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How to Write a Good KSA Essay

Applying for a Federal job is totally different than applying for any other type of job. When a Federal vacancy opening is posted, they may require candidates to submit a narrative statement known as a KSA in addition to a Federal resume.

KSA means knowledge, skills, and abilities, and should be written in a personal, yet professional style to showcase your particular knowledge, skills and abilities to the person(s) who receive your application. There are four basic steps to writing the perfect KSA:

1. Review the Job opening. Make sure to pay attention to any details. Also be certain that you understand the announcement before you start writing your answers otherwise you will not be able to provide the proper information to the recruiter.

2. Brainstorm. This is the part where you come up with your abilities related to the announcement. Writing good KSA statements requires that you relate ANY experience that you have in relation to the position you seek. This can be actual work experience, certifications acquired, or skills that you got through other activities. Don’t limit yourself to your experience here; as long as it is relevant, the experience doesn’t have to be work related. For example, if the KSA question asks for management skills, it doesn’t matter if you were a manager previously or if you simply were in charge of your youth group at church. Both experiences are relevant and should be listed.

3. Break it down. Now that you found all of your skills, you need to examine them and reflect on how they were used in your jobs. The types of questions you should ask yourself are: use of job skills, supervision (if there was), team player abilities, complexity of your job, rules you follow, and so on When answering these questions, you simply need to focus on who, what, where, when, why, and how of they come up with what you need. These answers will eventually become your KSA answers.

4. Writing the KSA answers. When you finally write your KSA statements, you need to be very clear and clear in your answers. You need to demonstrate, in your writing, how the skills, abilities, and knowledge you have relate to the job. Don’t assume that the person reading your KSA will be able to make the connections; instead, make the connection for them.

When it’s time to review your KSA’s, your response will be graded on content, not style, so as long as you are getting your message across, it it is not important what style you write in. KSA statements are generally limited to less than a page; longer responses won’t impress anyone. Avoid complicated words and technical jargon. If someone cannot understand what you’re saying, they probably won’t hire you, no matter how good you are.

Writing a KSA answer can seem difficult and overwhelming. Especially since you need to create a new essay for every job you apply to. As long as you take your time and follow these guidelines, you should have no trouble producing a good KSA response.

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