WANTED: 700 HORSEHOLDERS:

Interviewing for a number of high-level political support, alter-ego jobs. Good pay and benefits. Rotten security. Some travel and long hours required. An equal opportunity employer but applicant must have good political pedigree. Congressional references helpful. Loyalty a must. Apply at the Departments of Navy, Justice, HEW, Transportation, HUD.

Although the "winners" in the president's recent Why - I - Should Resign-Now essay contest got most of the publicity and tears, the Cabinet shapeup is deeper. It will affect the way government is managed, and have a long-term impact on hundreds who hitched their career wagons to rising, or fallen, political stars.

These five Cabinet changes mean 10 top-level replacements, and hundreds more at lower political ranks. The important musical chairs included a promotion at Justice, a shift from HUD to HEW, a move from Navy to Transportation, and three departures, from HEW, Transportation and justice.

Jobs that are up for grabs are a mixed bag, with many, many applicants.Applicants include everything from confidential aids and secretaries to at least one chef. Correct. Chef, as in one who cooks things for a high official.

Most of the slots are mid to upper level, paying from $25,000 to $50.000. Most serve directly at the pleasure of the presidential appointee who hires them. When he -- or she -- goes, they usually go too. New leaders like to bring in their own new teams.

White House aids at first thought only a handful of key subcabinet jobs would change when the firings began. In fact, the number of jobs involved runs between 600 and 700 in five departments.

There are four kinds of federal jobs that are particularly vulnerable when there is a political change of command. They include the Executive Level (top appointees making more than $47,500); members of the Senior Executive Service who do not have career status (pay ranges from $44,756 to $47,500); other noncareer employes in the GS (general schedule) secretaries, chauffeurs or top assistants, anyone in a political, policy or confidential job who serves at the pleasure of the angency or department head.

Here is the political job lineup in each of the five departments where shakeups are in the works. First Schedule C jobs:

Housing and Urban Development has 116 people in Schedule C jobs . . . Justice has 69 . . . . HEW has 128 . . . Transportation has 59 and Navy has 10. There are other jobs in some agencies, but these are already vacant.

In the Executive Levels, HEW has 19 jobs . . . HUD has 11 . . . Justice has 30 . . . Navy has 7 and Transportation has 15.

This is the job breakdown for the noncareer Senior Executive Service:

HEW, 68 . . . HUD, 33 . . . Justice, 46 . . . Navy, 10 and Transportation, 40.