Archive for August, 2011

The Leadership Journey

By Diane Hudson Burns, FJSTC, CPCC, CLTMC, CPRW
SES Project Manager, The Resume Place

SES Resume Writing

The Leadership Journey chart, used by OPM (*acronyms are translated below), is the focus of a chapter in the new book, “The New SES Application” (publication date September 2011 by Kathryn Troutman and Diane Hudson Burns).

The Leadership Journey serves as a road-map for leadership development and walks a professional through his career via leadership steps, with a goal of attaining SES. The chart covers all 28 leadership competencies required of OPM to be selected for SES. The model is used to help individuals and federal agencies build the development segment of employees’ succession plans.

The core Leadership competencies are basic competencies for all employees (Managing Yourself) – these are the cross functional competencies that are the foundation of leadership and personal management: Interpersonal Skills; Oral Communication; Continual Learning; Written Communication; Integrity/Honesty; Public Service Motivation. Research indicates that without these core competencies, success at upper levels is not possible.

The Leadership Journey illustrates the customary levels of management and leadership. Associated with each level are related competencies that are critical for success at that level, and form a developmental step for the next level of management or leadership. There are key experiences at each level that are designed to reinforce the associated competencies. These key experiences eventually serve as building blocks for the ECQs.

As the model’s steps move upward, Managing Yourself, moves to Managing Projects (equivalent to GS 5-11 positions). Employees in this stage of their careers build project management skill sets and five additional leadership competencies in Team Building; Customer Service; Technical Credibility; Accountability; Influencing/Negotiating.

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10 Big Mistakes Vets Make
Applying to Federal Jobs

Military to Civilian Resumes       Military Transition       Veteran Federal Resumes

Leaving a military career after 5, 10, or 20 years is traumatic. The career transition out of military is difficult no matter what your rank. The good news is that the federal government is basically just “the other side of the desk.” You’re going to take the “hands-on” skills and technical training from your military experience and convert it over to the policy, program, support, and administration side of the work you have been doing – maybe. The first federal resume after military is your most important resume and the most complex because you will translate your skills for a new career, mission, and customer.

Veterans are perfect for federal civil service positions because of their dedication to public service, the nation’s security, specialized expertise, knowledge of certain missions, technical skills and training, leadership, dedication, work ethic, attitude and willingness to learn and start-over. What’s more, these skills allow you to add 5 or 10 preference points to your application score.

However, sometimes transitioning veterans rush through the federal application and make several mistakes when applying for public-sector jobs


1.) I only apply for jobs on USAJOBS (or CPOL or DONHR or WHS).

If you limit your search to just one agency or website, you are truly restricting yourself.

There are at least five major sites where you can create a profile, set up a resume builder, answer questions, and apply for a federal job:

- – The official government jobs website, includes Air Force civilian positions
- – The website where all Army jobs are posted and where you would apply for an Army position
- – A commercial site that manages resumes and job postings for federal agencies.
- – The website for Navy and USMC civilian positions
- – Department of Defense civilian jobs are posted here as is the resume builder and application.

2.) I only apply for jobs without KSA narratives.

If you limit your search to applications that do not require KSAs, you will cut out many job opportunities with the Departments of HHS, VA, Interior, Commerce, Justice, Labor, Transportation and others. You will need to learn how to write KSA narratives and questionnaire essays for a successful federal job search. KSAs are just examples that demonstrate you have a certain Knowledge, Skill or Ability. You can use the KSA Builder developed by The Resume Place to write your “stories” that will demonstrate that you do have a certain knowledge, skill, or ability.

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