Skip to main content

Personnel Department

Frequently Asked Questions


How will I know when you are recruiting?

Job openings are updated every other Friday and as necessary. Please visit Current City Jobs to see what jobs are currently open.  If a job in which you are interested is not currently open for recruitment, you may choose to be notified via email when the job(s) becomes available for application. To sign up online, select Job Interest Cards.

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 required materials specified 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 Ave., Suite 101A, in downtown San Diego, to apply online on computer kiosks. The Center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. City of San Diego libraries also offer internet resources. The City of San Diego accepts online applications only.

What does a job posting with a “Continuous” closing date 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. Also, a closing date can be published when a sufficient number of applications are received with as little 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 right-hand menu. Select any job(s) for which you are interested in getting further information regarding job duties and the qualifications required to apply. Select the “Subscribe” link at the top right of the job description. You will be required to complete a Job Interest Card.  For the next 12 months after you submit this form, you will receive an email notification each time the job opens for recruitment with the City of San Diego

If you would like to be notified when jobs within a certain job category open for recruitment (e.g., Public Safety, Office and Administrative Support), go to Current City Jobs and select Job Interest Cards on the right-hand menu. Place a check in the box next to each job category for which you would like to receive email notifications, select “Subscribe” at the top of the page, fill out the Job Interest Card and select "Submit". For the next 12 months after you submit this form, you will receive an email notification each time a job opens for recruitment with the City of San Diego whose category matches one of the categories you have chosen.

Job Interest Cards are active for one year.  We will send you a reminder email in 11 months to give you an opportunity to extend your notifications for another year. Remember you are responsible for updating any email address changes to your account.

Account Information

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 Personnel Department 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. Sharing your account or email address with another person will jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any jobs for which you apply, and may result in missed employment opportunities. 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 through the Applicant Login/Registration link and selecting “My Account.” If you are a City of San Diego employee, you must also update your personal information in SAP via Self Services since address changes are not automatically updated.

How do I access my online account once it has been established?

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

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 (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.

Please Note:  If you choose to unsubscribe from email notifications, you may miss important employment related notifications.

To ensure you receive employment related notifications from the City of San Diego, periodically check your Inbox by logging into your account at

Application Process

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

  1. You can only create ONE user account per email address. Sharing your account or email address with another person will jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any positions for which you apply, and may result in missed employment opportunities. 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.
  2. Carefully read the job posting and the application form with specific attention given to the minimum requirements.
  3. Complete each section of the application to ensure your qualifications are fully documented. Also, remember to attach any required documents (e.g., proof of degree, certification, license). An incomplete application could cause a delay in processing your application and may result in your application not being approved.
  4. Submit your application form within the official application filing period advertised for each job posting.

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 long do I have to complete the application?

The length of time 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 readily available at the time you apply (e.g., work history with complete dates of employment, employer's name and address, supervisor's contact information; education history including name of school, college major, units completed and degree completed). You should also have available all the documents you are required to submit with your application. The average time to complete the online application process is approximately 30 to 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, you will be timed out, and you will lose information not previously saved. Your application must be submitted prior to 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the closing date. You will NOT be able to submit even a SAVED application after 5 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 you meet the minimum qualifications for the position for which you are applying.

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 online submission. Follow the instructions in the ‘First Time User Guide’ on how to attach documents to your online 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, 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, certificate/license numbers [if applicable], issuing agency).

Can I apply with a résumé and cover letter?

Please do not submit a résumé to the Personnel Department.  Résumés will NOT be accepted in lieu of an employment application.

Can I still submit an online 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 “submit” prior to the deadline in order for your application to be received.

Can I add 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. Required documents should be attached electronically to your application.  If you are unable to attach at time of application submittal, you must submit them as soon as possible via fax:  (619) 533-3337; or to the Employment Information Center:  City of San Diego Personnel Department, 1200 Third Avenue – Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101.  Include your name and the title of the position for which you are applying.  You may also contact the Personnel Department, Testing Office at (619) 236-6358, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) for additional information.

How can I check the status of my online application?

You can review the status of your application at any time by logging in to Applicant Login/Registration using the username 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 application.

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?

Typing requirements, if any, are specified on the job posting. 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 net words per minute on a computer keyboard (some positions require 50 net words per minute) must be submitted to the Personnel Department at time of application. The certificate must be issued under International Typing Contest Rules, specify the name of the organization/agency and signature of the person administering the test, 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 specifying more than five (5) errors will NOT be accepted.

Job Requirement Information

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 meets their needs.

Can I substitute experience for education?

For some job openings, relevant experience may be substituted for the required education. Always refer to the minimum requirements of the job posting for specific information.

Can I substitute education for experience?

For some job openings, relevant education may be substituted for the required experience. Always refer to the minimum requirements on the job posting for specific information.

Screening Process

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 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 that 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.

Request for Accommodations

What if I need special testing accommodations?

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

What if I need accommodations related to the interview process?

If you are contacted for an interview and require a reasonable accommodation, you may contact the hiring department to make a request for accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hiring Process

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 that is used to contact and interview eligible candidates as needed. Not all candidates will 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?

If you are given a conditional job offer, a Conviction Record Form must be completed before hire. On this form, you must list ALL your criminal convictions. 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 apply to the job.  These 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 that 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, including marijuana, 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.

Veterans' Preference Eligibility

Does the City offer Veterans’ Preference?

Veterans' preference of five (5) percent is offered on “Open,” multiple-category 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 benefits 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 subject to future modifications. For further information, go to the Employee Benefits tab.

What does career advancement mean?

A career advancement position is one which has been classified by the Personnel Department at or below the journey-level in a classification series.  Departments may opt to underfill a vacancy at any of the lower-level classifications in that same series.  If an individual is hired to underfill a career advancement position, they will  receive training and will be assigned progressively more responsible and complex duties.  Upon gaining the experience and skills required for advancement, they are eligible for promotion to the higher levels in the series until they reach the classified level of the position.  For example, a position classified as a journey-level Associate Management Analyst could be filled at the Management Trainee level.   Upon gaining experience; developing more advanced knowledge, skills and abilities; and performing satisfactorily in their present underfill classification, they could be promoted to Assistant Management Analyst and finally to Associate Management Analyst in the same position.  The career advancement system rewards employees with promotions in their current position which reflect the increasing value of their training and experience to the City. 

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 at the time of application. Persons given a conditional job offer 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. Please note the City of San Diego, as a prospective employer, does not file nonimmigrant petitions with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of foreign workers. After hire, you will be required to sign a loyalty oath and may be required to live in San Diego County.

Is the City of San Diego an equal opportunity employer?

Equal Employment Opportunity is the law. Applicants to and employees of the City of San Diego are protected under federal and state law from discrimination based on specific legally-recognized characteristics. Visit ( for more information.

The City of San Diego supports the principles of fair and equal treatment in the workplace and does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, creed, physical or mental disability, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military and veteran status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, religious belief or observance, sexual orientation, transgender status or transitioning, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law.

The City is committed to making its jobs, programs and services accessible to all persons and complies with all ADA requirements in its employment practices.

The City of San Diego is also a covered employer under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Visit ( ) for more information from the United States Department of Labor on FMLA rights.