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Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) Overview

What are KSAs?

  • Ranking and rating factors

  • Evaluation factors, criteria

  • Job ranking elements

  • Supplemental statements

  • A written test

  • An elimination tool

Why are KSAs IMPORTMANT?

KSAs can be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in the applicant evaluation process since they are scored. Poor responses may prevent you, as an applicant, from being considered among the "best qualified" group. Your score for experience is based solely on your responses to the KSAs, not the information included in your resume, OF-612 (Optional Application for Federal Employment) or SF-17l. There’s an easy way to decide when to pay attention to KSAs. In a word, ALWAYS.

The federal resume or application is the information that tells the position selection decision-maker if you are qualified for the job and KSAs describe your skills using concrete examples so that the hiring manager can determine if you can perform their job. The application review is a three-step consideration process.

The Human Resources Review Process for determining your qualifications and for rating and ranking your KSAs goes as follows:

Your total application will be sent to the federal agency. This will include your federal-style resume or OF-612 and KSAs for a specific announcement. The announcement might ask for other information as well. You have to read the instructions to determine what they want, i.e., college transcripts, DD-215, your last supervisory evaluation, etc.

Effective KSA Writing

Revised June 5, 2006

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