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Quick Start Guide to State of California Jobs

In this article you will find a quick start guide for getting a job with the State of California. Getting a State of California job can be a complicated process but the California Job Blog has the information you need to get started.

We have more in-depth articles on each of these topics and we hope you'll check them out. We think working for the State of California is great, and our goal is to help others find their dream job.

Quick Guide to Getting a State of California Job

1) Set Up Your CalCareers Account

CalCareers ( is where your job search should begin. CalCareers is the State of California's site for everything job related. Here you'll find job postings and exam bulletins, info about State of California employee benefits and much more.

To be able to apply for the jobs you find on CalCareers, you need to have an account. We recommend creating your CalCareer account as the first step in your job search.

2) Build Your Job Application

After your CalCareer account is set up, you should work on building your State Application (STD 678). You'll use your application to apply for vacant positions and exams. After you create your application template it will be saved in your account, to use each time you find an opening you want to apply for.

In that you'll be using your saved application repeatedly, it's important you build it to be as robust and high-quality as possible. Your application is how hiring departments determine if you are qualified for a position. We have a great article about creating a perfect state application that can be a big help in your job search.

3) Take Exams

The State of California hiring process begins with taking exams. By taking, and passing, exams, candidates gain eligibility for classifications. On CalCareers, there is an Exam/Assessment search function that allows jobseekers to search for available exams.

Exams come in several formats. Some are available to take online, but other still require in-person attendance. The exam bulletin will provide complete instructions on the format of the exam and how to complete it.

If you are logged in to you CalCareers account, on the left side of your page you will see menu with a section labeled Exam/Assessment Records. If you click on this, you can see the eligibility records for exams you have passed. You can now start applying for vacant positions.

4) Apply for Vacancies

From CalCareers, you can search for that classification, or you can click on Advanced Job Search and search for the classification in the Advanced Filters section. We recommend doing it this way to get better search results.

If, for example, have taken and passed the Associate Governmental Program Analyst (AGPA) exam, click on Advanced Job Search, scroll down to the Advanced Filters section, click on the menu for Classification and select Associate Governmental Program Analyst. Now, when you click the Search Jobs button in the bottom right corner of the page, you will see all the vacancies for the AGPA classification.

Depending on the classification, you might see just a few or maybe hundreds of vacant positions. AGPA is one of the most common state of California Classifications, so you will probably see a lot. From this search results page, you might not be able to tell much about the specifics of each job. Although the Working Title might give you a clue. If you click on View Job Posting you'll be able to see the official job posting, which will have a full description about the position. 

Also, on this bulletin you will see an Apply Now button. If after reading the details about position you want to apply, click this and you will be on your way to submitting your application.


So, what have we covered in this article? First, we talked about setting up your CalCareer account and why getting this taken care of will make it easy to start applying. Second, we went over the importance of building a high-quality application. Third, we looked at the exam portion of the State's hiring process and discussed gaining eligibility for classifications. Finally, we talked about applying for vacant positions.

This article has been a brief overview of what can be a complicated process. For each of the four steps we discussed here we have articles that go into greater depth, and we hope you explore them. Getting a job with the State of California does not have to be difficult. We hope to provide some insight into the process that when combined with your hard work will lead you to a great job.

Thanks for reading!

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