Some requirements for a candidate seeking employment in a U.S. embassy include a solid credit history, no prior criminal activity and no history of substance abuse. Candidates must be U.S. citizens between 20 and 59 years old who are willing to work anywhere in the world. Candidates for embassy positions must meet specific sets of employment criteria in their areas of specialty such as administration, construction engineering, facility management and information technology.
Candidates for foreign specialist positions apply online based in response to vacancy announcements. An individual pursuing a foreign service officer position must first select a career track, including public diplomacy, political diplomacy, management, economic or consular. Candidates must also complete and pass an examination, offered three times a year. Those who pass the exam then submit six personal essays in order to qualify for the oral evaluation, which also includes a writing test, competency exam and several interviews. Those who pass the oral assessment must receive a worldwide medical clearance and be eligible for the government's top security clearance prior to placement on the register from which the U.S. State Department makes appointments.
Family members of U.S. government employees working overseas may also apply for work in an embassy through the non-competitive eligibility program and the expanded professional associates program, which places eligible family members in foreign service entry-level embassy or consulate jobs. The State Department also may employ individuals from an embassy's local area who are legally eligible to work in the specific country.