In today’s flailing marketplace, everybody is looking for job security. And, with salaries in the private sector at record lows, many applicants are seeking to make the transition into the Federal Government. People are seeking to undercut the lower salaries by securing a Federal job position, which usually comes with job security. While job security in the federal government isn’t what it used to be – it is still a pretty hot commodity.
As the number of applicants for federal jobs continue to grow, so do the number of resume companies looking to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, many of these companies do not know the first thing about drafting federal resume – and are not current on the recent changes in the law.
In case you are considering hiring a federal resume writing service, or are considering using the information provided on one of these sites to go at it yourself, there is one important thing you need to know. KSAs are rarely required anymore. So before handing over your hard earned money to some fly-by-night resume writer scaring you into ordering a set of “General KSAs” please consider the following:
a. What is a KSA: KSA is an acronym which stands for Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. When you apply for the federal government jobs there used to be 2 parts to the application. The resume, and the KSAs. The KSAs were designed to provide applicants a chance to expand upon their specific skill when it came to a particular position. For example, a position as an Agricultural Lawyer may require KSAs as to the applicants SPECIFIC skills, knowledge and abilities as to Agricultural Law. KSA responses are generally.5 to.75 pages in length.
b. KSAs are No Longer Required: This is true…and not true. While many, if not most agencies have abolished the KSAs as a supplemental separate section (say that 3 times) to the resume, they are still required insofar as the resume itself now requires the KSAs to be woven into the resume.
Specifically – 11/10/10, Federal Hiring Reform Day. Around this time, President Obama executed an order revamping the methods for how federal agencies conduct their recruiting. In summation, the memo required agencies to do away with the essay-style questions when submitting their initial application for a position with the Federal Government. With this said, it is CRUCIAL that you check with the specific agency since some of them seem to have not gotten the president’s memo, and still require KSAs.
c. What is a General KSA – Honestly, a general KSA is equivalent to a Hallmark holiday. It’s worthless and designed only to steal your money from you. The PURPOSE of a KSA is to obtain SPECIFIC INFORMATION from the applicant about his or her experience. Some resume companies try to capitalize on this and tell you that there are several KSAs which are similar, and that you can just buy a few general KSAs from them and tailor them how you would like. (Translation: you are paying for a boilerplate, general essay that you could probably download for free from the internet if you really wanted) – DO NOT FALL FOR THIS.
d. How do you Create a KSA/RESUME Together: This is the art of Federal Resume Writing. I recommend hiring a Federal Resume Writing Service, with Certified Resume Writers (PARW) experienced in drafting FEDERAL RESUMES. Civilian and Federal resumes are NOTHING alike and you need a specialist. Would you go to a general physician for heart surgery….probably not.