John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, is planning to eliminate the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) essays during his term in order to make federal applications less cumbersome. (http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0310/031610p1.htm)
Even so, it is still important to demonstrate in your federal job application that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform a job. How do I recommend that you do that? Include the KSAs in your federal resume! In fact, vacancy announcements are already listing KSAs in the qualifications section with the note that the KSAs should be included in the text of the resume.
The best way to make your KSAs stand out in the federal resume is to use our recommended Outline Format Resume for USAJOBS and other online builders. The sample federal resume in this article, which is in USAJOBS format, includes the KSAs found in the vacancy announcement.
Recommend Format for KSAs in the Federal Resume
The Outline Format for your federal resume was first developed in 2000 when Department of Defense agencies introduced the Resumix system. The Resumix system is a keyword system and is still the resume format used today by Army, Navy, and Department of Defense agencies. The Outline Format features keywords that could be the search terms used by the human resources specialists and supervisors.
The KSAs can also be highlighted in the Outline Format by carefully selecting KSA keywords as the paragraph headers, then formatting these headers in ALL CAPS so that the information is very clear to the human resources specialist. The sample federal resume below clearly features the KSAs from Duties; Qualifications; and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities statements listed in the announcement.
Readability is Key to Success for KSAs in the Federal Resume
Federal resumes posted in USAJOBS are read by federal human resources specialists, not a machine or artificial intelligence system. Being able to easily find the KSAs in the federal resume will make it easier to determine that you are Best Qualified for a certain position. Using a limited amount of ALL CAPS in your USAJOBS or builder resume can help HR and the supervisor see your KSAs and specialized experience.