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Frequently Asked Questions

City of Madison Human Resources Department
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 501
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 266-4615
Fax: 267-1115

Job Opportunity Telephone Line: Available 24 hours per day: 266-6500 (Positions available to City employees ONLY are NOT listed on the job line - only those positions "Open to All Qualified Applicants")

Internet Address:

What are your hours?

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - open through the noon hour

May I get a copy of my most recent application form?

You may obtain a copy of that document by coming to our office - the cost is .25 per page (this applies to any copying done by our agency).

Is there a specific job application form for present City employees?

Yes. Please complete an application form which states: "City of Madison Employment Application for Promotion or Transfer"

Do I need to complete a new application form? Can't you go into my Personnel File and obtain all the information you need?

You must complete a new application form for each vacancy you wish to apply to. Our office does not have the staff availability and time to go into each City employee Personnel File to obtain information. Our office receives approximately 8,000 - 10,000 job application forms each year. It is the responsibility of each City employee to properly and completely fill out a new job application form each time they apply to a position.

On the front of the job application form is a question regarding convictions. Do I need to list all of my speeding tickets?

No. That question relates to felonies, misdemeanors, civil law violations or criminal traffic offenses. The only time you must list traffic violations is if the end result of a traffic violation was a felony, misdemeanor or criminal traffic conviction.

How does the Human Resources Department determine if I am qualified for a position?

Staff of the Human Resources Department carefully reviews the application forms completed by the applicants and compares them to the "Training and Experience" section of the job announcement. If an applicant has exactly what is written in the "Training and Experience "section, they are included in the selection process. If an applicant has some of the Training and Experience, but not all that is required, we proceed to read the "Knowledge's, Skills and Abilities" section of the job announcement to determine if an applicant can qualify for the position based on "Other Combinations of training and/or experience which can be demonstrated to result in the possession of the knowledge's, skills and abilities necessary to perform the duties of the position will also be considered". If an applicant qualifies for the position based on "other combinations . . ." they are included in the selection process.

What kind of test will be given for the position?

Tests for each position are individually developed and may be in the format of written multiple choice, essay, oral interview, performance or a combination of several types of exams. The test is designed to obtain pertinent knowledge's, skills and abilities from the applicant which directly relate to the successful performance of the position.

How to I study for tests?

The Madison Public Library offers excellent study guides for Civil Service Exams. Whether you need a brush-up on math skills, mechanical aptitude, auto mechanics, carpentry, etc. the Library can assist you. The Human Resources Department does not have study guides or sample exams.

I need to take a typing exam. What can I expect it to be like?

Type examinations are administered through the use of a computerized program specifically designed to test typing skills. It is a self-guided test which allows you practice time and administers 2 - five minute timed typings. Your score is calculated automatically so you know the results before you leave our office.

I understand there is a new Clerical Examination. What can I expect?

The new Clerical Examination consists of 160 multiple choice questions directly related to clerical work (filing, math, grammar, reading comprehension, etc.). You are allowed a maximum of one hour to complete the exam. You will be invited to take the exam upon applying for a clerical position, or you may choose to contact our office to take the exam not and have it "on file" for future positions you wish to compete.

Why are positions posted the way the are - "Open to All City Employees", "Open to All Local 60 Employees", etc.?

Positions are posted based on recruitment efforts necessary to fill the position and in accordance with Union Contracts. If the hiring department and the Human Resources Department believes qualified applicants for positions may exist in the City and they wish to offer promotions to City employees, the positions will be posted internally. If it is necessary to go out of the City government to obtain qualified applicants, positions are posted to the general public. Affirmative Action recommendations are taken into consideration when making this decision. Union Contracts vary in how positions may be posted. Local 60 Union Contract states that the smallest recruitment which can be done is "Open to All Qualified City Employees Represented by Local 60". Local 236 and Local 695 allow a smaller recruitment to take place by posting jobs to the Union members of a specific agency such as "Open To All Qualified City Employees of the Motor Equipment Division in Positions Represented by Local 236". Non-union positions may also be recruited for by a specific agency such as "Open to All Qualified City Employees of Parks Division".

What is the residency requirement for City Employees?


  • Main Office:
    (608) 266-4615
  • Compensation & Benefits:
    (608) 266-4615
  • EAP:
    (608) 266-6561
  • Employment:
    (608) 266-4615
  • Occupational Accommodation:
    (608) 267-1156
  • Labor Relations:
    (608) 266-4615
  • Training:
    (608) 266-4281
  • Telephone List (PDF)