The New SES Application

Federal Career Books


2nd Edition Info

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Released: January 2016
  • ISBN: 978-0-9846671-5-4
  • Size: 8.5 x 11 inches


Screen-Shot-2012-02-15-at-9.36.19-AM Listen to Kathryn Troutman on Federal News Radio discuss “Tips for Jumping into the SES pool”

Writing the Traditional ECQs and the Five-Page Senior Executive Service Resume

Roughly 50% of SES executives will qualify to retire within the next three years. Uncle Sam will need strong and motivated executives to take the retirees’ place and lead the government’s civilian workforce. These coveted high-level positions pay up to $179,000 per year. Begin your journey of entering into government leadership with this resourceful book.

“It is apparent to me that they have the experience, and they understand the process. You can rest assured that if anyone knows the process, Kathryn and Diane do.” ~ Bryan Hochstein, Hiring Expert formerly with Monster Government Solutions

Learn All the Nuances of Writing a Leadership Application Package That Will Get You Qualified

Under recent reforms, federal agencies have their choice of SES application formats. This smartly re-designed, new updated 2nd Edition gives you the info you’ll need no matter which application format your targeted SES job description requires.

Why struggle on your own to write your Senior Executive Service application? Use a clear step-by-step method that was refined over 10 years in author Kathryn Troutman’s 2-day SES workshops, and proven to work hundreds of times in the classroom. Along the way, you’ll find excellent “before and after” samples of the application pieces.

Includes the key steps involved in developing the SES application: writing the ECQs, TQs, Five-Page SES Federal Resume, and Executive Cover Letter (if needed), as well as using the required Challenge-Context-Action-Results (CCAR) format for SES narratives. Streamlined sections created with the busy executive in mind provide the basics on the Senior Executive Service, how to find vacancies, how the SES hiring system works, salaries, etc. You’ll also get helpful tips on writing mistakes to avoid and prepping for the Structured Interview. This complete guide delivers the insider tools and guidance needed to compete and create a winning SES application!

About the Authors

Kathryn Troutman is Founder and President of The Resume Place, Inc., a service business located in Baltimore, MD. The Resume Place specializes in writing and designing professional federal and private-sector resumes, as well as coaching and education in the federal hiring process. For the past 40 years, Troutman has managed her professional writing and consulting practice, publishing, and federal career training business. With a team of 20 Certified Federal Resume Writers, her firm advises on and writes  300+ fed resumes per month for government, military and private industry jobseekers world-wide. Internationally recognized as the “Federal Resume Guru” by jobseekers and human resources specialists, Troutman created the format and name for the new federal resume that became an accepted standard after the elimination of the SF 171 form in 1995. She is a pioneering designer of the Federal Resume and the author of the Federal Resume Guidebook, which is now in its new 6th edition.

Diane Hudson is a multi-credentialed career coach, experienced federal resume writer, and consultant with the Resume Place. She has expertise in helping federal, private industry and military jobseekers with their SES applications.


This book will help you:

  • Determine if you are qualified, and if not, what it will take to become qualified.
  • Study the before-and-after samples and understand how these resumes are different.
  • Be briefed on current changes and how they have created three basic types of SES application packages.
  • Get ready to scrutinize the vacancy announcements to determine which package to use.
  • Thoroughly covers the new 5-page SES “super resume” as well as the traditional 10-page SES package with or without a questionnaire.
  • An entire chapter reveals mistakes to avoid based on the missteps of others and the feedback they received from the Qualifications Review Board.
  • Learn how to focus on your accomplishments, rather than on what “your team” did, and why this is essential in the writing process.
  • Kick-start your writing with a proven approach.
  • The SES Application Writing Workshop covers all the requirements for applying for SES and GS-14/15 level positions: the Executive Core Qualification narratives (ECQs), Technical Qualification statements (TQs), Leadership Competencies and keywords for each ECQ, the CCAR writing format, accomplishment examples, 5-page resume, dealing with questionnaires, the executive cover letter, and the structured interview process.
  • Prepare to handle the scored, structured interview process with advice from the experts.

Who Should Buy This Book

  • Senior federal managers
  • Federal program and project managers seeking SES careers
  • Military officers considering SES or senior GS positions (GS-14/15) opportunities
  • Private industry executives thinking about SES or senior GS careers
  • Executive human resource specialists
  • Career professionals advising executives in career advancement


“The SES application package requires a detailed resume which fully articulates ones career history by recounting top-level leadership accomplishments. The application also requires detailed accounts of these accomplishments through mini-writing samples. Applicants will benefit by using a Challenge-Context-Action-Result (CCAR) model to describe their experiences. Finally, the application process includes behavior-based interviews, references, and a background check.Applying for SES positions has become so complicated that an entire industry of SES application consultants has grown. If you seek an SES position, a great reference would be The New SES Application by Kathryn Troutman and Diane Hudson Burns, published in 2011.” – Ted Daywalt, President

“This book provides both the government insider and the outside candidate what he or she needs to know to compete for these difficult-to-land positions. Ms. Troutman knows how to help talented executives compete successfully for SES jobs.” ~ Paul Thompson, Human Resources Management Consultant

“The book provides a clear road map to the SES process. It provides critical insight into the steps that one’s application will take and who the decision makers are along the way.” ~ John Powell

“Great structure, extremely well-written, with concrete examples, highly useful for you, the reader. Indeed, if you are looking for a book that guides and helps you, this is IT.” ~ Dr. M. Newman

Buying Options and Bulk Order Pricing

Buying Options

Bulk Order Discounts Available from the Publisher

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  • Individual book, retail price: $21.95 ea
  • 10 – 49 books: $13.00 ea
  • 50 and up: $10.00 ea
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