Want to work for the State Department – There’s an App for that!

Do you want to work in the foreign service? The State Department has launched a mobile application to help. The app gives prospective Foreign Service officers a taste of what could be in store for them. Terry Davidson is the Recruitment and Outreach Division Chief at the State Department. He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that the State Department hopes the app will bring a broader applicate pool to the agency.  "The app was designed to generate awareness among those who are not familiar with foreign service careers and to provide those who have some familiarity with the tools and resources to help them move forward in what can be a fairly complex application and assessment process," said Davidson. Getting the Word Out "We've found that one of our biggest challenges is that people know about us in DC and a few other pockets around the country but if you look across the US many people have no idea what the State Department does," said Davidson.  How the App Works "We start at the very beginning explaining the various career paths that exist within the foreign service and we walk people through the process."   "Each application involves 3 different stages and can take up to a year," said Davidson.
  1. Written Test
  2. Qualifications Evaluations Test
  3. Oral Assessment
The Daunting Written Test "A lot of people are looking for confidence builders, one of the elements that we have on this mobile app is a Test Yourself feature. The feature includes questions from previous foreign service exams. The idea is someone that is riding the metro everyday could sit down and test themselves in economics, world history, geography. These are areas that will be on the test," said Davidson. "We want to demystify the process and make it more transparent. We have 16 diplomats in residence spread throughout the country. They are there to be resources, mentors and answer questions. The app helps you to find the events where we are located," said Davidson.   "We are trying to reach out to an audience that is more and more on a mobile platform. The idea of desktop computers is starting to sound very 20th century to a lot of our candidates. We want to make sure we are where they are and that is clearly the smartphone world," said Davidson. Recruitment "We are not in the business of hiring people for tomorrow. We believe we are playing a long game in recruitment, the average age for intake is 31. So we are trying to connect with people at the university and high school level. We want to plant the seed for of the foreign service.

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