KSAs and Assessments
As a part of the federal-wide Hiring Reform Initiative (streamlining the hiring process), 89% of federal agencies have committed to the elimination of the requirement of narratives, or Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Statements (KSAs), from the initial application in the hiring process. Therefore, as an applicant for this announcement, you are most likely NOT required to provide a separate narrative response for each KSA, but it’s clear that many vacancy announcements ask KSA questions and we address this by providing mini-KSA responses throughout the resume in the related experience block or under the ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE section on the USAJOBS resume builder.
Have KSAs Been Eliminated?
Yes and No. Some federal agencies continue to write their federal vacancy announcements that require KSA assessments. These KSA assessments can be found on the federal online application system, USAJOBS. There may be specific character limits per KSA assessment. It is very important to read the entire federal vacancy announcement to determine whether KSA assessments are indeed required to be incorporated within the federal resume itself, and/or separately on the online application system.
What Are KSAs?
When you apply for a federal government position, some federal job announcements require additional statements. These statements are known as KSAs: Statements of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. They also may be called Selective Factors, Key Elements, TQs (Technical Qualifications), or KSAOs (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics). If they are requested, they are required.
Vacancy announcements may advise that separate KSAs are not required and then ask specific questions that are actually KSAs. It can be confusing. In this case, we at CPG have invented the “mini-KSA,” which is about 250 words and integrates the response to the KSA question within the body of the USAJOBS resume. This can be inserted directly within the respective job block to which your response is related, or in the Additional Information section on the USAJOBS builder, clearly defining the date and job the KSA story was performed.
What Do KSAs Require?
For many announcements, these questions are separate three-quarters to one-page answers to questions related to the job for which you are applying. Other announcements may specify other lengths, or may ask to include answers to the KSAs in your federal resume. Some announcements require you to cut and paste your KSA answers in an online application. Mini-KSAs must be integrated within the body of your USAJOBS resume. You may see a statement on the job vacancy that reads, “KSAs are optional.”
If you have the option, include the mini-KSAs, because you will receive a much higher rating on your federal application. We highly recommend that you READ each vacancy announcement carefully for the specific requirements. We can help you to read and interpret these announcements to determine what is actually required.
How Do You Answer KSAs?
KSAs can be difficult questions to answer. Each KSA will be rated per answer, and is critical in the Challenge-Context-Action-Result (CCAR) formula. A short story is required supporting the question asked on the job vacancy stating the challenge of your situation, brief context, the action you took, and the results of your actions. KSAs are very important to address, if requested.
How Are KSAs Priced?
We price our KSAs based on the level of composition, technical detail, grade, and amount of time it will take us to write them for you. We write the KSAs so they can be reused for other positions that ask similar questions, saving you money as you apply for additional federal positions.
What Do We Recommend?
We recommend that you hire us to write both your KSAs (and/or mini-KSAs) and federal resume. By doing this, you will submit a complete package that represents you at your best, with the federal resume that includes all pertinent information in the KSAs. However, if you think your federal resume is already a polished document, we are happy to write only your KSAs for you.
Why Hire CareerProPlus?
CareerProPlus has 30+ years of experience in helping job seekers reach their career goals. We’re a total career service management organization, offering a complete array of career coaching, career training, and resume preparation services. We’ve become the leading and most trusted career services source for individuals in the military, federal government, and the corporate world. We’ve prepared more than 60,000 Corporate, Federal, and Military resumes.
What Makes Our Writers Stand Apart?
Our team includes multi-certified writers who have authored numerous articles, journals, and books related to the craft of resume preparation, and we have been the recipient of coveted industry awards, such as “Best Military Transition Resume” and “Best Cover Letter.” All of our writers participate in a comprehensive training program and benefit from continuous training throughout their career. Whether you need assistance with writing KSAs, polishing your resume, or preparing a federal resume from scratch, we have the writing expertise that can make a positive difference in your career success.
What’s the Next Step?
To learn more about our KSA and resume preparation services, contact us at 800-471-9201 for an initial no-obligation consultation. We can also provide you with a free price quote for our services. Click on the GET STARTED link and send us a copy of your resume and job vacancy announcement so we can provide your quote.
“I would recommend CareerPro Global to ANYBODY wishing to enter Federal Service, especially with a military background. After extensive phone interviews, my writer took the time to understand my background, and somehow make it fit into the job I was interested in. Counting that position, his KSAs have gotten me on to the short list of candidates three out of four times. CareerPro’s results are as near to being a sure thing there is in an uncertain world.” –Michael Blount