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Thread: Santa Barbara County civil service exam

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    Santa Barbara County civil service exam

    Did anyone else apply for the Assistant Planner position for Santa Barbara County?? It requires a Civil Service exam……Has anyone else ever taken a Civil Service exam for a planning position?? I have experience working as an Assistant Planner with a government municipality and have interviewed for a number of other Cities across the state but have never taken a Civil Service Exam. What is on the test and what should I study??

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rleonard5 View post
    Did anyone else apply for the Assistant Planner position for Santa Barbara County?? It requires a Civil Service exam……Has anyone else ever taken a Civil Service exam for a planning position?? I have experience working as an Assistant Planner with a government municipality and have interviewed for a number of other Cities across the state but have never taken a Civil Service Exam. What is on the test and what should I study??
    A civil service exam is just that, an exam. It test your abilities to function as an assistant planner. They use this test to weed out candidates and interview only the top 3 or 4 based on the score. took a few of them about 6 years ago. Pretty easy stuff. Just brush up on basics like township/range, mapping basics and ceqa and you should be fine.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  3. #3
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Years ago I took a civil service test for the second smallest county (in area) in California.
    CEQA, Subdivision Map Act, CEQA, State planning and zoning rules, CEQA. All available from the governor's office of planning and research web site. Did I mention CEQA?

    SBC has a good web site. Review their General Plan and zoning ordinance.

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    Thank you very much.....this is all very helpful

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by rleonard5 View post
    Did anyone else apply for the Assistant Planner position for Santa Barbara County?? It requires a Civil Service exam……Has anyone else ever taken a Civil Service exam for a planning position?? I have experience working as an Assistant Planner with a government municipality and have interviewed for a number of other Cities across the state but have never taken a Civil Service Exam. What is on the test and what should I study??
    did you see the email they sent? this is what they said would be on it:
    the areas of Interpersonal Skills, Written Communication Skills, Reading Comprehension, and Arithmetic. Bonus Section will be in the Planning Knowledge.

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    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    Good Luck!!

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    I took the test yesterday, I am not gonna comment on the content except to say I think the person who wrote the test failed a math class. The content is exactly what they said it was. Also, about 130 people are gonna take the test and about 10-15 are gonna be selected for interviews. Does anyone know how much this job is projected to pay?

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    Quote Originally posted by Admiral Adama View post
    I took the test yesterday, I am not gonna comment on the content except to say I think the person who wrote the test failed a math class. The content is exactly what they said it was. Also, about 130 people are gonna take the test and about 10-15 are gonna be selected for interviews. Does anyone know how much this job is projected to pay?
    I took the test also, and I'd guess there were probably closer to 200 people overall who took the test . . . and only 2 people will eventually be hired. Pay starts off around 48k - 50k, which is pretty standard.

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    I took the test as well, and can't wait to find out the results within two weeks!

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    Anyone hear back from SB yet?

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    No response yet for me either. It is after all a ton of written exams to grade

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    it looks like they've sent out responses indicating if you got on the employment list and if your name was sent to the department, from there i guess its up to the department to choose who they want to interview
    i'm not sure if the essay and extra credit section was factored into the exam score, or if they will be used by the department to help choose who they want to interview...anyone know?

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by xcellent16 View post
    I took the test also, and I'd guess there were probably closer to 200 people overall who took the test . . . and only 2 people will eventually be hired. Pay starts off around 48k - 50k, which is pretty standard.
    200 people applying for 2 jobs?! is the norm these days?

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vxw View post
    200 people applying for 2 jobs?! is the norm these days?
    It is in California.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

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    Cyburbian
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    Try 800 for 2 slots at a transportation agency in downtown Chicago this past January. Expect most advetisements on most state APA job boards to have at least 100 applicants, and even more for more popular areas, including CA. I stress looking for jobs that are barely advertised at all. They are out there... I found one and am moving there at the end of the week.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

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    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    That doesn't sound too bad, actually... 700 people applied to Burbank for 1 position...

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    That's true nrschmid. Looking back, aside from applying to grad schools, submitting resumes has been fruitful for me a whopping ONE time... Last contract job I got was while I was playing badminton.

    I guess having more than a lottery's chance of landing a job through conventional means is a thing of the past.

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    i think it is a lot more difficult to find entry level jobs that are barely advertised...usually they are the ones that require a number of years of experience
    and for what its worth, i think the santa barbara job had about 100 people taking the exam instead of 200

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by HRose View post
    i think it is a lot more difficult to find entry level jobs that are barely advertised...usually they are the ones that require a number of years of experience
    and for what its worth, i think the santa barbara job had about 100 people taking the exam instead of 200
    Then you're not looking hard enough. When I was looking for work, I usually checked about 1,000 websites weekly, if not more, that were likely to have slots for planners and those were only in 26 states (the other 24 I wasn't really interested in working in). I was usually looking for more mid-level positions, but I usually came across about 20-25 positions a week just for entry-level.

    It's not that there aren't jobs for entry-level, it's that more experienced planners are competing against you for those entry-level slots. It's really a number game: find those positions that are barely advertised, if they are advertised at all (and yes, it takes work to find them). It may not always be in a hip and trendy town and you might have to do grunt work. I thought twice about applying to jobs that were advertised on the national APA or even the state APA chapters in bigger states. Tailor the resume and coverletter to the job, prepare a portfolio, cut sheets, or writing samples tailored to the specific position, and when you do earn an interview, devote a full day to preparing answers to questions.

    Is it a lot of work? Yep. But the economy is not improving anytime soon, and planning jobs are dwindling everyday, so you are going to have to work overtime at setting yourself apart.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    ... I found one and am moving there at the end of the week.
    Eagerly awaiting the big reveal.

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    Sorry not revealing anything on here. Veloise I paid the price accidentally leaving on a fax number on something a few years ago and you dug up everything about that job, lol.

    I am probably going to kick myself in the butt for posting this, but here are two websites (among the thousand or so) that I would check at least once a week (sorry, Dan, I am not revealing the whole list). I didn't find any planning jobs on these websites specifically (which is why I am posting them) but should give some insight into my thought process on less advertised positions.

    http://www.associationsites.com/page...ev&pageid=1865
    http://www.chapa.org/?q=jobboard_browse

    Again, these aren't planning job boards, just websites that are likely to have planning positions.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  22. #22
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Eagerly awaiting the big reveal.
    Oh I have a guess! A few states west, huh,...well there are quite a few states west of your Current lOcation.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Sorry not revealing anything on here. Veloise I paid the price accidentally leaving on a fax number on something a few years ago and you dug up everything about that job, lol. ....
    ^^Wow, paranoid much? This makes me read like a stalker or one of my sister's former bosses. **

    You have a job offer in hand, you're about to start U-Hauling. "Eagerly awaiting" does not mean "immediate." I have a human interest in how you're doing and where you're going, not a professional one.

    As a reminder, I'm the one who declined to move back to my area of origin earlier this year. Why would I want whatever job you're headed towards?

    **When called for references, he ripped on her. Offers were rescinded, interview travel plans abruptly cancelled. She hired a verification company to pose as a potential employer, and the former boss practically hurt himself making sure to tell everyone what a witch she'd been. This would be the fellow who presented, "not effeminate enough" as a reason for her dismissal.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    As a general rule, I never mention anything by name on an open forum (the notable exceptions are academic programs among other things). I don't have anything to hide I just choose not to disclose everything.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    When you are sure you won't need to find more jobs, you should write a book on internet-planning-job-hunting, probably get a strong reception, especially if the economy is still pooped.

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