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Four Steps to Writing Responses to Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

Four Steps to Writing Responses to Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

Center for Disease Control

Step 2. Review very thoroughly all the experiences you have had and look for things that relate to the individual KSAs.

This step is really a “brainstorming” session. You need to review your experiences and find things that relate to the KSAs.

Let us say the KSA that you are writing about is the ability to communicate orally. You need to think about all of the times when you use oral communication skills.

Examples: While you were a File Clerk you instructed other clerks on new filing procedures; as a Management Analyst you had to present recommendations on workflow procedures to members of top staff.

Also, consider relevant education, training and self-development activities, and any awards received.

Examples: A training program in effective briefing techniques that you completed or an award you received that relates to your ability to communicate orally.

Do not forget experiences you have had in non-work related areas (volunteer activities) or in school related activities.

Examples: While you were a Cub Scout Leader you acted as the Chairperson for a fund raising activity; while a student you were a student council representative.

These experiences are just as valid as work-related examples as long as they are relevant to the KSA about which you are writing.

Try reviewing your experience in order from the earliest experience to the most recent experience so as not to miss any job or experience that is relevant to the KSA. You should review your total experience both paid and volunteer, and training for each KSA and look for situations that apply to the particular KSA. This is because experience that you have in one job or one area may apply to more than one KSA.

Example: The KSA Ability to meet and deal with members of the general public and the KSA Ability to coordinate the activities of a subordinate staff- both involve skill in oral communications.

Do not worry about being repetitious in writing KSA responses. Each KSA is rated separately by the subject matter expert (SME)/promotion panel and as long as the information you give is relevant, it does not matter if you have used it already in another KSA.

To help you with this step we have attached a chart showing one method you can use to organize your thinking when you begin to review your experience.


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