Oct. 15th, 2012. In the days and months following the Nov. 6, 2012, elections, a torrent of up to 7,000 jobs federal jobs will open up, to be filled by appointees of the incoming president, whether it’s Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama.
These executive and staff-level jobs — some subject to Congressional confirmation — with a galaxy of federal agencies, offices and programs in the executive and legislative branches, are given to Americans who have demonstrated political loyalty to the president-elect and who possess the knowledge, skills and passion required by the specific position for which they’ve applied. These non-career jobs fall outside the Civil Service system.
Interested parties can learn about the nature of appointee positions that might be vacated in early January, 2013, by visiting the Plum Book Presidential Appointee List of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The administration of the president to be inaugurated Jan. 20 will create a web page for applications for appointee positions. The Presidential Appointee Application Page is the Obama administration’s current page for this purpose.
Even if President Obama is re-elected, a good number of these positions will be vacated toward the end of the year as some incumbent appointees decide to leave the administration for other opportunities in Washington, their home states or elsewhere. If Mr. Romney is elected, the number of openings will be far greater, as appointees of an outgoing president are typically required to tender their resignations.
Now is the time for aspiring political appointees of the incoming president to lay the groundwork for their pursuit of these so-called Schedule C positions, before the free-for-all begins on Nov. 7. Political loyalty is typically a prerequisite for these jobs, so those who expect to seek these positions are expected to be working hard for their party and presidential candidate through the campaign season.
Successful candidates for these appointments aren’t shy about contacting local, state or federal politicians or party officials to make known their interest. The longer one’s political relationship and the higher the official contact, the greater the chances that a qualified candidate will be chosen.
The next step for aspirants is to research appointee positions and choose one that’s well-suited to his or her professional background. Candidates typically build a targeted resume from the ground up for these positions, emphasizing the specialized experience and mission-specific skills that they would bring to the organization.
The Resume Place has been writing Schedule C applications for six incoming Presidential Elections. Here are the most important tips for a successful appointee resume: The resumes should be very detailed and can be long, perhaps 3 or 4 pages. The resume should summarize and then detail the applicant’s accomplishments, skills experience, education, training and certifications. A one-page description of the candidate’s volunteer efforts in behalf of the president-elect’s party should also be included. The resume should sell the candidate and explicitly address all of the position, agency and office requirements.
For information about writing and consulting services for Schedule C Presidential Appointee Resumes and Cover Letters: click here. (You may request a free estimate.)
It’s also important to draft in advance a cover letter or letter of interest that matches the candidate’s skills with the targeted position, and expresses his or her devotion to the mission of the job and agency. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s application for his first job at the Justice Department is a great example of a passionate expression of interest in a federal job.
View Judge Alito’s SF-171 Application.
The candidate should prepare a comprehensive and detailed list of contacts — including email addresses, phone numbers and addresses — that might be useful in the frantic first days of lobbying for the job.
Candidates should be ready to dress the part in case their party’s presidential candidate wins and they need to travel to Washington on short notice to meet with powerful people ranging from hiring managers to senators. Classic, conservative business dress and clean-cut grooming are the rule for the nation’s capitol. Well-prepared candidates will arrive with business cards in hand and resumes printed on off-white stock.
After Election Day, and assuming the success of the applicant’s choice for president, his or her online presence, including LinkedIn profile, should be updated to include party affiliation. The LinkedIn profile should be refined to put forward the candidate’s qualifications for the targeted presidential-appointee job.
When they land in Washington to meet with the officials who will determine the success of their search, candidates should have a well-rehearsed pitch and be psyched up to convey their passion for the job. After initial hurdles in the application process are cleared, job candidates can set themselves apart from the likely formidable competition by carefully researching the targeted agency’s current and upcoming projects, budget, most difficult challenges and strategic objectives.