The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted March 08, 2009 by

How to Write KSA Statements

In addition to providing a resume, federal job applicants are typically required to complete narrative statements on specified knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) factors. These statements, which accompany an applicant’s cover letter and resume, are required to be considered for employment. This portion of the selection process is based on the premise that past behavior is a predictor of future performance and behavior. Therefore, in order to successfully compete for a federal position, an applicant must be able to relate relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities gained through education, experience, and past employment to the relevant position.
Although the KSA process may seem daunting at first, much of the information you need to complete these statements is in job announcement. This announcement provides the KSA factors must be addressed as part of the application process as well as specific clues about what language and examples you should use in your response. By selecting and using key terms from the announcement in a KSA response, you can demonstrate a fit for the position to which you are applying. Tailor the terms you use in your response to the job announcement and position being applied to and not the vernacular of a previous employer. Further, when possible address a KSA factor with an example of a time when you successfully resolved a problem or worked on a project that is the same as the position of interest. This approach will make it as easy as possible for a recruiter/hiring manager to see a direct connect between you and the position for which you are applying.
Once the key terms and relevant examples to utilize in KSA factor responses have been selected, the information needs to be organized and a strong statement drafted. The statement should be approximately one to two pages in length, and each KSA factor should be addressed in a separate response. Begin your response statement by providing a context for the situation, task or problem that you dealt with. Provide details around what your job was, who you were working for, and why the situation was significant or problematic. Next, explain the action you took to address the situation. If applicable, highlight initiative or actions above and beyond the call of duty that you took to resolve the situation. Finally, describe the outcome or resolution of the situation. To the extent possible, make your explanation of the situation and its resolution quantitative. If you saved an employer time or money, ensure that your statement clearly highlights this important outcome. By making your statement as descriptive and quantitative, you assist the recruiter in putting the situation you faced and the outcome in context.
Although the KSA statement process can be time consuming, it can make the difference between being viewed as a qualified or unqualified candidate. Therefore, take some time to review the job announcement and reflect on your background. You will then be in a good position to craft KSA statements that demonstrate your proficiency in several key skill areas for the position to which you are applying.
Jason Kay recommends visiting for lots more government job application assistance.

Posted August 07, 2008 by

Writing Resumes for Federal Jobs

So you’re looking to land your first Federal job and are just about to start working on your resume. Stop right there. Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys), you should know that applying for Federal employment is different than the private sector.
Federal guidelines require that you provide very specific and detailed information to apply for a job by way of the OF-612 form or Federal resume (along with a KSA). Since the Federal resume carries the greatest influence of the two, let’s take a look at ways to create one that will help you get the job you want.
What You Need to Know
When applying for a Federal job, there are certain details that you must provide in order to be considered by a recruiter. They include job information (announcement number, title and grade), personal information (full name, address, phone, social security number, and country of citizenship), veteran’s preference or reinstatement eligibility (if applicable), education (chronological listing of high school and colleges with degree types, dates of acquisitions, major subjects, GPAs and total credits earned), and extensive work experience (with previous salaries included).
When detailing your work experience, you should keep the specific position you’re applying for in mind. The Federal government is strict about ensuring that applicants’ skills match the listed qualifications. So go into as much detail as possible regarding how you are qualified. This process will get you that much closer to getting hired.
Don’t Forget Your KSA
The KSA is also known as Knowledge, Skills and Abilities and is a series of statements written in a narrative format that you must include with your Federal resume. It is written in first person and is meant to showcase in greater detail how you are qualified for the job you’re applying for.
Jobs that require a KSA will usually list between three and five statements in the posting that you need to provide answers for. You want your answers to be as thorough as possible by disclosing your knowledge, skills or abilities that relate to each statement, as well as when, how and why you acquired them giving concrete examples. In other words, use up to a page to sell yourself for this position with each answer. Don’t make your KSA a carbon copy of your resume – make it original. And don’t forget to type your full name and sign it before sending it off.
Adding the Extras
As mentioned previously, acquiring a Federal job requires putting in some extra effort, which includes disclosing any information that will help showcase your ability to perform. If you have additional work experience that relates to the position, provide plenty of details (including salary info and who to contact to learn more about your work experience). Also, remember to list any software, training courses, certificates, professional memberships, or awards that might help tip the scale in your favor.
Knowing the rules of writing a Federal resume can get your foot in the door. But taking extra steps to focus specifically on the job position, and include a thorough KSA will get you one step closer to securing a great Federal job.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.