You’ve read about the USPS salary and the USPS benefits. You’ve looked into the different postal jobs and found one or more interesting positions. You know this is a career you’d like to pursue, but now you’re wondering: “How to get a job at the post office?” and “What are the USPS hiring process steps?”.
Don’t worry, you’ll find the exact post office hiring process steps right here. Read these carefully and you’ll know exactly how to get hired at the post office.
How to get a job at the post office: the USPS hiring process steps
Step 1: Check the general requirements for the US postal service hiring process
While there are specific requirements for each postal job, there are also a few general requirements you have to meet if you want to apply for a post office job. Before you do anything else, check these post office requirements to make sure you don’t waste time applying for a job you might not be suitable for.
That chance is slim, though, as the requirements are very easy to meet. You basically need to be a US citizen who doesn’t do drugs, is in decent physical condition and doesn’t have a (heavy) criminal record.
Let’s move on to the next step of the hiring process for USPS.
Step 2: Create a USPS Candidate Profile
Do you meet all the USPS job requirements? Perfect, then you can now start looking for a job at the Postal Service. Although you don’t need an account or USPS job profile to use the USPS jobs search engine, you do need a USPS profile to apply for a post office job so I recommend you create that profile straight away. You don’t want to have five tabs with interesting US post office jobs open to then realize you can’t apply because you have to go back and create your profile first.
To do so, go to USPS.com > Careers > Create an account or click on this link. To create a profile, you need an email address. Be sure to choose an email address that you frequently check, as this is also the email address that you’ll receive information on regarding your post office application status. You can only create one Candidate Profile per email address, but you can update or delete your Candidate Profile anytime.
Once you have an account, you’ll be able to apply for post office jobs, save unfinished applications and save jobs as “favorites”.
Step 3: Search for a job
You can find the USPS jobs search engine by going to USPS.com > Careers > Search Now or by clicking this link.
Once you’re on the form, you’ll see that you can search by keyword, state and/or by job type.
Important to know is that whatever criteria you input for your search, you will never get all open jobs as a result. Even when you leave all fields blank, the search results will be limited to 100 so you will never see all the available jobs at once. That also means that if there are more than 100 job openings for a specific state (“location” in the search form) or job (“functional area” in the job form), you won’t get to see them all because of the maximum 100 results limit.
Unfortunately, that’s not all that can go wrong when using the search form. Read about how to best use the USPS job search engine here.
Step 4: Applying to USPS
You’ve done a search and found several jobs that look interesting. Now what? With your Candidate Profile, you can apply for as many jobs as you want. It’s possible that the search returns 10 identically looking results. In that case, you can apply for all 10 job openings. However, always make sure that you’ve thoroughly read the job description and that you meet the requirements outlined for that specific job you want to apply for.
Some job openings require you to submit a written resume or another document or text, so make sure you take the time when applying for postal jobs. If you don’t have enough time to submit an application, you can always save interesting jobs that you found as “favorites” or save your unfinished post office job application online on the website to continue later.
Review your US postal application carefully before submitting it. Once you’ve submitted a US post office job application, it cannot be edited. However, if the job posting is still open, you can withdraw your post office job application (Candidate Profile > Job opportunities > My Applications) and submit a new USPS application entry.
Once your US postal service application has been submitted, you’ll receive a confirmation email. This may sometimes end up in your spam or junk folder, so be sure to check that. You can also always check your USPS application entry status on the Job Opportunities > My Applications page of your Candidate Profile.
There, if you get a USPS application status “in process”, it means that your application still needs to be evaluated.
This isn’t entirely trustworthy. People have reported having been shown a different USPS application status than what actually happened. Mostly this seems to be the case for people who did get hired but for whom the USPS job status said “not selected.
In some cases, your US postal service job application will be rejected immediately. You’ll know when this happens because of a pop-up notification after submitting, but if you’re unsure and don’t receive a confirmation email, you can always check your USPS job application status.
Step 5: Getting assessed
The next step in the post office hiring process is the evaluation of all applications. The evaluation of your application will determine whether or not you’ll be invited to get assessed. There’s always a limited number of applicants that will be tested for a certain job opening, so even if your application was good, you may not get invited if there are a lot of applicants who all sent in good applications. If you are not invited immediately, you might still get invited at a later point in time.
If you do get invited, an email will outline what you should do next.
USPS assessment 473
If you’ve applied for a job that requires you to pass the postal exam 473, you’ll
- first have to submit some additional information about yourself
- before taking an online assessment, which you’ll have to pass
- in order to be invited for the proctored (monitored, live) 473 assessment test in an exam center
What happens after you take the 473 postal exam? – When you’re not able to complete the test
If you are unable to complete the assessments within the indicated time frames (three days for the online part, 7 days for the offline part), your application will be discarded and you’ll have to apply for another job opening.
what happens if you fail the postal exam
If you fail one or both of the assessments, you’ll have to apply for another job opening and take the tests again. It’s not possible to retest for the same job opening and in some cases, you have to wait a certain amount of time before you’re able to take the test again. In the case of postal exam 473, that’s 120 days.
What happens after you pass the postal exam?
What happens after passing the 473 exam, is that your score stays valid for a certain amount of time. At the moment of writing, passing the USPS postal exam 473 is valid for six years.
Want to make sure you pass the exam? This is the study guide to use.
Step 6: Get interviewed!
You meet all the post office requirements, you created a Candidate Profile, found an interesting job opening using the USPS search engine and you’ve successfully taken the postal service test 473. Does this mean you’re in? Not automatically.
All applicants who passed the postal exam 473 test are put on the USPS hiring list in order of their post office test scores. At this point, veterans’ preference points are added to the USPS 473 exam scores of military veterans which means that they may jump over applicants who had better test USPS exam 473 scores because of their veterans’ preference points. Only the resulting top three applicants get invited to the USPS job interview by the hiring officer, who then decides who will be hired.
Extra: USPS hiring process after interview
When the hiring officer has offered you a job, you’ll still need to pass the medical and drug screening.
So you see, even when you’ve figured out how to get a job at the post office, it’s not certain you’ll actually get it. Competition is fierce, with many people interested in becoming a postal worker and a high postal exam 473 failure rate. It goes without saying that a good preparation is absolutely necessary.