KSA Writing

KSA stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. KSA statements are often required for federal job applications.


Knowledge statements – reflect a body of information that, when applied, enables you to perform the work successfully. The information is typically factual or specific to the industry.

Skill statements – describe your competency in a certain area (such as technical skills, people skills, or problem solving skills).

Ability statements – demonstrate your power to perform a given task or activity by applying your knowledge and skills.

KSA statements are judged on how they match the requirements for the position.
These statements should be created to reflect your relevant job qualifications in the best light. Writing KSA statements might at first seem overwhelming. Break the process down into several steps.

1. Start by reviewing the job description and qualifications. The job resume instructions can help you create high scoring KSA statements. They explain how to use keywords and terms in an employer’s job announcement or advertisement to create KSA statements.

2. Make a list of the knowledge, skills, and abilities in the employer’s ad or posting that you possess.

3. Write a statement (a page or two) about a time when you used your specific knowledge, skills, or abilities to complete a work assignment, solve a work related problem, help your boss or a coworker, contribute to a team or project, increase productivity, or make a suggestion that was implemented.

Think of this as a short story:

  1. Start by describing the situation or problem.
  2. Be detailed about the time and employer. State what you did and the relevant knowledge, skills, or abilities that you used. State if you went  beyond what was expected of you – for instance by working overtime or volunteering to help with a project. (Remember you are selling yourself.)
  3. Be clear about the results and how your contribution benefited your employer. Quantify your results as much as possible – this means say how your act could be measured: for example saving an amount of time or sum of money.

The Resume Dictionary will help you build a resume with strong KSA statements. You will find power words and phrases for powerful KSA statements.

When possible have someone you know review your KSA statement and offer advice. Also have someone proofread your statements before submission.

If you spot errors or mistakes in the Resume Dictionary
please Contact Us and tell us where so we can make corrections.