Page 12 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2013

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12
April 2013
|
the foreign Service journal
State Releases
a Mobile App for
FS Careers
I
n January, the State Department’s
Ofce of Recruitment, Examination
and Employment launched
DOS-
Careers
,
a well-designed and user-
friendly free app for anyone interested
in a Foreign Service career with the State
Department. HR/REE, as the ofce is
known, has been an early adopter of
social media and other Web-based tools
for reaching potential and current For-
eign Service candidates.
Te ofce began using social media
in 2005 and has continued to expand
its online profle ever since. Rachel
Friedland, its recruitment marketing
consultant, has been pushing for an app
for several years. When the opportunity
arose for funding through
the Information Resource
Management Bureau’s
Innovation Fund, HR/REE
seized it.
Overall, the State
Department has made
great strides in shaking
its longtime reputation as
a technological laggard.
Beginning in 2001, Secre-
tary of State Colin Powell made upgrad-
ing access to, and use of, information
technology a top priority, starting
with granting access to the Internet to
employees on their desktops in Foggy
Bottom and overseas.
Today, there are numerous Twit-
ter feeds, YouTube channels, fikr
photostreams, blogs and Facebook
pages coming out of the department and
embassies worldwide, and State is now
seen as a leader among federal agencies
in this regard.
Tis
DOSCareers
app was developed
and published by MetroStar Systems,
though all the content is provided by
HR/REE. It ofers generalist and special-
ist career track descriptions, videos of
employees from diferent tracks, Foreign
Service Ofcer Test sample questions,
and information about the selection pro-
cess, including a fowchart of the exam
and the hiring process (that could be a bit
clearer in distinguishing between Foreign
Service ofcer and Foreign Service spe-
cialist steps to the job).
Te app also includes
useful links to Diplomats in
Residence and recruitment
events around the country.
Tese information sessions
and career events have grown
in number in recent years, and
the app can help users fnd
and keep track of what’s hap-
pening in their area. Users can
also set up calendar
alerts for upcoming
events. One espe-
cially useful feature
is an interactive map
for events.
Te app’s name
seems unfortunate,
however, given that
“DOSCareers” is not
widely recognizable to the public, and
the app is somewhat difcult to fnd if
you don’t already know the name. In
searches of the iTunes and Google Play
app stores for “Foreign Service,” “Foreign
Service Exam,” “State Department” and
“Diplomacy,” the app did not show up at
all. A search for “FSOT” does get you to
DOSCareers
, which is listed after a num-
ber of unofcial test prep apps.
A few users have expressed concern
about the size of the app, rather large at
50 MB. However, early reviews are gener-
ally quite positive.
Foreign Service Journal
Editorial Intern Jef Richards, speaking as
a member of the target audience for the
app, commented: “I think it’s really great!
I especially like the quizzes and the infor-
mation about the tests. Te app is very
fast and extremely interesting and useful,
and it has a great interface.”
—Shawn Dorman, Associate Editor
Attacks on the Press
Mount Worldwide
O
n Feb. 14 the Committee to Protect
Journalists released
Attacks on the
Press
,
a yearly assessment of global press
freedom (or the lack thereof ). Te study
documents an unprecedented rise in the
number of journalists killed and impris-
oned during the past 12 months, as well
as the success of many governments in
instituting state censorship and cracking
down on independent reporting.
“When journalists are silenced,
whether through violence or laws, we all
stand to lose because perpetrators are
able to obscure misdeeds, silence dissent
and disempower citizens,” notes CPJ
Deputy Director Robert Mahoney.
Te Committee to Protect Journalists
identifed 70 journalists who lost their
talking points
Overall, the State Department has made great strides in shaking
its longtime reputation as a technological laggard. Beginning in
2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell made upgrading access to,
and use of, information technology a top priority, starting with
granting access to the Internet to employees on their desktops in
Foggy Bottom and overseas.