KSA Builder


KSA Builder

Welcome to our KSA Builder with the CCAR!

KSA stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. You will need to demonstrate your KSAs in your federal application in the resume, questionnaires, and even the interview. KSAs may also be called Supplemental Qualifications, Evaluation Factors, Quality Ranking Factors, Mandatory Technical Factors and other similar variations.

A popular and approved format for writing KSAs is CCAR, which stands for Context, Challenge, Action, Result (CCAR). This model is recommended by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Federal personnel officers and hiring managers want to read specific examples that demonstrate your knowledge, skill or ability. Remember, a good KSA tells your story in an interesting and compelling way.

The CCAR Model

  • Context – title of your job or role you are playing in this example; the context sets the stage for your story.
  • Challenge – what was the challenge of this example or project? Why is this a good example for this particular KSA?
  • Action – what were your specific actions in this case? How do they show your mastery of this specific KSA?
  • Results – what happened? Again, how does this relate to the specific KSA?

Use this builder to help you create an outline for your KSA stories. Then, you can edit your KSA to make it read in an interesting and fluid way.

* indicates a required field.

Knowledge, Skill or Ability

Optional Introductory Paragraph


Please fill in the following fields to give the human resources staff examples of your experience which supports this particular KSA. You will see a new format for writing KSAs called the CCAR Model, "Context, Challenge, Action, Results." The federal personnel officers and hiring managers would like to read examples that demonstrate your knowledge, skill or ability. If you have trouble determining the Challenge, skip that section and write the Actions. You can go back to the Challenge later. Or, if necessary, skip it. Be sure to include RESULTS if you can.




What specific action(s) did you take to address the challenge? Did you research something? Did you answer difficult questions before a hostile audience? Did you figure out how to do more with less?


Relevant Awards or Honors

Supervisor or Other Quote Supporting this KSA

In Addition

In addition to your specific work experience, did you also take training that relates to the particular knowledge, skill or ability?

Congratulations, you have just completed a 1st draft of ONE of your KSA Statements!

What’s next?

Your KSA content will be sent by email to the address you gave in the "Email Address" text box.

Copy and paste the content into your favorite word processing format. Now that you have the basic input for your KSA, you must now edit it so that it reads like a good essay. Make sure that you use the word "I" in your KSA; your example should be about what YOU did.

Double check to make sure that your KSA flows well and is interesting to the reader. Don't forget to review your KSA for grammatical or spelling errors! You do not want to undercut all your experience by having a document which does not look professional!

Edit, spell check and format the KSA so that it looks like the sample given.

Need more help?

If you would like an estimate for editing, writing and focusing your KSAs, contact us for a free estimate for professional services. Tell us your deadline!

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