Often, a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) is required to apply for a civil service position. A SOQ is a mechanism for obtaining an applicant’s qualifications and experience in job-related areas. A SOQ consists of a series of questions or require you to address desirable qualifications. A SOQ may be scored as part of the application screening process and may serve as a writing sample and written interview for the recruitment.

If you are asked to provide a SOQ, this is your opportunity to showcase the skills, experience, and knowledge you have that is needed to be successful in the position. It will also set you apart and tell the employer why you are the best candidate for the job.

Check out the tips below on how to write an effective SOQ.

Planning

  1. Read the entire job advertisement.
  2. Review and consider each question or desirable qualification that is listed in the job posting.
  3. Refrain from regurgitating what is on your resume.
  4. Allow yourself enough time to complete the required document(s) to eliminate room for errors.
  5. Do not sell yourself short on your experience.

Writing

  1. Clearly define your experience and how it aligns to the duty statement.
  2. There is not one perfect way to write a SOQ, but the best advice is to make it unique to you.
  3. Remember that grammar, clarity of expression, and legibility are considered in the evaluation process.
  4. If a question doesn’t pertain to you, write in the most closely related answer possible to showcase your transferable skills.
  5. Be specific when answering questions regarding your experience (where, when, what, how, and why).
  6. Provide specific examples that demonstrate your qualifications.
  7. If the question has multiple parts (A, B, and C), answer each part separately.
  8. Address each question/desirable qualification described in the recruitment individually.

Reviewing

  1. Ensure you address all questions/desirable qualifications.
  2. Ensure you follow all SOQ instructions regarding font, font size and number of pages.   

CONTACT

DGS Recruitment Unit

Department of General Services
Office of Human Resources

707 3rd Street, 7th Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Email: Recruitment@dgs.ca.gov