Job Hacks: CIA

Interested in a career or internship with the CIA? Here are some important tips from two CIA recruiters to keep in mind.

Pro Tips
1. Beyond skill sets, the CIA looks for certain personal characteristics. They value personal integrity, common sense, curiosity, initiative, critical thinking skills, leadership skills and excellent communication skills. Make sure this all comes across in your application and interview. 
2. Do you sometimes illegally download music? Stop. If you've only done it a few times, it won't prevent you from getting a job or internship, but you should make sure to avoid doing it again.
3. You must be drug free for at least the past year, otherwise don't even apply. They will ask you about this during your background check.
4. You must be a United States citizen to apply for internships or jobs.

For internships
1. Pay attention to deadlines! For many summer internships, you must begin applying during the fall. Internships require a background check and top security clearance that can take 9 months to a year to clear. So make sure you factor that time in while applying.
2. Consider studying a language. You don't need to enter the CIA with language knowledge, but it certainly helps.
3. The internships are paid, and ideally require two 90-day commitments (interning over two summers.) There are also semester-long internship options.

For a career
1. Keep in mind the length of the application process. Consider the date you want to start working at the CIA, and go back 12-16 months to figure out the date you should start applying.
2. Figure out what directorate could best utilize your skill set. The CIA is in need of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including foreign languages, political science, and STEM fields. Each directorate has a different mission and needs people with different knowledge. Check out their website to read more about each directorate.
3. A career with the CIA is more than simply a job, it's a lifestyle. It takes commitment, but those who have done it consider their work very rewarding.

Visit https://www.cia.gov/careers to apply!