KSAs, MTQs, ECQs, and Other Narrative Statements

Narrative statements are supplemental application materials that the federal government uses to evaluate an applicant’s candidacy. Examples of narrative statements include Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA); Mandatory Professional or Technical Qualifications MTQ / MPQ); or Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ).

These statements are narrative responses to specific questions or prompts in a particular Vacancy Announcement. They are designed to evaluate a candidate’s background and skills in a more detailed fashion and demonstrate his or her ability to succeed in a specific position. When narrative statements are required as part of a federal application, they will carry as much—if not more—weight than the resume itself. This is why it is important that each statement (or document) be targeted toward a specific Vacancy Announcement to clearly illustrate your background and abilities relevant to each question or prompt.

Each Vacancy Announcement typically has its own set of agency-specific requirements that are intended to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the specific position. The length of these statements will vary depending upon the number and types of questions or prompts required.

Some Vacancy Announcements may require very similar narrative statements to others; that is, several of the prompts or questions may be essentially identical while others are entirely new. If a question or prompt is the same in a different Vacancy Announcement, a previously written narrative statement may be repurposed or revised to apply for the new position. This can be a great benefit for those who are pursuing multiple federal positions since often only a few questions within the statement will need to be newly developed rather than developing an entirely new narrative statement.

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