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How To Get A Job With CalPERS

Of all the departments in the State of California, the one with perhaps the highest demand is the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS). For a typical job posting, CalPERS will often receive twice as many applications as another department would for the same classification.

That means the competition is strong, and candidates will need to "up their game" to get the job. This article will help candidates get started looking for a job with CalPERS and provide some information on gaining a competitive advantage in the selection process.

1) As with any State of California job, candidates should start by taking an exam. The exam gets you the eligibility you need before you can start to submit your application for open positions. From your CalCareer account, on the front page, you can click on Exam/Assessment Search. From there, select Public Employees Retirement System from the Department box. That is the full, official name for CalPERS. Searching for CalPERS will not give you accurate search results.

Image of Job Search Box on CalCareers Homepage

Image of a department job search on CalCareers

The exams you see displayed here are not the entirety of the positions available at CalPERS. These are just the exams that CalPERS administers, or is currently offering. Generally, State Of California classifications, like Associate Governmental Program Analyst, are administered by CalHR and will not be listed here.

2) From the CalCareer homepage, you can do another search. If you search in the Job Title/Keyword box or in the Advanced Job Search box you'll get a list of job vacancies. These are job postings for specific positions that departments are currently looking to fill. You are eligible to apply for them after you've taken and passed an exam. To search for vacancies specific to CalPERS, use the Advanced Job Search option and select Public Employees Retirement System.

The list of vacancies you'll see here doesn't necessarily match the exam postings you'll see in the Exam/Assessment Search for CalPERS. Sometimes you'll find that a department is conducting exams for classifications but aren't currently advertising to fill vacancies for that same classification.

Taking the exam will allow you to apply when a vacancy is published. If you pass the exam and your conditions of employment match what the department is looking for, you'll likely be alerted when a position opens up. If you see that a vacancy is being advertised, but there isn't an exam available, you won't be able to apply. Keep an eye out though, or set up notifications in your CalCareer account.

3) As is the case when applying for any department, you're going to want to make sure your State Application (STD 678) is updated and fine-tuned before you submit it. For positions that are in high demand with a large department like CalPERS, hiring managers will have little patience for applications that have mistakes or are missing information. Make sure you include all required documents like transcripts or a statement of qualifications, if they're required. Make sure you've read the Minimum Qualifications for the classification you're applying to, and that this is clearly demonstrated on your application.

4) Applicants should look at the duty statement that is attached to every job posting. Hiring departments are allowed to use Screening Criteria to narrow their candidate pool. For all State of California classifications, the Minimum Qualifications are set by CalHR and are not negotiable. But, hiring departments can go a step further and use more selective criteria to screen for the most qualified candidates. These criteria must be applied equally to all candidates and must be directly related to the functions of the job as described in the duty statement.

Image of the required additional documents for a CalCareers job posting
Even though a candidate has taken an exam and is qualified for a position, it's possible they won't be invited for an interview if they are determined to not meet certain criteria necessary to do the job. By reading the duty statement, a candidate can figure out what the specifics of the job might entail and be certain to highlight those specific areas on their application.

5) Ok, you've passed an exam and submitted your application with up-to-date contact information. You've made sure the duties listed in your work experience reflect that you meet the minimum qualifications and your ability to perform everything listed in the duty statement. You've included all additional documents with your application packet. Now what? The California Job Blog recommends you start preparing for your interview.

We've got an article on How To Ace A State Interview, which is a great place to start. We also recommend that candidates for open CalPERS positions learn a little about the organization. For highly competitive positions, having an idea of the organization you are applying to can give you an advantage. It's very common for interview panels to ask questions about your knowledge of their department. Being able to show that you value and take the interview seriously by researching the job and department sets you apart from the bunch. You can find articles about its mission, structure and values online, and find an article on what CalPERS is right here on the California Job Blog.

6) As of the time of this writing, CalPERS had 22 posted vacancies. 6 of those were for the Associate Governmental Program Analyst classification, 3 were for Staff Services Analyst and 3 were for Staff Services Manager I. All 3 of those classifications are online exams that are general for the State of California. Check back often, as there can be new postings at any time.

For current CalPERS job openings, click here!

Thanks for reading!

Related Articles:

What is CalPERS?
The Associate Governmental Program Analyst (AGPA) Hiring Process
Overview of the State of California Hiring Process


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