It’s time to make moves. At this point, it is vital that you establish contacts and develop new Hill connections on a regular basis throughout the Capitol Hill congressional job search. Realize early that everyone on Capitol Hill is highly busy and their boss will be adding more work to their plates each day that the Congress is in session. It’s your job to be pleasantly persistent. That said, there is a thin line between being persistent and being a pest. It’s OK to exhibit the fact that you are serious about serving on Capitol Hill and that you plan to keep working on a weekly basis to land an incredible opportunity.
Remember that you are not the only person who is going to be submitting a résumé directly to a Legislative Director or Chief of Staff. It happens all the time. Keep yourself on their mind and at the forefront of the conversation but be sure to proceed in a reasonable, prudent and thoughtful manner.
Here are some of the most common communications that you should be crafting once your written deliverables are polished and ready for delivery. This chunk of time in your life is an incredible opportunity to organically grow an incredible network of new and reestablished connections throughout Washington, DC generally and Capitol Hill specifically.
Once you start your new congressional job, you can then apply the high value and efficacy of your enlarged contact list to great use during your very first week/month/year on the job. On your first day of the job (and we will talk more about this later), with a crisp new congressional email account, be sure to thank the individuals who helped you in one way or the other during your campaign. Thank them either individually, or depending on your perspective and level of comfort, in a blind email (bcc:) for their guidance, experience and counsel throughout your search.
The copy found on the next page is intended for the body of an email to be sent to either a Chief of Staff or Legislative Director. Throughout your campaign, your emails should always include your written products (Résumé, Congressional Cover Letter, Congressional References Page, Sample Press Release and Congressional Writing Samples) as PDF files attached to your email.
Customizing each and every cover letter for each individual member of Congress is tedious and time-consuming. It’s a lot of work that basically everyone would rather not have to do. However, the chief/LD can easily see and appreciate that you took time to learn the member and his background with a little attention to detail. The Hill is a safe haven for mediocrity. There are plenty of mediocre staffers and mediocre members. The point of going the extra mile now is to separate your total package from the masses at the very beginning and get out in front of the pack incredibly early in the game.