5-Point Checklist to Improve Executive Core Qualification Write-Ups

Some SES positions call for a resume with integrated Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and Technical Qualifications (TQ), but those are the minority. The vast majority of SES job announcements still require at least a resume, a full set of ECQ narratives, and several TQs. If we get into Department of the Air Force applications, the Federal Aviation Administration, or the Intelligence Community, we often see additional application requirements, such as “Leadership Dimensions,” “Desirable Factors,” and “Intelligence Community Competencies,” each of which require their own separate write-ups.

At the end of the day, an SES application packet can range anywhere from 5 pages to more than 25. This can be a daunting experience, and all of our articles are designed to help educate you on the various aspects and best practices of applying for the SES.

This time, we want to pull back a bit and provide a high-level checklist. This isn’t all-inclusive, since every vacancy is a little bit different, but before you submit any application materials, make sure you consider the following:

  • Do your resume and ECQ/TQ write-ups focus primarily on the past 10 years?
  • Does your resume include ALL of the exact “nuts-and-bolts” information listed in the vacancy announcement? For example, if your Social Security Number and daytime and evening phone numbers are requested, you need to have them in there. Wouldn’t you hate to be overlooked just because you missed these details? It happens.
  • Are you planning to submit anything that was not specifically requested? If so, DON’T DO IT! For example, if the announcement doesn’t require letters of appreciation or references, don’t submit them. You risk being overlooked for a potentially career-transforming position simply because you didn’t follow instructions.
  • Are all of your documents properly formatted? It’s usually safe to go with Times New Roman, size 12, with 1” margins. But every once in a while, some flexibility is allowed, such as size 11 font or .08” margins. If the formatting requirements are not specified in the announcement, take the initiative and email the HR contact your question. Email is always better than calling, because it gives you a paper trail.
  • Are the stories and examples you shared in your ECQs and TQs represented in the resume in bullet form? In other words, do the various parts of your application complement each other?

Barbara Adams is the President and CEO of CareerPro Global, Inc. (CPG). She has been on the leading edge of SES application development for decades. Committed to providing world-class service, she has also built an SES writing team that has assisted more than 2,500 clients develop their application materials. Ms. Adams has been featured on T.V. and radio and as a presenter at numerous career conferences. She is the co-author of the book, Roadmap to the Senior Executive Service: How to Find SES Jobs, Determine Your Qualifications, and Develop Your SES Application. Learn more.

Posted in Career Tip of the Month

Tags: Executive Core Qualifications, resume tips for federal employees, resume tips, Technical Qualifications

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