Writing Successful Ksa Factorss For Tsa Positions

By Jason Kay

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) position applications commonly require you to answer four or more knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) questions. A KSA statement is a statement about the unique qualities needed to fill a particular position. Knowing how to write an effective answer to these TSA KSAs can make the difference between getting the job and getting left out.

The TSA uses KSAs to help determine the applicants eligibility for the job. In other words, your answer to each KSA tells the TSA whether you would be an appropriate candidate for the job. Well-written answers to KSA statements can land you an interview, whereas poorly written or incomplete answers can disqualify you right off the bat.

Common TSA KSAs

1. Technical Competency: Knowledge of the steps and associated procedures involved in acquiring, deploying, and maintaining security screening systems and technologies.

2. Decisiveness: Exercises good judgment by making sound and well-informed decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; makes effective and timely decisions, even when data are limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; is proactive and achievement oriented.

3. Oral Communication: Makes clear and convincing oral presentations to individuals or groups (including briefings to industry executives and high level government officials, etc.), listens effectively and clarifies information as needed; facilitates an open exchange of ideas and fosters atmosphere of open communication.


4. Planning and Evaluating: Determines objectives and strategies; organizes work, set priorities, determines resource requirements; coordinates with other parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors and evaluates the progress and outcomes of operational plans; anticipates potential threats or opportunities.

5. Human Resources: Assesses current and future staffing needs based on organizational goals and budget realities. Using merit principles, ensures staff is appropriately selected, developed, utilized, appraised and rewarded; takes corrective action.

6. Leadership: Inspires, motivates and guides others toward goal accomplishment; coaches, mentors, and challenges subordinates; adapts leadership style to a variety of situations models high standards of honesty, integrity, trust, openness, and respect for the individuals by applying these to daily behaviors.

How to Write Successful TSA KSA Responses

Writing TSA KSA answers makes many people nervous mainly because they dont know how to respond to these questions. But with the right knowledge youll find that writing a winning answer to any KSA is a breeze.

1. Be complete. It is important to answer each KSA completely. Simply saying, Yes, I have that skill, will get you nowhere. Treat each KSA like a news article: who, what, why, where, when, and how are all integral parts of the story. Tell the TSA what knowledge or skill you have that satisfies their requirements; where, when, how, and why you got it; and who you got it from. And dont forget the other how: how your skill relates to what the employer is looking for.

2. Provide concrete examples. A vague assertion that you have the necessary skills for the job is not going to convince a prospective employer. One of the most important aspects to successful KSA responses is providing specific examples of where and when you gained the experience. Be sure to tie your answer back to the KSA statement by stating how your examples give you the skills needed for the job.

3. Be concise. The TSA is not interested in your creative writing abilities, so keep the fluff to a minimum. Answer each KSA in plain language, so that your answers are simple and easy to follow. There is a fine line between answering a KSA completely and sounding like a pompous windbag. Although your KSA answers should be as long as it needs to be to fully answer the question, most answers should be to one page in length.

4. Think outside the box. Even if you think you dont have any experience to satisfy a certain KSA, dont leave it blank. Instead, consider other areas of your life that may have given you the necessary skills. Not every KSA must be answered purely with job experience. Training, volunteer work, internships, and academic projects and awards may also demonstrate that you satisfy the requirements of the position.

5. Sell yourself! KSAs give you an opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants. Use these documents to sell your best qualities and paint your worst in a more pleasing light. If your answers demonstrate confidence in your abilities, an employer will be much more likely to believe that you can do the job.

6. Edit! Most professional documents require editing and proofreading to verify that they are free of errors. However, unlike other professional documents, your answers to the KSA statements have a lot riding on them: they are your only chance at a good first impression. Therefore, you need to take pains to make sure every word is in its place no typos, misspellings, or discrepancies between your resume and your KSA answers.

Success Seekers Wanted

KSAs have one purpose: to find the best person for the job. This is the case for all positions, but especially so for the TSA given the high stakes nature of their mission. In order to write successful KSA answers, you need to assume that you are that best person. Take your time with each answer, choose the best examples of your knowledge and experience, and edit your answers until they shine. With the right amounts of confidence and care, your KSA answers will open doors for you that otherwise would have remained closed.

About the Author: Jason Kay recommends visiting KSADoctor.com to learn lots more information relating to federal government job applications. They can assist with

federal resume writing


KSA writing

, and more.



Permanent Link: