600+ people a month search “KSA examples” on Google. So I felt compelled to share some examples and shed some light on what KSA means. In this post, you’ll find:
- A definition of a KSA – the acronym widely used for Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
- 10 KSA examples from different sectors
- The difference between “Knowledge, Skills, Abilities” and “Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes”
- A free KSA template (just copy/paste)
What does KSA mean?
KSA means “Knowledge, Skills, Abilities.” KSAs are a list of specific qualifications and attributes a candidate must possess to be a good fit for a job being advertised. Let’s break each of the 3 words down and look at some knowledge, skills, and ability examples:
“Knowledge” – this is the information a candidate has at their disposal that applies to a job role or job function. This information usually relates to procedures. “Knowledge” might include things like:
- Regulations – knowing laws and regulations relevant to a position
- Chemical knowledge – knowing how certain chemicals interact and how to work with them safely
- Filing – knowing systems of data storage
“Skills” – skills are developed through training or experience. A skill requires managing information, people, or things to reach an outcome. They’re sometimes described as hard or soft skills. Some examples of “Skills” are:
- Computer programming
- Content creation
“Abilities” – the ability to take a skill and use it to perform a task. Abilities and skills are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference. Here are some examples of “Abilities”:
- Ability to organize and prioritize
- Ability to communicate and delegate
- Ability to work autonomously and as part of a team
Note: Knowledge, skills, and abilities make up “competencies.” Read more about competencies vs. skills in our post, Skills vs Competencies…are they the same?
Now, on to the examples.
Examples of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Here are 10 example KSAs from different industries:
KSA Examples for Medical Support Assistant — US Veterans Health Administration
KSA Examples for Administrative Assistant — James River Church
KSA Examples for Postal Supervisor — from USPS and FedEx
The above KSA examples can help you get started creating your own Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities sections in your job descriptions. But, some organizations use KSAs as an examination tool, like the United States Postal Service (USPS). Here are 2 FedEx/USPS KSA examples:
And a search for “ksa examples for postal supervisor” gave me this example from FedEx:
Can the “A” in KSA mean “Attitudes”?
Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes is an alternative meaning of the acronym KSA. In this usage, the definitions for “knowledge” and “skills” are the same. But, the “A” refers to Attitudes and describes an applicant’s feelings or emotional behaviors.
This definition of KSA is not as widely used, and it might be more appropriate to use the KSA examples given in this article as your guide. But, if you feel the role you’re advertising would benefit from listing specific attitudes, make sure to use the entire phrase “Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes” instead of “KSA” to avoid confusion.
Here are some examples of Attitudes:
- To value other team members’ hard work
- To be motivated to support others
- To appreciate good customer relations
Free KSA Template Format [just copy and paste!]
Here’s a KSA Template you can copy and paste for your job postings. It’s based on an opening for a Talent Acquisition Specialist. The KSAs will vary depending on the role you’re hiring for, but the layout can stay the same. Just copy, paste, and add on any KSAs for your role:
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA’s):
- Solid knowledge of sourcing, recruitment, interviewing
- Working knowledge of HR legal compliance
- Experience in employee record-keeping
- Recruitment skills supporting several business units
- Excellent time management skills
- HR project management skills
- Ability to source and engage industry-related talent.
- Ability to provide performance consulting to senior management.
- Ability to use Human Resources Information Systems.
Pro Tips: Keep your list of KSAs short and organized. Organizing your KSAs into 3 lists makes it easier to read, which is great for people with Dyslexia…AND shorter lists of KSAs might not deter women from applying. Studies show women usually don’t apply for jobs unless they fit every requirement in a job posting.
- Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA): Definitions and Examples (by Indeed Editorial)
- Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (by The Peak Performance Center)
- The Importance of KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities)in the Federal Application Process (by CDC HRMO)
Why I Wrote This?
Ongig’s mission is to transform job descriptions. If you’d like to see how Ongig can help you optimize your JDs when it comes to KSAs (and more!), please request a demo of Ongig’s Text Analyzer.