By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — He felt like a small fish in a big pond. That pond—more like the state jobs pool.

“I felt like I was just sort of in the system,” he said.

Kevin Desormeaux was one of the thousands of job hunters vying for one of the most sought after jobs—a state job. But fierce competition turned furiously confusing when he tried navigating the state’s old job website.

“Government websites tend to ask for a lot of unnecessary information,” he said.

Not anymore. The state jobs website has a shiny new look, and promises to get you your foot in the door, faster.

Just visit Calcareers.CA.Gov. The site lets you set up notifications, store applications templates, monitor the status of a submitted application. And for convenience, you can take most of the required state exams right online.

Easy right? Think again.

Of the close to 4,000 job openings, half will go to current state employees eligible for promotions.

So how do you break in? It’s not just website skills you need, It’s strategy.

Meet Michelle Allen, former state worker, now state job guru.

She teaches a three-hour class on how to get a state job.

“First and foremost you have to know what exams you’re eligible to sit for. Once you know that, you take all of them,” she said.

That’s the key, she says… cast the widest net possible.

“How many jobs can you apply for? You can apply for as many as you want as long as you’re on the ‘list,’” she said.

Yes there’s a magic “list.”

How do you get on it? Follow Michelle’s formula:

  • Take a test. Each department has its own test.
  • Pass it. 70% percent or higher is passing
  • And keep applying.

Because apparently, the job security is hard to beat.

“Thirty days in, when you start working for the state, you get healthcare And it’s phenomenal. You can hardly beat it anywhere in the private sector,” said Michelle.

Over in Downtown Sacramento, Desormeaux likes the sound of a new state jobs site.

“I do graphic design,” he said.

So he’s suddenly ready to reapply.

“It’s a full-time job to look for work so…” he said.

Want to take Michelle Allen’s class? Here’s what you need to know:

When: 8/3 Thursday 6-9pm
Where: Roseville Center (Vernon) 316 Vernon St. Roseville #2404
Cost: $49 for class $10 for materials

Comments (2)
  1. Best ways to get a state job: apply for the spots that no one else wants:
    a. positions out in the middle of nowhere…e.g. a prison, dam, facility miles from the nearest freeway.
    b. frequent contact with the public, particularly about “angry” matters such as taxes or Medi-Cal or welfare benefits.

  2. The “list” isn’t magic. It’s just how you scored on the tests, and then ranked with others who took the same tests.
    Managers are required to hire from that list (higher ranked is better).

    Or they can take someone who has higher priority than a person applying from the outside.
    The latter includes existing state workers who can transfer in, promoted to that position, or ex-state workers who have “civil service rights” to return to a state job.

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