KSA Samples

How Important is My KSA, Anyway?

Transitioning from a military career to a federal job can be an exciting prospect. Most federal jobs will draw upon your extensive military training and qualifications, creating a challenging and rewarding work environment.

The only thing you need to know is: How do I apply for and get the federal job I want?

Most federal government applications require more than just a resume; they need one important supplemental document: a KSA. Never heard of it? Most people haven’t. Once you understand what a KSA is and how it is used to complete your federal job application, you’ll be well on your way to your dream job.

KSA stands for “knowledge,” “skills,” and “abilities.” “Knowledge” is your familiarity with a federal job’s subject matter; “skills” are your level of competence and expertise in a specific area; and “abilities” are your “knowledge” and “skills” demonstrated in an applied fashion. A KSA is usually in the form of a supplemental application, and it will ask you specific questions relevant to the position or field of work in which you are interested.

You should take your KSA statement very seriously; according to experts, your answers to the questions on the KSA may be the most important aspect of your entire application. Because most KSA questions delve into your background and skills (an in-depth look at your qualifications), they help employers evaluate your potential for success in the position for which you are applying.

Take your time answering all the questions in the KSA and provide as much information as you can. You might feel that there is too much similarity to your resume, but don’t hesitate to answer all questions completely and with plenty of details. Most importantly, remember that each KSA is slightly different, so you should follow their directions explicitly. If you can’t follow simple directions, a potential employer will be unlikely to call you for an interview.

So, you know the KSA is important, but what kind of questions will you be asked? Some examples include:
- Your skills in written and verbal communication.
- Your level of experience or proficiency in a given field.
- Your knowledge and experience with a federal job’s policies and protocol.

Think of a KSA as an essay, and apply the same writing principles: use active voice and strong action verbs, stay focused on the question, and be sure you are actually answering the question being asked.

Here are some pointers for writing a killer KSA:

* Each answer should be between a half-page and a page in length. Time is of the essence, and an employer won’t have time to sift through an overwhelming amount of information.
* Check over each answer to be sure they are concise and to the point. Also, be sure you answered every part of the question.
* Use simple language and avoid acronyms.
* Use quantitative data whenever you can – this shows an employer you can think in terms of time and money.
* Use specific examples to illustrate your qualifications and to answer questions. Avoid vague responses.
* If it’s relevant, include information you didn’t include on your resume. Your KSA will have some similarities, but it should not read as a carbon copy of the resume.
* Tie in your experiences to the job description and the exact wording of the KSA questions.
Consider using the CCAR model. This stands for “context,” “challenge,” “action,” and “results.” Keeping this model in mind, you will be able to fully answer any KSA questions thrown at you.
* Always proofread. If you’re not comfortable with your own skills, consider hiring a professional to edit. The KSA should not contain any typos or grammatical errors.

Your KSA is a vital part of the federal job application process, and it is essential that you clearly and succinctly express your abilities to handle the challenges and expectations of a job in the federal government. With this helpful advice or the assistance of a skilled professional resume writer, you can successfully create a KSA to impress your future employer.

You can be proud of our work for you at KSAwriters. Below are links to sample KSAs. They are here for example only and are copyrighted material. You should NOT use them for your resume or KSA. Everyone is different and requires a different marketing approach. Start on your new career now.

To properly view the sample Adobe KSAs, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader. Please download the latest version if you do not already have it installed on your computer.

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