Chances are you’ve watched TV shows like Parks and Recreation, and now you feel that anyone can land a job in the civil service. However, it isn’t that easy.
About 55,000 job vacancies come in the local, state, and federal governments, providing a wide range of career opportunities. But out of thousands of people who appear for the assessment, only a few secure a job successfully in the civil service.
Nevertheless, if you’re well-versed with the exam content and relevant skills required for the position, you can increase your likelihood of clearing the test and interview. Here, we’ve compiled a list of top skills needed for civil service jobs.
About Civil Service Exam
The civil service exam is a prerequisite for candidates who want to pursue a career in the state, local, or federal governments. Civil service exam is one of the initial stages of civil service evaluation, assessing an individual’s education, competence, and suitability to a particular role.
However, scoring high on the assessment doesn’t guarantee a job in the civil service. Other factors, like a resume, interview score, and recommendation letter, also matter in the candidate’s overall assessment.
What Comes in a Civil Service Exam?
There’s no single general civil service exam. Instead, different states administer their civil service exams containing questions about specific roles and occupations.
However, in most cases, the exam consists of the following parts:
Clerical Skills Test
A clerical ability test evaluates a person’s ability to complete multiple clerical tasks accurately. It takes into account both the time and efficiency of the candidate in performing duties, such as:
- Data entry
- Answering phone calls
- Filing documents
Almost all civil service exams consist of a verbal ability test component. This part gauges how efficient an individual is in writing letters, memos, reports, reading, and proofreading. This portion assesses the following topics:
- English Grammar and Spelling
- Reading and Writing Comprehension
Mathematical Problem Solving Skills
Not all civil service exams comprise mathematical problem-solving skills. They’re present only in exams for specific roles where mathematical ability is crucial. The questions relate to the following topics:
- Algebraic and arithmetic problems
- Data interpretation
- Ratios and proportion
- Reasoning questions
6 Skills Highly Demanded in the Civil Service
Here is a list of some leadership skills needed in all civil service professions.
Different situations arise during a civil service job, like firefighting, sanitation, and police department, where a person has to initiate and lead the team.
An outstanding example of a shining leader in civil service is Shari Pardini. When she joined the sanitation department in New York in 1993, she had zero working experience. However, she’s the Director of Operations in the Management Division today.
She attained so much success without adequate knowledge due to the leadership traits she utilized for the department’s welfare. Like her, all the potential candidates for civil service should know that lacking in formal education doesn’t guarantee failure.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
Unlike typical jobs, civil service work mostly deals with real-life situations and practical scenarios. So, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are a must!
These skills refer to a person’s ability to assess the problem thoroughly and ascertain a solution beneficial for all. For instance, many civil service people had to think creatively about managing the lockdown effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak in NYC.
Team Management and Coordination Skills
Without proper teamwork and coordination skills, it’s nearly impossible to get promoted to a civil service position. It’s because results depend upon teamwork. From firefighting to court officers, every civil service domain requires team management.
If any team member shows carelessness in performing duties, the whole team suffers and vice versa. Thus, the more you get along with your teammates, the better impression it makes on your supervisors.
Excellent Analytical and Organization Skills
Being a civil service officer means often thinking on the spot during stressful situations or emergencies. For instance, if you work in the NYC firefighting department, you may have to quickly decide to take the shortest route to the affected area or develop an effective evacuation strategy.
Such analytical and organizational skills speak volumes about how well you can manage a situation under stress.
Good Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Good interpersonal and communication skills are crucial to all civil service jobs. In addition to talking to your coworkers, you have to persuade citizens and passersby on multiple occasions. For a firefighter or a sanitation worker, effective oral communication is imperative to convey instructions about executing a project.
Moreover, written communication skills are equally essential. The success of a detective working in NYPD depends fairly on their critical thinking and report writing skills.
Confidence, Patience, and Time Management Skills
Finally, if you’re confident, patient, and manage your time well, you have a high chance of successfully clearing the civil service candidate screening. Because all these skills are vital to driving a person forward in their careers.
Enroll in Civil Service Exam Preparation in New York State Today!
Most students find the civil service exam challenging! However, given proper preparation, guidance, attitude, and practice materials, individuals will get closer to their dream of landing a job in the civil service.
At Civil Service Success, we offer prep classes to students for leading New York’s civil service exams, such as the Suffolk police test, court officer trainee exam, NYC sanitation officer exam, and NYC firefighter department exam. Highly qualified tutors with years of experience in the civil service provide instructions to pass an exam for the civil service.
Registrations are already open for sanitation worker exams and court officer classes for the upcoming assessment. Enroll online!