Federal Resume and KSA – by Business Advisors Press

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This federal resume and KSA (Knowledge, Skills & Abilities) “how to” points out their critical components and how to create and use them to apply for federal government jobs.

Federal Resume and KSA   by Business Advisors Press


The objectives of your your resume and KSA are two fold: first, to satisfy the very specific requirements of the vacancy announcement; and second, to generate enough interest by key readers to compel them to call you for an interview. In order to achieve those objectives, the federal resume and KSA must be constructed with careful attention to detail, appropriate resume formatting, clear writing style, relevant experience content, and final checking and printing.


Creation a well-crafted federal resume and KSA will result in your obtaining timely interviews with hiring managers who are sincerely interested in learning more about how you can solve their problems.




Federal Resume and KSA How To #1 –
Basic Format Selection


You have a clear, fundamental choice to make before proceeding further: do you wish to utilize the government’s RESUMIX format, or do you wish to use a more commercial format. This choice may be made for you in the vacancy announcement you are responding to, or you may have the open option.


Check out this link for important basic federal job application information, including resume requirements. 


Federal Resume and KSA How To #2 –


If you elect to use the RESUMIX format for your resume, your primary concern is assembling information and plugging it into the places specified. There are a few basic guidelines:



  • Don’t use bold face, italic or special characters.
  • All data should remain flush with the left margin.
  • Employment history is in REVERSE chronological order (most recent job first).
  • Education history is in chronological order (oldest item first).


  • Professional training and awards are in REVERSE chronological order.

    The RESUMIX format template is widely available on-line. Here are a few guidelines to help you complete the template.

    SPECIAL SKILLS – include only those that are relevant to the jobs you are pursuing. This is also a good place to include details on any security clearance you have.

    EXPERIENCE – for the skill sets and accomplishments that you claim for each job, include as much objective, quantified information as you can come up with. Numbers are almost always more credible than subjective descriptions.

    FORMAT DETAIL – be extremely careful to provide all information in the precise form specified in the template. Take the time to research the details, if necessary.

    For your KSA, use the same basic guidelines. For your header, include your name and SSN. Then provide the vacancy announcement number and the job title with complete GS number.

    Then, present each KSA item individually. Use a separate page (with complete KSA header) for each one. Number them individually (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). Begin each one by repeating the exact language from the vacancy announcement. Then provide evidence of your meeting that specific KSA item, in paragraph form similar to the form you used in your RESUMIX resume. The same or similar evidence may be provided for multiple KSAs – each one stands alone. You may fill all or part of the page.

    When you have prepared a page for each KSA, and checked it thoroughly, this job is done.

    Federal Resume and KSA How To #3 –
    Commercial Format Resume Header and Type Font Selection

    If you elect to use a commercial format, you have a world of options. Select a header format that is substantial and easy to read. Begin with selecting the type font that you will carry through your federal resume and KSA. For most professional resumes, we recommend Times New Roman. For IT or engineering-related positions, you may wish to use Arial. Either of these can be found on the computers in any office, so on-line recipients or readers will encounter no surprises when they print or read your documents.

    Since the body of your federal resume and KSA will most likely be comprised of 11-point type (Times New Roman) or 10-point (Arial), your name should be somewhat larger, in bold face. If you hold an advanced degree or a professional designation that is both important and familiar in your field, consider using it with your name.

    Include full contact information in your federal resume header. Unless your street address is unusually long, spell out all words. Spell out all words in your city and state, too. Include home and work telephone numbers and your email address.

    Your KSA header should look like an abbreviated version of your resume header. It should contain only your name and social security number.

    That completes the headers for your commercial format federal resume and KSA.

    Federal Resume and KSA How To #4 –
    Resume Qualifications Summary

    The recipients of your federal resume and KSA may scarcely note the information in your header when they first receive your documents and begin to peruse them. Your first opportunity to generate real interest comes in the Qualifications Summary. The format for this opening information salvo may vary, but its purpose will not. Within a very few seconds, the reader must begin thinking about how you can satisfy the requirements of the open position.

    To promote this mental engagement, the Qualifications Summary begins with a crisp, informative opening that identifies you and your broadest qualifications. It then proceeds, in a few concise statements, to provide additional key qualification and skills information to provide a well-rounded description of who you are and what you can do. When this is completed properly, the hook is set in the reader, and he or she is compelled to continue reading. This is exactly what you want to happen. At that point, the Qualifications Summary has done its job.

    Federal Resume and KSA How To #5 –
    Professional Experience

    The professional experience section will comprise the larger part of most federal resumes. For each company or organization, beginning with the most recent, provide: job title, GS-#-grade, dates of employment, hours worked per week, annual or hourly salary, agency/company name, street address, city, state, zip, direct supervisor name, supervisor phone number, and “permission to contact” or “request permission to contact.”

    Following detailed job identification, a series of concise, carefully edited paragraphs or bullets is provided for each job. The series normally begins with something especially impressive and proceeds in a logical sequence. Each sentence or bullet begins with an action verb, the emphasis being on actions and achievements rather than a table of responsibilities.

    Don’t fail to “toot your own horn” in this section. If you are unaccustomed to taking full credit for your achievements, set that aside when you prepare your federal resume and KSA. Be resourceful and unabashed in digging up impressive statistics of any and every kind. Precision in the numbers is not critical, as long as your approximations are close enough to be verified by your references when they are queried. Don’t hold back!

    Repeat the above process as necessary to account for your most recent 10-15 years of experience. Unless there is something earlier that is especially novel or impressive, don’t go back much further than that. Hiring managers are unlikely to be interested. If they are, they will ask you. They certainly won’t disqualify you from further consideration because the information didn’t appear in your resume.

    For your KSA, you will use this same experience information to provide evidence that you possess each KSA element. KSA evidence is written in paragraph format. You may use the same or similar information to support multiple KSA elements, since each KSA stands alone. Provide a separate page for each KSA with a full KSA header. This preserves complete identification when the KSA pages are separated and dispersed for evaluation by different team members.

    Federal Resume and KSA How To #6 –

    For most professionals, the education content of their federal resume and KSA is an area of some interest for resume readers. The Education section, itself, is straightforward. Each degree is noted separately, the more recent one first. The name and location of the institution are noted on one line. The title of the degree, the major or concentration, and the year awarded are noted on the next line. If no degree was awarded, the number of credit hours is provided. Additional information may be provided, including GPA or other special recognitions. Include the same information for your high school education, replacing the degree title with “Diploma” or “GED.”

    For your KSA, some of your education credentials may be applicable.

    Federal Resume and KSA How To #7 –
    Professional Training

    The Professional Training section contains those training courses or certification programs that are relevant to your profession and the positions you are applying for. Include the name of the organization that provided the training, their city, state, number of classroom hours, dates and the name of the course or program.

    For your KSA, some of your professional training may be applicable.

    Federal Resume and KSA How To #8 –
    Technical Skills

    Resumes for IT, computers and software positions may contain a Technical Skills section. This provides a well-focused spot to display technical certifications and various computer-related skills areas, such as software applications, operating systems, networking, etc. For these high tech resumes, this section enhances the technical credibility of the material in the Professional Experience section.

    For your KSA, some of this information may be applicable.

    Federal Resume and KSA How To #9 –
    Final Document Preparation

    Otherwise outstanding federal resumes and KSAs can be ruined by careless or unprofessional final document preparation. This includes inadequate checking for spelling and grammatical errors, distracting formatting or style glitches, the cheap appearance of unsubstantial or colored paper, or poor print quality. Final professional resume and cover letters documents should look sharp and feel substantial. This professional look and feel comes only with scrupulous editing and laser printing on 24# watermarked white or ivory paper. Nothing less will do.

    Federal Resume and KSA How To #10 –
    Professional Help

    A professional federal resume and KSA provide an invaluable opportunity to make a favorable first impression on targeted agencies and organizations. Obtaining appropriate professional resume and KSA preparation assistance should be considered. Federal resume and KSA preparation is an extremely poor place for pride of authorship or false economy.

    Business Advisors Press is ready and fully qualified to work with you to meet your federal resume and KSA needs. And your complete satisfaction is always guaranteed. Most of our business in North America comes from prior client referrals. There is a good reason for that.