What are Executive Core Qualifications? And How Can I Incorporate Them Into My Resume?

Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » What are Executive Core Qualifications? And How Can I Incorporate Them Into My Resume?

When applying for positions at the executive level, you may wonder what it is that companies hope that you bring to the table. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), executive federal job candidates should encompass five executive core qualifications (ECQs).

ECQs are defined as “competencies needed to build a federal corporate culture that drives for results” and are required for entry into the Senior Executive Service—a group of men and women charged with leading the continuing transformation of the government. But ECQs are great for any candidate at the executive level. Here is a quick breakdown of the OPM’s five executive core qualifications.

1. Leading Change

The first ECQ is “Leading Change,” which involves an ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside of an organization. A person who encompasses the qualification of leading change brings several assets to the table, including creativity and innovation, external awareness, flexibility, resilience, strategic thinking and vision.

2. Leading People

The second ECQ is “Leading People,” which involves being able to lead people toward meeting an organization’s mission, vision and goals. Key characteristics of this ECQ include being strong in conflict management, leveraging diversity, developing others and team building.

3. Results Driven

The next ECQ executives is “Results Driven,” which means you’re able to meet organizational goals and customer expectations while accepting accountability, having strong customer service skills, being decisive and able to problem solve, having an entrepreneurial spirit, and understand technical aspects of your field.

4. Business Acumen

The fourth ECQ, “Business Acumen,” is defined as having the ability to manage human, financial and information resources strategically. The basics of this qualification include financial management, human capital management and technology management.

5. Building Coalitions

The fifth and final ECQ is “Building Coalitions.” This core qualification requires an ability to build coalitions internally and with other organizations. Key characteristics of the qualification include partnering, political savvy and influencing/negotiating skills.

When functioning at the executive level, it is critical that you bring superior qualifications to the table. So why not align yourself with the five executive core qualifications to ensure you are indeed the highly-skilled candidate both private and public companies are looking for?

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Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. […] Your executive resume should also include the five executive core qualifications (ECQs). As a C-level executive or prospective executive, you need to include information on your resume about how you have succeeded in the following areas: leading change, leading people, business acumen, and building coalitions. You also need to demonstrate that you are results-driven. For more on ECQs and how to use them to craft a good executive resume, you can take a look at my article on the subject here: https://greatresumesfast.com/what-are-executive-core-qualifications-and-how-can-i-incorpora…. […]

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