KSAO’S – Knowledge, skills, abilities, and other attributes are the essential characteristics an individual must have to perform a job.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities are broad terms that encompass a much larger set of more specific terms: knowledge, thinking skills, cognitive ability, personality traits, etc. Knowledge is a very generic term as it is defined as an organized body of information that a learner or reader has acquired through education or experience. Skills are defined as: “Ability in execution or performance,” and Abilities are described as “Power to perform.
Knowledge, skills, and abilities are essential to the hiring process because they objectively measure an individual’s ability to do a job. The assessment can be used as the basis for selection by identifying candidates whose KSA profile matches the job requirements. It can be used as a form of performance appraisal to assess the KSA profile of incumbent employees against organizational standards and identify areas for further training.
Knowledge and skills are two different things with two different definitions. Knowledge is the body of information that an employee knows when hired. Skills are directly correlated to the job that the employee is applying for. These can be acquired through training.
They are the technical or manual proficiencies that it can learn. Abilities are not as easily quantified as skills and knowledge. Some abilities a person is innate with it. These can be interpersonal abilities or abilities to communicate effectively etc.
There are several disadvantages of KSA. First of all, often, it’s challenging to understand the difference between knowledge, skills, and abilities. That can lead to a wrong document and result in rejection by the university or college you’re applying to it.
Another disadvantage is that it can feel redundant and tedious. It allows you to list your strengths but can be hard to fill out because there are so many sections.
And lastly, it can make the application process difficult instead of easy. It’s hard to fit everything into all the sections of these forms.
Some examples of KSAs include:
1.) Communication Skills
2.) Interpersonal Skills
3.) Problem Solving Skills
4.) Creativity and Innovation Skills
5.) Critical Thinking Skills
6.) Time Management Skills
7.) Motivation and Work Ethic
8.) Leadership Skills
9.) Flexibility/Adaptability/Change Management Skills
There is the total number of tips that can help you write a good KSA:
1. Write concisely and in the active voice.
2. Do not get confused about what goes into knowledge, skills, and abilities.
3. Use keywords when describing knowledge, skills, and abilities.
4. Iterate and make several revisions to your original draft for improvement and clarity.