ECQs and PTQs for Beginners

It is not easy to become a Government administrator. You have to be an idealistic leader with a powerful dedication to public service. People and management skills are a must to produce optimal results. To be a part of the Senior Executive Service (SES) you need a wide outlook and qualified honesty. The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) makes sure the Government chooses capable leaders by establishing the core qualifications used to check new occupation appointees to the SES and by managing peer review boards that assess if contenders have these vital leadership qualifications.


On top of all these skills, in order to land an SES role you must be able to convey these executive skills in writing. Turning in ECQs and other narratives means putting your best foot forward - in writing.


What are ECQs and Why Do They Matter?


ECQ stands for executive core qualifications. The executive core qualifications outline the competencies required to construct a federal corporate society that makes triumphant groups and alliances inside and outside of the company, works for clients, and moves for results. ECQs are needed to access the SES and are used by most agencies and departments in selection, performance management, and leadership development for management and executive positions. ECQs were made to assess executive experience.

To be victorious in the SES you need abilities in each ECQ. The ECQs are interdependent. Successful executives carry all of them. Different SES vacancies and SES Candidate Development Programs almost always include the ECQs.

The 5 ECQs

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the main human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the Federal Government. The OPM has identified 5 ECQs. You must create the following narratives, in a 2 page format for each.

1. Leading Change

This executive core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent in this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. To dominate this ECQ you need creativity and innovation, external awareness, flexibility, resilience, strategic thinking and visión.


2. Leading People

This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals. Inherent in this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. This ECQ involves conflict management, leveraging diversity, developing others, and team building.


3. Results Driven

This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent in this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. This ECQ englobes accountability, customer service, decisiveness, entrepreneurship, problem solving, and technical credibility.

4. Business Acumen

This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Having this ECQ means understanding financial, human capital, and technology management.


5. Building Coalitions

This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. This ECQ develops partnering, political savvy, influencing, and negotiating.


CCAR Method

At El Paso Professional Resumes we work with our clients to make descriptive declarations using the CCAR method; challenge, context, action, and results (CCAR). Fundamentally, these are statements that show your reactions to problems that you've run into and worked out in your career. This method also helps prepare you for interviews. Using the CCAR method, each narrative statement needs to include:


The Challenge: The particular and significant problem that needed solving.

The Context: The circumstances of the problem.

The Action: Your answer to the problem and how you came to it.

The Results: The beneficial and quantifiable outcomes that followed.


What are PTQs, TQs, and MTQs?

TQ stands for Technical Qualifications. Possible employers looking at candidate resumes will focus on TQs that give them an idea of that person’s capability to do a particular job like operating special machinery, having thorough understanding of computer software or hardware, or practical experience with necessary procedures to perfect learned assignments.


PTQs stands for Professional Technical Qualifications and refer to adding professional or vocational qualifications to your list of TQs. These call for the basics of practical training that are industry-specific and supposed to help improve and develop exceptional expertise relevant to specific careers. Some PTQs may require a diploma or certification showing the person has finished authorized classes, practica, or a sequence of conferences subject to instruction on a specific professional qualification.


MTQs stand for Mandatory Technical Qualifications and are just that, mandatory. If you are applying for a job that is highly specialized, like a Nuclear Physicist or a Jet Aircraft, there will be inevitable MTQs employers will look for on your resume.


person sitting at computer writing on a tablet

ECQs can be written and prepared before knowing what you want to apply to. However, PTQs, TQs, and MTQs are always associated with specific job postings. It is imperative to have your ECQs ready before you start your job search. The typical ECQ packet contains 10 pages - 2 pages for each essay. Our professionals typically take 10-20 hours to put these together. The typical SES job posting is usually available for roughly a week. This is the alloted time you or your hired professional have to prepare. At El Paso Professional Resumes, this short turnaround streamlined when we have prepared the ECQs ahead of time.


Hire A Professional Federal Resume Writer Today

You will find outstanding value with El Paso Professional Resumes. We have a team of knowledgeable Senior Executive Service core qualification writers that can help you in the making of interview-winning qualifications, including TQs, PTQs, and MTQs. We form convincing TQ, PTQ, and MTQ statements, and know how to use integrated executive core qualifications and technical qualifications adequately mixed into one strongly dominant resume.


We’ve helped many job seekers with military transitions, corporate resumes, and federal resumes. We’re pleased with the positive results we’ve had and with our approval rate from those we’ve worked for. We always focus on you and your career. If you’d like to find out more, please give us a call for a free consultation.



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