The Congressional Job Hunt Shell Game

The other day, I was scanning open job listings, as you never know what you might find.  Now it’s more for amusement, as I have finally found gainful employment in the area, but  I also like to pass on jobs to talented friends.  At one such site, I found the following position:

Location: Washington, DC US

Company: Rep. Linda Sanchez’s Office

Industry/Sector: Government

West Coast Blue Dog Democrat is seeking to hire a Staff Assistant in the Washington DC office. Applicants for this position will be well organized, personable individuals who have strong writing and verbal skills. Responsibilities for this position include but are not limited to greeting visitors, answering phones, sorting mail, flag requests, tour requests and conducting Capitol tours. All candidates must also possess strong communication skills, knowledge in computer applications, and the ability to work cohesively with others in the office. Having strong academic credentials and/or at least 1 year of related experience is strongly recommended. California ties a plus.

Please send cover letter, resume, and writing sample to No calls or drop by’s please.

Sometimes, with these jobs, it’s fun to try and figure out what member of Congress the job is for.  For instance, a “new, Republican senator in northeast” a few months ago was pretty easy to divine.  This one was not any fun, as they gave it away by the Congressional district.  But when I read the bio for Ms. Sanchez, I saw that she has a sister in Congress too, from another House district in California.   One was most certainly not a Blue Dog.  The more I read, the more I got convinced… this job was posted under the wrong Sanchez.  The district email was right, but the first name was not.

So naturally, being the helpful guy I am, I dropped a brief note to the above email, so they would fix that possibly-embarrassing error.  I mean, I would hope that if you posted a job for your boss, you got her name right.

Dear sir/madam,

I am writing in regards to the job posting for [above].  I notice that Loretta Sanchez is a member of the 47th district, while Linda Sanchez works for the 39th.  I also notice that Loretta is a member of the Blue Dog coalition, while Linda is not.  Is this position in Loretta Sanchez’s office, or Linda Sanchez?  I appreciate any information you have.  Thank you!

A few days pass, and I expect that they either caught the error on their own, or saw my message and fixed it.  I didn’t expect to hear back, either way.  Neither of these are the case.  Instead, a week later, I receive this message:

Dear [me],
I wanted to let you know that after a very touch process, we have made the decision for the staff assistant position. Thank you so very much for applying with us. You are impressive and have great experience, and I know you will find a job in no time.
Thanks again!
Tristan S.

Office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez


Well, at least I was right, it was for Loretta and not Linda Sanchez.  Maybe I just got a form letter as they didn’t want to take the time to answer some smug know-it-all.  I’m sure no harm was done, but ma’m, if you or your staff reads this, maybe make sure that they are actually reading emails they receive?  And maybe posting your job openings to the correct member of Congress.  Just a suggestion.  Hope your new staffer works out!


2 thoughts on “The Congressional Job Hunt Shell Game

  1. HA! our government staffing operates in the same way as a mail order sweepstakes. Dont give up hope YOU TOO could be a winner!

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