SES Resume Writing Services

government-job-information-photo2The Senior Executive Service (SES) is the executive management of the federal government. Individuals holding SES positions lead and oversee the federal government’s more than 250 agencies through managerial, supervisory and policy positions. SES leaders are also a vital link between the top Presidential appointees, such as the Secretary of Education, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State and the respective federal workforce.

Due to the level of responsibility, SES members must be “of the highest quality,” per the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. Becoming a candidate for an SES position starts with an SES resume, which is like a traditional federal resume, but with additional content that demonstrates the five Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ).

Learn more about SES resumes, from their types to differences from standard resumes, as well as view sample SES resumes and understand how to evaluate your resume for SES positions.

Standard Resume vs. SES Resumes

Federal government resumes, whether for an SES position or another government role, differ from standard resumes. Traditional resumes often include a brief, one- to two-page description of work experience and other important qualifications, which is accompanied by a one-page cover letter. SES resumes are typically five pages and sometimes a cover letter may also be included.

Resumes for federal positions also deviate from the traditional resume format for work experiences. Federal resumes are much more comprehensive and require your weekly number of hours, supervisor names and telephone numbers, work address and supervisor contact information.

Paragraphs are also easier to read and preferred in SES and federal government resumes for documenting your work experience, as well as accomplishments. Paragraphs allow you to use our signature. Bullet points are acceptable, but they are more suited for listing your publications, awards or known languages.

Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) are another fundamental difference between private-sector resumes, as well as federal resumes for non-SES positions and SES resumes. ECQs are the five following qualifications:

  1. Leading change.
  2. Leading people.
  3. Results driven.
  4. Business acumen.
  5. Business coalitions.

The purpose of ECQs is to demonstrate your leadership qualifications through describing your challenge, context, action and result through short paragraphs. ECQs are your opportunity to show you’re a performance-driven candidate who gets results in a team and organizational environment. In traditional resumes, you may choose to prove similar points through short bulleted statements.

Types of SES Resumes

SES resumes provide hiring managers with a 360-degree view of your relevant skills, experiences, achievements and overall qualifications for the listed job announcement.

Because of the depth of these resumes, which focuses on the five ECQs, as well as fundamental and 28 underlying competencies, the federal government is always working to develop a more seamless form of the SES resume.

Three types of SES resumes are used and reviewed by hiring managers:

Traditional SES Resumes

The traditional SES resume is 10 pages, with two pages committed to each ECQ. The purpose of this format is to provide hiring managers with an in-depth and detailed description of your experiences leading a group of people or driving results, for example. The benefit of this format is you can offer multiple examples of your ECQs to prove your qualifications.


The ECQ-Based resume is a simplified and more streamlined version of the traditional SES resume. Throughout the resume’s five pages, you demonstrate the five ECQs, as well as any applicable fundamental or underlying competencies, through your work experiences. The benefit of the ECQ-Based format is it’s quick and to-the-point for hiring managers, but it also lets you highlight your biggest achievements.

Accomplishment Record

The Accomplishment Record SES resume is a hybrid of Traditional and ECQ-Based resumes. Like the ECQ-Based format, an Accomplishment Record resume provides hiring managers with a shorter description of your ECQs and other competencies. Your descriptions, however, aren’t incorporated into your work experiences. One page is used for each ECQ instead, similar to a Traditional resume.The benefit of an Accomplishment Record resume is its combination of ECQ-Based and Traditional resumes. You’re still able to detail multiple achievements, but you can draw a hiring manager’s focus to your more substantial accomplishments.

Browse our SES resume examples to see how each of these resumes are formatted, as well as how they demonstrate the ECQs.

How to Evaluate Your Resume

Standout SES resumes share several common traits, which are useful when evaluating your own resume. Consider the following questions when reviewing your resume:

  • Does your resume cover the five ECQs? It’s essential that your SES resume demonstrates your ability to lead change and people, while also building coalitions and driving results. If your resume doesn’t include the five ECQs, hiring managers won’t ask for an interview.
  • Does your resume feature quantifiable and qualitative results? Numbers are an effective, persuasive tool in any resume. Demonstrate the depth of your accomplishments or ECQ narratives to show hiring managers the results you’ve given past organizations, as well as indicate the results you can provide a federal agency.
  • Does your resume contain Specialized Experience? All vacancy announcements list specialized experience. Ensure you include a paragraph that describes and supports your specialized experience. Use our signature Headline Format to showcase your core competencies and/or experience and accomplishments that match the requirements of the specific SES job application.
  • Does your resume use active voice? Use active voice instead of passive voice to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Active voice encourages reading, whereas passive voice can quickly become dull if used in every sentence.
  • Does your resume include relevant experiences and leadership? Relevant experiences and leadership skills are a must for federal and SES resumes. Share the experiences that matter to strengthen your candidacy. Your role as a volunteer at a non-profit may shed light on your character, but the focus at this stage is on your skills and qualifications.

Understand, when you evaluate your SES resume, you’ll find reasons to edit or improve it. Editing is a natural step when writing any resume, especially one for an executive position that demands a high-level of performance and experience. Evaluating, proofreading and editing your resume are all steps that raise your chance of receiving an interview.

Write an SES Resume With SESWriters

Managing, leading and directing a team may pale in comparison to the challenge of writing an SES resume, which is why we offer an SES resume writing service that’s provided a substantial increase in your chances of receiving an interview. Our writers know exactly what Hiring Officials wish to see in SES Resumes.

At SESWriters, we have more than 30 years of experience writing SES resumes. Our team of award-winning and certified writers can help you with a career change, a transition to the public sector or a move to a higher-level position.

Competing for a DC-Area Position?
We’re Here to Help

You’re interested in applying for an SES (Senior Executive Service) position in the Washington, D.C area, but where do you start? The federal government in Washington, D.C. is seeking men and women with well-honed executive leadership skills and qualifications that can continue to transform government at the highest levels. These positions offer a great salary and the career is very rewarding. Our DC SES resume writers have completed more than 58,000 corporate, military, and federal resumes and over 3,000 SES applications with a 99.6% customer satisfaction rate. SES Resume Writers is the only Washington, D.C. SES resume service with an 85% client interview rate.

Our executive government resume writers start by assessing your executive leadership strengths, talents, and skill set. Next, we help you flesh out executive leadership stories by utilizing our proven process and our signature builders. Our skilled DC SES resume writers will pay special attention when developing an individualized executive resume and ensure it is in compliance with federal and SES resume requirements. Our writers develop the content HR is looking for and match the experience required in the select vacancy announcement. We develop an artfully crafted five-page SES resume that is professional and highlights your executive leadership experience, accomplishments, and knowledge that will meet the hiring agencies and OPM’s expectations. Once your SES resume is developed, it can be tweaked for other positions within the Senior Executive Service in the Washington, D.C. area.

Learn more about our SES resume services, plus discover why we have a 99.6 percent customer satisfaction rate, by contacting us for a free consultation today!