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One of the largest employers in the world, the U.S. Postal Service offers applicants the opportunity to apply for jobs and take the required exams at almost any time. Postal Service entrance exams are highly competitive as usually there are more applicants than the number of positions that become available, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although you can apply for a job and take an exam, you must meet the employment requirements before you are hired.
Creating an eCareer Profile Online
Before applying for a job with the Postal Service, you must register and create an online eCareer candidate profile. While the information you provide is automatically inserted into any job applications you submit for postal positions, you can edit your profile at any time. The email address you give must be current and correct so the Postal Service can contact you when employment opportunities that match your qualifications become available.
Searching Job Listings
Since the Postal Service advertises job vacancies as they occur, whenever a post office needs to hire an employee, the local postmaster is responsible for posting the job on the Postal Service website. If you want to work for them, begin by searching the job listings. Once you find a job you want, you can apply for it online. After you complete the online application, you will be scheduled to take the required exam at a local testing site.
Knowing Which Exam to Take
Job openings in the Postal Service are posted by job titles. Different job titles require different exams. You must pass the exam and be placed on an eligible register before being invited to interview for a job position for which you applied. Even if you earn a high test score, if you fail to fill out your application completely, it may be rejected and you won't get an interview. Most entry-level positions including window clerk and those that have to do with sorting, handling and delivering mail require applicants to take exam 473E.
Understanding What the Test Involves
Rather than the written tests once used, test sites give proctored exams on a computer. Postal exam 473E is broken down into different parts that cover topics including speed and accuracy at checking addresses, completing forms, coding, memory, and job-related experience and characteristics. The number of questions and the time allowed to complete each section of the test vary. Eligibility for positions is determined by examination scores, which are listed on the entrance register in descending order. If you are a veteran, you will receive preference in the form of additional points added to your test score.
Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.