What is an SES Application?

December, 01, 2016

What is an SES Application?

In many ways, writing SES applications walks the line between art and science, given the many specifications required for creating and formatting an acceptable SES application. Because of the high level of competition in the SES, many candidates turn to a skilled, experienced professional to develop their resume. One of the main reasons qualified applicants never receive an interview is because their resume failed to describe how well they are qualified for the position. Translating your abilities and skills in clear, precise language is imperative to landing an interview and achieving your career goals.

Senior Executive Service applications showcase individuals qualified to assume key positions in the federal government. Most SES jobs are equivalent to civilian CEO, CFO, CIO, VP and presidential positions. For individuals transitioning from military workforces, they should have an O-6 rank to consider submitting an SES application or have retired at an O-5 level. If you already work for the federal government, the majority of SES job openings require applicants to be at GS-14 and/or GS-15 level.

What is the SES Application Format?

Acceptable SES applications consist of four parts: the actual SES resume, the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) portion, a detailed covered letter (if requested on vacancy announcement) and the Technical/Managerial Qualification statement. Each section must offer highly specific information that includes real-life examples of the applicant’s leadership skills and accomplishments. In addition, content formatting should contain keywords and core competencies relevant to the applicant’s SES experience and skills, and requested by the Office of Personnel Management.

Perhaps the most important aspect of proper SES resume formatting is the inclusion of ECQs. The federal government considers specific leadership abilities and skills essential for qualified SES applicants to demonstrate.

What are Some SES Application Tips?

 If you choose to write your own SES resume:

  • Remember you are writing for multiple audiences — the Evaluation Review Board (ERB) and the Qualification Review Board (QRB) consisting of senior executives taken within the agency you apply, as well as from senior executives from various agencies. Each audience focuses on different skill sets you have, such as technical or executive leadership skills and experience.
  • Make sure you read and re-read the job announcement. Most are extremely detailed and can be confusing. If you don’t include all documents requested for the submission process, your application will be immediately denied.
  • Make the best choice among several formats. A traditional SES resume runs about five or more pages focusing on your experience and leadership accomplishments. The 5-page All Inclusive SES ECQ Resume consists of a total of five pages that include five mini-ECQ examples. Other formats include Intelligence Community Senior Officer, Air Force SES and many more specific to the type of job and organization to which you are applying. We are starting to see 10-page All Inclusive SES ECQ Resumes as well.
  • Take the time to prepare accomplishment stories taken from your ECQs and TQs. These stories need to be written in a way that elevates your resume above all other resumes read by the agency’s board members.
  • Proofread your SES application more than once. Any grammar, spelling or syntax mistakes will be considered a black mark by rigorously “by-the-book” hiring managers.

Get Professional Help Developing Your SES Application

With 30-years’ experience helping federal, military and corporate leaders, we have earned a stellar reputation as the best and leading SES writing agency helping thousands of clients get past the critical QRB. With multiple industry certifications supplementing their expertise, our superior writing team is highly skilled in writing interview-winning SES Applications to include SES Resumes, ECQs, TQs, MTQs in all required formats and character counts. Our writers utilize all best practices and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure each project is written to the highest level of composition, yet clear, concise and convincing. Don’t second-guess yourself when trying to create the perfect SES Application — call us today for immediate assistance: 800.471.9201

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