Welcome to the California Department of Social Services

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CDSS Employment Guide

Join Our Team!

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is dedicated to serving, aiding and protecting children and adults in ways that strengthen and preserve families, encourage personal responsibility and foster independence.

The Department has more than 4,200 employees and offers many career choices in locations throughout California. The CDSS is committed to the growth and potential of each of our employees. This website is designed to guide you toward becoming a member of our team.

Career Opportunities

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Budgets
  • Business Services
  • Clerical
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Information Technology
  • Investigators
  • Legal
  • Licensing
  • Medical
  • Personnel/Labor Relations
  • Training
  • Research
  • Social Services/Adoptions
  • Staff Services

5 Steps to Employment with CDSS

1. Complete "My Profile", State Application Form (STD 678) and Find an Exam

The STD 678 form is required to apply for all exams and job vacancies. Before completing your application online, set up your profile at the “My Profile” tab at jobs.ca.gov. Once completed, you may search for available exams. The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) web site refers to the exam process as “Recruitment,” so when searching “recruitments,” you are searching for available exams. The minimum qualifications to apply for job vacancies, as well as how, when and where to apply for the exam, are outlined in the document. Submit your application as directed in the Exam Announcement (or Recruitment Bulletin).

Examination information is available on recorded message lines, on the Internet, and in-person at the SPB, the California Department of Social Services and Employment Development Department (EDD) offices. The recorded messages are available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days per week and are updated when new examinations are announced. The SPB also maintains a bulletin board on the Internet that includes some examination information.

The CDSS exams are listed on the Job Examination Information web page.

2. Take a State Qualification Exam

Successful completion of an exam is the initial step required for your name to be placed on an eligibility list.

Some examinations are offered over the Internet using an assessment questionnaire. These examinations do not require an examination application at the time of submittal.

Others are administered through written or oral exams which require an examination application (STD 678). If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be notified with an examination date. Oral exams are conducted in the presence of a panel.

3. Name Must Be On An Eligibility List

Successful examination applicants will receive a score and will then be placed on a “hiring” eligibility list, which is divided into ranks. At that time, each eligible individual will be notified of his or her ranking on the eligibility list. Only eligible individuals on this list may be hired.

If you take your exam over the Internet, you will immediately be ranked and scored when you finish the exam. Only those candidates in “reachable ranks” (i.e., ranks 1, 2 and 3) can be considered for hire (appointment).

4. Find And Apply For a Vacant Position

Once you have completed an examination and are reachable on an eligibility list, there are several ways to apply for vacant positions:

  • Contact Letters – Contact letters are mailed out to eligible candidates for current vacancies. If you receive a contact letter and are interested in the position, submit a State Application Form (STD 678) to formally apply and then wait to be contacted for the hiring interview.
  • Web-based Vacant Position Database (WVPOS) – Visit https://jobs.ca.gov/ and sign up for e-mail alerts with the e-Notify System to find out when job vacancies are added. You will receive information on current vacancies in California state service and may apply for any position advertised as long as you are on the eligibility list for the job classification.
  • Department Vacancy List – Available at CDSS Job Vacancies, these listings are specific to CDSS.

5. Participate in a Hiring Interview

The hiring interview is designed to identify the best match for the vacancy. Before you go to your interview, familiarize yourself with the position’s duty statement along with the Department’s mission and functions and how the job for which you are interviewing contributes to those purposes.

The Department has the discretion to hire the most qualified candidate reachable on the eligibility list. Unless you are offered a job, your name remains on the eligibility list until the list expires.

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer. We offer many benefits, including:

  • Medical and Retirement Plans
  • Paid Leave and Holidays
  • Training
  • Upward Mobility Program

Have questions? Contact CDSS’ Human Resource Office:
Sacramento 916-657-1762
TDD 1-800-735-2929

For More Information:

Prior to employment at CDSS, applicants in specific classifications will be subject to fingerprinting and criminal record clearance by the California Department of Justice.

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free state work place. Any applicant for state employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the state, the rules governing civil service and the special trust placed in public servants.

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.