|Working on the Hill|
The Hill is populated with hard working staffers from everywhere in America. Most are in their 20s but you will find people of all ages and experiences in Congressional and Senate offices. While there are many ways to land a job on the Hill, most staffers got their start working for free--either as interns or campaign volunteers. It is public service after all.
Like any organization, the Hill has different departments. The staff in individual offices work directly for a Senator or Representative and focus on the priorities of their boss and their constituents. The staff on Committees focus on key legislative topics such as defense, energy or education. The staff in leadership offices help coordinate the strategy and actions of the party as a whole.
Within each office, staff work in four areas--administration (secretaries, schedulers, letter writers and receptionists), legislation (legislative assistants and legislative directors), constituent services (staff who help constituents with all manner of issues; in committee or leadership offices, the "constituents" are members of Congress), and communications (communications directors, press secretaries, new media coordinators). Staff report to a Chief of Staff (usually based in Washington). However, every office has its own way of organizing staff.
What are employers looking for in staff?
Top characteristics include loyalty, a team player, writing ability and political experience.
You can improve your odds of finding a job with three tools: Job Lists, Informational Interviews, and Unpaid Work.
Interviews with Hill Professionals