The Ultimate Career


The CIA Wants You

I'm going to be so much better a president for having been at the CIA that you're not going to believe it.

- George Bush

I'm assuming the ad below is authentic.  Maybe you have to be American for it to seem funny.

The Ultimate International Career

For the extraordinary individual who wants more than just a job, this is a unique career - a way of life that will challenge the deepest resources of your intelligence, self-reliance, and responsibility.  It demands an adventurous spirit, a forceful personality, superior intellectual ability, toughness of mind, and a high degree of personal integrity, courage, and love of country.  You will need to deal with fast moving, ambiguous and unstructured situations that will test your resourcefulness to the utmost.

This is the Clandestine Service of the CIA.  We are the cutting edge of American intelligence, an elite corps providing the vital information needed by our policy makers to address the national security interests of the American people.  We face new challenges every day, in a world filled with increasingly complex issues.  Ours is a mission like no other.

Employment Opportunities

We are currently hiring officers for the Clandestine Service Trainee Program to serve internationally in two career tracks.  Operations Officers spearhead our intelligence collection efforts and are actively involved in seeking new sources of information.  Collection Management Officers coordinate our intelligence collection efforts and disseminate the product to US government consumers.

The Clandestine Service has a second program, the Professional Trainee Program, for recent college graduates.  Upon successful completion of this program, a Professional Trainee will be considered for the Clandestine Service Trainee Program.

The Clandestine Service Trainee Program is only one of several opportunities with the CIA.  Maximum age for entry into the Clandestine Service Trainee Program is 35.  US citizenship is required.  Both positions also require a minimum of a bachelor's degree with an excellent academic record.  Outstanding interpersonal skills, the ability to write clearly and accurately and a strong interest in foreign affairs are also necessities.  A graduate degree - with specific study in physical, chemical, or biological sciences, international business or law, telecommunications, or computer technology - international residency, foreign language skills, and military experience are given strong emphasis in selecting competitive candidates.  All selected applicants must successfully complete a thorough physical and psychological examination, a polygraph examination, and an extensive background investigation.

The CIA is an equal opportunity employer and a drug-free work force.  We represent America and we want to be representative of America.

To apply for the Directorate of Operations, forward your resume and a cover letter, including your college GPA, to: CST Division, P O Box 12002, Department AFEE0100, Arlington, VA 22209; or FAX to CST Division: (703) 613-7871.

Competitive candidates for the Directorate of Operations will be contacted within 45 days.

If interested in US-based positions in the fields of Computer Science and Engineering with the CIA, send your resume via FAX to (703) 613 - 7884 ATTN: DS&T.  Visit our website at

Source: The Web

Work With the Best in International Analysis

Every day, Analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency work on the forefront of protecting US national security, quickly assessing how rapidly changing international developments will impact US interests at home and abroad.  CIA Analysts use information from around the world - from open and classified sources - to develop and provide the reliable intelligence that is essential for US policymakers to make informed decisions.  Your analysis will reach the top levels of the government, and is guaranteed to make a difference.  Throughout your career, you will have the opportunity to deepen your expertise through training and travel.

The CIA is hiring candidates with graduate degrees in subjects including international relations, foreign area studies, national security affairs, economics, science and engineering, and quantitative methods.  Undergraduate candidates with exceptional regional expertise and an outstanding academic record will also be considered.  We currently have a particular critical need for professionals with expertise in:

bulletMiddle East and South Asia
bulletWeapons Development and Proliferation
bulletEconomics and International Finance

All candidates must possess a minimum GPA of 3.2.  Language skills, foreign area residence or travel, and relevant work experience are pluses.  Starting salaries range from $40,000-$90,000.  Candidates must successfully complete a medical examination, polygraph interview, and an extensive background investigation.  All positions require relocation to the Washington, DC area, and US citizenship.

The CIA is America’s premier intelligence agency, and we are committed to building and maintaining a work force as diverse as the nation we serve.

For additional information and to apply online, please visit

An equal opportunity employer and a drug-free work force.


Curiously, the following job seems to be at a higher level - yet the requirements are less strict...

Possibly, the Most Demanding Job in the World:
CIA Directorate of Operations Clandestine Service

The Ultimate International Career

For the extraordinary individual who wants more than a job. It is a way of life that will challenge your intelligence, self-reliance and responsibility.  It demands an adventurous spirit, superior intellect, toughness of mind, personal integrity, courage and love of country.

Job Qualifications

bulletThe minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required, preferably with emphasis on international affairs/business, science or technology
bulletForeign language proficiency is a plus
bulletInterpersonal skills, solid writing ability and a strong interest in foreign affairs are necessities
bulletMaximum age for entry is 35
bulletUS citizenship is required
bulletAll applicants must successfully complete a medical examination, polygraph interview and an extensive background investigation

To be considered for employment, please apply online:

An equal opportunity employer and a drug-free work force.


The CIA did have a "homepage for kids called (surprise!) "The CIA's Homepage for Kids".  Unfortunately, they seem to have removed it.  That's too bad, because it was quite entertaining.  Kids were urged to "fly high on intelligence, not drugs!"  (Really.)  Gosh.  Why didn't I think of saying something meaningful like that?  Say "Yes" to intelligence.  Say "No" to "The CIA's Website for Kids".

Situations Vacant - Spies Wanted

by Frank Perry

The Security Intelligence Service is advertising for recruits for the first time in many years.  The government agency has advertised in the major daily papers for a small number of career intelligence officers.  The work is described as collecting, analysing and assessing intelligence, as well as providing sound security advice.  Applicants must be prepared to undergo psychological assessment and extensive background checking.

The director of Security, Richard Woods, said the service wanted to draw on a wide pool of talent to get the best possible people, and the move was consistent with its aim of being more open and transparent.  Australia's two secret service agencies are also on a recruitment drive.  They are advertising on the Internet for intelligent and discreet young people, who are prepared to work undercover overseas.

Source: 14th March 2001 © NewsRoom 2001

Psssst! Spy Agency in Need of Spooks

by Steve Rendle

The spy business ain't what it used to be.  Gone is the time when would-be spooks received a tap on the shoulder from a shadowy figure in a trenchcoat.  These days, you can just read the situations vacant column.

On Saturday, for what is believed to be the first time in 20 years, New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service placed newspaper advertisements for "Career Intelligence Officers".  But lest it be thought that the SIS has lost its edge, finding out details of the jobs in question was a tough nut to crack.

Telephone calls to SIS HQ yesterday were met with polite but firm answers from people who declined to give their last names.

In a written statement, director Richard Woods let little slip.  "These are important and challenging jobs.  We want to draw on a wide pool of talent so that we get the best possible people.  This move is also consistent with the greater openness and transparency of the service in recent years."

Questions had to be faxed to the SIS and the answers left no chinks in the armour of our national security.  How many officers were they looking for?"  A small number."  Have people got the impression it's a James Bond style job?  "I hope not.  It isn't."

The ad described the job as "the collection, analysis and assessment of intelligence from a variety of sources" and warned that the "selection procedure is rigorous and takes time", apparently up to two months.  But does it include testing of applicants' resilience under hostile interrogation?  "No."

We can assume the job doesn't come with a tuxedo, but surely it includes guidance on how to inflict pain with a single finger?  "They will be given appropriate training.  It does not include combat training."

But given the nature of the job, some undesirables must certainly be ruled out due to criminal convictions or involvement in, say, political activism or Springbok Tour protests?  "Each application will be considered on its merits."

On the up side, when you get put on hold at the SIS you sometimes get some fabulous James Bondy lounge music, and they are an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.  Applicants should have a tertiary qualification and some work experience.  Applications close on 26 March and should be sent to IO Recruitment, NZSIS, PO Box 900, Wellington.

Source: The Evening Post Wednesday 14 March 2001

I can't help but wonder why clandestine security agencies seem to be in lockstep - suddenly they all need more employees?  When the economy goes bad, then crime goes up?  (Probably not that simple.)

The Spy Who Didn't Really Love Me

Being married to a spy is not all martinis, either shaken or stirred.  Thirty wives and former wives of CIA agents around the world have told how they found themselves spending more time plucking cockroaches from scant food rations than sipping cocktails.

The women spoke anonymously to the authors of a new book, Spies' Wives, by Karen Chiao and Mariellen O'Brien, themselves the wives of former agents.  "The life was definitely harder on the wives," says Chiao, 60, who lives in Washington with her husband, now retired from the CIA.  "The man goes from one place to the next, playing 007.  The woman often just goes along, is plunked down somewhere and told to make a life for herself and family."

The wives describe a gruelling combination of danger, boredom and loneliness.  Often they spent months alone when their husbands were sent on special missions.  "I learnt to drink and found that vodka and tonics go a long way in easing boredom and loneliness," said one wife, who was posted with her husband to Bangkok.  "Our husbands were off playing 007 and all sorts of exciting things like flying up into the northern part of Laos in helicopters or meeting their agents in clandestine safe houses.  They had all sorts of games to keep them busy: playing cowboys and Indians with live ammunition."

Another said of her experiences in Asia: "I was bored with overseas life.  I was bored with him.  He was running from affair to affair."  She turned for comfort to the arms of a young Marine.  "We took chances all the time, swimming out to a raft in the South China Sea in the middle of the night in shark-filled waters."

Many other wives simply divorced their husbands and returned to America.  Those who stuck it out, travelling all over the world with never more than two years in any location, faced a tough grind contending with everything from typhoons, Vietcong bombs and cobras nesting under the dinner table.

Many had never lived away from home.  They were dispatched to distant corners of the earth, with nothing more than a two-week CIA training course to prepare them.  One newlywed said she arrived in Khartoum to find that no one would venture into her house.  She later discovered that the living room and dining room floors had been used to layout bodies after a terrorist attack on the mission.  She found out only when a Marine joked: "The floor is still warm."

Another described the weekly food shopping in Mogadishu: "With the heat and humidity, the onslaught of beggars at every turn, cripples crawling around and desperate mothers making gestures with cupped hands, it was shopping in hell."

Another told of picking cockroaches out of flour.  A young wife said that families posted in Addis Ababa devised unconventional entertainment to pass the time.  "One of the big social events of the tour was piling into the 'company' Jeep and going out to the dump to wait for the hyenas.  Then we would turn on the spotlights and watch them snarling and snapping at us."

Some of the wives were recruited by the CIA as "contract wives".  This meant they were supposed to spot and cultivate possible "contacts" and pass secret information.  They were not paid.  "The kids and I would go to church and while exiting would walk through a dark vestibule where a 'pass' would be made," said one contract wife of her tour in Mogadishu.

Even families lucky enough to be posted to such locations as Rome or Paris found that adapting to a foreign country could be difficult.  One wife, newly arrived in Rome and encouraged by her success in Italian classes, decided to order a meal in a restaurant.  "After I finished ordering, the waiter bent down and whispered in English, 'Excuse me, madame, you have just ordered a half bowl of penis'.  The tubular pasta I had ordered for the children should have been pronounced 'penne' not 'pene'," she said. - The Times

Source: The Dominion Tuesday 27 March 2001

Tales of Mice and Men

by Michael Evans

When it emerged that New Zealander Richard Tomlinson was to flout Britain's Official Secrets Act and publish a memoir of his time in MI6, there will have been people who vowed not to buy it - not because they disapproved but because their copy of Spycatcher was still gathering dust.  The trouble with tales of real-life espionage has always been that in this genre, fiction is better than fact.  John Le Carre, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene - no real-life spy has ever matched them.

Tomlinson's book is different, however.  The Big Breach: From Top Secret to Maximum Security, published by a Russian company, spans Tomlinson's 4 years in MI6 from 1991 to the moment when he was sacked in 1995.  Though it may lack the fabulous locations and fantastic gadgets of the best spy fiction, it more than makes up for that with quixotic detail - and sheer farce.  And that is why the Establishment will hate it.

Among those who may have particular occasion to regret Tomlinson's foray into print is Dominic Lawson, the editor of Britain's Sunday Telegraph. There have been rumblings before about Lawson's supposed connections to intelligence services - allegations that he has denied.  But it may be harder to shake off the rumours now that Tomlinson seems to flesh out some details.  Who now will be able to hear Lawson's name without recalling his supposed codename - Smallbrow?

The MI6 department dealing with media contacts, I/OPS, is said by Tomlinson to have had the former editor of The Spectator on its books.  Tomlinson alleges that Lawson helped to supply cover stories and claimed that he was given a letter of introduction by Smallbrow as commissioned writer for The Spectator when he was sent to Skopje in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

But such expeditions look like Boys' Own stuff compared with some of the plots that Tomlinson, now 38, recounts.  Perhaps the most startling of his claims is that MI6 had a longstanding relationship with Nelson Mandela.  This apparently began when Mr Mandela was a young lawyer and a member of the fledgling African National Congress.  In 1990, shortly after his release from prison after 27 years, Mr Mandela and his wife Winnie made a "clandestine" visit to Britain and spent the day at a stately home engaged in "secret discussions" with MI6.  Three years after that visit, a CX report (CX is MI6 code for secret intelligence) revealed a plot by an extreme right political party in South Africa to assassinate Mr Mandela.  The plot was averted by MI6.

The calibre of operatives appears to have varied considerably.  An outsider might assume that MI6 agents were the best of their generation.  This was not always the case.  Tomlinson says that one British Conservative MP, elected in 1992, had tried unsuccessfully to join MI5 after university.  He later settled for MI6.  After the MP got into Parliament, John Major personally approved MI6's request to continue running him.  But unpromising raw recruits could, with training, be turned into skilled agents.  Or so the shadowy figures running MI6 appear to believe.

Among the more unlikely operatives were Micky and Tricky, two mice acquired by the Soviet department of MI6 from Britain's Porton Down chemical defence establishment.  Their mission, whether or not they chose to accept it, was to help to fix a bugging device in the penthouse flat of a suspected Russian intelligence officer in Lisbon.  Micky and Tricky were to be trained to go down a drainpipe with fine wire attached to their bodies.  There was a third mouse, christened Thicky, but it proved incapable of walking along pipes and was sent back to Porton Down in shame.

The central yarn in the book is, inevitably, the story of Tomlinson's own finest hour, when he says he smuggled out of Moscow details of Russian ballistic missile tests.  The tests, listed in notebooks, had been hidden in a flat by an officer in the strategic rocket forces.  Tomlinson's espionage coup was given a five-star CX rating, he claims.

In the great tradition of rogue spies, Waikato-born Tomlinson was first approached to join MI6 by a Cambridge University don.  He took a first-class degree in aeronautical engineering and then served in Britain's Territorial SAS, joining MI6 on 2 September 1991.  He went through a rigorous training programme and was given a "box 1" performance rating, awarded only to "outstanding" recruits.  He was promised "lots of travel" and interesting operations.

His first instruction was to try to recruit a Russian defence journalist who had access to military secrets: he was advised to go to see Mikhail Butkhov, a former KGB officer who had defected to MI6 in 1991.  Tomlinson set up a fake news agency called Trufax and, with Butkhov's help, tried to lure a Russian journalist to fax intelligence titbits.  But Trufax was closed down after three months, having failed to elicit any intelligence worth a CX report.

For his next mission he was despatched to Moscow to search for the notebooks of Colonel Alexander Simakov (not his real name) of the Russian strategic rocket forces.  Colonel Simakov had announced that he wanted to defect, and had asked in return for a house with a garden full of flowers.  MI6 wanted to know whether he really had anything worth offering.  As it turned out, Colonel Simakov was a goldmine of information.  Not only did he reveal the location of the Russian defence ministry's new strategic command headquarters - inside a mountain in the Urals - but he also knew about every ballistic missile fired from the Russian test range at Kamchatka between late 1987 and early 1990.  But there was one significant problem - the details were in Colonel Simakov's mother-in-law's sewing box, and the sewing box was in Moscow.

Posing as businessman Alex Huntley, Tomlinson travelled to Moscow.  His cover story was that he was attending a three-day symposium organised by Britain's Financial Times.  Tomlinson made his way by bus to where the mother-in-Iaw lived.  She let him in and while she went off to fetch books and clothes for her son-in-law in Britain, he spotted the sewing box and found two school exercise books, filled with numbers.  He grabbed them and later placed them inside a copy of the Financial Times which he left on the desk of one of the resident MI6 officers in Moscow.  The "numbers" provided crucial intelligence about the trajectory of Russian missiles.

Tomlinson went on other more dangerous missions, but none had such a glorious conclusion.

In November 1993 he was posted to Bosnia as a covert intelligence officer.  There he sustained a leg injury after being knocked over from the shockwave of a Bosnian Serb shell.  After his service in Bosnia he received a severely critical staff assessment that eventually led to his sacking.  But rather than go quietly, Tomlinson claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed.  He came back to New Zealand, and visited Australia where he tried to find a publisher for his book.  Back in Britain he was arrested and subsequently jailed for breaking the Official Secrets Act and was sent to a top security prison, leaving on licence in May 1998 having served only part of his sentence.

Soon afterwards he went overseas again, claiming he was being hounded by MI6 agents.  He travelled across 4 continents, arriving in Auckland in August 1998 after being thrown off a Sydney-bound plane.  Airline officials told him he had been refused an Australian visa.  At Auckland's Copthorne Hotel his room was raided by police who Tomlinson alleges were working with MI6.  Tomlinson then left New Zealand, believing that it was inevitable that authorities would try to press charges against him.

Certainly MI6 has attempted to discredit Tomlinson, portraying him as a dangerous maverick who will do anything to wreck the service.  The organisation insists that he mixes fact and fiction.  It follows from that, that some sections of the book are accurate.  Now living in Italy, Tomlinson has said that he will return to Britain voluntarily, and that he would be prepared to donate any profits from his book to charity, and even go to prison if necessary - but only on condition that he is first allowed an employment tribunal hearing. - The Times

Source: The Dominion 1 February 2001

See also:

bulletRussian Spies Sing - In what appears to be the world's first professional recording of songs by spies, about spies and for spies, the lonely glamour of black ops and foreign stakeouts is extolled in a collection of 22 tracks on Their Work is Tough, They Call It Spying...

CIA (SIS, MI6 - Take Your Pick) Job Bulletin

The CIA had an opening for an assassin.  After all of the background checks, interviews, and testing were done, there were three finalists, two men and a woman.  For the final test, the CIA agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun.  "We must know that you will follow your instructions, no matter what the circumstances.  Inside this room, you will find your wife sitting in a chair.  Kill her!!!"

The man said, "You can't be serious.  I could never shoot my wife."  The agent said, "Then you're not the right man for this job."

The second man was given the same instructions.  He took the gun and went into the room.  All was quiet for about five minutes.  Then the man came out with tears in his eyes.  "I tried, but I can't kill my wife."  The agent said, "You don't have what it takes.  Take your wife and go home."

Finally, it was the woman's turn.  She was given the same instructions, to kill her husband.  She took the gun and went into the room.  Shots were heard, one shot after another.  They heard screaming, crashing, banging on the walls.  After a few minutes, all was quiet.  The door opened slowly and there stood the woman.  She wiped the sweat from her brow, and said, "This gun is loaded with blanks.  I had to beat him to death with the chair."

For more articles relating to Money, Politics and Law including globalisation, tax avoidance, consumerism, credit cards, spending, contracts, trust, stocks, fraud, eugenics and more click the "Up" button below to take you to the Table of Contents for this section.

Back Home Up Next