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Frequently Asked Questions

The City of Tacoma recruitment process is competitive, which is why we have provided detailed information regarding the online recruitment process. It is to your benefit and strongly recommended that you read all information regarding the application process prior to application submittal. 

Application Submission

Where can I find information on creating my master profile?

You may create a master profile through the Government Jobs website.

How do I know if my application was received by the City of Tacoma?

You will receive an automatically generated email confirmation shortly after submission of your application notifying you that your application was successful, but please note that the auto-response does not confirm required attachments.

How will I be notified regarding the status of the position for which I applied?

Email notices will be sent to candidates throughout the recruitment process. Be sure your email account allows for these communications to be received in your Inbox and not your Junk Mail folder.

Can I review the status of my application?

Yes. To review your application status, log on to your account using your user name and password through the City of Tacoma's applicant login on the employment page.  You may also go to the Government Jobs website and click on the "Career Seekers" tab. Once you are logged on, click on "Application Status."

Application Materials and Attachments

What information will I be asked to provide?

As with any employment application, you will be asked to provide work-related personal information such as your name, contact information, educational qualifications, employment history, and qualifications as they pertain to the position for which you are applying. To expedite this process, you should have this information readily available when you log in to complete your application. Note that an email address will be required, as the City will correspond with candidates via email. 

Who will see my application materials?

Only authorized City of Tacoma Human Resources staff will have access to your complete online application; with limited information provided to the department representative assisting with a specific recruitment. The data is not shared with anyone outside the aforementioned specified City of Tacoma staff members and is maintained on a secured web server.

How can I make changes or add documents to my application after I have already submitted my application for a position?

Once an application has been submitted ("Certify and Submit" icon), the information on the submitted application cannot be changed by the applicant and any changes made after submittal are not accessible to Human Resources staff. They are only visible to the applicant and are reflected in future application submittals.

If you wish to make changes to your submitted application you may contact the City of Tacoma Human Resources Recruitment line at (253) 591-5400, option 1.  Please keep in mind that not all fields can be modified.

We highly encourage you to carefully review your application, as well as the job posting, before you submit your application, ensuring you have attached the required documents prior to submittal. Please note that once your attachment has been successfully uploaded / attached to your application, a link with the name of your file will be visible to you. If you have technical questions relating to attaching documents, please contact Government Jobs at (855) 524-5627.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit a complete application packet including the electronic application, supplemental questions, and any required documents.

I'm having technical difficulties and need assistance (may include attaching documents to your application or retrieving username and password) who can I contact?

For any technical difficulties or assistance with attaching documents to your application, contact the application software company directly. The contact information is: NEOGOV, (855) 524-5627.

Computer and Internet Access

What if I do not have access to a computer with internet service?

All branches of the City of Tacoma Public Library provide computer access free of charge with a library card. Other public libraries may also provide free computer access. Additionally, the Worksource Center located at 1305 Tacoma Avenue South, Tacoma, also provides computer access.

Must I have an email address to apply for a City position?

Yes. You must have an email address to apply for a City position as the City will correspond with candidates via email. If you do not have an email address but would like to open one, you can sign up for a free email account with a number of vendors such as Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Gmail. You will need to check the web site of the vendor you are interested in and must agree to the terms as set by the vendor of your choice.

You cannot share email addresses with anyone else. Each individual applicant must have a unique user ID, password, and email address.

Do I need to set up a user account to apply online?

Yes. Click on the "Online Registration" link to create your user account. Remember to keep a record of your user name and password for future reference. You will use this information to check on your application status and to apply for other positions.

Other Questions

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a formal letter to the recruiter of the agency to which you are applying. While there is no single standard, a cover letter does have some or all of the following elements:

  • An introduction to your application packet, a statement to the employer on why you are applying to their agency and why you stand out as an applicant
  • What you have accomplished that can be similarly beneficial to their organization
  • Information that expands from (but doesn't duplicate) your resume and/or application information.

It is typically one page, so it is best to be succinct. We recommend that applicants not familiar with cover letters use the internet to search for examples, then develop their own letters for each employer/position of interest.

What is a closing date?

A closing date is the last date and time the City of Tacoma will accept applications for a specific recruitment. The online application system only accepts applications submitted prior to the closing date. Please note that some recruitments may have a filing deadline that is either limited to accepting a certain number of applications, or a stated closing date, whichever comes first. If the maximum number of applications is received prior to the stated closing date, then the recruitment is closed immediately.

What does it mean when deadline closing date states, "Continuous?"

For some recruitments, applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until a sufficient number of applications from qualified individuals have been received. For such recruitments, prompt application is encouraged because the recruitment may close at any time without prior notice. The system can only accept applications submitted while it is active online. A recruitment is considered closed once it has been removed from the Human Resources website.

To ensure that applications remain current once a sufficient number of applications are received, they are screened to determine qualifications for a possible interview. Applications received after the screening date will be processed in the next cycle.

Is the City of Tacoma accepting application for part-time or seasonal classifications?

Please check the City of Tacoma employment opportunities page for current job openings.

What if I am interested in a position which is currently not open?

You may complete a job interest card by clicking on the "Job Interest Card" link on the employment opportunities page. If the position becomes open within 12 months of the date you submitted your interest card, you will receive an email notification advising of the recruitment.

If I apply for more than one position, do I need to submit a separate application?

Yes. A completed City application and supplemental questionnaire is required for each position for which a candidate is applying. However, once you have established your user account, you may click on the "Populate" button to automatically populate the new application with the information from your previous application. You may then review and update your application materials and required attachments as necessary prior to submittal. If additional documents are required for another position you are applying for, you will need to either submit, or resubmit those documents, if allowed.

I believe I qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for a reasonable accommodation to participate in the recruitment process. What do I do?

Persons who believe they are qualified under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) may request a reasonable accommodation to participate in the recruitment process. The request must be received by Human Resources with sufficient time prior to the closing deadline, to allow for the request to be considered through the interactive process.

Human Resources Department
(253) 591-5400

Washington Relay
(800) 833-6384

TTY Relay 711
(800) 833-6388

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the City of Tacoma will provide reasonable accommodations for testing to applicants with disabilities.