Following Tuesday’s election, attention quickly will turn from the battleground states to Washington, D.C. With the change in administration and Congressional turnover, there will be many job opportunities cropping up in the new year.
Not only will jobs open in government, the quadrennial turnover in Washington creates ripple effects throughout the D.C. economy which results in job openings in agencies, corporations and nonprofits.
Lay your groundwork now if you’re interested in working in Washington. But don’t be concerned if you don’t graduate until Spring since filling jobs in the new Administration and elsewhere will take place throughout 2009.
If you’re interested in a job on Capitol Hill, you should start with your own member of Congress. Find him or her at www.congress.org. Make sure your Congressman/woman was re-elected. If not, you can contact the Member-elect at his or her district campaign office which will be setting up the transition team. Ideally, you would have volunteered in the campaign or shown other political interest. Someone in your network also might have contacts in the political party of the winning candidate. After volunteering in his campaign, I interned for a Congressman between my junior and senior years in college, and was offered a full-time position following graduation. (Following college, I decided to work for a newspaper, however).
Several Washington-specific job sites are worth checking out, including Job-Hunt.com. This free site is one of the richest job search tools, covering openings in Washington, D.C. as well as nationally. A click today turned up more than 21,000 PR job listings. Also check out the many PR listings at DC Job Site. Another site that keeps weekly tgrack of with agency openings and other opportunities is Gordon Barnes’ DC Public Affairs + Communications Jobs.
Opportunities in Public Affairs is an excellent site for those looking for more politically oriented positions, although it also includes other PR positions. And don’t forget to check the robust Washington Post classifieds. Local newspapers are too often overlooked in the search for jobs. (I found my second corporate job via a classified ad).
There are other sites that offer job search help, but always focus on the free ones. There is no need to buy your way into a job–unless you’re running for office.