Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Am I required to submit the Standard Form-171 (SF-171)?
A: No. SF-171s are not mandatory. In fact, resumes are preferred. We will, however, accept your SF-171 or Optional Form 612 (OF-612) . Please be advised that SF-171s are no longer in print.
Q: If I choose to submit a resume in lieu of the OF-612, what format should I follow?
A: At a minimum, your resume should include: Full name, address, phone numbers, Social Security Number, date and place of birth, education/training, work experiences (job titles and salary levels or grade and series)
Q: I am currently in the SES. Am I required to address the five Executive Core Qualifications?
A: No. However, be sure to address all of the technical qualifications. If you are in the SES or a graduate of an OPM-approved Candidate Development Program, submit a copy of the Standard Form 50 (or a copy of your OPM-certified CDP certificate). Remember, not all developmental programs are approved by OPM--check with your training and development office for additional information.
Q: Are there minimum grade requirements for entry to the SES?
A: No. The SES was established as a separate personnel system; however, most selectees tend to be at the GS-15 level.
Q: What if I exceed the maximum page limitations in addressing the technical qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications?
A: Pages in excess of the 10 page (technical qualifications) and 12 page (Executive Core Qualifications) limits will be removed from your application.
Q: I am retired military. Am I eligible to apply for SES positions?
A: Yes. Retired members of the uniformed services may apply and be considered for SES positions at any time, either before or after retirement (as long as the position was advertised to "All Qualified Persons" versus "Federal Employees Only"). However, employment within 180 days of retirement requires approval of the employing DoD agency head.
Q: Will someone call me when my application has been received?
A: No. You will be notified if the selecting official chooses to interview you and when a selection has been made. At that time, all applicants will be contacted through the mail.
Q: Does OPM certify my qualifications?
A: Only if you are selected for a SES position (OPM will convene a Qualifications Review Board to certify your Executive Core Qualifications).