Knowledge, Skills & Abilities Statements

KSA Samples

Federal Employee's Career Development Center

The following samples describe how to compile your KSAs for your IDP plan so that you can target specific occupations. The Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are what you need to meet the qualifications for desired targeted occupations.

 Sample KSAs

Sample KSAs for Administrative Officer Position

Job Title: Administrative Officer, GS-341-05/11
Announcement Number: 16-ADP-156
Applicant’s Name: John Smith

KSA #1 Demonstrated ability to organize and coordinate work within schedule constraints and handle emergent requirements in a timely manner.

I performed the following duties in my current position (Block A):

  • Managed the office suspense lists for supervisors. Transcribed meeting minutes and compiled action item lists, annotated due dates and assigned action items to the responsible party. Sent reminders, updated suspense file, and reported accomplishments to the office manager weekly.
  • Planned and coordinated two annual shareholders meetings for over 700 stock owners, key management and staff. Drafted the itinerary, set up the registration booth, arranged for morning breakout sessions, planned lunch and the shareholders meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Also, staffed the share-holders’ information booth after the meeting.

Award: Received an award for exemplary service for planning and organizing the 2014 division meeting, copy attached.

  • Required to frequently complete short notice work assignments including reports, transcribing meeting minutes, and payroll accounting tasks. I am the chief head-quarters payroll clerk and I provide backup to 12 field offices. If any of the field office clerks or supervisors are not available, I complete their payroll reports prior to the cutoff time.
  • Responsible for notifying management of pending funding shortfalls and providing justification for additional fund requests. I analyzed budget re-ports for trends, calculated spend rates and recommended reallocation of funds to satisfy pending or potential shortages.


  1. Certificate: 24-hour Meeting Preparation and Planning seminar, March 1999
  2.  40-hour Time Management Course, RMC Services, April 2001

Job Title: Administrative Officer, GS-341-05/11
Announcement Number: 02-ADP-156
Applicant’s Name: John Smith

KSA#2 Demonstrated ability to monitor important and complex projects concurrently.

Performed these duties in my present position from 1/1/99 to the present (Block A):

  •  Budget analyst duties — Trend tracking, monitor and control of the office’s annual budget of $350,000. Performed budget data entry, compiled reports, tracked trends, anticipated fund shortages in various program areas and drafted requests for additional funds for management’s signature. Audited program areas to ensure fund expenditures were justified and properly classified.
  • Payroll chief clerk — Ensured timely submission of all payroll data before the cutoff date each pay period, entered amendments, and researched pay problems for 37 employees. I advised management of problems and notified them when to review and approve the attendance for each pay period.

Training: 80-hour Peachtree accounting software class, by Peachtree, January 2011.

Performed the following duties in my previous position as Administrative Officer, GS-0341-7, with the USDA from 10/4/96 to 12/31/98 (Block B):

  •  Organizational Charts & Staffing — Processed revisions to and generated complex organizational charts based on input from the management team. Reviewed proposed changes to ensure they conformed to authorized levels and that positions were properly classified. Concurrently, prepared and tracked personnel actions for 124 employees and provided support in various program areas including payroll, benefits, staffing, and budget areas.
  • Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP) Specialist — Conducted annual (OWCP) seminars for managers and supervisors. Seminars included guidance on procedures, claims processing and posted accident interventions. Provided guidance to immediate supervisors of injured employees and maintained the OSHA 200 log for all accidents.
    Award: Cash award, June 2003, for managing the OWCP program, copy attached.

Training: 60 hours Position Management and Position Classification Course, 012-V-933, Graduate School, USDA, Washington, D.C., June 1997.

Job Title: Administrative Officer, GS-341-05/11
Announcement Number: 02-ADP-156
Applicant’s Name: John Smith

KSA #3 Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Lotus Notes/other e-mail software.

Performed these duties in my present position from 1/1/99 to the present (Block A):

  •  Proficient in Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Lotus Notes for office e-mail. Developed a 34 page PowerPoint presentation for our CEO to use at the 2002 annual stockholders meeting in Memphis. The presentation received rave reviews and I was asked to develop presentations for other meetings. Worked closely with ac-counting to compile the data and then integrated it into a visual presentation. I use WORD for all office correspondence.
  • Conducted Microsoft Word and Excel mini-training sessions for those less proficient in the office. Typically sessions ran one to two hours in length. Attended various soft-ware system seminars including Microsoft Office, Peachtree Accounting, and our new Lotus Notes e-mail program.

Volunteer Work: Performed these duties while working as a volunteer for United Way over past six years. Approximately 12 hours a week. (Block E):

  •  Developed our chapter’s Web site (https://www.HELPUnited.org) using Microsoft FrontPage 2002. I consider myself very proficient in Web site development and I learned FrontPage through self study and experimentation. This Web site consists of 48 pages and two databases and we use a secure server for confidential assistance requests. I’m the Webmaster. Contact the United Way chairperson, Ms. Mary Jones, for verification at 890-123-4567.

Performed the following duties in my previous position as Administrative Officer, GS-0341-7, with the USDA from 10/4/96 to 12/31/98 (Block B):

  • Proficient in VISO. I used VISO to generate ORG Charts while at the USDA.
  • Proficient in several payroll & T&A software systems including IPPS, the USDA’s Integrated Personnel and Pay System.

Training Certificates: 24-hour VISO software course and a 16-hour IPPS software course, both completed at our regional office, May 2015.

Job Title: Administrative Officer, GS-341-05/11
Announcement Number: 02-ADP-156
Applicant’s Name: John Smith

KSA #4 Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing, to include writing and preparing memorandums, letters, and other official correspondence.

Performed these duties in my present position from 1/1/2005 to the present (Block A):

  • Written Guidance — Developed Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for pro-gram areas including payroll administration, office suspense tracking, monitor and control, and general office procedures. Adopted by the regional office for use throughout the organization, samples attached. I also wrote numerous internal memorandums within my program areas that provided direction for specific functions and clarified company policy issues.I also prepare transmittal forms for project files, letters to share holders, fax cover letters, e-mail messages to team leads and customers, flip charts for meetings, PowerPoint presentations, proof and edit management draft correspondence, and prepare replies to organizational reports.
  •  Oral Communications — In current capacity I teach office software to small groups, brief management team of progress at meetings, give presentations at interoffice meetings and to small groups of shareholders.

Volunteer Work

I speak at various fund raisers for our local United Way and prepare written presentations to our work group and chairperson. I organized and hosted a dozen fund raisers since 2009. Contact the United Way chairperson, Ms. Mary Jones, for verification at 890-123-4567.

Education: Completed 12 semester hours, 3 courses in communications, at Duke University in 2016; Report Writing, Communications I and Writing Techniques.


  1. Competent Toastmaster. Joined Toastmasters International in 2014. Obtained Competent Toastmaster status in 2016. Chapter president, Dan McCormick, 321-654-0987. Certificate attached.
  2.  Certificate. Constructive Communications with the Public, USDA Course number 01501, June 2006. Interpersonal Communications, seminar 2011, sponsored by OPM.

Next Step: Write Your IDP

KSA Checklist

Use this list to ensure that you have included key information. It’s important to consider these areas when drafting your KSA statements. When you first start to draft your KSAs, don’t worry about the specifics such as exact dates, contact information, etc. You can add that later. It is best to simply write down anything and everything, even the least significant events. After you get it all down then add specifics and put them in logical sequence. Review and rewrite your KSAs at least three times, and more if needed. Let your draft sit overnight and review it again the next day. You will be surprised at what you left out on the first draft.

  • Experience — Include experience for all offices, departments or agencies that you worked for to show depth and range of experience. For example, include that you tracked interoffice correspondence at multiple locations, or that you tracked budgets for headquarters. Also show expertise in what you do well such as having A++ certification, maintain LANS/WANS for several locations, thoroughly familiar with Peachtree accounting software, proficient at office organization, etc.
  • Supervision — If you don’t have a supervisory background, did you work independently with minimal supervision and make decisions for your program areas? If so, state that in your KSAs. Were you assigned to be an acting supervisor on several occasions? Do you draft memorandums and letters for your supervisor’s signature? Do you manage/supervise programs or projects?
  • Complexity Factors — Did you write reports or work on large projects coordinating activities for various groups? Does your job impact the safety of others, and what standards do you follow and utilize in your present and past jobs? Do you have certifications, licenses, specific training, or accreditation that would help you land this job?
  • Achievements and Impact — How did you show initiative and creativity in your office while working under adverse conditions? Were you responsible for major programs, product, or activities? If so list them. What did you do to save time, money, and resources or to improve the work environment?
  • Awards/Recognition — Include all awards ‒ monetary awards, letters of achievement, time-off awards, or write-ups in your office newsletter. Include scholastic nominations as well, and any service awards or recognition received from volunteer work.
  • Contacts — If you dealt with headquarters staff, the general public, EPA or OSHA inspectors, local authorities, or government officials, list them in your KSAs.
  • Fashionable Trends — Mention current trends such as “BPE” Business Process Engineering, Model Work Environment initiatives, MBO — Management by Objectives, Partnership, Quality Work Groups, etc. If you