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  • Federal KSA's

    I am in the process now of applying for a few different federal positions and have yet to fill out a KSA as I traditionally understood them.

    I had to answer a few questions rating my experience in different areas but no free responses.

    Is this normal? or am I missing something?

  • #2
    Nope.

    OPM has revamped the process a bit. While you may still run into cases where you are doing "KSA's" it will be a far cry from the old days.

    What you need to focus on is an accurate resume that captures the critical elements of the job. No, not by cutting and pasting the vacancy announcement or a PD from a similar job into USAJobs, but by being familiar with the position itself and being able to articulate your duties and accomplishments into a cogent application.

    Pay close attention to critical/mandatory factors. If you don't have them, you don't have them and will not be selected.

    Now onto assessment questions, which replaced KSA's. These assess your function and depth of key elements of a job as developed by HR. Typically you will select one of several self assessment marks (no experience, education but no experience, some experience, a lot of experience, or the worlds wonder at doing X) for those critical points. Some will say if you select a lot or better that you will need to cite specific examples; here is where you expound on them, but don't just say see my resume. Read the instructions and do as directed.

    And remember, your resume must reflect your self assessment. This is again where articulation and a grasp of the position you are applying to is key. While your current/past experience may seem to match, this isn't always the case with similar jobs that have unique requirements.

    Best advice- read the announcement several times over before you click apply now. Pay close attention to those pesky things like "who may apply", "required documents", "closing date", "tenure status" and as noted, selective and mandatory factors.
    Originally posted by SSD
    It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
    Originally posted by Iowa #1603
    And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by sgt jon View Post
      Nope.

      OPM has revamped the process a bit. While you may still run into cases where you are doing "KSA's" it will be a far cry from the old days.

      What you need to focus on is an accurate resume that captures the critical elements of the job. No, not by cutting and pasting the vacancy announcement or a PD from a similar job into USAJobs, but by being familiar with the position itself and being able to articulate your duties and accomplishments into a cogent application.

      Pay close attention to critical/mandatory factors. If you don't have them, you don't have them and will not be selected.

      Now onto assessment questions, which replaced KSA's. These assess your function and depth of key elements of a job as developed by HR. Typically you will select one of several self assessment marks (no experience, education but no experience, some experience, a lot of experience, or the worlds wonder at doing X) for those critical points. Some will say if you select a lot or better that you will need to cite specific examples; here is where you expound on them, but don't just say see my resume. Read the instructions and do as directed.

      And remember, your resume must reflect your self assessment. This is again where articulation and a grasp of the position you are applying to is key. While your current/past experience may seem to match, this isn't always the case with similar jobs that have unique requirements.

      Best advice- read the announcement several times over before you click apply now. Pay close attention to those pesky things like "who may apply", "required documents", "closing date", "tenure status" and as noted, selective and mandatory factors.
      +1.

      Also, keep in mind that many of those newer assessment questions are basically shortened KSA's - meaning that you need to address them the same way. Look at whatever critical element the question is highlighting, and then find - in your own background and experience - where you meet that element. Provide the example.

      Personally, I think the idea of a "KSA" scared the crap out of too many people, so they simply retooled them and decided to call them something else (like the SF-171 used to do, so they came up with the OF-612...for anyone old enough to know what I'm talking about ).

      But I think the key is to address the questions in the same manner as you would have done with a KSA - with as many comparable examples from your own experience as possible.
      "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

      Comment

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