Skip to main content

The State Of California Job Application (STD 678)

How to Apply for California State Jobs

The standard state employment form (STD 678) can be selected manually here. You can download and edit it in a PDF format. You can also download, print it and fill it out by hand. However, the California Job Blog recommends job-seekers take full advantage of the State jobs website and create a personal CalCareer account.

We recommend that you create an account and generate your application electronically. Then you will be able to manage, submit, and track job applications seamlessly. If you are actively looking for a job with the State of California, you'll be submitting a lot of applications and doing them all by hand is inefficient. If you need more convincing of the benefits, read more about Your CalCareer Account here.

The State Application is the same when applying for exams or vacancies. Applicants should indicate on their application which they are applying for. The application is a legal document so take it seriously and follow the directions listed on the first 2 pages. Don't bother turning in an application for a position that isn't currently being advertised; it will not be considered, returned or retained for future use. Also, you need an active Job Control number (JC-xxx) listed on your application for it to be accepted by the hiring department.

It is very common for departments to grade applicants on whether or not they filled out the application correctly and fully. Keep in mind when you're applying that the quality of your application is likely to be used as a screening criterion. Make sure to read the job bulletin fully because there might be special instructions for how to complete the application.

Departments will only accept applications during the filing period. The filing period is a minimum of 10 days and a Final Filing Date is always listed on job and exam bulletins. Sometimes you'll see a position advertised with a Final Filing Date of "Until Filled." This is an indefinite filing period usually used when a department is looking to fill a position with really specific qualifications. But don't take this to mean that you have an unlimited amount of time to apply. The posting can be taken down at any time without notice. If the job posting isn't active, you won't be able to apply.

Image of top left corner of State Application

In the top left corner of your application, you'll see a date preceded by "REV." The REV stands for Revision and lists a date. The most up-to-date application is July 2019. If you find a different version online, or a hard copy lying around with an older date listed, don't use it. Find an updated version and submit that. If you are using your CalCareer account, you won't have to worry. The system will generate and submit the most recent version of the application automatically.

You may see the application listed as California 678, California STD 678, STD 678, or something similar. They are all the same. The "STD" stands for Standard or Standardized. It just means that in the entire State of California system, the form with the number 678 applies specifically to the State Application.

EEO Questionnaire

You can detach the EEO questionnaire if you're submitting an application for a vacant position. If it is attached to your State application, it'll be removed before a hiring manager sees it anyway. This is to prevent any racial, ethnic or gender biases factoring into hiring decisions.

However, you'll want to include the EEO questionnaire if you are applying for an exam. It will still be removed and remain anonymous from your application or anyone making hiring decisions. The information you provide on the questionnaire will be added to a statistical database by someone uninvolved in the hiring process.

If you create a CalCareer account and submit your applications electronically, the EEO information you provide when you create your account will be automatically transmitted if it is needed. Again, the people making the decisions whether to hire you will not have access to your EEO information.

Contact/Personal Information

Make sure your contact information is up to date. Hiring departments will contact you if they have any questions about your application and to schedule you for an exam or interview if you are a competitive candidate. If you update your contact information (under the Account Management tab) in your CalCareer account, it will automatically update your application. It will not update the information on applications you've already submitted, though. If you've already applied for jobs, you'll have to contact the individual departments to provide them updated information.

It is common for a department to disqualify a candidate if the contact information on their application is out-of-date. If they try to schedule you for an interview but can't reach you, they can pass you up for another candidate. This is true for the contact information of your previous supervisors as well. If they try to reach your current employer (whether you work in or outside State service), for a reference or employment verification, but are unable to, they can disqualify you from consideration also. Make sure all this information is current.

If you submit your application electronically, your social security number will be sent automatically. However, if you print or save your application as a PDF, your social security number will be omitted, and you'll have to write it in by hand before you submit it. You should also sign and date your application by hand. When you submit it electronically, you'll "sign" it electronically. You will probably still be asked to provide a physical signature if you are selected to move forward in the hiring process, though.

Easy ID/CalCareer ID

Older versions of the State's job application asked for an Easy ID. The Easy ID has since been eliminated and replaced with the CalCareer ID. If you come across a version of the STD 678 that is asking for an Easy ID, you're using an out-dated version and should start over with the updated format.

The CalCareer ID shouldn't cause you too much concern, either. If you log in to your CalCareer account, you can find it under the Account Management tab at the top left of your screen. If you're applying online, the CalCareers system will populate your application with this ID number automatically. But a CalCareer account isn't required to apply for jobs, so if you are applying with a paper application, it is OK to skip this box.

Exam or Job Title You Are Applying For

In the box provided on the application, be sure to clearly indicate what you are applying for. Make sure you put the Job Control number. The Job Control number is listed on the posting as "JC-" followed by a number (usually 6 digits). You should also put the classification. A job posting may instruct you to include another number, too. Sometimes it is a position number or an RPA or PARF number.

Read the bulletin carefully to find out if there are further instructions for filling out this part of the application. But definitely don't forget the JC number. Larger departments may have several advertisements for the same classification and your application may be rejected if the hiring department can't figure out which job you're applying for.

Job Control (JC-xxxx) numbers only exist for open positions. If you are applying for an exam, you won't find a JC number. Instead you will find an exam code in the bulletin. List this code along with the classification in the Examination for Which you are Applying box.

Note: You need separate applications for each job posting. If you see that a department has multiple postings for the same classification, you'd have to submit a separate application for each one. You cannot put multiple Job Control numbers on the same application. If you are applying for an Associate Governmental Program Analyst job, for example, with a department that has multiple postings for this classification, you must submit a separate application for each opening and clearly indicate the specific Job Control number on each one.

Work Experience

Your work experience is very important. Unless you are using education as the basis for how you qualify for a classification, your work experience will show whoever is evaluating your application that you are qualified for the job. The hiring department has no idea if you're qualified until they read your application and they make their determination based upon what they read. Remove any doubt, and make sure you understand the minimum qualifications for the classification and have clearly described them on your application.

Hiring departments also use something called screening criteria to better determine the most qualified applicants for a position. To determine qualifications, they will document criteria specific to the functions of the job and will screen applicants against this to determine who will be scheduled for interviews. The criteria they use in this screening process relates directly to what is listed in the duty statement. Also, be sure to keep in mind that properly filling out the application might be among the department's screening criteria.

When you're completing your application, go one step further from just listing the basic experience you have that qualifies you for the position and list the tasks you've done that are listed in the duty statement. The duty statement will be different for all job postings and hiring departments may or may not use screening criteria. To set yourself apart and ensure you are invited for an interview, make sure you highlight all the work experience you have that matches what is described in the duty statement.

Note: A duty statement is required anytime a department wants to advertise and fill a vacant position. If it is not attached to a job posting, you have a right to request one from the department advertising the vacancy. They are required to provide it to you.

Please note that the State of California doesn't ask for current or previous salary information anymore. If you are using a CalCareer account to fill out your application, you won't be asked to provide this information. The most current California State Application doesn't have a box to put salary information. If you are filling out an application and see a space to put Starting and Ending salary, you are likely using an outdated application form.

The general rule for listing work experience is to go back 10 years. However, you'll be going back farther if the work experience is relevant to the job you are applying for. In other words, only list positions older than 10 years if the experience is necessary for you to meet the minimum or desired/required qualifications for the classification.

If you are using non-paid, volunteer, part-time or internship experience, you'll make sure you want to list that too. Especially if it fills in any gaps you make have in your employment record. Non-paid or non-traditional work experience can be a great way to become qualified for a classification. Just be sure to list it in on your application the same way you would a normal, full-time position.

Note: If you already work for the State, make sure you are listing your official classification, rather than a working title.

Save, Print & View Your Application

Hopefully you are using your CalCareer account to generate your application. You are able to view, print or save your application once you are logged into your account. From the left menu, select Application Templates.

Image showing the section of your CalCareer Account where you can find Application Templates (STD 678)

Remember, it's possible to have multiple templates. A lot of people have different versions of their STD 678 for different classifications, classification groups, or departments. Just keep in mind that if you are updating things like education or work experience, you'll have to update each template manually but things like contact information will be updated automatically.

After you've selected the template you want to open, click View/Edit Template. In the top right corner, you'll find a Print Application Template button. You'll then have the option of returning to the previous screen or exporting your template as either an exam or job application.

Image of Saving, editing and printing State Application (STD 678) on CalCareers

Use the exam option if you are applying for exams, or the job application if you are applying for a vacancy. If you'd just like to see what your application looks like when it is printed or sent to a hiring department, you can pick either. After you export it, it will open in PDF format. You can "save as" if you want to save it to a computer or device. Keep in mind that if you make any changes to your application in PDF form, it won't update your template or CalCareer account information.

License Information

If a license is required for the position you are applying for, don't forget to put that information in the space provided. Also, make sure that your license is up to date. If a license is required for the job, one of the first things the hiring department will do is verify it electronically. For jobs that the State of California requires you to have a license for, there is a database online that hiring departments can use for verification.

Also include a copy or scan of your license when you apply. If you are in the process of renewing, copy or scan the receipt showing that you have submitted your necessary paperwork and paid any required fees. You will be disqualified and not allowed to interview if license requirements are not satisfied. Also, make sure you take your actual license when you go for an interview. At that point someone will be tasked verifying its authenticity.

Typing Positions

If the position you are applying for is a position that requires a typing certificate, you'll want to indicate that on your application. You'll do this in question 6 on the first page of the form. This question isn't asking you for your best guess of the speed you can type. It should match the speed indicated on your typing certificate, which should be attached. If the position you are applying for doesn't require a typing certificate, you'll leave this question blank.

Question 6 on the State Application is where you certify the words per minute you can type


In the employment history section of the application, there is also a section for Supervisor Name and Supervisor Phone Number. Do not neglect this part of the application. Don't spell your past supervisors names wrong and make sure the phone number is up to date. The people listed in this section are those that will be used for references. You can use this section to direct reviewers to "see resume" or "see reference" page. If the department is interested in hiring you, the people listed her will be contacted. It's very unlikely that you'll successfully get through the State's hiring process without a reference check.

If a previous supervisor has left the department they were in at the time you worked with them, you have 3 options. The first is to track them down and get an updated phone number. The second is to find the person that is the replacement for your supervisor and provide their contact information. The third option is finding another supervisor/manager at the organization that you worked with and that can be provided as a reference. In all cases it is very important to have up-to-date contact information. The professional standard is to also to make sure that the person you are providing is aware that you are using them, and that it's possible they will be getting a call.

If you had multiple supervisors, use the person that can best speak about your ability to be successful in the job you are applying for. That might mean you use different people for different applications, and that's OK. The person you use should be who can best attest that you have experience completing the duties listed in the job bulletin.

Building a "bank" of possible references from which to draw is a great way to save time at this stage. Having a list of former supervisors and their contact information will make it easy to select the right person for your reference. Of all the parts of the hiring process, delays in obtaining references are one of the most common and difficult I have encountered while doing hiring. The inability to obtain quality references for a good candidate is also one of the most common reasons I've seen candidates get disqualified. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure they have provided usable contacts for the hiring department.

Thanks for reading!

Related Articles:


  1. Thank you for this overview. I appreciate the advice about customizing the application per the individual jobs. I have a question about the "total worked" field in the employment history section. I have part time jobs and volunteer experience that I am including. For instance, I had a 10 month/year job at an elementary school, working <20 hours/week. I worked there 6 years. Do I write "6 yrs" in "total worked" or "3 yrs 6 mos" because that would be the full time equivalent?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog