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Sites to Know for California State Job Seekers

The information you need for your State of California job search is out there. It's just hard to find a lot of the time. The California Job Blog is here to help by organizing the information you need and presenting it in simple way.

While the State is (slowly) modernizing its hiring and recruitment systems, job-seekers often complain to us that the information and resources they need are hard to find or scattered across multiple sites. We've compiled what we feel are the most important when navigating the State's hiring process and tried our best to explain what their purpose is.

The Most Important Sites in The State of California Hiring Process:

  1. CalCareers. This is the main hub for most State of California employment information. On the CalCareer site you can do a ton of things including finding the jobs and online exams that you can apply for.

    State of California employers are required to accept applications electronically or in paper form. From CalCareers, the individual job posting will have instructions for applying, including a physical address for candidates to mail in or drop of their State Application (STD 678).

    When we meet non-State employees, we always recommend creating a CalCareer account as the first step in their job search. Check out our post about how to create a CalCareer account if you need help getting yours set up.

  2. Once you get started on your job search and begin reading some Job and Exam bulletins, you'll often see references to meeting the Minimum Qualifications (MQs) for the classification. However, the exact MQs are not listed in the bulletin most of the time.

    As the application process becomes more digitized, departments will get better at linking the job posting with information about the MQs. But it still doesn't work as well as it should. Check the Minimum Qualifications of the job classification you are applying for CalHR's website.

    The search engine is very touchy, so make sure you spell the classification correctly. The criteria listed here are the same guidelines the hiring analyst reviewing your application will use to determine if you are qualified. These are the legal definition of what qualifications an applicant must have to be eligible to be considered for a position.

    Also, most postings will have a position number listed. The third set of digits the position number is the job classification code. If you're having trouble finding the classification in the search box, try searching by this number instead. It is unique to the classification, and you will get an exact result.

  3. Keep in mind that for most State of California jobs, you'll need eligibility. The State is not like the private sector where you simply submit an application or resume for a position you're interested in. Unfortunately, it's not that simple in the public sector. The State of California (as does the Federal government) requires an applicant have eligibility before applying for an open position.

    If you've never worked for the State before, you'll need to take an exam to earn eligibility. From the CalCareer website, click on Exam/Assessment Search. Each job classification you're interested in applying for has its own eligibility assessment.

    Don't forget to check out California Job Blog's article on the State of California Hiring Process for more in-depth information on this part of your job search. Having eligibility and meeting the minimum qualifications for a position are separate requirements and applicants must meet both. This is one of the most complex aspects of the State hiring process to navigate. Our complete guide gives more detailed information on this, and other aspects the process.

  4. Perhaps the biggest attraction people have to government jobs is the benefits. The salaries are competitive, health and dental benefits are generous and the paid time off is extensive. To check out these great benefits for yourself, read more of CalHR's benefits guide. There are a ton of great reasons to get a job with the State of California and we urge all interested applicants to explore them more.

    Some benefits are obvious. But there are a lot of lesser-known employee perks that applicants (and even State employees) overlook, like life insurance, student loan forgiveness and group legal services.

    Check out our in-depth guide to vacation and paid time off on the California Job Blog. After all, it's the time you're not working that is the best part of any job.

  5. CalPERS is a great online resource. CalPERS is the State pension plan, and it is one of the top reasons people look for government jobs in California. If you're looking for a job, familiarize yourself with CalPERS. It's a great program for State employees.

    If you already work for the State, you can create an account on the site and see how much money you've contributed so far in your career. You can also get an estimate of how much you'll earn in retirement. The California Job Blog has an article, What is CalPERS?, that is filled with great info on the pension plan.

    In addition to retirement benefits, CalPERS administers the State's health insurance plans. The website has valuable information on the health insurance benefits State employees are eligible to enroll in. When you start your new career with the State of California, deciding on a healthcare plan for you and your family can be a big decision.

  6. In the New To State Service section of the CalCareers website, you can start to narrow down your job search by the job category you are interested in. You can narrow jobs down by categories like legal, managerial, engineering or health care. It's another great place to get started in your State of California job search. It'll also layout a full breakdown of the benefits of working for the State.

  7. The State Job Application (STD 678) is the main document you'll use when you're applying for jobs. You can complete and submit it in your CalCareer account. You can also create and store up to 10 versions of your application.

    From your CalCareer account you can also print a completed application to be dropped off or mailed in. Generally, departments don't consider e-mailed applications as a legitimate means to apply for a job. A great application is your gateway to be invited for an interview and an interview is how you'll get the job.

  8. If you're a retired state employee that is thinking about going back to work part-time or intermittently, familiarity with CalHR's Boomerang site can be really useful. Boomerang connects Retired Annuitants with employers and opportunities throughout California.

  9. CalHR also administers California's Veterans Preference program. Through the Veterans' Preference system, members of the military are awarded an advantage in the exam process which in turn gets them a leg up in the hiring process. The California Job Blog has an article about how Veterans Preference points work.

Thanks for reading!

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