Top Reasons Why OPM Might Reject Your ECQs

There is not only one right way to develop an Executive Core Qualification (ECQ). Everyone has a different writing and communication style—not to mention unique career experiences and training.

However, over the years, and in working with thousands of applicants, CareerPro Global’s career advisors and writers have identified some of the top reasons that OPM’s Qualification Review Boards tend to reject ECQs.

Here are a few to keep in mind when writing your own ECQs:

§  Examples are more than 10 years old.

§  Examples do not demonstrate sufficient depth and breadth of experience that would indicate executive leadership.

§  Examples read like highly technical descriptions of short-term projects, rather than executive-level essays.

§  Examples lack evidence of the core competencies.

§  Specific examples are not presented in the Challenge-Context-Action-Result format, but instead read like vague or general philosophy and description.

§  Examples do not include significant, specific, or impactful results. 


Barbara Adams is the President and CEO of CareerPro Global, Inc. (CPG). She has been on the leading edge of SES application development for decades. Committed to providing world-class service, she has also built an SES writing team that has assisted more than 2,500 clients develop their application materials. Ms. Adams has been featured on T.V. and radio and as a presenter at numerous career conferences. She is the co-author of the book, Roadmap to the Senior Executive Service: How to Find SES Jobs, Determine Your Qualifications, and Develop Your SES Application.


Posted in Career Tip of the Month

Tags: SES, Executive Core Qualification, ECQs



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