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How (Not) To Get a Job in an Administration: Five Lessons From Transition Experts

With less than three weeks to go before the presidential election, job seekers for either a Trump second term or a Biden first term are dusting off their resumes and positioning themselves for potential appointments. During our Transition Lab podcasts, a number of transition veterans detailed some of the least productive approaches for prospective job candidates. The following is a list of five lessons derived from these conversations. If you stick to them, you can reduce the possibility that your resume ends up in the recycling bin!

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Political Appointee To Civil Servant: What the Public Should Know About “Burrowing In”

During election seasons, the status of political appointees in the federal workforce come under increased scrutiny. Under all recent presidents, some political appointees have attempted to become civil servants — a process commonly called “burrowing in.” Unlike political appointments, civil service positions do not terminate at the end of an administration. Conversion therefore allows political appointees to stay in government after the president who appointed them has left office.

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Five tips for getting through the Senate confirmation process

The opportunity to serve in a presidentially-appointed position in the federal government is a unique privilege and honor. For some positions, this means nominees must traverse the difficult Senate confirmation process before they can take office. The confirmation process can be one of the biggest challenges a nominee will face in their lifetime. Here’s some advice for navigating that process.

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The Impact of the 9/11 Commission on Current Presidential Transition Planning

Presidential transitions are a time of great vulnerability for our nation, with a significant turnover in national security personnel occurring when the nation may be facing a foreign policy crisis or an adversary willing to cause significant trouble. Many of the laws and norms that presidential transitions follow today were put in place based on lessons learned in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Impact the Presidential Transition

The winner of this November’s presidential election will face daunting challenges—a devastating pandemic, a major economic crisis, civil unrest stemming from racial inequality and a long list of pressing domestic and national security issues. These are momentous times that accentuate the need for presidential transition planning, whether it’s a first term for Democratic candidate Joseph Biden or a second term for President Donald Trump.

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