it's first press run in 1992
The KSA Workbook
(A guide to
presenting your Knowledges, Skills and Abilities)
has been one of our "Best-Selling" publications.
call them ranking factors, rating factors and evaluation factors. They
call them evaluation criteria or high quality criteria. They call them job
ranking elements or just job elements, but mostly they call them KSAs, and they
are considered a plague by nearly every job seeker attempting to move into or up
through the ranks of today's civil service.
... Knowledges, Skills and Abilities ... that list of special qualifications
and personal attributes that someone has decided you should have in order
to fill a particular job. It's not enough that you meet the basic
qualifications for the position and have the specialized experience that's
required. It's not enough that you have a polished and up-to-date
applications package that clearly lays out all your experience and
expertise. Now you have to put more time and effort into developing a "supplemental
statement" a set of responses to these additional evaluation factors
that may be relevant only to this job vacancy. And you have to do it in
time to meet an incredibly short application deadline.
yourself lucky. For the serious federal job hunter, the growing use of
KSAs in federal vacancy announcements represents an excellent opportunity to
match yourself to a job's requirements and significantly increase your chances
of being hired. By carefully crafting your supplemental statement to
respond to an opening's KSAs, you can mirror back to the hiring officials the
very talents and traits that they have defined as essential to job
performance. It's clear that KSAs can work to your distinct advantage in
the competition for federal employment.
you agree with this assessment or not, the expanding use of KSAs is a
development you can't ignore. KSAs (or sometimes KSAOCs, with OC
added for "Other Characteristics") are part of an increasing number of
federal job openings being advertised today. A quick survey of dozens of
vacancy announcements, representing a cross-section of federal agencies,
occupations and grade levels, show that well over half the job openings now
include KSAs that must be addressed specifically in addition to any required
application form. The elimination of the SF-171 as the required format for
job applicants has led to even greater use of KSAs as agencies attempt to match
the right candidate with the right job.
as KSAs are sometimes referred to by other labels, the document you submit when
you respond to a position's KSAs can go by many names. Some agencies ask
for a "supplemental experience statement"; others want
applicants to provide a "qualifications narrative" or a "supplemental
experience questionnaire." Some agencies don't bother to label it
if we agree that KSAs have become a fact of life for federal job hunters, the
question is what to do about them. We'll answer that in this workbook.
tell you ...
KSAs are ... what they're supposed to do .. and why they are important, now more
look at ...
KSAs are developed (where they come from) ... how they are used (where they go)
... and who uses them.
importantly, we'll tell you, the job seeker ...
to interpret KSAS and respond to them.
talk about ...
and bad KSA responses, as well as good and bad KSAs ... how to look beyond a
vague KSA to provide the answers that a ranking official wants to hear.
a hiring office expects and what they will accept and when you might be able to
stretch the rules a bit in your favor.
give you ...
examples of good KSA responses - and a few poor ones - for selected
positions. (Those looking for a more extensive list of examples may be
interested in The KSA Workbook companion publication, The
available as a set for only $22.95, you get::
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