How can I strengthen my Statement of Interest? – State Department: Consular Fellows

How can I strengthen my Statement of Interest? – State Department: Consular Fellows


What are you looking for beyond the
three topics which are motivation, work experience, and experience in a
multicultural environment? What else on top of that are you looking for in a candidate? sure ok so if those are three things that we’re absolutely looking for I would also say you know leadership
abilities and you know you need to be able to demonstrate that you can make
decisions in a high-pressure situation. And then I would also, and Dan I don’t know if you want to add to this, but you know
we have on our website the 13 dimensions of what we’re looking for
Foreign Service Officer, I would highly suggest you read through those and
have your answers kind of reflect those 13 dimension, because you are doing you know similar work too or the exact same work as a Foreign
Service Officer so those apply. What I would add is I would look for a
breadth of experience. All too often what we see is the same
construct used to answer all the questions, “so during my time in Kazakhstan I did
this, during my time in Kazakhstan I did this during my project in Kazakhstan”…I’d
like to see a little more breath I’d like to see evolution over your
entire life so if you want to use leadership example from when you were in college to balance out all the great and wonderful things you did in Kazakhstan
that’s really good. so I’d like to see a little more a
variety spread out across. We’re also looking, we also have a
formula we want to see you kind of spend a brief second telling us about the
context of the issue, then we want to see what you did and your impact in all of those areas,
and I think that’s a lot is missed, is what that impact was so try
to follow that formula you know this is the setting, this is how I was involved,
and this is what I did and how it had a positive outcome. so I would suggest that
as well. I would also add think outside the box so you’re going to use your Peace Corps experience for maybe three of the
questions so when they ask “tell us about a time you’ve adapted to a cultural
situation?” Maybe you’ve moved from a small town to a big city you know they want to know
that you’re not just thinking of cultural adaptability as living overseas
or you know traveling overseas so that’s one way to do it I mean just pick a
question and think outside the box but I’d also say draft your responses in a word
document and send it around to people from all different fields: government, you know
NGO, business so they can look at your drafts and edit them down for
you. I’m sure you’re all amazing writers but just having all of that extra scrutiny really
helps you get past what the key is and what our board of examiners is
looking for. And that kind of raised an issue with me, these things are short much shorter than you’ve seen. I think
there are three thousand characters not three thousand words three thousand characters. So unless
you need all that colorful language to actually make that point dump it. It’s
really crisp, A to B to C. One thing you learn when you become a
Consular Fellow is that all writing in the department needs to be very precise and
make sure you don’t have any passive voice in your response.

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1 thought on “How can I strengthen my Statement of Interest? – State Department: Consular Fellows”

  • I really want to become a Russian Consular Fellow one day. Taking the exam this Saturday, hope I pass and go on to the next step. Thank you for these videos!