Writing KSAs For Federal Applications

Knowledge, skill and ability essays, known as KSAs, are responses to questions that relate to a specific government position. KSAs are used by hiring managers and human resources specialists to assess whether you are qualified for a position. KSAs are scored, and the applicants with the highest scores are referred for possible interviews. In some cases, KSAs are scored electronically, so it is very important to be clear and concise in your answers and to include relevant keywords.

Tips for Writing Effective KSAs

Give Examples

Think of KSAs as interview questions. Give specific, detailed examples from your work experience and education to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and abilities. Use the STAR model: Describe the situation or task, explain the actions you took and describe the result, including what you learned and accomplished.

If you do not have a specific skill, find the closest experiences you have related to the skill to emphasize.

Use Keywords

Use keywords that are listed in the position description.

Be Detailed

Do not be afraid to write several paragraphs, up to one page.

More Resources

These articles from external career Web sites offer more advice on KSAs.

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