellite equipment.
- Install, operate, and maintain network hardware and software; troubleshoot and restore outages within the network.
- Administer secure and non-secure telephone and wireless programs at embassies and consulates, install new equipment, as well as maintain and repair equipment.
- Guide and assist customers in the proper use of these systems.
- Administer the emergency communications network at overseas posts. Install, test, maintain, and deploy various wireless and satellite emergency communications systems.
- Administer classified and unclassified Diplomatic Pouch and Mail programs at overseas locations, and manage embassies and consulates mailroom operations. Dispatch and accept official correspondence through the Diplomatic Pouch and Mail program, and assist Diplomatic Couriers.
- Monitor and implement security 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.
- Serve as part of the embassy’s or consulate’s management team.
- Perform additional duties outside normal information resource management activities as determined by embassy or consulate management or as dictated by specific circumstances.
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 below.
|*Please see full details below.|
|*MINIMUM EDUCATIONAL AND EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS:|
|EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND||SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIRED||CERTIFICATE|
|Master’s degree in Information Technology related field*||None, if the degree was earned within 2 years of the opening date of the announcement.||No certification required|
|Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology related field*||None, if the degree was earned within 2 years of the opening date of the announcement.||No certification required|
|Bachelor’s Degree in non-related Information Technology field.||Minimum 2 years’ professional IT experience within the past 5 years.||Certification required.|
|Associate’s Degree in related Information Technology field or Equivalent||Minimum 2 years’ professional IT experience within the past 5 years.||Certification required.|
|No Degree||Minimum 4 years’ professional IT experience within the past 5 years.||Certification required.|
Please note: College or university students are welcome to apply one year prior to graduation. Official transcripts showing graduation must be provided prior to appointment.
All candidates without a Bachelor/Master’s Degree in an IT-related field are required to possess a minimum of one approved certification.
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. Qualifying specialized experience must have been acquired within the past five years and must demonstrate the potential to perform in progressively responsible positions in the information resource management field. An applicant’s work experience will be evaluated for level of responsibilities and length of experience.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Requirements:
A. 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, presenting technical concepts simply, self management, and stress tolerance.
B. Knowledge of information technology, information security, problem and resolution tracking procedures, telecommunications, off-the-shelf software, radio and telephone systems, customer service techniques, laws and regulations, and techniques in leveraging IT (including social media) to satisfy business needs.
C. General skill in reading comprehension, active learning, learning strategies, critical thinking, complex problem solving, troubleshooting, active listening, social perceptiveness, networking, speaking, instructing, persuading, writing, coordinating, time management, operations monitoring, systems evaluation, operations analysis, equipment selection, installation, and equipment maintenance.
D. Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
E. Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, world-wide availability, attention to detail, dependability, teamwork and cooperation, integrity, tolerance for working overseas, travel and being on call, varying work environments, and living away from family.
Master’s Degree: Credit will be given for a recent 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 fields.
Bachelor’s Degree: While an undergraduate degree is not a prerequisite, most successful applicants will have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Graduates with recent degrees in Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Information Security, Data Processing, Library Science, or other related IT or IT management fields do not require work experience to qualify.
Associate’s Degree or Equivalent: 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.
Certifications Required: Applicants requiring industry certifications must supply active certifications earned within the past five years. Certification identification numbers must be clearly listed. Only the following certificates satisfy the certification requirement, but you may provide any one of them.
- Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) on Microsoft Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) on Microsoft Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) Server Administrator on Microsoft Windows Server 2008
- MCITP Enterprise Administrator on Microsoft Windows Server 2008
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library Expert Certification (ITIL)
- Certified Computing Professional (CCP)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Information Systems Security Professionals Certificate (NSTISSI No. 4011)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
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 possibly an on-line subject matter test.
Those who have successfully gone through the selection process will be required to:
- Obtain a valid 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 can improve their standing on the register by obtaining 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 our website,http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications.
In cases where education is substituted for experience, copies of college transcripts, diplomas, etc. must be presented at the time of oral assessment. These materials 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’s thorough and competitive 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 passing 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. These will be important considerations in the competitive promotion process.
How to Apply
We are currently accepting applications for this position. Please click here (http://state.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/308464100), or on the Gateway to State icon at the top of the page to start the application process via USAJobs. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is March 1, 2012.
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 Time on the closing date of this announcement. 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 document(s). This is because subsequent submissions erase prior submissions.
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.
Instructions: Individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting your responses to 200 words or less for each item. (FYI, this paragraph contains approximately 90 words.) 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, personally, 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 discussing 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.
Additional information: In cases where education is substituted for experience, copies of college transcripts, diplomas, etc. must be presented at the time of oral assessment. These materials become the property of the Department of State and will not be returned.
Candidates selected for oral assessment: Please note that all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.
Applicants must submit the following documents:
- Completed Online Questionnaire (Gateway to State online application) with entire application completed, including supplementary questionnaire section.
- College Transcripts and copies of Diplomas if applicable.
- Proof of certification completion if applicable.
Applicants have the option to upload or fax their transcripts or certifications. To submit the transcripts or certifications by fax, applicants will be prompted to print out a fax coversheet once they have successfully submitted their application. Instructions for submitting these forms are included in the online application. The transcript must be faxed before the closing date of this announcement, which is 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time.
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.
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.
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.
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 that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
What to Expect Next
All applicants will be notified within a few weeks via e-mail of the outcome of their applications. Selected candidates will be invited to come for an oral assessment at the Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Selected candidates: Please note 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, generous paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include paid housing or a housing allowance and paid education for dependent children between K-12.
New-hire IMS training in the Washington D.C. area includes at least 17 weeks focused on the hardware and software currently in use by the State Department. 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 two 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 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 and Salary Increases and Tenure:
Initial salaries are determined in accordance with paragraph 1 or 2 below:
- Initial salary for new employees is at the FP-05 level, depending on such factors as education received from accredited institutions of higher learning and specialized experience. Salaries are determined at the time employment offers are made.
- Entry-level salary for current or former Federal civilian employees will be set at the rate, within the Foreign Service grade to which they are appointed, that is nearest to the base salary rate of their previous federal assignment, provided the work performed in the previous position is relevant to information management activities.
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.
Foreign Service Specialist Career Candidates are considered for tenure by a Tenuring Board after a minimum of two years experience in the Foreign Service.
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.
Also, the Department has an IT Skills Incentive Program which pays qualified IT employees serving in IT-specific skill codes/positions an increase amounting to nine or fourteen percent of their basic pay based on the attainment of specific IT credentials. These credentials must be acquired after entry on duty in the Department of State.
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.
The Department of State is committed to equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment for all without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, disabling condition, political affiliation, marital status, or prior statutory, constitutionally protected activity. The Department 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. All decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.