How to Write a Military KSA

When applying for military jobs, KSAs are critical. KSAs are part of the screening process. A combination of KSAs and “rate and rank” assessments determines candidate suitability.


Military KSAs can be extensive, and must be addressed. Traditionally, KSAs are filed separately, but recently some military organizations are requiring KSAs to also be included in the resume itself, notably the Department of Defense and National Security Agency.

The “include in resume” or “separate document” requirements are really just different formats. The KSAs information requirements remain the same. Some people find including KSAs in the resume easier.

How to Write Military KSAs overview

If you’re not familiar with the process and wondering how to write military KSAs, it’s easier than it looks:

  • Separate formatting – This is simply a separate document from the resume.
  • KSAs in resume – This involves entering KSAs information in the body text of the resume.

Information requirements

The military assessment process uses a methodology called context, challenge, actions, and results (CCAR). This method describes a situation in context, explains the challenge, describes actions, and quantifies results, preferably on a statistical or financial basis using hard numbers.

The KSA information you provide must demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities. The best way to do this is in KSA writing use an example of your work to show your achievements in context with the position.

This means spell it out. Use a paragraph and use the same terminology as specified by the agency. (This also helps with computer screening – Computers look for keywords, most of which are in the essential skills and related requirements.)

You can use the Work Experience or Additional Information sections to provide your KSAs on the resume. This is a good way of adding value to your resume and managing space, too.

How to manage KSAs for specific skills requirements

KSAs for the military should be written to show strong productive values. You can be selective about your information, picking your strongest KSA knowledge skills and abilities and examples to show your KSAs. Use your experience and achievements to your advantage.

For example-

A skills requirement includes the ability to analyze and improve work productivity. You can use the CCAR process very effectively in this way:

  • Describe the context of the situation.
  • Describe the challenge, like improving productivity in a specific area.
  • Describe your actions, simply and clearly, so readers can see the process.
  • Describe the results, using figures and showing the improvements you made.

Before submitting your military KSAs

This is critical – Check your KSAs carefully for clarity e and cross check against essential job requirements. You’ll need to be a bit patient, this can take a while, but you’ll also submit a much better application with improved documentation.

Also check document quality for typos and other avoidable mistakes. The first draft will need to be corrected, and you’ll find a few things that could be done better, for sure. Be critical, and try to create an application which looks good, even to you. You’ll have more confidence in your application, as well.