Professional Federal Resume Writing Services Thrive Because the Process is so DIFFICULT

Professional Federal resume writing services thrive in the world today because the process is difficult.  Those who are extremely well qualified in Federal positions and want to acquire those positions, for any of a number of reasons whether it be to serve the public, gain job security, or simply because in their field the government is the most likely place to find meaningful work, are often experts in their fields.  But, they are not necessarily expert writers!Even in the world of writers, resume writing itself is a specialty.  Most professional resume writers have at one time or another prepared a resume for an advertising consultant, newspaper reporter, English professor, technical writer from industry or some other professional communicator who has enough sense to realize that resume writing is a specialty and help is needed.  Federal resume writing is a specialty within the specialty.  Not every professional resume writer does Federal work, and those that do generally receive intensive training from the professional organizations they belong to and study the forms and requirements.Federal resumes are long, complex and have rules to follow that the average private sector resume does not.  They also genially require accompanying documents called KSA’s or knowledge skills and aptitudes, answering specific questions.  If getting the Federal government job is important to a job candidate then getting the help of a professional to successfully navigate the difficult process is key, and needed.

Understanding the ECQ (Executive Core Qualifications)

When applying for an upper management or executive level Federal job, whether applying from outside of government service or trying for a promotion within the government, and working at the SES level, the ECQ’s need to be considered.  ECQ’s are the Executive Core Qualifications that list competencies required for the position.  The idea is to list skills needed to build the culture and teams necessary for the particular organization.ECQ’s may be listed as such things as leading change, leading people, demonstration of business skills and acumen, methods of building coalitions, or other skills more specific to a particular agency, but concentrating on the higher end executive management skills.  When responding to these questions with an SES level job application package then each question needs to be addressed using as many specific examples as possible.The answers to the ECQ’s, and the competencies demonstrated through them, will be reviewed multiple times during the course of the interview and hiring process, and must stand up to intense scrutiny.  The assistance of a professional writer specializing in this process is practiced by a great many, if not most of the candidates who eventually reach these positions at the top of their fields and organizations.

The Difference Between a Standard Federal and an SES Job Posting

Getting hired for a Federal government job in the old days meant using a very long, boring form called an SF-171, standard form 171 I government lingo.  Getting entry-level or mid-level government jobs in the 21st century, thankfully means using the new Federal style resume, allowing use of the computer and word processing software and more individual creativity.  Going past the standard Federal level and into upper management or executive positions with the Federal government requires looking at the Senior Executive Service, a pay grade in the civil service, and using the SES resume packages these higher level positions require.The Office of Personnel Management says that the SES is “charged with leading the continuing transformation of government…possess well-honed executive skills and have a broad perspective of government and a public service commitment which is grounded in the constitution.”  Designed as a corps of executives, these are key positions just under those appointed by the President.  As expected, the SES resume can be quite long and detailed when compared to a standard Federal resume, and especially when compared to a private sector standard resume.  It also generally includes the ECQs, or Executive Corps qualifications, responses to specific questions relating to the position applied for, generally not more than ten pages, and separate from the SES resume itself and the cover letter.If seeking an executive level federal job is important then getting assistance in preparing an SES resume from a team that specializes in writing this high level of resume is essential.

Get Answers to Your Federal Job Process Questions

Us Flag and LibertyIf you have a question about the federal job process, that relates to the application procedures, resume formats, ECQ, KSA or supplemental data – as well as the online applications that involve Resume Builder or Resumix – post them here. We will do our best to respond to your questions within a few short hours.

The Importance of a KSA in a Federal Application: Manadatory and NOT Optional

When a KSA is listed as needed in a Federal job posting remember that is not optional, it is mandatory, and if your resume is submitted without the appropriate KSA’s accompanying it then you have wasted time, money and paper, and the résumé itself will be ignored.When Federal job vacancies are announced KSA’s are usually announced with them. KSA stands for Knowledge Skills Aptitude and allows a job candidate to answer specific questions giving quantifiable examples of results achieved in circumstances in previous positions that would relate to, and qualify a person for, the job being applied for. A simple example would be a KSA that specifies written communication skills. The appropriate response in the KSA document would be to refer to times in previous professional positions when written communication skills were required to achieve a needed result. The writing needs to flow smoothly, be easy to read, but include hard evidence of the skill asked for.The same is true of any KSA requested, and the more specific the answers to the questions, then the better the changes are that the resume and KSA document will actually be reach and result in an interview.

Search Tips for Finding Your Ultimate Government Job Posting

There are a number of websites with search engines devoted to helping you find government job postings. Some are helpful, some are scams – just keep in mind that government jobs aren’t a secret, and there’s no reason to pay anyone money to find government job postings. By using even the most general search engine like Google and Yahoo, you can find government job postings. And there are websites run by different branches of the military and agencies that post ads to find government jobs specific to their needs. In our experience, your best choice is USAJobs which is operated by the OPM.If you know which governmental entity you hope to work for, first try going directly to their agency website to find government job postings in that area. Then start with simple job title words to describe what you’re looking for – accounting, medical, computer, janitor, etc. Be creative, though – the federal government is very good at making up convoluted job titles for simple occupations! Using a “wild card” character in your search – an asterisk (*) will yield more results. If you enter “scien*”, for example, you’ll retrieve entries for will fetch “scien,” “science,” “sciences,” “scientific,” and “scientist.” Some job categories will offer just one or two listings, while others will yield many. When that happens, narrow the search with more specific terms – “computer science,” for example. Read the rest of this entry »

Applying for Federal Employment: Trying to Survive “The Perfect Storm”

By Steve Oppermann


In the fact-based 2000 movie, “The Perfect Storm,” George Clooney and his brave crew were swallowed up by an unprecedented combination of storms in the North Atlantic. That film came to mind after I read the excellent recent articles “A Bad Recipe: The Irish Burgoo Vacancy Announcement,” by Timothy W. Cannon; and “So Now We Know There’s a Problem – What’s the Solution?,” by Ralph Smith. In this case, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and other Federal agencies have inadvertently created their own “perfect storm” for Federal job applicants.

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Issues Faced by the Federal Workforce

OPM Director Springer Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcommittee and Discusses Issues Faced by the Federal WorkforceWashington, DCU.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Linda M. Springer testified today before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. The focus of her testimony was on the many issues OPM’s workforce – and the federal workforce – will face during the coming year.”OPM’s responsibilities include every aspect of ensuring the federal government has an effective civilian workforce – from background investigations, recruitment, hiring, training and succession planning to personnel policy design, development and oversight, compensation, employee benefits and retirement administration,” said Springer. Read the rest of this entry »