Really Helpful KSA Tips

ksa tips

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Many people get nervous when it comes to writing their KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities), often because it is made to sound different to any other essay. But the truth of it is that you should fall back on all your essay writing experience to help you tackle the KSA.

KSA Tips – It’s Just Like Writing An Essay!

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We’ve all written essays before, and we all know the simple rules:

  • Don’t waffle
  • Always use active tense
  • Be clear and concise
  • Follow guidelines
  • Implement structure
  • Use correct grammar
  • Don’t plagiarise

All these rules apply to your KSA answers, and for this reason you can summon all your essay writing experience when writing your KSA. These tips are at the core of your KSA writing, and if you get these right you’re already halfway to a successful KSA.

Naturally, there is more to it than this and there are a few things you need to bear in mind that make the KSA special and which separate it from a regular essay. Let’s take a look.

KSA Tips You Need To Bear In Mind

  • When writing your KSA answers, it’s very important that you read the job announcement carefully. You should highlight any key words and use them in your response. This is because not only will the hiring manager be on the lookout for these key words, but each application is passed through an automated scanner that rejects your application if it fails to spot these key words. You should get to know all the common KSA questions.
  • You should revisit your resume and make a note of all the experiences you have. Then, you can apply the ones you think are best suited to the position you are applying to and include them in your KSA answers.
  • If there is any information you think is relevant that is not in your resume, you can now add it your KSA.
  • It is important to remember that all the experiences and information you are including in your KSA answers has to link to the position you are applying to. In this way, you are showing that you are the best candidate for this position.
  • Include any examples that showcase your ability to take the bull by the horns. Federal positions are not vacated by people who sit around waiting for things to happen.
  • If there is any quantitative data you can use, use it. For example, if you had a direct bearing on your former work places sales growth, write about it. Hiring managers love numbers.
  • Each KSA answer should be no longer than a page and a half, but preferably a single page if possible. Be as concise and as clear as possible.

KSA Answers

We’ve prepared a small KSA guide for writing proper answers, so go on reading.

Ten years ago, a generic answers such as the one below would have been acceptable:

“I am a highly motivated person, who is communicative, dependable and always gets results.”

These days, hiring managers don’t want to see such answers. Everyone can say they are motivated, communicative and dependable, but without quantifying these responses hiring managers don’t know anything about you. Instead, they want numbers and specifics, and they want you to quantify your response. Below are a few examples of good KSA answers:

“I have been working on monthly reports for the past year, largely under the watch of our manager. These reports are approved weekly by my supervisor, always without any need for change, and are handed out to the 15 offices and regional directors in our company.”

“I have taken on the responsibility of reporter for the last year. My duties include reporting on the quarterly meeting of our directors at head office. My reports are reviewed by the Director’s Office before they are circulated to all members of staff. My reports are always sent out without any need for change.”

“During my senior year, I worked as the chapter president of my society, where my duties included writing up progress reports that I sent to the headquarters of our school.”

“During the last two years of college I worked as a staff writer for the student monthly newspaper. For the last year, I worked as the editor-in-chief. It was my duty to liaise with the writers, review all submissions before printing them off, and to decide which direction the newspaper should move in.”