Writing your
capability statement

How to Write a Great Capability Statement

In the last section we discussed the five main sections your capability statement needs, and the bonus sixth section for a call to action. As a brief review, here are those sections again:

  1. Core Competencies
  2. Past Performance
  3. Differentiators
  4. Company Information
  5. Contact Information
  6. Bonus Section – Call to Action

Now we will discuss exactly what you need to be writing in each of those section in order to make your capability statement stand out and convert bids to contracts. To do that successfully, you need to get into the minds of the government contracting officers that will be reviewing your documents and determine what they are looking for. Fortunately, you will have some clues that can help. Here are some key things to do when writing your capability statement.

Say What It Is

Call your document a “capability statement.” The contract officers will be looking for that document. Do not make them guess what it is. It also shows that you are familiar with the government contracting process.

Keep it Brief

Your text needs to be brief, because contract officers do not have a lot of time to be reading long bits of text. The more text you write, the less they will read. If you want to convey information, you need to do it in very bite-sized chunks. This can be difficult for complex services or products, but it’s vital. This is not the place for narratives or stories about your company. If you need to give them more information, guide them to your website.

It’s About Them, Not You

The most wonderful sound in the world is somebody saying our name. Speak to them about their needs, not about you. What is it they are looking for? How can you help them solve their problem. Use the words “you” and “your” as much as possible.

Who is your audience?

Typically, capability statements are used for either government contracting officers, who are reviewing submissions, or prime government vendors who already have a contract. Know your audience and what they are seeking.

If you are submitting a proposal to a request for bids or proposals, then make sure your writing is tailored to exactly what they are looking for. However, it you are creating your capability statement for networking and general marketing, then create a broad sample of your capabilities.

Keywords are key.

In today’s digital world, government agencies act like everyone else – they are searching using keywords. They won’t be using Google to find your documents, but they will be searching through bids to find key things they are looking for. They also use keywords in their own documents and are constantly working on projects to match those key words.

Great places to find keywords that will catch the agency’s eye:

  1. The agency’s website will have mission statements and reports regarding the work they are doing that your project is a part of. Find words that stand out, are repeated, or related directly to your proposal.
  2. The request for proposals will have many keywords that relate to both the specific project and their overall agency mission. Using words that are in both the RFP and agency materials are great, as they show how you will complete their mission, not just their project.

Now let’s review the sections…

Core Competencies

Your Core Competencies are a great place to start using your keywords to describe how you help solve the contract officer’s problems. This section should start with one to two sentences describing your key strengths, followed by bullets that highlight key qualities that the agency is looking for. Only include your company skills that directly relate to this project and agency. Do not list everything you are good at.

To determine what you should include, ask yourself:

  1. What are you best at?
  2. What do you beat the competition at?
  3. What makes your company name stand out from the pack?
  4. Sometimes, the best core competencies come from partnering and licensing to create a strength that nobody else has.

Loose Template:

[Your Company] provides the services [agency] requires to meet its mission of ____________ by providing _____________________________.

  • Specific 1
  • Specific 2
  • Specific 3


IT Business

Our technology experts and business professionals analyze research, design and implement solutions in the areas of:

  • Consulting
  • Technology
  • Managed Services


Experts in:

  • Supply chain management, order management, logistics management,
    optimization and visibility
  • Creative, global 3PL solutions that address needs ranging from single
    transactions to some of the largest and most complex supply chain
  • Open and scalable technology that is readily integrated into existing
    operations, and extended as needs evolve
  • Lean logistics focusing on reducing waste and inventory, standardized
    work and mistake proofing

Administrative Support:

  • Accounting - Accounts Payable/Receiable, Bookkeeping, accounting assistant
  • Administrative - General clerical, administrative assistant, filing, administrative support, data entry
  • Customer Service - Call center representative, telemarketing, customer service representative


Past Performances

The past performances section highlights specific projects you have completed that related to the government contract you are currently bidding on. In marketing, we call this “social proof.” Social proof is described in psychology as the effect of people assuming that others know what is good and what should be done. It is extremely powerful marketing and should be prominent in your capability statement. Your past performances provide that social proof by showing that you are competent and experienced and that others have selected your company before.

For past performances, list any past work with the government agency you are bidding with first. Then list any other government contracts you have done. Then list commercial contracts. This hierarchy is important to keep their attention. If you have worked with their agency or another government agency, they immediately know that you can handle government contracts and know about their needs.

For each performance have a reference from the listed contracts ready, including name, title, email, and phone number. Do not include it on your written capability statement, but add a note that says they are available upon request. If you have mirrored your capability on your website (more on this here), then include that information on the past performances section, or include a link to the information.

We here at RocketGov believe the past performances section should include bullets of key jobs on the front of the page, and more detailed information on the back. The best thing you can add on the back are testimonials. Actual quotes from past customers and clients that related to the type of work you are bidding on. At least one testimonial should be in the past performances section on the front page.

On the back page, include 1-2 project case studies. These will describe one of the past performances jobs in more depth so the agency can see exactly how you handled a project just like theirs. Each of these case studies should include a testimonial. These will provide powerful social proof.


They key to great differentiators is identifying your clients’ pain points. First know what the government contracting agency is looking for. Why are they seeking proposals? It’s never to complete that particular job. Every project an agency does is to fulfill a mission goal of the agency, and every mission goal is to satisfy a pain point either within the agency, the government, or the citizenry. If you can find that pain point, then you can explain why you are distinct in providing help to solve it.

Some questions to ask to identify your differentiators are:

  • How is your company best suited to the needs of this agency?
  • Why do your services stand out from the rest?
  • Is there something about your people that give them an advantage to your competition?
  • Why are your products better than others on the market?

Another great way to identify differentiators is to ask past clients.

  • Whey did they pick your company over your competition?
  • What distinguished your product or service from others?
  • How did your team satisfy their needs?

For example, RocketGov only hires writers and designers who have experience working within government, so they already know what procurement officers are looking for. Another differentiator is that we provide a two-person team to write and double-check the accuracy of the work.

Company Information

You need to list your important government codes such as:

  • DUNS
  • Socio-economic certifications: 8(a), HUB Zone, SDVOB, etc.
  • NAICS (all) Do not include code descriptions, just use the numbers, since nobody reads the descriptions, and the numbers are mostly for searches (which are done by number, not description). Don’t include more than five NAICS codes. You may have more than that, but your capability statement needs to be tailored to the project at hand. If you do more things, have multiple capability statements for the type of work you are doing. For example, if you hauling and landscaping, have separate capability statements for each service.
  • PSC/FSC codes
  • CAGE Code
  • GSA Schedule Contract Number(s)
  • Other federal contract vehicles
  • BPAs and other federal contract numbers
  • State Contract Numbers

You can also list awards or accomplishments if you have space.

Other key pieces of information you should include are:

  • The year your company was founded
  • Your bonding capacity
  • Any joint ventures that would benefit this project
  • Whether you accept credit and purchase cards
  • Any technology that can be leveraged for the job

Always include your DUNS number and CAGE code because it shows you are ready for government contract work. DUNS shows you are a legitimate business, and CAGE shows that you are registered in SAM, which is required for government sector vendors (www.sam.gov).

NAICS and PSC/FSC codes show that you understand these codes and why they are important. It’s a great sign to a government agency that you know what you’re doing. If you’re bidding on a state or local contract, include your NIGP codes as well.

Get Your DUNS Number and Company Credit Correct

Get 15% off when you get a DUNS number and basic business credit file in just five days through RocketGov's exclusive deal.

Paid link - read our affiliate disclaimer.

Get My DUNS Number Now

Contact Information

Your contact information needs to include the obvious: company name, address, etc. However, the key to great contact information is to have a single point of contact that the agency can reach if they have any issues. There is nothing worse that trying to manage a complicated project and needing to talk to a dozen people within a vendor’s company.

Give them a point of contact that will answer questions about the bid, manage the project from your end, and can be personally reached on any compliance matters. Do not make this the president or CEO of the firm, unless you’re small and they will personally oversee the project. Include their email and phone number for any questions.

Finally, you need a website link. Make sure it’s updated and client-focused. If you don’t have one set up, check out our trusted resources for some opportunities to get one started.

6. Bonus Section – Your Call to Action

A good capability statement provides the important information a contract officer needs to make a decision. A GREAT capability statement provides value to that officer so they can’t help but love you and your company. A call to action is a prompt for the reader to do a specific action. They are usually written as a command. In advertising it may be to buy a product, or call a number. Websites often ask you to subscribe or sign up.

When your reader is done with your capability statement, they may want more information, or may want to take another step with your company. But without a clear call to action, they may not know what that next step is. Your call to action should move the reader down your sales funnel. The call to action should be a short phrase, no longer than five words. The best way to write it is to finish the sentence, “I want to…”

For your capability statement, the simplest call to action is to visit your website. They should be led to a landing page designed for this particular job with more information about your company. This can be an extension of the capability statement and provide more information.

But the best call to action is to actually provide the contract officers something of value to them. We don’t mean cash or gifts. Provide them information they need. RocketGov’s favorite item of value is a guide to the “5 Things to Ask [your industry] Bidders.” This guide will include the questions to ask and why they are important for this type of project. When they visit your unique link to this guide, they must enter their email to get the guide, which is then emailed to them.

The first benefit is that you will already have answers to those five questions. Your competitors will not. And you will know if they use the guide because they will ask those questions. The second benefit is that you now have their email. If you follow the marketing funnel, then they will automatically receive emails about your industry, your company, and the benefits of working with you.

Sales Funnels Can Be Complex.

You need a one-stop-shop solution. Get 14 days free!

Only ClickFunnels provides everything to create a complete funnel - like drag and drop website, replace your CRM, automate your marketing, and create email campaigns. Join now through RocketGov and you can get 14 days FREE!

Paid link - read our affiliate disclaimer.

Get My Sales Funnel Now