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Federal KSA – Demystifying the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities the OPM is Looking For in You

When you apply for a position with the federal government you will most likely need to prepare an accompanying KSA statement, which is a short term that stands for “knowledge, skills and abilities”.

Knowledge is the body of information you have factually and procedurally to perform the job. Skills are the ability to verbally, manually and mentally work with things and data competently. Ability is your power to perform an activity. You need to provide your knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the job you want on the statement you present to the OPM.

Write clearly about your KSAs and job so anyone can understand your responsibilities. Number and title each KSA in bold and type responses in single space. Include your name, social security number and the job vacancy number at the top of each page submitted. Be very detailed and specific, answering what, who, why, when, where and how and avoid repeating your resume or referring the OPM to another part of your application. Write in first person and make sure the reader knows what position and experience you are discussing. Instead of using puffed up language, use specific examples and descriptions that make the reader come to the conclusion themselves. Include as much as possible to show your qualifications.

If you want to really get noticed by prospective federal employers, invest in a professional resume writer to prepare your application. This solid investment in your future can mean the difference between getting the job and not even getting a call.

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