About the Job
As a Targeting Officer at CIA, you will identify the people, relationships, and organizations having access to the information needed to address the most critical U.S. foreign intelligence requirements and find opportunities to disrupt terrorist attacks, illegal arms trade, drug networks, cyber threats, and counterintelligence threats.
Targeting Officers are integral to the planning and implementation of Directorate of Operations (DO) foreign intelligence collection, counterintelligence, and covert action operations. You will combine specialized training, utilize advanced analytic skills and tools, and in-depth knowledge and experience in DO operational trade craft to identify new opportunities for DO activities and enhance ongoing operations.
Many Targeting Officers spend much of their career serving in the Washington, DC area with opportunities for overseas travel. Opportunities for Targeting Officers to serve multi-year postings overseas exist, but these positions are competitive.
All Directorate of Operations (DO) officers are hired at an entry level and train as they are expected to work – as one team. DO officers are hired into one of two programs: the Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) program or the Professional Trainee (PT) program. A CST has three or more years of professional experience, while PT has less than three years of professional experience. DO officers begin their careers learning the foundations of operations via classroom training, practical exercises, and on-the-job experience gained through a series of interim assignments. Based on the program into which each applicant is hired, the number of interim assignments will vary.
As part of the program, some DO officers will be expected to:
- Operate a motor vehicle without second-party assistance in daytime and nighttime conditions;
- Traverse uneven terrain, to include climbing and descending staircases, over fixed minimum distances and in varying weather conditions;
- Work non-traditional or erratic schedules;
- Make reasoned decisions under time constraints.
Who You’ll Work With
At the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), we recognize our Nation’s strength comes from the diversity of its people. People from a broad range of backgrounds and viewpoints work at CIA, and our diverse teams are the reason we can keep our country safe.
What You’ll Get
Our benefits support every aspect of a working professional’s life, including health and wellness, time off, family, finances, and continuing education. Our programs include highly sought-after government health benefits, flexible schedules, sick leave, and childcare. In some cases, we also offer sign-on incentives and cover moving expenses if you relocate.
As a CIA employee, you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing your work is part of something bigger than yourself. Our work is driven by one mission: to keep our Nation safe. Every day is an opportunity to enhance U.S. national security.
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (applicants within one year of earning a four-year degree will be considered); there is no preferred major or program of study (degrees from foreign academic institutions are accepted, but you are responsible for obtaining and providing CIA with a credential evaluation from an accredited firm confirming that the foreign degree is the equivalent of a BA/BS and/or MA/MS degree conferred by a U.S. college or university)
- At least a 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale preferred
- Personal integrity
- Action and results oriented
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- Ability to work independently and in team
- Flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to CIA
- Ability to meet the minimum requirements for joining CIA, including U.S. citizenship and a background investigation
- Inquisitive and investigative
- Determined, focused and mission driven team players
- Drawn to complex tasks and finding innovative solutions to overcome obstacles
- Articulate complex analysis verbally and in written communication
- Ability to shift focus quickly, work on multiple tasks concurrently, and excel in high-pressure/high-impact situations
- Ability to learn and apply the latest technologies
What You’ll Need to Apply
The following items must be attached to your on-line application (PDF format preferred):
- Unofficial transcripts for all degrees
- Cover letter: please describe your knowledge, skills, abilities, and aspirations not evident from your resume, that make you a good candidate for the Directorate of Operations (1 page).
At the time of application, DO applicants select specific DO occupational specialties (Collection Management Officer, DO Language Officer, Operations Officer, Paramilitary Operations Officer, Specialized Skills Officer, Staff Operations Officer, Targeting Officer). Competitive applicants will continue to be asked to identify their DO occupational specialty preference(s) at various stages in the hiring process. It is not unusual for applicants to adjust their preference as they progress and learn more about the expectations and requirements of each occupational specialty.
In a separate PDF attachment address the following questions:
- Why does a career in public service with the CIA appeal to you?
- Why do you wish to work in the specific roles to which you are applying?
- Describe one thing from your academic, military, professional, or personal background that has prepared you for success in the CIA.
- Complete this thought: “I do my best work when…”.
- Outside of the careers to which you are applying, what other careers have you considered?
- Describe a time when you did not succeed, professionally or academically, and what you learned from that experience.