Serve in the Trump Administration

Now that the election is over and the American people have chosen President Elect Donald Trump, the transition is on. In the next 72 days, President Elect Trump’s team will choose their political employees. This article outlines some information on how to apply and how to get help in developing your application. Note, you do not apply for a job via this website. is NOT associated with the Federal government.

Per the transition websites, (President Elect Donald Trump’s website), its Help Wanted: 4,000 Political Employee release (, and (a website set up by the Partnership for Public Service), they are looking for qualified applicants for four basic types of appointments:

  • Presidential Appointments with Senate Confirmation (PAS): There are 1,212 senior leaders, including the Cabinet secretaries and their deputies, the heads of most independent agencies and ambassadors, who must be confirmed by the Senate. These positions first require a Senate hearing in addition to background checks and other vetting.
  • Presidential Appointments without Senate Confirmation (PA): There are 353 PA positions which make up much of the White House staff, although they are also scattered throughout many of the smaller federal agencies.
  • Non-career Senior Executive Service (NA): Members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) work in key positions just below the top presidential appointees, bridging the gap between the political leaders and the civil service throughout the federal government. Most SES members are career officials, but up to 10 percent of the SES can be political appointees. (For more information see the Office of Personnel Management’s website, There are 680 non-career members of the SES.
  • Schedule C Appointments (SC): There are 1,403 Schedule C appointees who serve in a confidential or policy role. They range from schedulers and confidential assistants to policy experts.

In 2012, prior to the last transition, the government issued the Plum Book ( which lists these positions (there may be a new one soon). Note, for the top Senate-confirmed appointments, position descriptions have been published (

There is a recently published official guide for employees applying for positions and rights on the Office of Personnel Management website (

Applications for these positions is now open ( You will need to fill out an application online ( which requires an essay on why you hope to be part of the President-elect’s administration, a Cover Letter, an essay on any additional qualifications, a text resume (not a fancy resume) no longer than 131,072 characters (which, at an average of 4,000 characters per page, more than 30 pages).

Based on my experience helping folks transition to President George W. Bush and President Obama’s administrations, a Federal-type resume works best for folks applying for these types of jobs.

Note the following will be required for these types of positions, including extensive background checks. Per the website:

  • The time commitment is significant and the pace is fast
  • Appointments and jobs of the Trump-Pence Administration are demanding, and the application process is rigorous

For most applicants under serious consideration:

  • A full FBI background check in which an applicant’s history of employment, personal, travel, medical, financial, legal, military and education background will likely take.
  • Consideration is taken for possible conflicts of interest. Financial holdings and sources of income must be disclosed. Any conflicts must be remedied by divestiture, the creation of special trusts, and other actions.
  • Many appointees’ dealings with the Federal government both during and for a period after their service will be significantly restricted to prevent possible conflicts of interest.

All those wishing to apply for positions in the Trump-Pence Transition, Executive Office of the President, or a Federal Department, Agency or Commission should follow the instructions below:

  • Complete the online application and submit it electronically. You will be notified electronically once your information has been received. A record of your application will be maintained while the President is in office, and you will be considered for the position(s) or subject area(s) which you have expressed interest in whenever openings occur.
  • You will be asked fill out a Personal Data Statement if you are considered for a specific position. You will be asked about possible conflicts of interest deriving from your sources of income; all aspects of your personal and professional life, including organization which you belong or once belonged; speeches you may have given and books, articles and editorials you may have written; legal, administrative and regulatory proceedings to which you may have been a party; in short, anything that might embarrass the President or you if he should choose you for a position in his administration.
  • If you are considered for a nomination by the President Elect, you will be asked to complete FBI and financial disclosure forms for review and consideration. The types of forms you may be required to fill out are as follows: for National Security Positions (SF86) and for higher-level positions, the financial disclosure form, (SF278). Most appointees are required to file financial disclosure statements annually during their term of service.
  • If Senate confirmation is required for the position you are nominated for, the Senate committee that reviews those nominations may ask you to provide additional information.

One should assume that all the information provided during this process is ultimately subject to public disclosure, if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

I have helped numerous folks apply for political jobs during the last 3 elections, and would be pleased to see if I can help you with this transition. Please contact me at today – time is short to apply.

USAJobs 3.0 / Navy Resumix retiring

From October 6-12 – USAJobs will be down for transitioning to Version 3.0. I recommend you download everything from the website – to reload after they come back online.

Per their email to me:

The Office of Personnel Management is improving USAJOBS. The transition
is scheduled for October 6-12, 2011.

During the transition period nearly 5 billion rows of data will be extracted,
validated, and subjected to integrity testing to preserve the applicant
resumes, seeker profiles, and agency job postings in the current system.
Although the USAJOBS search and apply functions will be offline during this
transition period, daily transition activities status updates and general
employment information will be available on


KSAs and Federal Resumes

Now that the Federal government job application process no longer requires KSAs to be individually written, there is some confusion on how to respond when KSAs and other questions are stated in either the announcement or as requirements to answer during the application process.

AS WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE: INCLUDES examples (BEST) and duties showing YOUR experience and expertise to answer ALL of the KSAs and QUESTIONS in the announcement. We also address all of the job responsibilities in the announcement to show how YOU (if you have done so) have added value by doing the exact or similar assignments during your career (or have gained knowledge on how to do so – if the job is a lower level position).

Unlike some other companies in this space, we have not had to change our resume style to meet the changes in the Federal application requirements, since we ALWAYS believed the resume needed to stand alone and describe all of YOUR experience. Since this always has been our style, we can help you get the Federal job you want.

Salary Cost of Living Freeze for Federal Jobs

President Obama, on November 29th, announced a Salary Cost of Living Freeze for Federal Jobs. It is still being debated in the media if it is a good thing to control the deficit, if it will have a negative impact on Federal hiring/retention or if it will even work.

Controlling the deficit: This is probably in response to the deficit talks and the need to negotiate the budget.

Negative impact on Federal hiring: Currently, due to the economy, Federal job postings can have hundreds, if not thousands of people applying for each job. Since non-Federal job salaries have also fallen and the unemployment rate is NOT falling (and will probably not fall significantly for the foreseeable future), this will not have an effect currently on people applying for jobs. As far as hiring, there still is flexibility in the starting salary within a range – so hiring managers can hire someone at a higher step within a range to bring someone onboard.

Negative effect on Federal retention: For the short term, probably not. There are 10 steps in each GS level for the Federal government and they can give folks hired in the government a step raise. In addition, this order does not impact bonuses.

Will it work? I am not sure if freezing cost of living raises will work – due to the flexibility within agencies to give step raises within grades.

Federal Career Intern Program – Will it Survive?

Per a Merit Promotions Board Decision on November 2nd, it appears the the Federal Career Intern Program, which allowed students and others to apply for trainee excepted service jobs without regard to Veteran’s status, may not survive. This is a program which I helped many students and others apply for federal jobs through over the years – and was a backdoor to get into the federal government if you did not have the exact experience for a given federal job (which is exactly the case for many students).

Since this program no longer exists, I wonder how the government will now handle hiring trainees or others they need to fill new positions.

Status of KSAs for Federal Jobs

In June, President Obama issued an Executive Order to eliminate KSAs from Federal Job applications by Nov 1st. This article has information on the status.

This has been partially implemented and is still a work in progress. Per my sources, the status for KSAs for Federal jobs is still in flux. Some agencies are complying with the new requirements for less KSAs, but others seem to be still requiring them. Just today, I evaluated a vacancy announcement (posted this week) which requires 20 (yes 20!) separate essays for application. The procedures for application also seem to be getting more complicated for clients, with several agencies now changing their methods (I have seen more AVUE postings in the past few days – some by agencies who had not used AVUE previously) on how to apply for jobs.

OPM is proud how they think the changes are going. See the following link for more information:

You also may want to see a Washington Post article on this change:

I will be posting additional information as this dynamic situation changes.

Federal Jobs in Demand

The following Federal Jobs are in demand for November per GovCentral:

The Most In-Demand Federal Jobs in November.

Accounting, Budget, and Finance – 775 openings
Biological Sciences – 613 openings
Business, Industry, and Procurement – 799 openings
Engineering and Architecture – 1129 openings
Management, Administration, Clerical, and Office Services – 1525 openings
Medical, Dental, and Public Health – 3151 openings
Physical Sciences – 322 openings
Safety, Health, and Physical and Resource Protection – 276 openings
Social Science, Psychology, and Welfare – 592 openings
Trade and Labor – 502 openings

Note, GovCentral says more than 300,000 openings were available for jobs for the Federal Government in August 2010.

If you want help applying for these jobs, can help you.

Senior Executive Service Application Changes

The Federal Government has codified the three ways Senior Executive Service (SES) applications are now being accepted as of 6/2010:

1. A traditional package with a Federal Resume (this can be of varying length with unique requirements depending on the package – also can be an online version), 5 Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) Statements and other essay questions. Note the ECQs and other essays can also have unique formating requirements.

2. Just a resume (typically up to 5 pages – can be shorter) with specific formating and informational requirement statements covering the resume, ECQs and other essays. This actually takes more work to write than the traditional package above – since EVERY word must count and typically information must be left off which in the past could help a person to score higher.

3. A different SES package including a Federal Resume, ECQ Competencies and other essays. Even though the competencies covered are different or less than the traditional SES package, this package takes the same amount of time to write as the traditional package.

Based on this change, which is now official, does not recommend you prepare your initial SES package in advance. You may spend many hours writing ECQs which are no longer useable, due to changes in both format and requirements.

Instead, just concentrate on your accomplishments, using a Challenge-Context-Action-Result model, and then do the verbiage later. Many folks need professional help to do this. If so, remains ready to help.

Changes to Applying for Federal Jobs – No KSAs or Essays for Initial Application after 11/1

The application process for Federal jobs is going to change substantially in the next few months. Per an order today 5/11/2010, the government plans to significantly streamline how you can apply for jobs by eliminating the KSAs and allow freely formatted resumes for the “initial” application. I think the key word is initial and KSAs and other essays will be required for those initially selected as qualified for a job. The text of the announcement is below (see

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
May 11, 2010

Presidential Memorandum — Improving the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process


SUBJECT: Improving the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process

To deliver the quality services and results the American people expect and deserve, the Federal Government must recruit and hire highly qualified employees, and public service should be a career of choice for the most talented Americans.  Yet the complexity and inefficiency of today’s Federal hiring process deters many highly qualified individuals from seeking and obtaining jobs in the Federal Government.

I therefore call on executive departments and agencies (agencies) to overhaul the way they recruit and hire our civilian workforce.  Americans must be able to apply for Federal jobs through a commonsense hiring process and agencies must be able to select high-quality candidates efficiently and quickly.  Moreover, agency managers and supervisors must assume a leadership role in recruiting and selecting employees from all segments of our society.  Human resource offices must provide critical support for these efforts.  The ability of agencies to perform their missions effectively and efficiently depends on a talented and engaged workforce, and we must reform our hiring system to further strengthen that workforce.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 3301 of title 5, United States Code, I hereby direct the following:

 Section 1Directions to Agencies.  Agency heads shall take the following actions no later than November 1, 2010:

 (a)  consistent with merit system principles and other requirements of title 5, United States Code, and subject to guidance to be issued by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), adopt hiring procedures that:

 (1)  eliminate any requirement that applicants respond to essay-style questions when submitting their initial application materials for any Federal job;

 (2)  allow individuals to apply for Federal employment by submitting resumes and cover letters or completing simple, plain language applications, and assess applicants using valid, reliable tools; and

 (3)  provide for selection from among a larger number of qualified applicants by using the “category rating” approach (as authorized by section 3319 of title 5, United States Code), rather than the “rule of 3” approach, under which managers may only select from among the three highest scoring applicants;

 (b)  require that managers and supervisors with responsibility for hiring are:

 (1)  more fully involved in the hiring process, including planning current and future workforce requirements, identifying the skills required for the job, and engaging actively in the recruitment and, when applicable, the interviewing process; and

 (2)  accountable for recruiting and hiring highly qualified employees and supporting their successful transition into Federal service, beginning with the first performance review cycle starting after November 1, 2010;

 (c)  provide the OPM and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) timelines and targets to:

 (1)  improve the quality and speed of agency hiring by:

 (i)    reducing substantially the time it takes to hire mission-critical and commonly filled positions;

 (ii)   measuring the quality and speed of the hiring process; and

 (iii)  analyzing the causes of agency hiring problems and actions that will be taken to reduce them; and

 (2)  provide every agency hiring manager training on effective, efficient, and timely ways to recruit and hire well-qualified individuals;

 (d)  notify individuals applying for Federal employment through USAJOBS, an OPM-approved Federal web-based employment search portal, about the status of their application at key stages of the application process; and

 (e)  identify a senior official accountable for leading agency implementation of this memorandum.

 Sec. 2Directions to the OPM.  The OPM shall take the following actions no later than 90 days after the date of this memorandum:

 (a)  establish a Government-wide performance review and improvement process for hiring reform actions described in section 1 of this memorandum, including:

 (1)  a timeline, benchmarks, and indicators of progress;

 (2)  a goal-focused, data-driven system for holding agencies accountable for improving the quality and speed of agency hiring, achieving agency hiring reform targets, and satisfying merit system principles and veterans’ preference requirements; and

 (b)  develop a plan to promote diversity in the Federal workforce, consistent with the merit system principle (codified at 5 U.S.C. 2301(b)(1)) that the Federal Government should endeavor to achieve a workforce from all segments of society;

 (c)  evaluate the Federal Career Intern Program established by Executive Order 13162 of July 6, 2000, provide recommendations concerning the future of that program, and propose a framework for providing effective pathways into the Federal Government for college students and recent college graduates;

 (d)  provide guidance or propose regulations, as appropriate, to streamline and improve the quality of job announcements for Federal employment to make sure they are easily understood by applicants;

 (e)  evaluate the effectiveness of shared registers used in filling positions common across multiple agencies and develop a strategy for improving agencies’ use of these shared registers for commonly filled Government-wide positions;

 (f)  develop a plan to increase the capacity of USAJOBS to provide applicants, hiring managers, and human resource professionals with information to improve the recruitment and hiring processes; and

 (g)  take such further administrative action as appropriate to implement sections 1 and 2 of this memorandum.

 Sec. 3Senior Administration Officials.  Agency heads and other senior administration officials visiting university or college campuses on official business are encouraged to discuss career opportunities in the Federal Government with students.

 Sec. 4Reporting.  (a)  The OPM, in coordination with the OMB and in consultation with other agencies, shall develop a public human resources website to:

 (1)  track key human resource data, including progress on hiring reform implementation; and

 (2)  assist senior agency leaders, hiring managers, and human resource professionals with identifying and replicating best practices within the Federal Government for improving new employee quality and the hiring process.

 (b)  Each agency shall regularly review its key human resource performance and work with the OPM and the OMB to achieve timelines and targets for correcting agency hiring problems.

 (c)  The OPM shall submit to the President an annual report on the impact of hiring initiatives set forth in this memorandum, including its recommendations for further improving the Federal Government’s hiring process.

 Sec. 5General Provisions.  (a)  Except as expressly stated herein, nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

 (1)  authority granted by law or Executive Order to an agency, or the head thereof; or

 (2)  functions of the Director of the OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

 (b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

 (c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

 (d)  The Director of the OPM, in consultation with the OMB, may grant an exception to any of the requirements set forth in section 1 of this memorandum to an agency that demonstrates that exceptional circumstances prevent it from complying with that requirement.

 Sec. 6Publication.  The Director of the OPM is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


Parts of a Federal Resume

A Federal Resume differs from regular civilian resumes for non governmental jobs. Based on the announcement and application format, a federal resume generally includes the following information. Note, that this is much more comprehensive than information required for jobs in the United States civilian sector. If you do not include this information, your application may not be considered.

If you need help with preparing your resume, I recommend you seek professional help – especially if you are not familiar with the exact information and formatting requirements.

Job Information:

* Announcement number, and title and grade(s) which are being applied for

Personal Information:

* Full name, mailing address (with ZIP code)
* Home, cell and work phone numbers (with area code)
* E-Mail address
* Social Security Number
* Country of citizenship (most federal jobs require United States citizenship)
* Veterans’ preference
* Highest Federal civilian grade held (give job series and dates held)
* Professional summary – written in 3rd person

Work Experience:

* Job title (include series and grade if federal job – level in military if a veteran)
* Employer’s name and full address, including street address, city, state and ZIP code
* Supervisor’s name and phone number
* Starting and ending dates (month and year) [note: some formats require month, date and year]
* Hours per week
* Salary
* Indicate if current supervisor may be contacted
* Job duties – include quantification and keywords in the announcement – written in 3rd person
* Job accomplishments – include quantification – in the challenge-action-result format – written in 3rd person


For colleges and universities:

* Name, city, state and ZIP Code
* Major(s), Type and year of any degrees received
* Total credits and types of credits earned, i.e. quarter, credit or semester hours.
* Honors
* Course list
* Note: only list accredited colleges listed at If an applicant lists degrees from schools not on the accreditation list, they may be subject for disqualification from federal employment and in some states also subject to criminal prosecution.

For high school: Date of diploma or GED, high school name, city, state and ZIP Code

Other Qualifications:

* Job-related training courses, including course title, date (may be year or month and year), course duration (hours, days or months)
* Certifications and licenses (include Secret or Top Secret clearance here)
* Job-related skills, for example, other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed
* Job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments, for example, publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, and performance awards