Overview

Responsibilities
Foreign Service Information Management Specialists (IMS) are responsible for the Department’s Information Resource Management (IRM) programs and Information Technology (IT) systems worldwide.

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 some examples of the types of duties and responsibilities an IMS is expected to perform:

Customer Service Skills:

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.
Information Technology Skills/Problem solving:

Administer computer systems and manage system performance. Set up networks. Startup, operate, and shut down systems.
Manage user access, train new personnel, identify and resolve problems, report, track, and research incidents, counsel users, set up customer equipment, and replace equipment and parts.
Manage and operate classified and unclassified client/server solutions, desktop systems, messaging solutions, web-based technology, database solutions, and virtual servers to support LAN/WAN.
Manage telecommunication network services.
Manage communications equipment, install cabling, provide circuits, support video conferencing, manage communications flow, coordinate with host country officials, and manage wireless communications and Wi-Fi programs.
Manage voice communication services. Coordinate equipment provision, manage the telephone and radio programs, the personal mobile device program, and VoIP convergence devices.
Information Management Skills/Problem solving:

Implement IT projects gathering requirements, designing solutions, and assisting with development.
Acquire IT products and services, test solutions, deploy products, and maintain IT procurement and inventory.
Manage cloud requirements and support collaboration tools and IT Shared Services efforts.
Manage pouch programs, diplomatic post office, and telephone operator programs.
Supervise locally employed staff system administrators, mailroom employees, telephone technicians, radio technicians, and switchboard operators.
Manage work assignments and individual performance.,
Serve as part of the embassy or consulate management team and perform additional duties outside of normal information resource management activities as determined by embassy or consulate management or as dictated by special circumstances.
Support emergency planning and response and manage emergency wireless communications.
Ensure emergency destruction capability.
Maintain alternate processing site.
Manage emergency digital communications.
Keep current with specialty, gain and maintain certifications.
Information Security:

Maintain internal controls on Department of State automated information systems.
Protect classified documents and classified communications equipment and workspace.
Promote communications security.
Update security settings, manage physical security, monitor security, and network security, etc.
Manage telephone system security.
Manage the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) program.
Essential Physical Requirements:

Some of the essential functions of the Information Management Specialist (IMS) job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, IMS’s are required to:

Crawl under desks, office furnishings, and other objects and work in confined spaces such as under desks or equipment or in crawlspaces, attics, communication closets, etc.
Walk and climb stairs. Bend, twist, reach, stoop, crouch, climb, and work on feet for extended periods.
Lift up to 70 pounds and carry up to 50 pounds. Push, pull or drag heaving objects or equipment. Carry equipment up and downstairs.
See small objects such as fonts, wires, and computer components and see them under low illumination.
Hear voices in noisy offices, on poor phone connections, or at low volume or soft-spoken, including distinguishing words in heavy accents. Hear to audibly monitor computer equipment for a faulty condition such as noise from a server or hard drive.
Pull wires, cables, and ropes that can involve climbing and working on ladders.
Coordinate precise movements with hands and fingers to assemble electronic components including using hand tools such as screwdrivers and pliers. Feeling and manipulating small objects with hands and fingers.
Type quickly for extended periods of time.
Work in adverse environmental conditions, such as extremes of heat, cold, wet, dirt, and dust.
Work erratic, unusual, unexpected hours, and long hours.
Travel and experience jet lag, changes in temperature, humidity, etc.
 
Travel Required
Occasional travel – A Foreign Service Specialist generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State’s 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.

Requirements
Conditions of Employment
Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
Be able to obtain a Top Secret – SCI 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 years old to apply; at least 21 years old to be appointed.
Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***
Please do not submit your application through USAJobs.

Please submit your application and register to take the Information Management Specialist Test (IMST) at:  www.pearsonvue.com/IMST

 

Qualifications
Specialized Experience

Qualifying Specialized Experience must demonstrate the potential to perform in progressively more responsible positions in the information resource management field. An applicant’s work experience will be evaluated for level of responsibility and length of experience.

To qualify as Specialized Experience, 60% or more of the duties must be related to working with computers, upgrading, repairing, replacing hardware and software components; or working with network devices, switches and routers; or performing Sys-Admin functions such as mail server maintenance; adding, deleting and assigning users to roles and providing direct assistance to customers, patch management and server maintenance; configuring or administering virtual network environment; the cloud; telecommunications or voice communications; information security; or Program Management for IT projects or Data Analytics experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Other Characteristics

1. Knowledge of information technology, IT telecommunications, radio systems, the cloud, off-the-shelf (COTS) software, IT technology assessment, systems integration, information security, cybersecurity, virtualization, PBX and VoIP convergence, IT shared services, data analytics, and data management, project management principles and IT planning, IT acquisition process, techniques in leveraging IT to satisfy business needs, problem and resolution tracking procedures, customer service theory and techniques, managing processes and operations, and management theory.
2. Specialized skills in IT modernization, integrating local IT mission with Global IT vision, translating business needs into technical solutions, IT asset management, IT project management, information security, customer service, presenting technical concepts in layperson terms, enterprise systems, desktop, and peripherals, network infrastructure, mobile services, and video conferencing.
3. General skills in critical thinking, active learning, instructing, active listening, coordination, service orientation, persuasion, monitoring, equipment selection, time management, installation, learning strategies, complex problem solving, systems evaluation, management of personnel resources, systems analysis, management of material resources, judgment and decision making, management of financial resources, equipment maintenance, mathematics, negotiation, technology design, repairing, operations monitoring, operation and control, and quality control analysis.
4. Superior oral and written communication skills: In order to perform the duties of an IMS, 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).
5. Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, tolerance of travel and being on call, tolerance for working overseas, tolerance of varying work environments, worldwide availability, tolerance of living away from family, attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Education
At the time of application, you must have one of the following:

IT degree (minimum Associate’s degree).  No specialized experience is required. IT-related degree or training must be in the following: Information Management, Telecommunications Management, Computer Information Systems, Networking, Data Processing, Computer Sciences, Mathematics, or other related computer networking fields.
Non-IT degree (minimum Associate’s degree) with two years of Specialized Experience out of the last five years.
U.S. military IT-related training or specialty with two years of Specialized Experience out of the last five years. Applicants with U.S. military IT-related training from a U.S. military facility or Academy in fields directly related to the duties described below. At the time of application, you must provide your DD-214, clearly showing one of the U.S. military branches specialty codes or designators and specialty title, and your Military training report with the title of training. A list containing U.S. military occupational specialty codes or designators is provided for your reference only.  Please note that this list is not all-inclusive.
You must submit a copy of your university transcript(s), or your DD-214 and your military training report with the title of training when requested.  If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, you will not be given credit.

If your application moves to the Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP) official or unofficial transcripts will be requested.  Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded.  A transcript missing any of these elements 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.

Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation, in order to be credited towards qualifications.

Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges, or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States.  It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.  Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted.

Required Documents

1.       Visit www.pearsonvue.com/IMST

2.       Create a web account.

3.       Follow the instructions to complete and submit the IMST online application:

a.       Answer all self-assessment questions;

b.       Include work history for the past 10 (ten) years; and

c.       Complete the Personal Narrative questions and Statement of interest.

(Please see below for more information.)

d.       Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it.

You may interrupt the application process and return to it until you submit it.

e.       Complete, review, and submit the application.

o After you complete and submit the above this becomes your online application and will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.

o You have six months to complete the application process outlined in this announcement and must take the IMST. If you have not done so within six months, you must restart the application process.

o Application packages must be complete before you can register for the Information Management Specialist Test.

o We strongly recommend that you go back into your application and verify that everything is completed properly.

Personal Narratives and Statement of Interest 

These 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 Information Management Specialist (IMS). 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. Each response is 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 a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) is the ability to write clearly and concisely.  Answers to all of the Personal Narratives and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

1. Substantive Knowledge – Give what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you found a solution to a practical problem by using your knowledge of information technology (IT) programs. Indicate the nature of the problem, who was affected by the problem, in what way, and the results or benefits of your solution.

2. Intellectual Skills – Describe a time when you had to analyze a complex IT situation and make a quick decision. What process did you follow for making the decision? Were you satisfied with the results?

3. Interpersonal Skills – Please provide an example that demonstrates you are good at working with others in difficult situations. What exactly did you do that shows you have this skill?

4. Communication Skills – Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills to describe a technical issue to a non-technical audience.

5. Managerial Skills – Information Management Specialists are often required to manage projects, demonstrating the ability to plan and organize, set priorities, employ a systematic approach, and allocate time and resources efficiently. Describe a project that you managed or helped to manage and how you sought to achieve the project’s goals.

6. Leadership Skills – Describe a time when you identified a serious problem involving IT services or IT solutions that required immediate action. How did you take the lead in solving the problem?

Statement of Interest

Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:

Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
Comments about your work experience, include special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.

Benefits
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

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 and tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.

The salary listed is the low ($56,728) from the FS Overseas Comparability Payscale and the high is from the FS Washington D.C. locality Payscale ($90,342).  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.

How to Apply

1.       Visit www.pearsonvue.com/IMST

2.       Create a web account.

3.       Follow the instructions to complete and submit the IMST online application:

a.       Answer all self-assessment questions;

b.       Include work history for the past 10 (ten) years; and

c.       Complete the Personal Narrative questions and Statement of interest.

(Please see the Required Documents section for more information.)

d.       Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it.

You may interrupt the application process and return to it until you submit it.

e.       Complete, review and submit the application.

o After you complete and submit the above this becomes your online application and will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.

o You have six months to complete the application process outlined in this announcement and must take the IMST. If you have not done so within six months, you must restart the application process.

o Application packages must be complete before you can register for the Information Management Specialist Test.

o We strongly recommend that you go back into your application and verify that everything is completed properly.

4.    Select an appointment to take the Information Management Specialist Test (IMST) at one of Pearson VUE’s test centers.  The Information Management Specialist Test (IMST) is an important part of the selection process, covering the job knowledge, English expression, and situational judgment necessary to work as an Information Management Specialist.

 

Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors.

CloseReasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

An applicant with a disability needs accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
An employee with a disability needs accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
An employee with a disability needs accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

About U.S Department of State

The U.S. Department of State leads America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance by advancing the interests of the American people, their safety and economic prosperity.