State of Washington Applications
Tips for Applying for Jobs With the State of Washington
Applying for a position with the state of Washington can be a bewildering and time-consuming experience unless you are familiar with the system. Hopefully, the following information will lessen the confusion and explain the reasons for the length of time involved.
- A published recruiting announcement must be open prior to filing an application for any position with the State of Washington; the paper color shows who may apply:
White = Open Competitive. For anyone who meets the REQUIREMENTS listed on the recruitment announcement.
Pink = Promotional. For State employees who meet the REQUIREMENTS and have permanent status or who have completed at least four months of their probationary period.
Yellow = Project Employment. For anyone who meets the REQUIREMENTS and is willing to accept employment that has a designated ending date and does not lead to permanent status in state civil service.
Each announcement will give you the title of the position, location, salary and a brief d description of duties and responsibilities and, most importantly, the minimum qualifications required for the particular position. You must meet the minimum qualifications for the position. There are approximately 2,300 different classifications utilized by the State of Washington, each with a set of minimum requirements.
- Recruiting announcements are published weekly and distributed on a statewide basis to community colleges, universities, agency regional offices, unemployment offices, job placement centers, etc. Most announcements are open for two weeks, so frequent checking at the nearest location to you will keep you adequately informed of what is open for filing applications. File a separate application for each recruiting announcement. Though ideal, it is seriously limiting to restrict your interest to one agency or one classification. Once you complete the first six months of probationary status and become a permanent employee, the opportunities to promote or transfer to other agencies are greatly increased.
- Only one application form is used by the state of Washington for regular classified positions. This form must be completed in full, with appropriate boxes completed. The application must be signed, dated and received by the Department of Personnel no later than 5:00 p.m. on the closing date of the announcement. Attachments such as resumes, previous job descriptions, letters of recommendation or transcripts (unless specifically requested) are not recommended.
- Separate applications must be completed for each announcement. As an example, the Department of Ecology may have an announcement for Environmentalist 1 for Yakima only and an announcement for Environmentalist 1 in Olympia. The Yakima register would not fill vacancies in Olympia and vice versa. Candidates need to file separate applications for each announcement.
- Once the application is determined to meet the minimum qualifications, it is processed for the examination. There are three types of examinations most commonly conducted: a written examination, an oral examination, and an evaluation of experience and training (E&T). The E&T is the only examination not requiring your presence. The application is scored based upon the amount of education and experience you possess as it relates to the scoring criteria. For this reason, your application must be complete and concise in order to receive all appropriate credit. If the announcement requests additional information, please provide it. If you do not, your application may not be eligible for scoring. The State of Washington can not reimburse any candidate for travel expenses to a testing site. Examinations are held in specified areas of Washington State only.
- Following successful completion of the examination, your application is placed on the appropriate register according to score. Your name will be placed on the register at the same time that you receive your score in the mail. As an opening occurs within a state agency, the Department of Personnel will refer the top five candidates to the agency for interviews. The Department of Personnel cannot tell a candidate where they are placed on the register. Many of the registers change daily.