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Tips for Preparing Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSA)


  • Keep each KSA response to no more than two pages. Add your name and announcement number to each page.
    Name and announcement number are helpful in case pages become detached. Also, if you are continuing something to a second page, include the KSA title from the previous page.
  • Include concrete examples, dates, results, get to the point, state specifically what you have done and try not to borrow language from the position description.
    Refrain from giving generalized statements, since no assumptions can be made about your achievements when you say "I have thorough knowledge of" or "familiarity with" or "considerable skill". These phrases are non-specific and do not provide the reviewer with anything to measure.
  • Write KSA response as though the person reviewing it does not know you or the job you do.
    Do not ignore a KSA if you do not have the experience.
    Make maximum use of any related experience and training. Look outside of your professional work history for relevant experience.
  • Not only list the actions you have taken, but also the results that are achieved.
    State only what you have accomplished, rather than philosophizing on how things should be.
  • It is recommended to state volunteer experience if it is relevant to the position you are applying for. In order to receive credit for your experience, remember to illustrate dates spent volunteering.
    For example, the volunteer duties of a basketball coach demonstrates the ability to train and coordinate other's activities.
  • Be consistent between the application and your responses to your KSA's. Such as: use of time frames, consistency of dates, type of work and duties performed.
  • Accurately represent the experience you have.
  • Use the old Journalism jargon of demonstrating Who, What, Why, Where, When and How. Using this method of review will help you with a well written product.
  • WHO- was impacted by your actions?
    WHO-was involved?
    WHAT- was the outcome, repercussions, changes, resulting from your actions?
    WHY- was it done?
    WHERE- did this occur (i.e., program wide, vs local impact)
    WHEN- how recent?
    HOW- identify the primary steps in which the applicant was directly involved.
  • Edit and proof read and proof read again.
  • Spell check does not find everything, you may want to have another person review it. A professional application gives a positive impression to hiring managers. Therefore it is recommended that you make the effort to assure your application is neat, legible, error free, easy to read and concise.
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