Bonneville Power Administration

http://www.bpa.gov

Link to BPA Home Page Skip Primary Navigation
Link to BPA Jobs Home Page
  BPA Home Triangle Bullet Point Jobs Triangle Bullet Point How To Apply Triangle Bullet Point What are KSAs?
This is a spacer graphic
This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point What happens to my Application?

This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point Forms

This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point GS Equivalency Chart


Adjust your View!


Addressing The Knowledge, Skills And Abilities (KSA's)



What are KSAs and why are they important?

KSAs are an important part of the recruitment process. Your application materials will also be reviewed against the KSAs listed below to determine your category rating: Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran’s preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.

As a candidate, you should address each KSA as thoroughly as possible, paying close attention to detail. Below you’ll find more information on what KSAs are and tips on how to address them.


    Knowledge
    A range of information or understanding, usually factual or procedural, gained through experience or association.

    Skill
    The proficient manual, verbal, or mental manipulation of data or things. It is desirable, quantifiable, and measurable; e.g., skill in typing, skill in operating a vehicle, skill in editing for transposed numbers.

    Ability
    The natural aptitude or acquired proficiency to perform an observable activity; e.g., ability to write reports, ability to analyze numerical data, ability to plan and organize work.


Do not ignore a KSA if you do not have the experience. Make maximum use of any related experience and training. Look outside of your professional work history for relevant experience. Not only list the actions you have taken, but also the results that are achieved.

How Should I Respond to a KSA?

Please describe your experience and thoroughly address the statements below within your resume, cover letter, and/or other supporting material you choose to submit. We must be able to determine that you possess the following KSAs. Clearly articulating your experience possessing this knowledge, performing these skills or demonstrating these abilities is critical to determining your qualifications for this position.

Accurately represent your experience.

Edit and proof read and proof read again. "Spell check" does not find everything; you may want to have another person review it. A professional application gives a positive impression to hiring managers. Therefore it is recommended that you make the effort to assure your application is neat, legible, error free, easy to read, and concise.


TIPS FOR RESPONDING TO KSA's (Click any of the following links for additional detailed information.)


How Should I Respond to a KSA? State your experience; give clear examples of how and in what environment you gained the experience. For example, if you developed a way to make a difficult task easier, explain what the difficulty was, what and how you researched a better way to handle the task, how you were able to resolve the problem, and state if any recommendations were adopted and by whom. While it is important that you give enough information in your narrative, try to be concise, and be sure you do not embellish the truth.

Limit each KSA response to no more than two pages. Add your name and announcement number to each page. Name and announcement number are helpful in case pages become detached. Also, if you are continuing to a second page, include the KSA title from the previous page.

Include concrete examples, dates, results, get to the point, and state specifically what you have done. Try not to borrow language from the position description. Refrain from giving generalized statements, such as "I have thorough knowledge of" or "familiarity with" or "considerable skill" since no assumptions can be made about your achievements. These phrases are non-specific and do not provide the reviewer with anything to measure. Write each KSA response as though the person reviewing it does not know you or the job you do.

Do not ignore a KSA if you do not have the experience. Make maximum use of any related experience and training. Look outside of your professional work history for relevant experience. Not only list the actions you have taken, but also the results that are achieved.

State only what you have accomplished, rather than philosophizing on how things should be.

It is recommended to include volunteer experience if it is relevant to the position you are applying for. In order to receive credit, remember to include volunteer experience, including dates and specifics of duties you performed. For example, volunteering as a basketball coach can demonstrate the ability to train and coordinate other's activities.

Be consistent between the application and your responses to your KSA's. For example: use of time frames, consistency of dates, type of work and duties performed.

Accurately represent your experience.

Use the old journalism jargon of demonstrating Who, What, Why, Where, When and How. Using this method of review will help you write a well written product.

Who was impacted by your actions and who was involved?
What was the outcome, repercussions, or changes resulting from your actions?
Why was it done?
Where did this occur, i.e., program wide versus local impact?
When did you perform the work?
How did you accomplish or perform the work? State the primary steps that you were directly involved with.

Edit and proof read and proof read again. "Spell check" does not find everything; you may want to have another person review it. A professional application gives a positive impression to hiring managers. Therefore it is recommended that you make the effort to assure your application is neat, legible, error free, easy to read, and concise.


Need help finding something? Send us a message, or give us a call at 800-622-4519.
NOTICE: This site is owned and operated by the Bonneville Power Administration, United States Department of Energy. Use of this system is monitored by system and Security personnel. Anyone using this system consents to MONITORING of this use by system or security personnel.

     Page last modified on Tuesday November 23, 2010.