Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Format and Form

Ardelle - This is copyrighted material and needs to be revised or permission obtained - only if you like the idea - RICH

KSA is Human Resources (HR) shorthand for Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. These attributes can be used to describe an individual, a position, or both.

Context, Challenge, Action, Result (CCAR) 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 KSA can serve as an guideline for your resume. You will still need to edit your KSA to make it read in an interesting and fluid way.

Tips for KSAs and Resumes

Use the first person.”I” in your KSA.

Use past tense except in your current position and use strong verbs.

Do not use your proper name or refer to yourself in the third person (she / he.)

Write using Plain English, as though you are talking to the person who is reading your KSA. Your examples should be about what YOU did.

Keep sentences short—less than 30 words. Never more than four or five sentences in a paragraph. Use plain text—do not emphasize word using bold, italics, or “quotation marks.”

Never use passive voice. “The paper that was accepted by the Program Manager was written by me.” Use active voice. “I wrote the paper that the Program Manager accepted.”

Read you KSA out loud to hear if flows well and is interesting to the reader. Run grammar checker (set to check both grammar and style) and spell checker.

Include Relevant Awards - did you get an award for this example? If so, that should be part of your results.

Include Specialized Training - what training do you have that supports this KSA?

Your Email:

Ardelle Job Title and Code

* Candidate (your name):

Social Security Number

KSA 1: Write the job description in the announcement.

Introductory Paragraph—summarizing your experience which supports this KSA. Use the language of the KSA.

Example 1.

Context: Your title and office and dates where you demonstrated the particular knowledge, skill or ability.

Challenge: What was the challenge? Be sure to relate the challenge to the particular KSA. Was it the first time this had been done? Were there very tight deadlines? Was there a shortage of staff?

Action: What specific action did you take to address the challenge? Emphasis anything that demonstrates saving time or money. Show what you did, for whom, when, why.

Results: What happened? (quantify with numbers if possible) Was the problem solved? Did you save money? Did you save time—how much?

Did your supervisor or customers make positive comments to you? Is there a performance evaluation comment which discusses your success?

Relevant Awards or Honors:

Name of Award:



Reason for Award:

Quotation from Supervisor or Others Supporting this KSA:

Statement or Quote:

Specialized Training to specific work experience, how did you increase your knowledge, skill or ability?

Relevant Training Courses or Degrees:


  • Hot Jobs

Ardelle Associates has an immediate requirement for the following positions:

  1. Administrative Assistant
  2. Attorneys (Multiple Openings)
  3. Newspaper Copy Editor
  4. Executive Administrative Assistant
  5. Newspaper Pre-Press Technician


    You can submit your resume right on the job description.