that-first-hill-job

Looking for Lost References

How to track down a reference that may have switched jobs. (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

A great internship experience can lead to valuable references, which is one of the myriad reasons interning on Capitol Hill is often the best way to secure a full-time job there. But what if those valuable references aren’t in the same position anymore? Hill Navigator discusses how to track them down.  

Capitol Hill: It’s Not for Everyone

Not sure you want to climb the ladder on Capitol Hill? Here's how to know when to leave. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Working on Capitol Hill may be a dream job  for some, but others may find the esoteric workplace a hard place in which to succeed. So what do you do if you decide Capitol Hill is not for you, and how long should you wait it out? Hill Navigator discusses.

Getting a Job on Capitol Hill: For Veterans

Getting a job on Capitol Hill has some additional obstacles for veterans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Getting a job on Capitol Hill can be tough, even for the politically savvy with long resumes and starred credentials. But it can be a vastly different experience for veterans. HillVets, a nonprofit focused on veterans issues, is looking to add to the number of veterans in the Capitol Hill staffer ranks, and recently distributed  “A Veteran's Guide to Getting a Job on Capitol Hill .”  

The guide encourages veterans to submit their resumes to HillVets and sign up for job email lists. When veterans apply for a position, they should let HillVets know, and see if there are additional contacts within the HillVets network that can assist in landing an interview. Much of the information is the oft-repeated Capitol Hill advice: Decide what kind of job is best suited to your skill set, seek a home-state connection, spell check and review your cover letter and resume. HillVets gives the cold, hard truth regarding compensation: “You are likely going to make less money as a Hill staffer than you did on active duty.” Overall, the guide is encouraging, and provides a resource for veterans who want to work on Capitol Hill, which can otherwise be a difficult place to land employment , especially without relevant Hill experience.  

The He’s-Just-Not-That-Into-You Interview

Meeting for coffee? How to make the most of the informational interview. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Informational interviews are a Washington rite of passage: Eager staffers-to-be go on dozens before landing their ideal job, and then spend the rest of their careers on the receiving end of lukewarm coffee conversations about someone else’s hopes and dreams.  

Hill Navigator is a strong proponent of this cycle: Whenever possible, allow someone to bend your ear over a latte.* But what happens if this leads to a job opportunity that isn’t the right fit? Hill Navigator discusses.

The Revolving Doors of D.C.’s Think Tanks

We all start somewhere. How to get from a think tank to Capitol Hill (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Interning is considered one of the best ways to start out in D.C. — especially on Capitol Hill, where internships can often lead to paid work. But what if you are working at a think tank, albeit one with strong political and congressional ties? Hill Navigator discusses.

Student Loan Payments, With Strings Attached

Is there a hard-working staff assistant in your office who deserves a raise? What happens when the office offers student-loan repayments instead? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Student Loan Repayment Program can be a financial boon to many Capitol Hill staffers. But what happens when an office offers loan payments in lieu of a raise? Hill Navigator discusses.

The Road to Re-Employment: State Staff Edition

Capitol Hill or bust? Why it may be harder for state and district staff to land jobs in D.C. (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

It can be hard to land a job on Capitol Hill, even for those who live and work in D.C. But what about former state and district staffers, who still want to work on Capitol Hill even after their boss has exited stage right? Hill Navigator discusses.

Getting Your Intern Application to Stand Out

Sure, you can add your resume to the pile. But how to get it to stand out? (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Job applications can be stressful, even for the “junior interns.” So how do you go about navigating the confusing world of the intern application process? Hill Navigator discusses.

Double Duty: Graduate School and Capitol Hill

Can a staffer juggle Capitol Hill and graduate school? Former Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers, R-Mich., pictured during his physics professor days at the University of California, Berkeley (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hill staffers can do anything: pen legislation, autograph in lieu of a member of Congress, even run for office . But can they carry on the demanding, long-hours job while going to graduate school at night? Hill Navigator discusses.

A More Perfect Staffer: Could Your Record Catch Up With You?

   

It can happen to the best of staffers: A few poorly worded comments and all of a sudden you’ve become a late-night punch line, and you’re quickly off to “pursue other opportunities.” Capitol Hill jobs and promising careers can vanish overnight.