En Route: A Career Blog

KSAs / PTQs / TQs / MQs / Selective Factors – Essay Questions

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: August 14, 2007 at 9:19 am


by Robin Schlinger, ResumeEdge.com Editor and CFRW

Federal resumes applications are very different than for most companies. Not only do you need to submit a resume – you may need to answer questions about your experience which matches the skills required to be successful on the job.

Application to Federal Positions Requires More than a Resume

If asked on the announcement, you will be required to answer Essay Questions, Knowledge Skill or Ability Statements (KSAs) or other questions. On QuickHire and USAJOBS applications, these are known as essay questions. For some online formats, including USAJOBS and QUICKHIRE, you will not find these questions until you actually try to apply for the position.

If an announcement says the essays are required, they are required. Once you are qualified for a job (have the experience) per your resume, the statements are read to further grade your application.

These statements detail one to three examples addressing the question. The length varies as designated by the announcement – generally these are 3/4 page to 1-1/2 pages in length. Some online formats and announcements restrict the length of these statements by character count or number of words. You may want to use a CONTEXT-CHALLENGE-ACTION-RESULTS type of format to answer the questions. The statements are written in first person.

Your Essay Answers are Critical

Note, your answers to the questions are critical – if the essay questions are not addressed, the application will not be considered. You will need to include quantification and how your leadership led to results – using the skills asked for in the question. For each example, include your relevant awards and training to further show how you meet the requirements.

Robin Schlinger, a Certified Federal Resume Writer, specializes in writing Federal resume packages for all levels, from entry to SES. Her expertise is adding value, based on over 20 years in senior level engineering andbusiness positions for Fortune 500 companies. Robin holds a BS in ChemicalEngineering from MIT. Request Robin for your Federal product by keying her last name only, no caps (schlinger) in the ‘request your editor’ field of the ResumeEdge.com online form. http://www.resumeedge.com/services/federal-resume/index.php?nav=se.fed

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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