(A Companion to The KSA Workbook)
is another one of our "best-selling" publications.
Now expanded to more than 70 examples of
job-winning KSA responses
we introduced the first edition of The KSA Sampler, the
federal government was rethinking the whole approach to federal hiring. Many of the old-fashioned, tedious ways of applying for federal jobs were being
discarded while the number of available openings was declining in the name of
"downsizing." As a result, individuals needed to sharpen their
job-hunting skills if they were to succeed, and they found The KSA Sampler
to be a valuable tool in helping them be competitive.
The KSA Sampler Came to Be
federal hunters quickly realize that proficiency in responding to a position's
KSAs is vital to their job hunting success. They are not sure how to do
it. For this reason, Federal Research Service first published The
KSA Workbook aimed at helping applicants present their experience
and accomplishments in ways that earn the most favorable attention. Through descriptions and examples, the Workbook showed job hunters
how to interpret and use information distributed throughout a vacancy
announcement to maximize the impact of their KSA responses.
its publication, the Workbook has been enthusiastically received
by federal job hunters, but with one request: they wanted more examples of
KSA responses. This demand led to the introduction of The KSA
Sampler. In compiling this book, we reviewed hundreds of vacancy
announcements that we see every week and selected a sample that represent a
range of occupations and responses that meet the guidelines developed in The
researching these books, we talked to a number of federal human resources
specialists about what they think makes a strong or weak KSA response. In
some cases, applicants are encouraged to work within a framework when drafting
human resources specialists that we talked to were virtually unanimous about one
point: The applicant must provide examples and they have to be
specific! They cannot get away with mere declarations of their
capabilities: "Yes, I can do this" or "Yes, I am completely
familiar with all aspects of that program." Such vague statements
just won't fly!
To Use The KSA Sampler
guidelines and structured formats are useful tools for developing KSA
statements, many job hunters prefer to have such advice illustrated. In The
KSA Sampler, we concentrate on examples although we do provide two
formats on the last page for your use. In this workbook, you'll find
numerous ways that qualified candidates might respond to the identified KSAs for
a range of occupations and grades. While the vacancies and the KSAs are
drawn from actual, now outdated vacancy announcements, the responses are
fictional and not intended to describe a current job hunter. Their value
is in showing how unique experience and accomplishments can be presented in ways
that best respond to a job's specific requirements.
let yourself get hung up on a specific occupational series that we use in our
examples. Instead review the KSAs themselves and identify those that,
with the substitution of a few keywords, are similar to KSAs you encounter when
applying for federal jobs. As we discuss in The KSA Sampler many
KSAs are very general with regard to subject matter. In reviewing the
suggested responses, focus your attention not on what the
applicant said but on how he or she said it.
discovered that some of our readers were scanning the list of GS series used in
our examples to search for their own occupation. If they didn't find it,
some people concluded the book couldn't help them.
that's not the way The KSA Sampler works. Whether or not
your occupational series is included, the value of the KSA responses is not in
the occupational area but in the way your present your knowledges, skills and
abilities to meet broadly similar, yet specific requirements. For
instance, it's not only a social worker who must possess "the ability to
identify and obtain resources and/or services needed to assist
others." It's not just a human resources specialist who faces the
requirement of "skill in written and oral communication." Workers in many occupations, not just EEO specialists, need to show an ability
"to work with management officials to develop policy and guidelines."
don't cheat yourself by purchasing this book and flipping through it to find
your occupations. The library of samplers it includes is designed to help
you find the best way to respond with your background to the KSAS you
personally face. This workbook will help you familiarize yourself
with various approaches to responding to KSAs and to focus on what works best
for you with your unique set of skills and interests.
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