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Frequently Asked Questions


How will I know when you are recruiting?

Job openings are updated every other Friday. Please visit Current City Jobs to see what jobs are currently open or visit our Employment Information Center at 1200 Third Avenue, Suite 101A, San Diego, CA 92101, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

How do I know if I am qualified for this job?

The minimum requirements are listed in the job posting. Your application will be carefully reviewed, along with any other materials required on the job posting, to determine whether you meet these requirements. If you do not meet the requirements or if all the required information/documentation is not provided, your application will not be approved. Therefore, you should not apply if you do not meet all of the specified requirements.

How do I apply online for a specific job with the City of San Diego?

For instructions on how to apply select the First Time Users Guide and follow the instructions provided.

How do I apply for a job with the City of San Diego if I do not have a computer or web access?

You can visit our Employment Information Center at 1200 Third Avenue, Suite 101A, San Diego, CA 92101, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to apply online via computer kiosks. City of San Diego Libraries also offer internet resources. The City of San Diego accepts online applications only.

What does a job posting with “Continuous” mean?

“Continuous” means there is no specified closing date and applications will be accepted until further notice. You should still apply as soon as possible since vacancies may be filled while the recruitment process is still open. In addition, a closing date can be published when a sufficient number of applications are received with as few as five (5) days notice.

How can I apply for a job that is not currently advertised? How can I be notified of recruitments?

You cannot apply for a job that is not being currently advertised. You can, however, be notified when a recruitment is open by going to Current City Jobs and selecting Job Descriptions in the left hand menu. Select any job(s) in which you have an interest to get further information regarding job duties and the qualifications required to apply. If you are interested in that job, select the “Email me when jobs like this become available” link at the top right of the job description. You will be required to complete a Job Interest Card. Job Interest Cards are kept on file for one year.

If you would like to be notified when jobs within a certain job category (e.g., Public Safety, Office and Administrative Support), go to Current City Jobs and select Job Interest Cards in the left hand menu. Place a check in the box next to each job category for which you would like to receive email notifications, and fill out the required information at the bottom of the page, then select “Submit Request.” For the next 12 months after you submit this form, you will receive an email notification each time a job opens with City of San Diego whose category matches one of the categories you've chosen. We'll also send you a reminder email in 11 months to give you an opportunity at that time to extend your notifications for another year. Remember you are responsible for updating any email address changes to your account.


How do I get an email address?

There are a number of free email services available to the general public. For example:, or The City of San Diego does not endorse any particular provider.

Can I use the same email address as another applicant?

You can only create ONE user account per email address; using more than one person on the same email address will jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any jobs for which you apply and employment opportunities may be missed. When you create your account, please document your email address and password as you will need this information to access your account in the future.

How do I change my online application account password, address, telephone or email information?

You can change your personal information by accessing your online application account and selecting “My Account.” If you are a City of San Diego employee, you must also update your personal information in SAP as address changes do not automatically occur.

How do I access my on-line account once it has been established?

Go to the Applicant Login/Registration to login to your account. Enter your username and password to gain access. Please document your email address and password to avoid difficulties with your account and logging in.

I forgot my online application account password. Who do I contact for help?

If you are having issues with your login or have forgotten your password, use the “Forgot My Password” link that is directly below the username/password login box. Be sure to check your spam/junk email folders and add and to your safe sender list. If you still do not receive the email notice, contact NEOGOV Customer Support toll free at 1-855-524-5627 and follow the prompts for applicant assistance.


How will I be notified/contacted?

Please be aware that the Personnel Department and/or hiring departments may utilize alternative methods, OTHER than your specified notification preference, to contact you. You MUST KEEP your Account (e.g., name, address, email and phone) accurate to ensure notifications and employment opportunities are not missed.


How do I apply for a job that is currently open?

  1. Carefully read the job posting and the application form with attention given to the minimum requirements.
  2. Complete each section of the application to ensure your qualifications are fully documented. Also, remember to attach the required documents (e.g., proof of degree, certification, license). An incomplete application could cause a delay in processing your application and may result in not being approved.
  3. Submit your application forms within the official application filing period advertised for each job posting.
  4. If you apply online, you can only create ONE user account per email address; sharing the same email address will jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any positions for which you apply and employment opportunities may be missed. When you create your account, please document your email address and password as you will need this information to access your account in the future.

Can I print a copy of my application?

The application process will take you through a series of steps (Job Application, Agency Wide Questions, Supplemental Questions, Confirm Application, Certify and Submit). After completing these steps, you can print a copy of your application by clicking on the “View” application link located at the top of the page. You can also view and print your application at any time by accessing your account.

How do I attach documents to my application?

Follow the instructions provided in the Attach Documents guide (e.g., proof of degree, training, certificates, license) to attach documents to your on-line application prior to submittal. The system will only accept attachments from the following formats.

  • Acrobat Portable Document Format (pdf)
  • Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (gif)
  • Microsoft Word Document (doc)
  • Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (jpe)
  • Microsoft Word Document (2007) (docx)
  • Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (jpeg)
  • Notepad (txt)
  • Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (jpg)
  • Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (bmp)
  • Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (png)

Documents should be attached to the application when you apply.

How long do I have to complete the application?

How long it takes to apply will depend on how much information you wish to include in your application. To expedite this process it is recommended that you have supporting information at the time you apply (e.g., work history with complete dates of employment, employer’s name, address, supervisor’s contact information; education history including, name of school, college major, units completed and degree completed), as well as all documents you are required to submit with your application. The average time to complete the online application process is approximately 30 – 45 minutes.

There is a ONE HOUR window period. You MUST SAVE your online application at least once every hour, even if you are actively entering information. If you fail to save your application, your process will be timed out and you will lose information not previously saved. Your application must be submitted prior to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the closing date. You will NOT be able to submit a SAVED application after 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the closing date.

What documents will I need to submit with my application?

Please refer to the Required Documents section of the job posting for documents you are required to submit with your application. Supplemental information or other materials may be required as part of the application, as they are necessary to determine if the minimum qualifications for the position for which you are applying are met.

In order to be considered, you must submit all required documents at the same time you submit your application. This may be done at the time of the on-line submission. Follow the instructions on how to Attach Documents to your on-line application prior to submittal.

What information will I need to have readily available to fill out my application?

Work History
(e.g., company/agency name, address, start and end date [month/year], position title, hours worked per week, monthly salary, supervisor’s name and title).

(e.g., name of school, city and state, start and end date [month/year], college major, units completed [semester/quarter units], degree received).

(e.g., type, month/year issued, expiration month/year, certificates/licenses number [if applicable], agency issued by).

Can I apply with a resume and cover letter?

No. The City of San Diego requires that you submit an application.

Can I still submit an on-line application if I miss the deadline?

No. The date and time listed on the job posting is the deadline to apply and is the recruitment closing date. If you are in the process of applying but have not submitted your application prior to the closing time, you will not be allowed to submit your application for that position. You must click “confirm” prior to the deadline in order for your application to be received.

Can I add additional information or documents to my application after it has been submitted?

You will not be allowed to modify your application once it has been submitted. If you have additional information or documents to be attached to a specific application, contact the Personnel Department, Testing Office at (619) 236-6358, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) for instructions on how to fax, mail or email your attachment(s).

How can I check the status of my on-line application?

You can review the status of your application at any time by going to Applicant Login/Registration and using your user name and password you created when you established your account and then clicking on “Application Status.” You will see a list of your online applications and the current status of each.

Do I have to submit a separate application for each posting?

Yes. Each application is evaluated separately based on the job for which you are applying.

What are the typing requirements when a typing certificate is required?

If you wish to be considered for jobs requiring the ability to type, a copy of your typing certificate indicating the ability to type at a minimum corrected speed of 30 words per minute must be submitted to the Personnel Department at time of application. The certificate must be issued under International Typing Contest Rules and specify the net and gross speed, the number of errors and that the test was five (5) minutes or longer. Certificates specifying more than five (5) errors will not be accepted. Internet typing certificates or certificates not specifying more than five (5) errors will not be accepted.

For a partial list of agencies in San Diego County who conduct typing tests, please refer to the Typing Certificate Form.


Can I use volunteer or intern experience on my application?

You may list any verifiable work experience on your application unless otherwise indicated on the job posting. This experience will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine if the minimum requirements are met.

What if my college degree is from a school outside of the United States?

Refer to the job posting for the educational requirements. You may be required to certify that your degree is equivalent to a degree obtained in the United States. The following are a few recognized credential evaluation agencies:, or The City of San Diego, Personnel Department does not recommend or endorse any particular evaluation service.

Note: Processing times and costs will vary so individuals may want to check several services to determine which one best meet their needs.

Can I substitute experience for education?

Unless otherwise stated, relevant experience may be substituted for education lacked on a year-for-year basis.

Can I substitute education for experience?

For some job openings, an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s Degree or college-level course work may be substituted for the required experience. Always refer to the minimum requirements on the job posting for specific information.


How long will my name be on the eligible list?

This information will be provided on the job posting, under the category of “Screening Process” and could vary per job posting. Eligible lists may be used on a periodic basis as vacancies occur and may not be used for several months; eligible lists may also be extended by the Civil Service Commission. Candidates will be notified if an eligible list has been extended.

What if I need special testing accommodations?

Applicants with disabilities who require special testing accommodations may call the Testing Office at (619) 236-6358 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). The Request for Special Testing Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities needs to be completed and submitted as soon as possible so that appropriate accommodations can be made.

What types of tests are given?

The evaluation process for a job posting may include but is not limited to any one or a combination of the following: evaluation of the information contained in your employment application and supplemental forms, written multiple choice test, written exercise, oral interview, performance test, physical ability test, simulation test and/or assessment center. Each job posting will specify the type of screening process utilized.

How can I prepare for the test and are there study guides?

Carefully read the job posting, particularly the “Screening Process” section that describes the factors which will be evaluated. Unless otherwise noted on the job posting, there are no study guides provided by the City of San Diego, however, there may be topical reference materials at a public library and bookstores.


What is the hiring process?

Upon completion of all screening processes, applicants will be notified of their status, and an eligible list will be created. The hiring department with a vacancy will receive the eligible list which is used to contact and interview eligible candidates as needed. All candidates may not be contacted for an interview. The final selection and offer of employment is made by the hiring department.

Will a conviction record disqualify me from employment?

A Conviction Record Form must be submitted before hire. On this form you must list ALL criminal convictions you have had. A criminal record is not necessarily a basis for disqualification from City employment. Each applicant’s conviction record will be evaluated on a case by case basis considering the type and seriousness of the crime, how much time has elapsed, and the nature of the job. Misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts may be cause for disqualification and/or termination of employment. Any employment offer is conditional pending the results of all pre-employment screening processes.

Will a pre-employment screening process be required?

Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes that are applicable to this job, which may include but are not limited to the following: confirmation of citizenship/legal right to work in the United States; completion of a pre-employment medical review/exam (which may include drug/alcohol testing); reference checks; and a fingerprint check. The fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report. Certain positions may require additional screening processes which may include a polygraph examination and/or background investigation. All of these processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test for alcohol, illegal drugs or inadequately explained prescription drugs, misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening/selection process may be cause for disqualification and/or termination of employment. Nothing in this job posting constitutes an expressed or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego. Applicants must notify the Personnel Department of any changes in their name, address (home, email), or phone number or they may miss employment opportunities.


Does the City offer Veterans’ Preference?

Veterans’ preference of five (5) percent is offered on “Open” competitive examinations to veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces during any war, major military action or peacekeeping mission, has been honorably discharged from active service and has achieved a passing grade on the examination. An additional five (5) percent credit will be provided to any veteran or the qualifying spouse of any veteran who has a service related disability of at least 15%. Credit shall not be granted on any “Promotional” job openings (open to City of San Diego employees only). Credits will not be granted to anyone who has returned from the Service on a full pension or anyone who has been employed by the City of San Diego since discharged from the service. Look at the Eligibility Requirements and Required Documentation for specific information.


What type of benefits does the City of San Diego offer?

City employees may be eligible to participate in a benefit program including holidays, vacations, retirement savings, health programs, and other benefits. City employees initially hired on or after the effective date of Proposition B, a voter-approved San Diego Charter amendment to modify City employee retirement benefits, will not be eligible to participate in the City's Defined Benefit Plan administered by the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System. Benefits offered to employees may be subjected to future modifications, for further information go to the Employee Benefits tab.

What are the age limits for employment?

The minimum age for most full-time employment is 18, unless you are 17 and a high school graduate. The job posting will specify the age limit when it differs.

Do I have to be a United States citizen to apply?

You must have the legal right to work in the United States or have United States citizenship. Persons hired must present acceptable proof of identity and the legal right to work in the United States and the authenticity of the documents must be verified before starting work. After hire, you will be required to sign a loyalty oath and may be required to live in San Diego County. Individuals employed in jobs subject to Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are eligible for and have applied for United States citizenship.

Is the City of San Diego an equal opportunity employer?

The City of San Diego supports non-discrimination in the workplace and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, religion, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, veteran status, marital status, medical condition, gender identity, sexual orientation, as well as any other category protected by federal, state, or local laws. The City is committed to making its jobs, programs, and services accessible to all persons and complies with all ADA non-discrimination requirements in its employment practices.