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How to Get a California State Job

Updated on October 26, 2015

***This article was written by a guest writer, Steve S., who got a California state job after a year long attempt.***

Getting a job with the State of California is a long process that can sap the determination of even the most resolute individual. This is not a quick fix to your career anxieties, and there are no short cuts in the process. You should expect a long and winding road on your path to a state job. The average job seeker from the private sector can expect to search anywhere from several months to a year before they finally get hired. However, the journey can lead to a fulfilling career and, if you have the necessary patience and perseverance, can be well worth the time spent.

California Seal
California Seal | Source

Create a Profile

The first step is to create an online profile. This is a mandatory first step. You will need to do this in order to have access to all the resources (the application, requirements for each position, open jobs, etc.) necessary to get a job with the State. You will be asked to fill out an application with your relevant job history and education, which will be attached to your profile. This will be the application that you will use to apply to open jobs. This application can be updated at any time to be more relevant to the current job you are applying to and to reflect any new experience or education you acquire.

Finding Eligibility Lists Online
Finding Eligibility Lists Online | Source

Find Eligibility Lists

The next step is to find the classification(s) you want to apply to and then figure out the requirements to be eligible for the position(s). If you are unfamiliar with State classifications and which ones would be right for you, visit exam and job listings. If you click the bulletin link under exams, it will take you to information about the classification, for example what qualifications you need and what exams you have to take to make yourself eligible to hire.

If you already know the classification(s) you want to apply to, you can do a quick search. Simply type the name of the classification and click search and it will take you to the exam bulletin links. There you can find out what you need to do to make yourself eligible to apply to open positions.

Eligibility Lists

In order to apply to a job vacancy and be considered for a position, you first have to make it on to the eligibility list for that position. Most classifications in the State of California have some type of exam you must pass in order to get on the eligibility list. These exams may be online, or you may have to go to a central location to take them. Some of the exams will be written exams (e.g., multiple choice exams) or they may ask you to provide proof of experience you have doing certain tasks that will be required in that classification. Each classification has different requirements, and it will be up to you to research those requirements and make sure you are eligible to apply to vacancies. No matter how impressive your resume/application is, if you are not on the eligibility list, you cannot get hired by the State.

Apply to Job Vacancies

After you have gotten on an eligibility list, you can finally start applying to jobs. Even though you are on the eligibility list and you have an application online, it is your responsibility to find and apply to jobs. Departments aren’t going to search for your application for their job openings, you are going to have to search for job openings and apply on your own.

Simply type the name of the classification and click search. You will be taken to a list of job openings for that classification. Click on the link and read the job bulletin to apply to the job. These job bulletins will have the specific requirements that this Department has for all applicants to the job, and it is important to follow them meticulously.

This can be a long an arduous process. Most applicants have to send in several applications for different positions before they get their first interview invitation. And, of course, getting an interview doesn’t ensure you of getting a job. So you must exercise patience and persistence in this pursuit. It could take several months.

Good Luck on Your Application!
Good Luck on Your Application! | Source

Foolproof Tips on How to Get a California State Job

  • Find several different classifications you are qualified for. Quantity is the key. The more opportunities you give yourself to be hired, the more likely you will get a job.
  • Make sure to read all of the qualification requirements for the classification. These are qualification requirements, not suggestions, and Departments can’t be flexible on them.
  • Make sure to read job bulletins carefully and ensure that your application package has everything the Department requests. Every Department has different requirements for applicants, and they may not consider your application unless you have followed all the directions in the job bulletin.
  • Including a cover letter with your application, even when not required, can be a good way to highlight aspects of your qualifications that specifically fit the job requirements listed in the job bulletin. This can give you an edge over other applicants.
  • Persistence is the number one virtue for applicants. It can’t be overstated how long this process can be. Do not expect to get a job within a month or two, and do not get discouraged by rejection. Eventually, your persistence will pay dividends.

© 2013 Om Paramapoonya

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