What Is KSA: Definition and Overview of KSA Narrative Statement

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Upon applying for a federal job, you will be asked to provide KSA responses. In layman’s words, KSAs are tools that employers use to filter out applicants for a certain job. On your part as a job seeker, KSAs should serve as a way to expound on your experience that the resume may not be able to tell. Now, let us know more about what a KSA narrative statement is and how you can make great write-ups.

What is KSA?

KSA stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities, which is a series of narrative statements that describes your skills relevant for a position. KSA writing allows you to tell an employer your qualifications that aren’t included in your resume. It should reveal the level of knowledge, skills, and abilities you have and will draw on to perform the job. That way, recruiters will have the chance to further assess you and the other applicants to pick the best one who fits the post.

Knowledge refers to the organized body of information applied to perform a certain function. This is something you have learned in school or from your experience.

Skills deal with the skillful handling of data, things, or people whether by verbal, mental, or manual means.

Abilities, meanwhile, are special talents that show one’s capacity to do a physical or mental task at the present time.

In most cases, job posts will tell you how long your KSA narrative statement should be. Unless otherwise stated, you can prepare one page for each KSA. Make sure that you write your story in details and fill up each page with only relevant facts.

Alt-Text: A Man Searching The Net On How To Write A Good Ksa Narrative Statement.

What is a good KSA narrative statement?

Good KSA answers include your special skills and abilities that are fit for the job you’re applying for. Since the purpose of KSAs is to know the traits that will set you apart from other candidates, this will determine whether you’ll be considered for the job.

How to Write KSA Responses

One should observe some basic rules in writing KSA statements. Here are some that you should not miss out!


  • Use action words on your statements.
  • Expound on all your paid and volunteer experiences as long as they are relevant.
  • Write in first person.
  • Be logical in answering or responding for each KSA statement.
  • Describe and highlight the key points relevant to the KSAs.


  • Exaggerate or lie in your KSA answers—keep them simple yet meaningful.
  • Use bullet points when giving a response.
  • Copy words or content from past position descriptions.
  • Plagiarize or use the works of other people.
  • Mention facts that they’re not asking for.

KSA responses are a great way to show what you can offer as you go beyond the details written on your resume. So, do rush yourself when preparing it.

What is a KSA narrative statement that best suits you? Check out our KSA resume samples. If you need help writing your KSA resume, we have professional resume writing services that can get you the job within months.

Photo courtesy: Pexels

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