Page updated 7/16/2016
Approximately 80% of all Post Office jobs require a written exam. The remaining 20% of Postal jobs in the corporate and administrative areas and federal civil service jobs require a federal resume and often Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSA statements). The Book of U.S. Government Jobs provides comprehensive federal resume and KSA guidance with numerous examples to help you rate as high as possible and to improve your chances of being called for an interview. You are able to compile your federal resume online through resume builders however it is best to draft your resume offline first. You will need a considerable amount of information for your postal or federal resume and you need to take your time to tailor to the job announcement.
The Postal Service significantly changed the application process several years ago and you now apply for specific job vacancies. Previously, you had to sign up for a test that was administered every two to three years in your area. Applicants who passed the exam were placed on a hiring register in rank order by exam score. When vacancies occurred in an area, the Postal Service would contact the highest ranked candidates and call them in for an interview. You could be on the list for two years or more and never get called, and when the list was closed you had to reapply by retaking the same test.
Post office exam registers became outdated quickly as applicants found other employment, and they were difficult to maintain. The hiring process was decentralized, and many were excluded from the list because they missed the exam testing notification in their area. Now, when a vacancy exists you apply for a specific job that will be filled between four to six weeks from the job announcement’s closing date.
The written postal exams are a thing of the past, they are now administered on computers and you take part of the exam online when you first apply. Within 14 days of submitting your application you will be directed to a local testing facility to complete the remainder of the 473 post office exam.
To apply for postal positions review the step-by-step instructions on this site that will help you understand the application process at their official Web site. This site shows screen shots of the official application pages with instructions to help you successfully navigate their eCareer application system. Don’t be sidetracked by major private-sector jobs board ads. The Postal Service seldom advertises on any of the large online jobs boards, and if it does you are linked directly to the official site at http://usps.com/employment to apply at no cost.
The easiest way to apply for a post office job is online at the address listed above. If you don't have access to a computer visit your local library to use their computers.
Job opportunities are also advertised at local post offices, in national and local newspapers, journals and periodicals. Read the caution notice above prior to calling any toll-free number.
A passing score of 70 percent or better is required for your name to be added to the register. The highest-rated applicants will be called to complete additional paperwork, take a drug screening test, and an interview. Your score determines your placement on the list.
The two primary Postal application forms are the PS Form 2591 Application for Employment, a four page document and the PS Form 2181-A that is used for Pre-Employment Screening. Forms can be downloaded from our Resource page. Use these forms to draft your application prior to receipt of the job announcement.