Development is About More than Training

Most agencies offer both formal and informal development opportunities. The formal type of development encompasses traditional training programs, while informal development occurs during every day work. Do not neglect the multiple informal opportunities most of us have to improve ourselves at work. And, in these times of increasing budget pressures, it may be easier to take advantage of informal, rather than formal opportunities. [Read more…]

Thank You Notes; They Matter

You just left the interview. You think it went great. Now what? It is not the time to let up. Everything that you’ve done up to this point is moving you forward in your job search. Keep the momentum going.

Send a Thank You

You can send a thank you via email (quick, but not as personal as a handwritten card). You can mail it (takes a few days, so it doesn’t have the immediacy of an email, but has a bigger impact due to the perceived time and care it took to handwrite a note). Or, you can drop off a handwritten note the next day (a good strategy for big companies when you can hand the envelope to the receptionist). NOTE: If you are applying for a federal job, email is essential. Most federal agency “snail mail” goes to a third party first to ensure that its safe so it may take weeks for a mailed thank you to get to a federal agency; bringing a note to the agency won’t work either as most federal agencies have difficult access requirements. [Read more…]

Preparing for the Senior Executive Service (SES): Candidate Development Programs (CDPs)

2014 saw many agencies announce Candidate Development Programs (CDPs). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), the Bureau of the Mint, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) were among the agencies that did so. CDPs are an excellent opportunity for those interested in considering future SES opportunities.

Agencies use CDPs as a succession planning tool to identify and prepare aspiring senior leaders by developing competencies in each of the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs)—leading change, leading people, results driven, business acumen, and building coalitions. While completion of a CDP does not guarantee selection into the SES (nor is it required), graduates of CDPs who have their ECQs certified by an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Review Board (QRB) may be selected for a SES position without further completion. [Read more…]