Admittance letters are sent out 10-14 days before the exam date. If you have not received your admittance letter by the Wednesday before the exam date, you should call Personnel at 434-5049.
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The first step to City employment is checking the announcements for job openings and examinations. Announcements are available in the jobs portal, at City Hall Room 301, at all public libraries, and at 125 other locations in the community.
The next step is filling out an application for the job openings or exams you think match your interests and qualifications. Application forms are available at City Hall, Room 301. As you complete the application, make sure that you pay close attention to the minimum qualifications for the job category. Describe the areas of your experience or education that show you meet those requirements. In the application review process, analysts will match the experience and training on your application with the requirements stated on the announcement to determine if you qualify for the exam or job opening.
You must complete a separate application for every job or exam for which you want to be considered. (The City uses the same application form for both current job openings and Civil Service examinations.) Remember that every job category will have different training and experience requirements. Include information about your educational background, experience, and relevant licenses you hold that shows that you meet the minimum qualifications stated on the announcement.
No. For some job categories, all candidates who meet the requirements for appointment (“minimum qualifications”) are eligible for consideration by the hiring department without an examination. For a small number of jobs there are no experience or education requirements. But for most job categories, candidates who meet the minimum requirements are ranked by means of an examination. The department then makes its choice from the people at the top of the “eligible list.”
Postings for job openings and exam announcements offer a wealth of information about jobs and their requirements. They describe the duties of the job. The “minimum qualifications” list the experience or education needed to be approved for the exam or considered for the job opening. In addition, the exam announcement includes the exam’s “scope,” a description of the topics to be tested, the type(s) of exam – there may be more than one part – and the weight given to each part.
Applications submitted after the final filing date are not accepted. The exam announcement is considered to be a kind of contract with the public. In order to be fair to everyone who sees the announcement, we must reject any application that is submitted after the closing date for applications. Therefore it is important to pay close attention to all the dates on the exam announcement. If a candidate who submits a late application also submits an application fee, the fee is not refunded.
If the analyst determines that the combination of education and experience you described on your application doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications, you will get a letter from the City. You will be given a chance to submit more information or clarify what you told us before. If you did not tell us about all your relevant experience or education the first time, this is your opportunity. What happens if I don’t meet the minimum qualifications for the exam?
No. The City of Albany may choose to exercise a “residency preference” in hiring. That means that the names of City residents will be sent to departments for consideration first, and the names of non-residents only if there are not enough residents available to fill the positions.
The City of Albany’s exams are all related to the requirements of specific job categories; they are not general tests of intelligence or ability. Therefore the first way to prepare for the exam is to get an exam announcement and read it carefully. The "scope" of the exam will provide a lot of information including the form of the exam (written, oral, evaluation of training and experience), the weight given to each part and the subjects to be tested.
Once you know the content of the exam, there are a couple of approaches to getting ready. One is to use a review or test book in the area to be tested. For example, if writing skills will be tested, a good grammar textbook may be the place to start. Another possibility is to look at the Civil Service review books (e.g., Arco series) in the public library for sample questions and answers. Even if there isn’t a review book for exactly the test you’re taking, there may be others that include the same topics. Compare the scopes of the two exams to find out. In addition, many of those books contain general strategies for test taking: how to stay calm, how to study, etc., and they can provide useful information to help in your preparation.
There may also be a study guide for your examination available on the New York State Civil Service website.
Yes. An excerpt from the policy:
A "provisional" appointment is made when there is no eligible list for a job category and a department wishes to make an appointment immediately. In this case the department may choose anyone who meets the minimum requirements for the job. However, a test will be given eventually for that job category. If you are appointed "provisionally", you must not only pass the exam when it is given, but you must be reachable for appointment by placing among the top three candidates on the list.
For "Promotional" exams, applications will be accepted only from current City employees who meet certain criteria.
When an exam is announced as "Open Competitive," applications will be accepted from anyone, either members of the public or City employees.
The City tests for a wide range of competencies needed to do specific jobs, and the type of test is chosen to match the ability to be tested. These are some of the terms that appear on announcements to describe different types of exams:
These are the most frequently used test types. Others may be used, and they are described on the exam announcement.