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

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.


Ready for the Federal Big Leagues? Consider the SES Candidate Development Program

Are you ready for a position with the Federal big league? Consider a Senior Executive (SES) Federal Candidate Development program to help you to become one of the best leaders in the Federal Government.According to President George W. Bush, “We must have a Government that thinks differently, so we need to recruit talented and imaginative people to public service.” The SES Federal Candidate Development Program helps Federal agencies meet their succession planning goals and contributes to high quality SES leadership. The model used to develop candidates include feedback intensive and monitoring components to exposed candidates to be the finest leaders in the Federal Government. Read the rest of this entry »


Interviewing with the US Federal Governemnt: Understanding the INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW

You will encounter two types of interviews during your search for a coveted federal position – the informational interview and the employment interview. The informational interview is an outstanding networking tool to explore job opportunities with the government and can help to you get an employment interview in the competitive job market.To get an informational interview, call area agencies and ask to speak with a supervisor in your specialty or Human Resources about government careers. When you talk abut possible positions, ask if the individual would be willing to spend fifteen minutes discussing federal career paths with their agency in person. If you are granted an Read the rest of this entry »


Excepted Service

Excepted service is a special authority used by the federal government, which allows agencies to use a streamlined hiring process rather than hiring through the traditional competitive process. This authority allows agencies to help meet an unusual or special hiring need. Agencies can use this authority to individuals with backgrounds in highly needed or hard to recruit areas of government, like attorneys, chaplains, medical doctors, etc., because for these types of jobs it is often impractical to use standard qualification requirements in order to rate applicant using a traditional competitive process. Read the rest of this entry »


The Federal Job Posting is Critical to Creating a Powerful Resume and KSA

It is critical to consider the Federal job posting to create a truly powerful resume and Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) in a competitive job market.  In order to make your resume and KSA stand out from the rest, you need to follow the guidelines for submission and consider other major details.For example, using certain keywords can get your resume and KSA noticed over a sea of other applicants.  Keywords that describe your abilities in one or two words are powerful and grab attention.  Look at the “skills”, “requirements” or “qualifications” sections of federal job postings to see what the buzz words may be and use them in your resume and KSA to describe your abilities and how they relate to the position you are applying for.It is important to be concise and get right to the point about what you have to offer in your resume and KSA.  The busy federal employer should be able to pick up your finer qualities in ten to fifteen seconds and be drawn in by what you have to offer the position.  Answer the question at hand, highlight your accomplishments and use numbers to prove  your abilities to produce results.Because your resume and KSA are your key to getting a coveted Federal position, hiring a professional resume writer is a solid investment in your future.  A professional resume writer is familiar with Federal resume and KSA specifications and will give your application the polish it needs to grab attention over a plethora of other applicants.


Keywords are the Secret Key to Federal Employment When Writing your KSA

In your Federal resume and Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA), it is essential to use certain keywords to gain attention over the many other applicants for the position. The use of the right keywords can get your resume and KSA noticed by a Federal employer over a sea of other applicants for the same position.Because the Federal government offers secure employment with great benefits, many people apply for the posted positions. Following guidelines and using keywords when submitting your resume may mean the difference between getting an interview for a coveted Federal position or having your application dismissed. Read the rest of this entry »


Competitive Service

There are two main ways to enter the federal civil service—through an excepted service appointment or through a competitive process. Regardless of whether you are applying for an excepted or competitive position, what is important to recognize is that it is typical for hundreds and even thousands of individuals to apply to any one position, so take care in reading the details of the application and make sure you are addressing everything that is asked for.Competitive Civil ServiceCompetitive civil service jobs are filled according to a merit system where the best qualified candidates are chosen based on an application and interview process. Managers can hire a current federal employee (promotion or transfer) or may choose to hire someone from outside the federal government.Non-Competitive StatusIndividuals who have committed to serving the country through certain programs are eligible, upon completion of the program, to be non-competitively appointed to a position in the federal government (i.e., they do not have to go through the regular competitive hiring civil service hiring process).* AmeriCorps*VISTA members must serve one year in order to be eligible for non-competitive status link* PeaceCorps volunteers must first commit two years to the Peace Corps before receiving non-competitive status linkEligibility for non-competitive status is for a one-year period following their departure from the program. In some cases, that eligibility can be extended for up to two additional years if the person first goes into the military or an institution of higher learning after leaving the Peace Corps or VISTA.


Federal Resume Writer: Better Odds of Landing that Coveted Federal Government Job

Are you trying to secure a coveted federal government position in a competitive job market? Does reviewing all the requirements and specifications for applying for federal employment make you confused and give you a headache? Don’t despair and walk away from the prospect of a desirable federal position because of the complicated submission requirements when you can hire a professional resume writer to help you out.A professional resume writer is familiar with the unique specifications for successfully applying for federal employment. In order to be considered for a federal job, you need to follow direction for applying carefully or your resume will be overlooked. A professional resume writer will properly structure your Federal resume and application so you get top Read the rest of this entry »


KSA Factors

KSAs—an acronym for Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities—are a set of questions to help determine if you are a good fit for a job, based on (you guessed it!) your combined set of job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities.Vacancy announcements list the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities an agency wants to see in a candidate. In your application you need to describe in writing how your experiences match the desired KSA factors. KSAs are very important to federal employers—how far you get in the application process will likely be determined by your ability to convincingly address these factors. Be sure to include as much information as you can that responds to each KSA factor, even if that information is already included on your federal resume.Isn’t My Resume Enough?A resume is an important component of the job application process, but addressing the KSAs listed in a federal job opening gives you an extra chance to draw attention to your strengths and expand upon the specific factors the agency is looking for. Don’t exclude anything from your KSA responses just because it is on your resume.Decoding KSAs Read the rest of this entry »


Career Tranistion in the Federal Government: What You Should Know

Are you making a career transition in the federal government? Consider what you should know as you make this important career transition.Employees may become separate from federal employment because of a reduction in force (RIF) or a compensable injury. The reemployment priority list (RPL) is the mechanism used by federal agencies to offer reemployment consideration from such separated employees. When vacancies are being filled, the RPL gives registrants consideration over certain outside applicants for a federal position and RPL candidates may even be considered before internal candidates for a coveted federal job opening. Read the rest of this entry »