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10 Easy Steps to Write a Perfect State of California Resume

A few years ago, you didn’t see many State employers requiring a resume. Now, though, it's becoming much more common. In advanced and supervisory positions especially you're now more likely to see A Resume Is Required in the job posting.

If an application is required to apply for a position, you'll have to have it uploaded and submitted electronically with your application. The CalCareer account system will prevent you from submitting an application if it doesn't recognize a resume is included also. If you are submitting your application in hard copy, the hiring unit is likely to immediately reject it if there isn't a resume included.

Remember, a resume is different from either a cover letter or a Statement of Qualifications. Each of these should be treated separately. A statement of qualifications shouldn't refer to your resume and vice versa. It's possible that a hiring department will require a resume, cover letter and statement of qualifications. In this case, each should be tailored to the job and department you are applying for and have distinct information and formatting.

For your job search anywhere, a resume should be tailored to the organization that you are giving it to. It's alright to have a general version of your resume too, but for serious job searching it should be specific to the position. Below you’ll find some tips for writing a resume that’s well-suited for your State of California job search.

  1. You don’t need to put your address on your resume. All you need is city and state. If they need your address, they’ll ask for it. Resumes get passed around a lot and you don’t any weirdo that picks it up to know where you live. This rule applies to all resumes, all the time, not just the ones you’re turning in for State of California jobs.

  2. “I” shouldn’t appear anywhere on your resume. It’s implied, and you don’t need to write it. Don’t use “me” or “myself” either.

  3. Make sure your contact information is up to date. Your phone number and email address should be current, functioning and listed at the top the page.

  4. Make sure you have an outgoing message on phone. If you are in the process of searching for a job, the message people hear when they reach your voicemail is often their first impression of you. If a hiring manager or recruiter calls you and gets a generic voicemail message, they may think they’ve got a wrong number and be hesitant to leave any confidential information.

  5. You probably don’t need the “Seeking/Objective” section of a resume. They already know you are seeking a job with the State of California. You want your resume to be as concise as possible, and this section wastes space and the reader’s time.

  6. Get comfortable talking about your successes and accomplishments. Your resume is supposed to show the reader why you are the best person for the job. Your State (Std. 678) application is the document that proves you’re legally qualified for a position. Your resume should why you are the best among a group of qualified applicants. Also, be sure you’re not just listing duties performed. Your resume is where you highlight achievements.

  7. Use strong, active verbs like: coordinated, implemented, developed, orchestrated, managed, directed and presented. These action words are among hundreds that make a strong resume. Make sure you use them whenever you can.

  8. List references on a separate page. Again, you’re keeping your resume concise and uncluttered. Most State of California employers can’t use references listed on resumes anyway. References should be listed on your state application, and a resume can’t be used in place of this when applying for State jobs.

  9. Don’t use any fancy fonts, colors, borders or characters. Keep it simple. Black and white, Calibri, Garamond or Helvetica font. Keep the use of bold and italics to a bare minimum, if you use them at all. Use 11- or 12- point font consistently throughout except for your name at the top of the resume which should be larger.

  10. Keep your resume brief. Don’t waste time or space. The average employer or hiring unit analyst spends around 30 seconds looking at a resume. Design it so they get the most critical information in the brief window of time that you have their attention.

Thanks for reading!

Related Articles:

Additional Documents for Your Application Package
How to Ace a State Interview
The State of California Hiring Process: Frequently Asked Questions


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