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Resources 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.

This article gives you some of the most common sites you should know when looking for a government job in California.

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.

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The Most Important Sites for State of California Jobs

Sites For Getting a Job

CalCareers, also known as 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 job opportunities and the exams you can apply for or take online.

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).

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.

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.

CalCareers - Exam Section

Although is on this list as the first site jobseekers should know, we're putting the exams section here as a separate entry. This is to emphasize how important we think it is for folks to understand the State's exam process.

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 likely need to take an exam to earn eligibility. From the CalCareer website, click on Exam/Assessment Search use the following link to go to the exam section of the site.

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 more complex parts of the State hiring process to navigate. Our complete guide gives more detailed information on this, and other aspects of the process.

Once you get started on your job search and begin reading some Job and Exam bulletins, you'll often see references to the Minimum Qualifications (MQs) for classifications. Applicants are required to be qualified before applying for an exam or a vacant position. But what should you do if these MQs aren't clearly stated?

CalHR has the Minimum Qualifications listed for every State of California classification listed online. Each classification has an entry in this database for their class specifications. The class specifications include a description of the job, typical tasks and the minimum qualifications.

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. The following link will take you to the Minimum Qualifications Section of 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 definitions 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 in 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.

CalCareers has a New to State Service section on the 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.


This site is good for people who have retired from a career in California state service and may interested in going back to work part-time or intermittently as a Retired Annuitant (RA). Cal HRs Boomerang site has useful information and connects Retired Annuitants with employers and opportunities throughout California.

Sites With Benefits Information

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.

Information on the benefits of working for the State are spread out across multiple sites. However, CalHR does a pretty good job of making this information centralized with their 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.

Information For Veterans

CalHR also administers a Veterans' Preference program. Through the Veterans' Preference system, members of the military are automatically placed in the first rank for certain exams they pass. This can be a huge advantage in the hiring process. The California Job Blog has an article about how Veterans' Preference works.


CalPERS is a particularly great website to be familiar with, because they administer 2 of the most important benefits of working for the State, retirement and health benefits.

CalPERS is the State's 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 throughout 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.

As the administrator of the State's health insurance plans, the CalPERs site has a lot of 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.

Thanks for reading!

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