Eligible Lists  

What types of examinations am I qualified to take?

What does it mean to be ranked on a list?

Being ranked on an eligible list refers to your relative standing on the list at the time it was established. Your rank does not indicate immediate eligibility for a given position. Other preferences regarding geographic location, type of position (full or part-time), and type of appointment (permanent or temporary) are also considered.

How long will my name stay on an eligible list?

Most eligible lists are initially established for four years. However, a list can be superseded by a new list after one year. If you decline a canvass by either letter or telephone, or at the interview, your name may be inactivated for the type of appointment, shift, agency or location. See your canvass letter for additional information on declinations. If you decline or are unable to accept a job at a specific time, you may reactivate your name at a later date.

Some examinations are given more frequently, and names of new candidates are interfiled in score order on the eligible list. These lists are referred to as continuous recruitment examinations, and each candidate remains on the list for a period of eligibility that is specified in the examination announcement, typically for 12 months.

What does "status" mean?

How do I inactivate myself on a list?

To be removed from a list, you can request inactivation on ELMS Online.


After I take the exam, how long will it take to get my score?

It generally takes from 90-120 days for examination results to be processed and scores to be provided to candidates.

Candidates can now monitor whether an eligible list is established or their status on an existing eligible list by going to ELMS Online and following the instructions provided.

I received my score, but I don’t see the eligible list in ELMS Online. Why does this occur?

The examination you participated in may have been a decentralized examination, meaning it is administered by individual state agencies. ELMS Online does not maintain the names of candidates on lists associated with decentralized examinations or with managed placement examinations. Please refer to the examination announcement for further information.

Examples of decentralized examinations are Nurse 1 and Food Service Worker 1.

Examples of managed placement examinations are Information Technology Specialist 1 and the Legal Specialties Program.

Canvass Letters  

I’ve received my score, what happens next?

Once you know your examination score, you may begin to receive canvass letters from select state agencies. Agencies send out canvass letters to determine your interest in a specific job and its location, and to request your availability. Canvass letters are not job offers. If you receive a canvass letter, do not leave your current job. If you receive a canvass letter for a job you are interested in, return the canvass letter to the address indicated on the letter by the return date. If you return the canvass letter late, the agency is not required to consider you for that job, even though you will remain on the eligible list. Agencies are not required to send canvass letters or conduct interviews. However, in most cases they do. Once they have conducted interviews, agencies are required to hire from the eligible list according to the rule of three.

If you are undecided about your interest in a particular position that you’ve received a canvass letter for, it is recommended that you respond to the canvass inquiry and indicate that you are interested in being interviewed. After you have found out more about the job, you can always decline an offer if you receive one.

There are three ways that you can manage your list preferences and/or declinations.

Alternatively, you can email the List Maintenance Unit at EmploymentRecords@cs.ny.gov or write to them at the following address:

List Maintenance Unit
Department of Civil Service
Albany, NY 12239

What if I fail to respond to a canvass letter?

If you do not return a canvass letter, it is considered a declination. This means your name will not be considered for future vacancies for that title at that agency/location.

If you return a canvass letter after the return date, your name will not be considered for the position. However, you may be considered for future positions at that agency/location.

What do the response codes on a canvass letter mean?

The following canvass responses affect your overall preferences:

You can update these preferences online.

The following canvass responses are considered declinations:

You can remove these declinations online.

One canvass response inactivates you on the list:

Some canvass responses do not affect your preferences:

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