Federal KSAs are somewhat different from private sector KSAs. The Federal KSAs are more structured, some would say better structured. The big difference is that the Federal KSAs are also more formal, and require specific information.
In practice, you need to understand the way these KSAs are put together, and the information requirements. Writing KSAs for Federal jobs is actually pretty simple, and the information requirements aren’t onerous.
Federal KSA examples – What’s required
The most important thing to remember about writing KSA for Federal jobs is that quality of information is the real issue. Federal KSAs are written on a very practical set of basic reference points:
- Define the skills and knowledge according to the job requirements.
- What was the situation?
- Where and when did this happen?
- Who was the employer?
- What was done?
- What was the outcome, and how do you quantify the outcome?
This is called “narrative form”, and it usually takes only one paragraph to write your KSAs for each requirement. This format provides a lot of useful information for employers.
Federal KSA Example and analysis
Example KSA: Strong call center management skills in a high volume call environment.
As call center manager for ABCDEFG Inc. since 2010, I currently manage 20 staff taking call volumes of 2800 – 3000+ calls per day. Our call center has exceeded KPI targets for the last 3 years with a very high level of documented customer service satisfaction.
KSA content: As you can see, this KSA covers all required information points, defines the work done, the candidate’s experience, and shows strong productive values. The paragraph is short, 44 words, and contains only relevant, current, information related to the KSA requirements. The candidate also includes an important word, “documented” to define the outcome. This means the customer service satisfaction information is verifiable.
Information specifics: The number of calls breaks down into a number of calls per day per staff member, which fit the industry standard 5 minute benchmark for call center service calls. These are useful performance indicators for the employer, and also show that the candidate understands the need to provide clear business measures like KPIs. Any reader of this knowledge skills attitude would see that this candidate is definitely the sort of person they want.
Writing Federal resume KSAs
Best practice for candidates is to draft KSAs and check quality of information thoroughly before submission.
For each KSA:
- Make sure you understand the information requirements. (If you don’t, ask.)
- Provide information which includes clear performance indicators.
- Eliminate any unnecessary or vague words.
- Focus on simple sentences, so the reader understands your information clearly.
The next stage is editing your Federal resume format KSAs:
- Check information quality – Do you cover all the requirements?
- Check clarity – Any information which isn’t clear or easy to read?
- Typos – They’ll be there. Remove them.
OK, now the real test – Do your KSAs look right? Do they deliver all the information? Do you do justice to your skills? Are you happy with the information content? Are you absolutely sure you’ve nailed the KSA requirements?
When you’re happy with your KSAs and sure you’ve provided good quality information, your application is ready to submit.