How to Write SES KSA

How to Write SES KSA

SES, or Senior Executive Service, KSAs are very demanding. SES KSAs can require a large amount of information, and many senior executives, even those with outstanding resumes, may find themselves unsure of information requirements.

SES applications are extremely competitive. This is a very demanding environment for job applicants, and it’s necessary to ensure that your application is of the highest possible standard.

Key points:

  • One of the major issues here is that government KSAs are written to document candidate qualifications and suitability for the position.
  • This is a formal process, subject to government employment regulations, and everything needs to be done by the book.
  • A private sector resume really isn’t appropriate for SES resumes, and particularly not for SES KSAs. Information requirements and formatting are quite different for government resumes and KSAs.
  • KSAs are critical parts of candidate assessment. KSAs are key factors in candidate selection. The fact is that what’s documented on your application really is the difference between success and failure.

SES KSAs core requirements

ses resume writersQuality of information is the key issue. Government writing knowledge skills and abilities need to be clearly laid out, covering all required information, and preferably in narrative form, demonstrating appropriate levels of skills to match position criteria. This may seem a little pedantic at first, but the actual results are very good, and the process is quite efficient.

For SES KSAs, a paragraph will usually be enough, but the information in the paragraph must be specific, with no blanks for the reader to fill in. (Some agencies include in their guidelines a few examples of KSAs. Read the guidelines for a good overview of these core requirements and to see how the KSAs are structured.)

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The good news for SES applicants is that “bureaucracy” isn’t an obstacle when writing your KSAs. Quite the opposite – KSAs are designed to clarify information, and well-written KSAs allow expert candidates to shine.

Use narrative form to describe your SES KSAs, covering all details in simple, direct sentences:

  • Your role: “I am responsible for managing 50 staff engaged in IT management at (name of firm) since (date)”
  • Management context: My division provides a full range of IT services for city and regional branches of (name of firm) including onsite technical support, system maintenance….”
  • Quantify achievements: “We achieved an increase in productivity of 50% and under-budget savings of 40% in the last financial year.”

Getting help with SES KSAs

If the theory of SES KSAs is simple, the information requirements at this senior level are anything but simple. The degree of difficulty, naturally, increases with the complexity of the role requirements.

Most SES applicants usually aren’t successful in their first attempts. Even top of the line expert candidates may simply fail to provide adequate documentation of their skills and achievements.

Best practice, particularly for those making their first SES applications, is to engage an SES resume writing service. This is a simple way of avoiding basic mistakes. It’s also a very valuable service. SES resume writers will be able to guide you through the KSAs, and help you create an excellent application.

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