Public Service Employees Network - Government Jobs

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Government JOBSearch Guide for insider tips:

  • How do I find a  government job?

  • Which jobs are advertised? 

  • Which agencies pay more? 

  • Why should I visit a government website? 

  • How do I have the agency notify me of job openings?

  • Where do I find test locations and test dates?

  • Which key words do I use on my application?




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Government Jobs
Getting Hired - Civil Service Exams and Tests

  1. Government Jobs - Overview
  2. Government JOBSearchTM - Job Listings, Links and Databases 
  3. How to Apply for a Government Job
  4. Getting Hired - Civil Service Exams and Tests
  1. Your Government Job Benefits  


Civil Service Exam
Civil service jobs are typically filled by examination.  Each agency administers a different examination for each job.  An examination may consist of one or more civil service tests.  Different kinds of examinations are given for different types of jobs.  An examination may consist of more than one test. The types of civil service tests include written tests, in-basket exercise, essay test, in-basket exercise, assessment center, performance tests, physical abilities, psychological, and interviews.

Civil Service Exam Scheduling
The test date and location are either provided on the Job Bulletin or the agency will notify you within a short period of time after you have your application has been submitted.

Civil Service Exam Scoring
Eligible or employment lists are established by ranking candidates based on their overall scores in the examination.  Candidates must be successful on each test of the examination.  Lists are effective for a given period as determined by each agency.  When the period expires, the list is said to "expire" and a new examination is given.  If you are not hired during the life of the list, you must take the examination again to qualify for a job.

Vacancies are usually filled through a selection from among the top ranking scores on the eligible or employment list.  The selection from the list typically involves an interview.  Review our Civil Service Exam and Test resources for test guides, sample questions and tips.  For more info on each type of exam, go to our Civil Service Exam review.

You must not only do well on the examination, but you must also do well on all subsequent interviews to receive a job offer.

Not all candidates on an eligible or employment list are considered for a job vacancy.  The number of candidates evaluated for a job vacancy vary with the agency.  For example, one agency may evaluate the five top scoring candidates, while another agency will evaluate all candidates in the top three whole scores.  Candidates who are not selected usually remain on the employment list and will be evaluated for other vacancies as they occur.

Depending on the position, agencies may also require a medical examination, drug screening, or licenses.  Probation is part of the examination process.   Probationary periods are usually six to twelve months.

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