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Trump’s Transition Team is Hiring Presidential Appointees


Dec 4, 2016


Presidential Appointee Resume expert, Kathryn Troutman recommends: Prepare and submit your Presidential Appointee Resume and Cover Letter to the GreatAgain.gov website now.


With President-elect Donald Trump preparing to lead the executive branch, legions of his loyalists and others seeking jobs in his administration will now hit the ground running with applications for positions as presidential appointees.

“It’s most important that you target your resume toward a position in the Plum Book, including the agency, program mission and position,” says Kathryn Troutman, President of The Resume Place, Inc.

Kathryn has advised Presidential appointees for five Presidential Transitions. “Although each president decides some aspects of how these appointments are made, there is a more or less standard process. Given the president-elect’s outsider status, the process of the coming months may be more unpredictable. “There’s no way to imagine how a Trump transition will go,” says Mark A. Abramson, president of Leadership Inc. and coauthor of Succeeding as a Political Executive: 50 Insights from Experience. Still, aspiring appointees can get a head start by reviewing the fundamentals.

What are presidential appointee jobs?

Thousands of presidential appointees hold a great variety executive and staff-level jobs — a small fraction subject to Senate confirmation — at the White House and with a galaxy of federal departments, agencies, offices and programs in federal government. These positions are typically offered to Americans who have demonstrated loyalty to the president-elect and who possess the knowledge, skills, experience and passion required.

President Obama’s appointees, who are not in the Civil Service system, generally will tender their resignations before the Jan. 20, 2017 inauguration. There are about 1,400 Schedule C appointee jobs and about 600 of the 7,000 jobs in the Senior Executive Service are political appointments.

How do I find out exactly which appointments Trump will make?

Interested professionals can learn about the nature of appointee positions that will come open in January 2017, by visiting the so-called Plum Book. Here’s the 2012 edition; the 2016 version will be released in December.

Where can you submit your resume for a Trump Administration Political Appointee position?

President-elect Trump’s team has created a web page for appointee applications. The GreatAgain.gov website includes the webpage to submit your resume and cover letter at the NonCareer position resume website.

How and when are presidential appointees chosen?

The president-elect, Mike Pence and his staff are moving forward expeditiously with as many senior appointments as possible. “Cabinet secretaries are now being selected.” says Abramson. “Each administration decides how much they want to delegate to the cabinet overall, and in terms of presidential appointee hires.

The top appointments, which require Senate confirmation, have a cascading effect on how appointments proceed in the organizations they lead, Abramson says. Cabinet secretaries typically choose their agency heads, who in turn hire the managers who will report to them, and so on. So to campaign for a presidential appointment “you need to know where to enter into the picture,” he adds.

What is the background of a typical presidential appointee?

Presidential appointee applications come from high-achieving professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds, from the private sector and nonprofits to campaign staff, congressional staff, the civil service, state government, and military servicemen and women.

In making appointments, each president chooses how to weigh candidates’ political loyalty versus their professional qualifications.

What is a presidential appointee resume?

Presidential appointee resumes should be detailed and 3 or 4 pages long. The resume should describe the applicant’s accomplishments, skills, subject-matter expertise, experience in public and private sectors, and education. The resume should explicitly address all of the position, agency and office requirements. The resume for non-competitive federal positions should be similar to federal resumes for competitive Civil Service positions. Samples are in the Federal Resume Guidebook, 6th Edition by Kathryn Troutman

These are the main sections of the Trump Administration Non-Competitive Job application: Please describe why you hope to be a part of the President Elect’s administration; Cover Letter; Please describe any additional qualifications; Resume (131,000 characters are permitted). After you copy and paste your text into these fields, you will select your desired agency, mission and position from a drop-down list.

What does a presidential appointee cover letter look like?

In the cover letter, the candidate for a presidential appointment should make explicit how the qualifications presented in his or her resume apply to any given position. The candidate should also emphasize political activities in support of the president-elect that might apply to the position; passion for a certain government mission; and even ideas for changes and improvement for the agency.
As soon as the 2016 Plum Book is published, candidates should recheck position descriptions that might have been revised since the 2012 edition, and rewrite their draft resumes and cover letters accordingly. Then it’s time to submit the application and keep fingers crossed.

For an article describing the Plum book, see G. Edward DeSeve and Mark Abramson, “Getting Ready for 2017: An Introduction to the Plum Book.”


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