SES Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) Writing

Executive Core Qualifications for SES ECQ WritingEntry into the SES begins here, and writing ECQs is our specialty: Partner with the most trusted SES ECQ writing team in the industry and the only quality controlled career management service in the WORLD.

SES Resume Writers is an authentic, multi-certified, award-winning, and premier writing team. As the only quality controlled career management service in the world, we have taken quality to a new level in our industry.

Executive Core Qualifications must be written in a CCAR (Challenge-Context-Action-Result) formula and also must address the 28 competencies within the set of ECQs. Writing SES ECQs is both an art and science. Our signature ECQ builders coupled with one-on-one career coaching by our senior SES writers has led our clients to receive Office of Personnel Management (OPM)-certified ECQs that can be utilized for more than one SES application.

Just remember, it’s not what content and stories you wish to incorporate into your ECQ that counts, it’s how you present them through the lens of what OPM is looking for in your essays.


Client Testimonial:

“Barbara Adams was my initial point of contact and Bruce was my career advisor and executive writer. Barbara worked quickly to qualify me and set the pace for my requirements and short suspense. Bruce was simply fantastic and provided a professional, compelling, on-time application.

I will not hesitate to work with both professionals in the future. I strongly recommend CareerPro Global to anyone who is interested in advancing their career search with a professional, compelling resume that provides the critical competitive advantage required in today’s job market.” – JI, SES Candidate

Learn about The ECQ Fundamental Competencies > >

Our SES ECQ Writing Crystallizes Your Leadership Skills:

The most important characteristic required in each ECQ is to provide content that is rich with examples that will crystallize your leadership skills and demonstrate how they can contribute to building a federal corporate culture that drives for results, serves customers, and builds successful teams and coalitions, both within and outside the federal agencies. You will not find a more experienced team of SES ECQ writers that is current with all federal agency development requirements and that will deliver a hard-hitting and interview-winning set of ECQs.

Executive Core Qualifications are required for entry to the Senior Executive Service (SES) and you must present a top-notch SES ECQ package that will be accepted by the QRB (Qualifications Review Board) within each federal agency and then receive approval from OPM.

Client Testimonial: 

“I can’t imagine navigating this process alone. It’s an intense, introspective process that challenges your view of yourself and what you perceive to be your accomplishments. An objective expert that is on your side makes an incredible difference. The support and advice made this journey much less painful!” – Vikki S., SES Candidate

Contact us today at 800-471-9201 or submit a Quick Quote for a Free Consultation.


  1. OPM states in its SES guide that you can expect to devote 80 or more hours to develop your ECQs. Most executives do not have the time to spare, or the immediate knowledge of all the fundamental technical requirements, to put together a strong ECQ package. Not an easy task—even for the most accomplished writer.
  2. We require up to 10 or more hours of your time, as this is an interactive process, and at least 7 to 14 days to develop your entire application.
  3. Our signature ECQ builders will be emailed to you with instructions, the process, and a call from your Career Advisor, explaining the approach to follow when you flesh out your ECQs. These builders will guide you on each CCAR and required competencies for the specific ECQ.
  4. Your Career Advisor and Executive Writer will remain available to you for questions throughout the development process of your ECQs. Coaching, example selection, and assistance through the development of an ECQ is provided.
  5. Your Executive Writer will then ghostwrite each ECQ, ensuring the CCAR formula is followed and each core and fundamental competency is addressed.
  6. Your ECQs will then be sent to our in-house proofreaders/editors for professional proofreading.
  7. A draft will be presented to you for review, discussion, and any changes required.
  8. 10 business days are authorized after initial delivery of your ECQs to make additional changes.

Additional SES Applications

Once you have an excellent, professional SES package, you can apply for many announcements. After working with us, you will have a “Master SES Application” package that you can tailor to new positions, as needed. The Technical and Managerial factors may change, as will the job titles and announcement numbers, but you will use the rest of the package over and over again. You will be ready for the next SES job vacancy announcement!

In order to make the best impression, a consistent approach is very helpful. We recommend that you hire us to prepare all four sections on your behalf to present a consistent, job-winning package that will properly portray your skills and qualifications.

Our certified professional resume writers will work closely with you to identify the leadership skills, relevant experience, people skills, and achievements in your background and assemble the appropriate materials in the format expected by the federal government.

To begin the SES ECQ writing process:

  1. Email or fax us a copy of your federal vacancy announcement, along with your resume.
  2. An executive Career Coach will contact you within 24 hours of receipt to discuss qualification criteria, timeline, costs, and path forward.

This review is FREE and we will determine if we can indeed qualify you to become one of the next SES leaders within the federal government.

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In most cases, the federal government requires five ECQ statements for SES positions:

  • Leading Change
  • Leading People
  • Results Driven
  • Business Acumen
  • Building Coalitions/Communications

Building with White Stone Pillars - SES ECQ Writing PageEach SES ECQ statement is one to one-and-a-half pages long. In these statements, you must provide strong examples of direct leadership experience to show how you address each of these factors. Leadership is more important than management in this context. We will work with you to prepare these detailed statements and will develop appropriate narratives that follow the federal government model for each individual factor, as shown:

  • Challenge. Describe the specific problem or goal.
  • Context. Refer to the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in which you worked, and how you overcame a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, Members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale).
  • Action. Discuss the specific actions you took in addressing a challenge.
  • Result. Give specific examples of the results of your actions. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.

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ECQ Definitions and Charts

Below is a chart of each ECQ definition. We address your ECQ responses in this CCAR model, as described above, required by OPM, and incorporate the respective competencies below into each ECQ, as well as the fundamental competencies.

ECQs (Executive Core Qualifications)

ECQ Definitions Competencies
Leading Change This core qualification involves 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 continually changing environment. Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision
Leading People This core qualification involves 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. Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building
Results Driven This core qualification involves 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. Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility
Business Acumen This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management
Building Coalitions This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other  federal agencies, state and local governments, non-profit and private-sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating

Fundamental Competencies:

These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and must be reflected throughout your SES ECQs:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral Communication
  • Continual Learning
  • Written Communication
  • Integrity/Honesty
  • Public Service Motivation

Learn More about ECQ Writing