A Reader Asks: Is there a Difference between a Federal KSA and KSAO

August 28, 2007 – 11:27 am

Q.  Is there a difference between a Federal KSA and KSAO?A.  Frequently the terms Federal KSA and KSAO are interchanged and both refer to the knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics.  KSAs are sometimes referred to more specifically as KSAOs.  A KSAO outlines the attributes that are necessary to perform a specific federal job function and you demonstrate these abilities through training, experience and education.K – Knowledge refers to the factual knowledge you have that when applied makes for adequate job performance.S – Skills are the manipulation of people, things and data through verbal, manual or mental efforts.A – Abilities are your capacity to perform a mental or physical activity at the present time.O – Other characteristics include physical or mental characteristics that do not come under the other categories but apply to the position you are seeking.Often the terms, specifications and requirements of applying for a desirable federal position can be confusing and frustrating.  However, it is essential to follow the guidelines specifically to be considered for a federal job in a competitive arena.  Hiring a professional resume writer to prepare your resume and KSA or KSAO is a solid investment in your future.  A professional resume writer is familiar with federal requirements and knows how to make your resume and KSAO compliant and attention-grabbing, which could mean the difference between getting your dream federal job and continuing to pound the pavement looking for it.

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