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How To Qualify For Government Jobs


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Understanding the importance of writing KSAs for federal employment is essential and will be the difference between success and failure. Do you want a job with the Federal Government? It is a great place to start a career and the government offers a wide variety of jobs from entry level to professional and executive level employment.

These are those unique requirements that the specific hiring agency wants in the candidate they select to fill that specific job. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities are a special list of qualification and personal attributes that are required for a particular job.

How well an applicant can demonstrate that he or she possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities in their specific KSAs will determine whether they are seriously considered for that job.

A good rule of thumb is they will ALWAYS be a requirement. Whether they call them KSAs or narrative responses or short statements, you can rest assured these are KSAs and should be written accordingly. Some job seekers or applicants, especially those looking for their first federal job, are not sure when and where KSAs might apply to them.

Federal agencies will generally emphasize the most critical elements or aspects of a job by assigning relative weights to each KSA. Some will designate KSAs as either Mandatory, Desirable, or Highly Desirable.

As the job applicant you will want to focus the most effort on the more heavily weighted KSAs and be sure to address each KSA specifically required on the list. If the vacancy announcement makes no distinctions between the various KSA requirements for the job the applicant should assume that all are equally important and address each one with emphasis and detail.

Some rules to follow when you are developing your KSAs would include reading the vacancy announcement very carefully. Here is where many applicants fall short and their application package ends up not even being considered.

One of the best ways to ensure you include everything is to print out the announcement and check off the items as you complete them for inclusion in the entire package. You must ensure that you include everything the vacancy announcement requires.

Be sure to gather all the information you need before you begin writing and be very specific about your skills, expertise, and experience. Site real examples and quantify with verifiable results driven examples. If you saved money by developing a new process or tracking mechanism, state specifically how much. Be precise and use lots of examples.

By spending quality time understanding what the requirements are for both the elements contained within your application package and developing your KSAs, the results you achieve will be considerable in getting you placed on the all important best qualified list referred to the selecting official.
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