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How to Land a Job on Capitol Hill from Outside Washington D.C.

Hello, I’m Brent from Time on the Hill, and today, we’re going to discuss a topic that many aspiring political professionals face: how to break into the world of Capitol Hill when you’re not currently living in Washington D.C.

Now, let’s focus on helping candidates from all over the United States who dream of working in the House, the Senate, or for an entity in Washington D.C. I’ll be using a hypothetical candidate from Seattle, Washington, who works in finance and would love to work on Capitol Hill as a trade and financial analyst.

1. Consider Your Geographic Ties

First, think about the places where you have connections. For example, if you grew up in Pennsylvania, went to school in Virginia, and worked in Texas and New York, consider reaching out to members of Congress that represent those areas.

2. Be Prepared to Travel

You’re unlikely to land a job on Capitol Hill without interviewing or meeting a chief of staff, a member, or the member’s staff in person. This means you may need to fly to Washington D.C. at least once during your job search. If you’re not prepared to do this, consider working in a district office to gain experience and build connections.

3. Work in a District Office

Working in a district office has many advantages. It allows you to experience the work environment and decide whether it’s the right fit for you. Additionally, it helps you transition from your current field to a political career. If you enjoy your work in the district office, you’ll have a better chance of landing a job in Washington D.C. later on.

4. Use a Washington D.C. Address

Hiring managers often prefer candidates who already live in the area. Using a friend’s address in Washington D.C. on your resume can increase your chances of being considered for a position.

5. Leverage Your College Outreach Plan

Reach out to alumni from your university who are working in Washington D.C. Set up phone calls or meetings with them when you visit the city. Networking with your university family can lead to valuable connections and potential job opportunities.

6. Schedule Informal Meetings

When you visit Washington D.C., try to set up as many informal meetings as possible with legislative directors, chiefs of staff, and other professionals. These meetings can provide valuable insights and connections that could help you land a job on Capitol Hill.

Remember, if a candidate from Hawaii can navigate the process and land a job in the Senate, you can do it too. To recap, consider your geographic ties, be prepared to travel, work in a district office, use a Washington D.C. address, leverage your college outreach plan, and schedule informal meetings.

If you’re looking for additional resources, such as access to a university alumni directory of nearly 400 colleges and universities, visit Time on the Hill. We love hearing your comments, questions, and suggestions, so feel free to share your thoughts on this topic or any other area you’d like us to discuss. Good luck in your job search, and we hope to see you on Capitol Hill soon!