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The federal sector is still hiring nationwide and overseas. The Affordable
Health Care Act includes over 100 new regulatory agencies and commissions and
more federal regulators will be needed to administer new EPA and OSHA
regulations and to manage the many other federal programs that have been
expanded over the past 5 years. The federal government now owns all of Fanny Mae and
Freddie Mac plus they took over 100% of the student loan program. There will be
bumps along the way and many agencies may experience some downsizing to address
There is considerable competition for anyone seeking federal employment
and those interested in working for Uncle Sam must develop a professional
federal style resume and application to
remain competitive and start the process early to improve their chances of success.
Executive Service - SES Jobs
Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), Technical
Managerial Technical Qualifications (MTQs),
or Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs)
The Senior Executive Service (SES) is a corps of approximately 7000 men
and women who administer public programs at the top levels of federal
government. Positions are primarily managerial and supervisory. SES pay
is linked to individual performance. Basic annual salaries range from
$119,554 to $165,300; however, an agency with a certified SES
performance appraisal system can set basic pay at rates up to $179,700.
Members of the SES are not eligible for locality pay and some positions
include additional recruitment incentives.
The Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) established a distinct personnel system
that applies the same executive qualifications requirements to all SES members.
The new system was designed to provide greater agency flexibility for selecting
and developing federal executives within a framework that preserves the larger
corporate interests of government. The SES covers managerial, supervisory, and
policy positions above GS-15 (including Executive Schedule IV or V or equivalent
positions) that are not filled by presidential appointment with Senate
to the Senior Executive Service will assist you with your
job search and help you understand the SES system. Long overdue,
this well written, easy-to-follow SES application guide and workbook
can make the difference between success and failure for those
seeking SES positions. Barbara Adams and her CareerPro Global team
hit this one out-of-the-park, literally! The guide starts out with
the basics and lets the SES candidate know first-hand what to expect
and what it will take to get there.
Each federal agency independently determines the qualifications required for
SES positions, and whether to consider only current federal civil service
appointees or all qualified candidates. There are two methods of entry into the
Apply directly to a federal agency for a specific SES position or apply for a federal agency’s SES Candidate Development Program ( SESCDP).
Qualifications Review Board (QRB) certified graduates of an SESCDP advertised to
"all qualified Civil Service appointees" or "all qualified persons" are eligible
for (but not guaranteed) career appointment to an SES position without further
OHM convenes Qualifications Review Boards (QRBs) to provide an independent
peer review of candidates proposed for initial career appointment to the SES.
The candidate cannot be appointed to the SES until the QRB certifies his/her
executive qualifications. The QRB review is the critical last step in the SES
selection process. By focusing attention on executive qualifications, the QRB
helps ensure that technical skills do not outweigh leadership expertise in the
selection of new senior executives.
Applicants must meet two types of qualifications for SES positions:
The Executive Core Qualifications, which apply to every SES position;
Specific, professional/technical qualifications (if any) for the
position being advertised.
Leading Change — The ability to bring about strategic
change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational
goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational
vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
Leading People — The ability to lead people toward
meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ
is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the
development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports
constructive resolution of conflicts.
Results Driven — The ability to meet organizational
goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make
decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge,
analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
Business Acumen — The ability to manage human,
financial, and information resources strategically.
Building Coalitions — The ability to build coalitions
internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments,
nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or
international organizations to achieve common goals.
The ECQs are mandatory qualification standards for every SES position.
Agencies may also identify specific, professional/technical qualifications for
the position being filled. The qualification standards for an advertised SES
position are listed in the agency’s vacancy announcement. Applicants need to
obtain a copy of the agency's vacancy announcement to respond to these
Check for SES vacancy
announcements on our
jobs board. Call the
agency contact, listed on the SES job announcement, for clarifications needed. Ask for additional
information about application procedures and detailed qualifications
requirements and print a copy of the
SES Qualifications Guide. Be prepared to address the ECQs as outlined
above and in the guide.
Read the job announcement thoroughly and pay special attention to any
supplemental documentation that may be required. If you neglect to send in
required documentation your package will be rejected. Use the same techniques
outlined earlier in this chapter to evaluate the job announcement and focus on
the ECQs. Your work descriptions must also showcase the required duties,
responsibilities, expertise, and education required for the advertised position.
The SES application packages are complex to say the least and often require
professional assistance. It is helpful to consult with professional
certified Executive SES Writers who have experience writing executive
resumes. They write hard-hitting ECQs (Executive Core Qualifications) that
tell the real story behind your ability to Lead Change, Lead People, Drive
Results, Build Coalitions and employ Business Acumen. Professionally
prepared application packages will include all 27 core fundamental
competencies throughout your five ECQs and your TQs (Technical
Qualifications) must provide succinct examples of your experiences,
accomplishments and results. I highly recommend seeking professional
assistance especially if this is your first SES bid or if you have been
unsuccessful with previous attempts to enter the SES ranks.
Send your application directly to the address shown on the vacancy
announcement or submit it online if allowed. Required documentation is generally
faxed or sent direct to the human resource office listed in the job
announcement. Apply promptly to meet closing dates.
Resources to Help You Write Your Application Package
SES and most high level management applications require considerable detail.
The SES and high level, GS-14 and above, management positions application and
resume process can be intimidating to say the least. You have to write a
professional application package and must spend quality time to package it
correctly and to include all of the required information that is needed for
With a little coaching, insight, and succinct samples that are provided in
the Roadmap to the Senior Executive Service, you too can perpare and submit a professional SES
application. SES applications can
take up to a week to research, compile, and write a professional package that
will get you hired and that's if you know the ins and outs of the process, MOST
DON'T. Midlevel applicants can easily spend several days just compiling key
information in preparation for completing their SES application. If you need assistance
you can use a
professional service to compile and write your application.