How to Apply for a State Job


State employment offers full benefits, paid holidays, generous time off and job security. In addition to a comprehensive benefits package, people working in state government are making a difference in their communities, and work with purpose.

But where do you begin with your job search? How do you navigate the state’s job board, CalCareers, and where do you fit in with all the different job opportunities? Below are some helpful tips when applying.

Steps to Secure a Job with CalCareers

1. Create a CalCareers account and profile

Visit and click “Create Account/Log In” to create an account. This will give you access to your personal portal.

Fill out a Standard State Application (STD 678)

You have the option to save your application as a template to easily apply to multiple state vacancies. While logged in, click on “My Account” on the top navigation bar. Click on “Application Templates (STD 678)” on the left navigation bar. Click “Create New Template” and answer all required questions.


  • If you passed the exam, select “List Eligibility”
  • The “Duties Performed” section for each employment record should be accurate and complete. Putting “See Resume” is highly discouraged.

Once your template is complete, you will be able to select it when starting a new job application. For each job application, you will be able to “Choose/Upload” any required supporting documents like your resume, statement of qualifications, supplemental questionnaire, transcripts, etc.

Other CalCareers features

  • Submit applications to jobs and examinations
  • Store work history and cover letters
  • Review job vacancy statuses and examination results

2. Research and identify which classifications (or jobs) you are qualified and interested in

You can search job openings by job title. Read the duty statement (job description) and the classification specification for the job carefully. The job classification specification will provide you with the minimum qualifications (MQs) required for the position. MQs are the skills, experience, licensure, education, etc. that an individual must have in order to be considered for the position. Review the MQs for the position before taking the exam to make sure you are qualified for the position and have met all requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications for the position, take the exam.

3. Take an exam

Examinations are administered through CalHR or through specific departments to assess knowledge, skills, and abilities of candidates.

  • Search for exams on CalCareers to see which classification you are qualified and interested in.
  • Review the Minimum Qualifications, Position Description, Examination Scope and other important information.
  • Preview the exam by clicking the link under “Examination Information” in the official exam bulletin.
  • Take the exam by clicking the link under “Taking the Examination.”

4. Search for jobs

Once you take and pass an examination, you will obtain list eligibility and will receive a letter stating your score and rank. Your eligibility will also be stored in your personal CalCareers account. Now that you have obtained list eligibility, you can begin to search for specific jobs on CalCareers. You can also visit California Department of Human Resource’s Steps to a State Job webpage or check out some tutorials for job seekers.

5. Apply for jobs

Print the job posting and associated attachments for the vacancy. This contains all the position details such as the duty statement, job description information, special requirements, and contact information for the position. All of this will disappear after the final filing date, so make sure to make copies to study the position. Review the classification specification to understand the duties, tasks and MQs necessary for the position.