For people who worked in the public service for a long time, there’s no doubt that landing a job in the Senior Executive Service (SES) will not be hard. But if you’re just starting to make a name, then it’s another story. If you love to lead people as a public servant, then you may want to check the skills needed to get a SES job.

What is a SES Job?

A SES job is a federal position in the executive branch of the government. The men and women in these jobs run public programs in the top levels with their skills and knowledge in public service.

Skills an Aspiring SES Job Seeker Should Have

To help an aspirant do the job well, the US Office of Personnel Management has released a handbook called “Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications.” It serves to help applicants know the needs for the service.


 Produce change in and outside the group to help meet goals.


Spearhead in meeting the mission, vision, and goals of the group.


Make choices that give great results by using own skills and knowledge.


Oversee each key source for the group.

Alliance Builder

Establish alliances in and outside the group to meet common goals.

The Merit Staffing Method

Choosing people for SES posts makes use of merit competition. A panel with wide knowledge on the job will do the task. It will be in charge of various duties, such as:

  1. Choose a selection method;
  2. Promote the job opening;
  3. Do an initial review of each application;
  4. Conduct interviews (optional);
  5. Rate and rank applicants;
  6. Assess applicant’s qualifications; and
  7. Endorse the applicant to the hiring person.
Writing the ECQ Statement

When going for an SES job, you need to write an Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) statement. Your ECQ must show the five basic qualities: Change Maker, Leader, Results Driven, Manager, and Alliance Builder. You have to remember these points in writing this statement:

  • Adhere to page limits as stated in the job ad.
  • Use strong brief sentences written in the “first person.”
  • Spell out every acronym.
  • Describe education which enhanced your skills.
  • Include any key skills.
  • Avoid stating your personal beliefs.
  • Include related awards.
  • Count your successes.

When going for one of the many SES government jobs, think of these details and you’re sure to improve your chance of getting a public service job that fits your skills. If you want an effective application tool, seek our writing services. Call us at 1 (800) 845-0586.