Understanding the Difference Between KSA and ECQ in the Federal Job Application

May 18, 2007 – 8:42 am

Most people don’t know the difference between a KSA and an ECQ in the Federal job application process.  KSA’s are required when applying for most federal jobs. Used in conjunction with your Federal resume they allow the hiring manager to evaluate your knowledge, skills and abilities for the job you are applying for. Generally three, four or five KSA statements will accompany a job vacancy announcement.  The statements may be of a general or of a specific nature, and a good KSA statement answer will point to specific examples of situations in the applicant’s professional past when he or she performed in a manner that would lend credibility to their ability to perform the job applied for.ECQs are for Senior Executive Service and accompany the SES resume for senior level government service, that which is management level but just below that which requires a Presidential appointment.  According to the Federal government, the Executive Core Qualifications “define the competencies and characteristics needed to build a federal corporate culture that drives for results, serves customers, and builds successful teams and coalitions within and outside the organization.The Executive Core Qualifications are required for entry to the Senior Executive Service and are used by many departments and agencies in selection, performance management, and leadership development for management and executive positions.” Each of the five standard questions and answers will be one to one-and-a-half pages long, and will allow the applicant to highlight experience attained through use of examples.Like other parts of the Federal application process, the use of a professional Federal resume writer will greatly increase your chances of success.

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