When you attempt to get a Federal job, there is an important part of the application process that must be performed properly. This is known as the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities or "KSA" process.
The KSA is what helps determine who is the most qualified candidate for a specific vacancy for a Federal job and the required KSAs are listed on each Federal job opening. KSA answers must be given in the proper KSA Format in order to ensure the best possible score and increase your chances of landing that Federal job you are after.
As with many different application processes there is actually a layout that should be followed to ensure the proper KSA response is given. Unless otherwise stated on the application, all answers should be one page or less and need to contain all of the following information:
- The job title.
- The announcement number.
- Applicant name.
- Of course the KSA number.
Along with being grammatically correct, it is imperative that the proper KSA response be written in a narrative, first person tone. The answers should sound personal and as if they are coming from your own voice.
KSA’s will generally have you answer three to ten questions and you will need to show in detail that you have the requirements needed to fit the job vacancy. Many factors you should use include:
- Experience: This can be experience gained from previous employment.
- Training: Any special courses you may have taken that qualify you for a particular position.
- Education: Make sure your education needs at least meet the expectations listed.
- Volunteer work: List any and all volunteer work you have done that may apply to the position you are after.
- Awards: If you have been awarded any type of merit that will make you look more qualified for the position, be sure to list it.
Just make sure that you are using relevant factors that either meet or exceed the requirements listed in the Federal job posting.
Making sure that your KSA responses are in the proper format can be challenging. It is important to remember that your KSA answers will be scored and if you re going head to head with other equally qualified candidates that these scores can make or break you.
There are many resources available online to help ensure that your KSA format is properly done. While you can find certain information for free, there are also a number of well known companies that will prepare your KSA responses for you and ensure that the format is properly done. If you find you are having trouble in preparing your KSA response properly, it may be worth looking into paying a nominal fee for help. By doing so you not only ensure that the response is proper but the format is as well. The last thing you want to have happen is spending all day on your KSA responses, only to find you submitted them in the wrong format and that they didn’t even get reviewed.