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How to Become a Diplomat

How to Become a Diplomat Are you looking for a job that could excel you professionally, personally, and financially? Do you wish to meet with high profile dignitaries? Are you dreaming to meet Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign officials? If yes, then you need to join Foreign Service. No doubt, the qualification required for becoming a diplomat is too high yet if you work hard, you can transform this dream into reality.  In this article, we will give you some tips about “How to become a Diplomat”.

1. Find out the criteria to become a diplomat in your country: First of all contact the federal agency that deals with International Relations. In France, it is Ministry of Foreign Affairs while in United States it is the “Department of State”. When you make contact to the respective agency ask about the professional qualifications, experience, language proficiencies and preferred fields of study. It is also necessary to ask that whether it’s mandatory to have natural birth in the county you apply for or not.  Age requirement is different in all countries but in United States it must be between the ages of 21 and 59.

2. Consider your personal qualifications: For diplomats, physical fitness is of paramount important. You need to submit a certificate that you are capable for extensive traveling and you do not have any physical impairment.  Apart from this, check that whether you quality for security clearance or not. Prior to appointing a diplomat, the recruiting agency checks that were you involved in any criminal activity, do you take drugs, and do you have any financial liability? The most important thing is that do you have the temperament to lead your country across the globe? Remember one thing that you will have to represent your country hence you must be capable of adopting the diversity of cultures.

3. Complete the necessary formal course work at accredited schools: In some countries, there are universities which offer you programs for preparing you to become a good diplomat. Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University (United States) and Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University (United Kingdom) are worth citing examples.

4. Register with your government’s foreign affairs office: In United States, you have to submit an application with the Department of State. But in United Kingdom, you have to apply through Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

5. Pass the necessary written and oral exams: Every country conducts different exams from aspiring diplomats. You have to show that you have good knowledge of politics, current affairs, international issues and world events.  In United States there is an exam called as Foreign Service Officer’s Exam. This is a written exam of 3 hours and once you qualify it, you will be summoned for oral exams. Generally, these exams are taken for measuring that whether you are capable to represent the United States government abroad or not.  Lastly, after qualifying the exam, you will be trained about the functions of diplomacy.

How to Be More Diplomatic

How to Be More Diplomatic

In today’s article we are going to focus how to be more diplomatic in our life and why it is so much important. Hence, for becoming a diplomatic, you need to learn the following 4 basics of diplomatic communication.

  What is Diplomatic Communication?

A diplomatic person is one who alters the situation and turns issues into his favor without damaging the relations.  The diplomatic mode of communication is based on kindness, compassion, respect and dignity.

Diplomatic communication is meant to be honest and manipulative but it does not mean that you speak lie and deceive others. Your communication should reflect that you give respect to the person you are speaking with and trying your best to win his heart.  In nutshell, it is like the famous saying “It’s not what you say; its how you say it.”

Tip #1: Learn to Flex Your Communication Style
Earlier, I was very open, clear, direct and to-the-point communicator. I thought to spend some time in learning different styles of communication. When I completed my communication sessions, I happened to start flexing my communication as per the situational needs.  During the course of learning, I had also learned that how to identify the communication style of those people who live around me.

The book I chose for this learning was “People Styles at Work” which had already been discussed in my previous article: Communicate Better with Different Types of People. I have taught this type of communication to a big number of people and I think it is the most valuable management tool for smooth and effective communication.

Tip #2: Choose Your Words Carefully
It is the natural tendency that no one wants his ideas to be rebuffed. My father often told me that “Baby, you need not to say that is white rather you should say that it is not black”. He was perhaps meant to teach me the importance and value of words. Inevitably, politicians know that very well. To influence hearts and minds of the people, they use appealing and inciting words.

Therefore, it must be in your chambers of thoughts that words are powerful bandwagon. They have to be used meaningfully and on right time. Hence, for becoming a diplomatic, you need to adopt this tip.

Tip #3 Listen, Think, and Be Open

I could never forget the experience that I had when I was a manager. I used to tell colleagues “I am your manager, do what I say”. This style of communication always detached me from official relationships and I did not care for the feelings of others. It was absolutely wrong and it was pathetic style of communication. But, after reading listen, think, and be open lesson, I changed myself and happened to communicate in more professional manner.  In diplomatic communication there is tool which often dictates you when, how and where to disagree.  Therefore, you need to think and listen before completing your communication.

Tip #4 Relax Your Body and Your Face

Being a diplomatic communicator, you need to understand that body language matters a lot. You have to pose yourself as calm and relaxed. Your speaking tone should be natural and your face expressions must be convincing. Hence, no matter what issues you face, it must not appear from your body language or face expressions that you are tensed. This style of communication can only be adopted through practice. Someone has rightly said that “Crisis tests the true mettle of men”.

So You Want My Job: Foreign Service Officer/Diplomat

So You Want My Job: Foreign Service Officer/Diplomat
When we compare Foreign Service job with FBI and CIA, it does not get too much attention.  But, for becoming a diplomat, it must be in your mind that this job requires too much traveling, adventure and passion about cross cultural studies. No doubt, if you love to work in different countries and intending to promote peace, prosperity and progress then this job is best for you. Being a diplomat, you will have to safeguard the interests of Americans. You will be required to protect all citizens of United States who are living in different countries. Your assignment is not confined to certain areas. To complete your assignments, you may be posted to any of the 265 American embassies around the world. Exactly, it can be a war torn country or third world.
To learn more about this tricky and tough job, we would interview a US diplomat Shawn Kobb who is currently posted in Kabul. If you intend to be a diplomat, must visit his website where he offers tips on how to qualify the Foreign Service Exam.
1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, etc.):
I am hailing from a small town of northern Indiana and born in 1977. I took my post-elementary education from Manchester University and studied Theatre and Communications.  In 2006, I joined department of state of United States as a Foreign Service Officer, generally known as diplomat. This job is full with diversity but in simple words we are the face of U.S government across the globe. We have staff in all embassies around the world and we provide assistance to people of America living in different countries.  Presently, I am in Kabul but I have lived in Bahamas, Washington, D.C, and Ukraine.
2. Why did you want to become a diplomat? When did you know it was what you wanted to do?
Since my childhood, I was quite passionate about traveling and learning other cultures. I took my college studies from Europe and started finding governmental jobs rightly after 9/11 incident. Yes, I do not remember where I heard about Foreign Service and how I got interested in it. But, I remember that in 2004 I had checked my email from an internet café of Bangkok and found that I had qualified all the papers successfully.
3. What’s the best way to prepare yourself to join the Foreign Service? What should you major in and what kinds of experiences and skills should you seek?
The best way to prepare yourself for becoming a diplomat, you need to have variety of knowledge. Personally, I think that the degrees we get from the universities have no value.  It is the Foreign Service Exam that has to be qualified. To qualify it, you must be well versed with government, history, economics, popular culture, geography, and English subjects.
4. What is the process for applying to the Foreign Service?
This exam is based on several portions and you have to qualify every portion for reaching to the next.  Firstly, there is written test which has to be passed. Once you go through the test, you will be required to submit resume along with personal statement elaborating your background studies and experience.  After passing this portion, you will be summoned for oral exam which is based on interviews, group tasks, command tasks and general discussion. After that, you will be checked for security clearance which is also a tough for those who have poor background.
5. What is the Foreign Service Officer test like? How should you prepare for it?
The written exam is really complicated. You can be asked anything. For passing this portion, general knowledge is highly demanded. On the other hand, oral exam is slightly easier than written. I used to take tips from internet, forums, and friends to build my confidence. Besides, State Department is also conducting test sessions to help out the candidates.
6. Any other advice, tips, commentary or anecdotes you’d like to share?
The U.S Foreign Service is not only a job but the whole lifestyle .It gives you the opportunity to meet with people of different countries and offers you the chance to travel the world. To me, there is no better job than the Foreign Service. You learn a lot from you experience and the most important thing of this job is that you lead your country across the globe.


Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI) educates and trains you on important international and diplomatic issues. We are passionate about the law and our mission: To provide you with insights on legal issues and information that is related to international diplomatic training.

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