ALJ Writing Guide

Federal Career Books


eBook Info

  • Electronic: 79 pages
  • Format: PDF
  • Published: Feb 2013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-9846671-0-9
  • Retail Price $49.95

From a Client:

“Closed, baby, closed. I wonder how many apps they got? My guess is way more than 900 and, almost by definition, all had to be nearly one button push away from Submit. I have to admit that but for the email alert from your office, I would have been SOL. Once again, thank you. I would never have known about the position, let alone know it became available and let alone be able to file a good response in one day.”

Writing an Administrative Law Judge Application

Authors: Nicole Schultheis and Kathryn Troutman

Available as eBook (instant PDF download)
Individual book price: $49.95

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Updated for the 2013 first round – Litigation and Administrative Narratives and original 6 competency descriptions and samples

Note: Does not cover descriptions or samples for the 7 new competencies. Does not cover exam questions or exam preparation strategies. (This information is not available to any ALJ Candidate yet.)

In March 2013, the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) opened a new Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Examination through a job announcement on USAJOBS ( The ALJ Writing Guide is mandatory reading for any attorney who would like to apply for Administrative Law Judge positions with the US Government. As of this writing, no applicant has seen or completed the new examination. Although this Guide covers only the original 6 of what are now 13 competencies tested for in the new exam, the process for developing narrative content for use in the resume and online experience assessment remains exactly the same.

The examination process for ALJs is among the most complex in all of OPM. Strict adherence to OPM’s requirements is essential; moreover, there are certain conventions applicable to all non-Excepted Service applications that candidates are expected to adhere to, regardless of federal status. These conventions are not spelled out in OPM’s announcements, but form a central theme of the ALJ Writing Guide.

About The Authors

  • Nicole Schultheis is an AV-rated attorney, former appellate judicial clerk and trial lawyer with state and federal courtroom experience, Nicole is also an experienced HR and executive writer, journalist, and scientific and technical writer with federal agency experience
  • Kathryn Troutman is the leading expert in federal resume writing, and a best-selling author with seven current publications on federal career development.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Overview — A Quick Guide to the ALJ Application
  • Chapter 2: Your Top Ten Accomplishments
  • Chapter 3: The Federal ALJ Resume
  • Chapter 4: Qualifying Experience — Occupational Assessment Narratives
  • Chapter 5: The Accomplishment Record
  • Chapter 6: What Comes Next
  • Conclusion: Ten Tips for a Successful ALJ Application
  • FAQs
  • Useful ALJ Websites and Articles
  • Appendix – Memorandum of Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, Feb. 7, 2013
  • Appendix B – Modified Electronic Version of the 2009 ALJ Announcement, including Application Record Instructions

Components of the ALJ Application

This book is designed to help you write all parts of the ALJ application:

Federal ALJ Resume – Average length: 4 to 6 pages

Occupational Assessment—one to 1 ½ pages each, up to 3,800 characters each

  • Litigation Experience
  • Administrative Law Experience

Accomplishment Record—2,640 characters each devoted to establishing the following Competencies:

  • Decision Making
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral Communication
  • Writing
  • Judicial Analysis
  • Judicial Management

Who Should Buy this Book

  • Government attorneys
  • ODAR Attorneys
  • Private Sector Attorneys
  • JAG
  • Human Resources Managers
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