If you are trying to land a Senior Executive Service, or SES job with the federal government, a vital part of that process is the need for successful ECQ writing. ECQ stands for Executive Core Qualifications and consist of five parts. These ECQs must be filled out and turned in with your SES application.
The ECQs give the federal hiring recruiters a better idea of whether or not an applicant has the competencies and characteristics that they are looking for. In other words, ECQs that are well written can give you an advantage over other applicants. If your ECQs stand out from the crowd, you will have a better chance of landing the job, but on the flip side, if not prepared correctly, your application may wind up on the bottom of the pile.
The five main ECQs are as follows:
ECQ 1: Leading Change
ECQ 2: Leading People
ECQ 3: Results Driven
ECQ 4: Business Acumen
ECQ 5: Building Coalitions
Theses ECQs should be one to one and a half pages in length and should be clear, concise, and contain specific examples of your abilities in each one. When preparing your ECQs it is not only important to come off sounding professional but also to come off sounding like the statements are coming from your own voice. As obvious as it may seem, it is imperative that your ECQs be both grammatically correct and contain no spelling errors.
The approach to use in successful ECQ writing is called CCAR. This stands for Challenge, Context Action, and Result and is broken down as follows:
Challenge: Here is where you can describe a specific challenge, problem, or goal.
Context: Describe who you worked with and the environment of that work when taking on the challenge.
Action: Go into the specific actions you took when taking on the challenge you described.
Result: Give the exact outcome of your actions with the challenge you described. This will show how effectively you can accomplish tasks and what your leadership ability is.
While there is no set time frame when it comes to successful ECQ writing, it should be noted that if not executed properly, the federal employer is simply going to look you over and move on to the next applicant. Many individuals that do decide to tackle this monumental task on their own will find themselves spending three or more hours on each ECQ constantly writing and editing and so on. It is for this reason that many choose to hire a professional ECQ writer. Hiring an EQC writer will not only ensure that your ECQ writing is successful, but these individuals also know the latest trends that the federal employers are looking for.
When it comes to the federal government, only those that have successful ECQ writing skills will be considered for the position. Remember, you are going after an SES job, which is the cream of the crop, so which ever method you choose, be sure that your ECQs are prepared the right way using the CCAR format so that you can maximize your chances of landing your dream federal job.
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