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Completing your USPS Online Application: The Summary of Accomplishments

Applications for job opportunities with the United States Postal Service (USPS) are now lodged online through their employment website (http://about.usps.com/careers/welcome.htm). You need to search for jobs, create your Candidate Profile, and apply for a particular job vacancy announcement. You cannot just attach a particular vacancy to an email and submit all your other credentials as attachments. You need to apply for each employment opportunity individually and input the information asked for in the various fields.

The Summary of Accomplishments is one of the tabs that you need to fill in to be able to submit a complete application. This tab is your chance to show that you meet the requirements to be able to do the specified postal job successfully. The text box where you will type in your summary holds around 6,000 characters. Admittedly, this is short for those who have already gained a lot of work and educational experience. Thus, you should highlight the most important qualifications and the one that will best enhance your capabilities in the job you are applying for in the Summary of Accomplishments text box.

Take note, however, that the Summary of Accomplishments is just one part of your entire application package. You can also make maximum use of the tabs that will ask you to detail your Work Experience, Education, and Special Skills/Associations. For example, the text box which lets you put your work history can accommodate around 1500 characters while the Skills/Association has 2000 characters available. This means that for each of the 3 previous jobs you have held, for example, you have 4500 characters in total to describe your responsibilities and duties and for all 4 skills you want to highlight, you have a total of 8000 characters to expound them.

Take the time to proofread your summary—and the rest of your entries, for that matter. Be especially thorough if you have copied and pasted your summary from another file. Because the text where you derived your application from could come from other sources not compatible with the USPS system, you might find apostrophes represented by number (#) signs when you look at your Candidate Overview. When such errors occur, you will need to correct them manually.

There are postal positions, such as that of mail handlers and clerks, where a Summary of Accomplishments is not necessary. But be sure to read the vacancy announcement carefully. If there is no specific list of requirements given then you can opt not to give a Summary of Accomplishments. But if you are provided with a list of specific job requirements in the vacancy posting then you must complete the Summary.