ALJ Consulting and Writing Services

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Read the latest article “The ALJ Exam: Preparing for the Online Component” to find out how to get over the next hurdle of your ALJ application.


ALJ Writing Guide

Our Expert ALJ Resume and Record Development Service

View the 2013 ALJ Announcement »

Order ALJ Applications Recorded Webinar – $49.95 »

– Webinar access info is delivered ASAP during business hours.

Order 2013 ALJ eGuide Immediately for Writing Insight – $49.95 »

– eBook is delivered immediately upon ordering

With an unknown period for qualified candidates to submit narratives in response to the Online Component of the ALJ application process, make sure you have the help you need before it’s too late.


For Interview Preparation Service:

Please notify us as soon as your interview date is known, to permit timely scheduling.

For Online Component (Section 3: Experience Assessment): One-on-one coaching, narrative development, editing and other assistance relating to the 13 Competencies: Contact us as soon as you are invited to take part. Our experts can only handle a limited number of clients so please apply as soon as you are notified!


ALJ Candidates - Be Prepared, Practice with an Expert
Structured Interview Preparation for ALJ Candidates

In-person or by telephone with Nicole Schultheis Minimum two hours, divided into two sessions, $450 Additional time, $225 per hour
$450.00 Qty:
NEW Resume Place Customers
Full Service Competency Writing Package 1

Please allow as much time as possible, due May 10
Includes Consult, Coaching, Developmental Editing and
Polishing of 13 Competency Narratives
$3150.00 Qty:
Prior Resume Place Customers only
Full Service Competency Writing Package 2

Please allow as much time as possible, due May 10
Includes Coaching, Developmental Editing and
Polishing of 13 Competency Narratives
$2700.00 Qty:
Current / recent customers only
Upgrade from prior $3600 ALJ Package

Please allow as much time as possible, due May 10
Develop, copy edit, and polish an additional 7 Narratives
$1300.00 Qty:
Critique / Light Edit of 13 Competency Narratives
Please allow as much time as possible, due May 10
Redlining and suggestions for improving content
light copy editing to improve narrative flow.
$2475.00 Qty:
For 10-Pt Vets Only
Consult, Resume and TWO Qualifications Narratives

An outline format federal resume with all required criteria plus litigation experience narrative and administrative law narrative - total of 10 hours.
$2250.00 Qty:

Our ALJ Senior Attorney Consultant / Writer: Nicole Schultheis

Read Nicole’s bio »


60 Minute Webinar: 7 Tips for Preparing Your ALJ Application

alj Don’t miss out on this webinar which will give you critical information on preparing the best possible ALJ application.

Webinar instructor: Nicole Schultheis, J.D.; ALJ and SES Specialist

Learn about:

  • The 2013 ALJ vacancy announcement
  • The components of your application
  • How to write the ALJ Federal Resume
  • How to write the Administrative and Litigation Narratives (required for the first application)
  • How to apply with USAJOBS and ApplicationManager
  • How to write the 13 Competitive Narratives for selectees of the next round of the application

Original Live Webinar Fee: $150; recorded version available for $49.95

To purchase the recorded webinar click on the “Add to Cart” link below. We will send your access information when we receive your payment.

Pay online for the recorded webinar here
We will send your access information when we receive your payment.
$49.95 Qty:

After we receive your payment, we will send you the webinar password. Please be sure to complete both steps no later than one hour before the webinar start time in order to give us enough time to provide you the webinar password.

If you are a recent or current Resume Place client, please make sure to let us know so that you can attend this webinar for free.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is in the ALJ application?

The March 5, 2013 ALJ Announcement required applicants to submit a federal resume (which is typically 4-6 pages long), and answer multiple choice and qualifying questions, including TWO qualifications narratives. Upon filing, the application staus convverts “Complete” as soon as your resume has scanned and your qusitonnaire is submitted. The application will then be reported as “Pending HR Review.” Only after your qualifications pass HR review will you be invited to proceed with the Online part of the process.

What are the ALJ Competencies?

The online component has THREE parts: a Situational Judgment Text, A Writing Sample, and an Experience Assessment. The first two parts are timed. The third part, which is not timed, includes both multiple-choice questions and opportunities to submit narratives addressing some or all of the 13 Competencies. These include: Decision Making, Interpersonal Skills, Judicial Analysis, Judicial Decisiveness, Judicial Management, Judicial Temperament, Litigation and Courtroom Competence, Oral Communication, Problem Solving, Professionalism, Reasoning, Self-Management, and Writing. The narrative part of the questionnaire will invite you to provide summaries and/or examples from your experience to demonstrate your competence in these 13 areas. Contrary to what you might expect, not all of your examples need to be from your legal experience. Other parts of your community and life experience can be used effectively. Have you served on a board or commission? Made critical decisions as part of a review panel? Published a written work that was persuasive and well received? It’s all relevant and potentially persuasive.

Learn how to write your Accomplishment Record in the format deemed essential by OPM: Context-Challenge-Action-Results (CCAR).

What does the Federal ALJ Resume look like?

The typical Federal resume is more detailed than a private practice resume or the one you used to apply for a state or local government job. Most private practice resumes are two-to-three pages long and do not provide much detail beyond identifying the type of work and the names of the firms or other employers. The federal resume is very different, and contains substantially more information. Among other things, your current position, and the past two positions should be described in much greater detail, by job function, highlighting those that speak to the competencies addressed in the ALJ announcement.

What are key words and do I really need to worry about them?

Key words and phrases are taken from the announcement itself – they highlight your skills and qualifications essential for the job. They can be found right in the announcement and assessment questions. Because the applications are rated by Human Resources professionals and not fellow attorneys (nor ALJs), your use of these key words is critical. It is your job to show reviewers how your work experience addressed ALL the critical criteria.

Is it appropriate to utilize services of The Resume Place?

The Resume Place, Inc. provides expert writing, editing and consulting services to support both SES and ALJ candidates. Our services fall within required ethical bounds for completing these applications. We work with clients to draft and edit a comprehensive federal resume, and to both think and write about their professional accomplishments with confidence and candor. Your responses to the competency questions will be based on your own work product, improved by our coaching and the insights you’ll gain through the support we provide. Our work is acceptable to OPM and federal human resources, based on our many years’ experience providing services to individuals hired into SES and ALJ positions. As a proven trainer, The Resume Place has been hired repeatedly by government agencies to train federal job seekers, provide application coaching, and polish executive writing so that it complies fully with the requirements of federal job applications.


More ALJ Information


Feedback from First round of hires from March 2014 ALJ announcement and creation of new register

  • “As an outsider candidate, I had no idea that the USAJobs Resume format was so different. Nicole showed me how. I could not have made it all the way through to hire on the first certificate without her help.”
    –Successful U.S. Administrative Law Judge Candidate, August 2014
  • “After approx. 1.5 years, I was solicited by the OMHA to be an ALJ… and accepted appointment… today.
    Thank you!”
    –Successful U.S. Administrative Law Judge Candidate, July 2014

Feedback from 2013 clients (including government attorneys) who have recently prepared their applications:

  • Thank you again for all of your help and hard work!
  • THANK you SO much! You’re the best!
  • I want to thank you for everything. If I get invited for an interview, it will only be because of your hard work and expertise! … I was blessed to get the best! I’ve enjoyed working with you and wish you the best!

Testimonials from 2009 ALJ Application:

  • The vast majority of your competitors are highly qualified.  As lawyers, we are all susceptible to the arrogant belief that we know best.  Put aside that prejudice, if you have it, and you may pick up those few points which distinguish you in this highly-qualified pool. Writing and developing strong narratives to address all of the competencies and properly document your experience is not something we do everyday.  The narratives account for 50 points of your score and you need at least 40 to get on the register.  Obviously, help here can be a deciding factor.  It is the only part of the process under your exclusive control.  You need around 60 points to be competitive.  You are two-thirds of the way there if your narrative is good.  Not to mention, the time savings and the confidence this foundation will give you as you go through the remaining process.  Do yourself a favor.  Do your loved ones a favor (you will torture them less if you get professional help).  Pay the modest fee for the coaching services of The Resume Place.  It was the best money I spent on the process
  • 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.