How to Write Responses to (KSAs)
If you apply for a position announced in the KSA format you should respond to the KSAs. You have to describe your experience and how it relates to each of the KSAs. How do you do this? Where do you start? What do you need to think about?
To help you do this, we have divided the process of writing KSA responses into 4 steps.
Step 1 Read the KSAs very closely.
You need to make sure you understand what the KSAs are and what they mean. This step is critical. If you do not understand each KSA, you will not be able to write good responses. A KSA by itself tends to be general in nature. The vacancy announcement usually contains a brief summary description of the duties of the position. Read this summary description very carefully.
Step 2 Review very thoroughly all the experiences you have had and look for things that relate to the individual KSAs.
This step is really a "brainstorming" session. You need to review your experiences and find things that relate to the KSAs.
Let us say the KSA that you are writing about is the ability to communicate orally. You need to think about all of the times when you use oral communication skills.
Examples: While you were a File Clerk you instructed other clerks on new filing procedures; as a Management Analyst you had to present recommendations on workflow procedures to members of top staff.
Also, consider relevant education, training and self-development activities, and any awards received.
Examples: A training program in effective briefing techniques that you completed or an award you received that relates to your ability to communicate orally.
Do not forget experiences you have had in non-work related areas (volunteer activities) or in school related activities.
Examples: While you were a Cub Scout Leader you acted as the Chairperson for a fund raising activity; while a student you were a student council representative.
Effective KSA Writing
Revised June 5, 2006