A lot of criminal justice jobs are found either in government agencies or departments. Jobs seekers in this field should know that applying for federal jobs is somewhat different compared to applying for private sector jobs.
Government jobs usually require KSAs, (knowledge, skills, abilities) in resumes. This is on top of the required videotaped interviews, written exams, and written statements. The application process is also lengthy and can take months to complete.
The end result, however, does not always lead to a job offer. It can sometimes mean that you’re put on the waiting list. For private sector jobs, they typically require a resume, a cover letter, and a series of interviews after. The application process is definitely much shorter compared to government ones. The applicants who are able to align their strengths with the required KSAs are the ones who usually receive a job offer.
Below we mention a list of criminal justice jobs tips you can use for your KSA application.
What is a KSA?
A KSA is similar to a cover letter. The difference is that it’s more involved in the sense that it requires an extensive narrative statement about your strengths. Most government job posts will specify if a KSA is part of the application process.
In the job description, it will be stated which type of KSA is needed to perform the job successfully. Most of these job posts will list anywhere between four to seven types of KSA that you need to address in your application. Failure to address the said KSAs means being disqualified from being considered for the job.
Some might think that writing a KSA is easy since the job post already tells you the kind of KSAs they’re looking for. However, merely pointing out what your KSAs is not enough. If you just say that you’re knowledgeable about law enforcement procedures, it won’t be enough for you to be invited for an interview.
You should be able to cite specific examples in order to sell yourself well. Answer each of outlined points with clear, concise details, but be careful not to ramble on. Be brief and straight to the point and then move on to the next skill.
What to Include in Your KSA Statement
Statements you want to include in your KSA statement should be tailored to what the job entails. It might be tempting to add extra information regarding what you can do apart from the skills requested in the job post. However, your KSA will also be assessed on how good you can follow simple directions. A lot of extremely qualified candidates haven taken themselves out of the running for this simple reason. If you don’t customize your KSA according to what was specifically requested, then you’ll likely won’t pass.
More than just following the instructions, remember to always proofread your work. It’s a simple advice, but one that numerous candidates don’t take the time out to do.
Misspellings, typos, and poor grammar will reflect badly on you. This will be regarded as a glimpse of the kind of work you produce. Federal jobs have important roles and responsibilities. This is why they typically weed out people who turn in sloppy work at the onset.
If you’re having trouble crafting your KSA, don’t get overwrought and try to see what you can do. There are many other different websites and resources that help applicants craft their KSAs. These aids provide not just examples, but formats and tips that can help make your KSA more compelling. Another option is to hire a professional to write your KSA, which a good number of writing firms offer.
Applying for Federal Jobs
There are a lot of employment benefits that come with having a federal job. That’s why it’s no wonder why many openings in the field are always filled to the brim. More than just the benefits, however, federal jobs offer a wide variety of positions and not just ones related to employment.
Whenever applying for federal jobs, make sure you turn in your application as soon as possible. Although their job openings can remain active for months, sending your application sooner gives you a sure slot to be considered for an interview invite.
In terms of application, it can take a few months before your application can be reviewed and assessed for interview eligibility. Just like any job, however, it would be wise to apply to numerous other government job openings in order to increase your chances of nabbing a federal job.