You're Hired! Oops – There's No Openings!
- Written by Tracy Scott
- Category: Articles
It's hard to land a government or postal service job. At least that's what many people believe.
But, the potential for job stability and a robust benefits package still makes these openings attractive to job seekers despite the expected decline in certain positions over the next decade. So, when ads like this one appear online or in trusted printed publications, it's tempting to believe them. If it's published, it can't be a complete lie - can it?
Entry-level U.S. Federal and Postal Jobs do exist. Some may require zero experience. They may even be in your local area. And yes, you must complete an interview with someone at the agency. So, what's the problem?
You are about to find out...
Ring. Ring. Ring.
Peggy: Good morning. This is Peggy with the U.S. Agency for Career Advancement. How may I help you today?
You: Hi, I was calling about the ad. The one about postal jobs. I want to be a mail carrier. How can I set up an interview?
Peggy: Oh, that's great! We can help you get the job you want. We have a list of unadvertised jobs you might also want to consider.
You: Thanks, Peggy. But I'm only interested in becoming a local mail carrier. Can I interview for that today?
Peggy gathers your personal information as part of the "interview process". She then informs you that you qualify, but you must pass Postal Service Exam 474. She warns that it's a tough exam, but tells you not to worry. Her team has you covered.
Peggy: I see there are several open positions in your area, so you'll want to take the exam soon. Now, I have to warn you, it's a brutal exam. But our study materials include valuable questions and answers. Test prep guarantees you'll pass. You only have one shot at this so...
You: Yes, I'm aware of the exam. How much are the study materials?
Peggy: $159.99, but it's refundable if you fail the exam. We'll also include a list of unadvertised postal jobs in your area. It's the same one I'm looking at right now.
What's the Problem?
Here's the problem.
You didn't complete a job application or interview with anyone at the United States Postal Service (USPS). Peggy claimed to be from the U.S. Agency for Career Advancement, a bogus company with an official sounding name.
The study materials, if you receive them at all, will likely be worthless. If the company is not affiliated with the actual agency, the answers may not even be correct. As of this writing, the United States Postal Service does not provide or endorse any exam preparation materials.
No one can guarantee you'll pass an exam.
Even a passing score doesn't guarantee a job offer. Each position has specific eligibility requirements that often include a background check and drug test. Some may only accept a few applicants.
There's no secret list of jobs. Discovering if there are any postal jobs in your local area is as easy as visiting a website. Plus, it's free. U.S. Postal Service job openings are listed on the "Careers" tab at usps.com/employment. Federal job openings can be found at usajobs.gov.
Employment guarantees are typically the first red flag. Obtain reliable information about a potential employment opportunity by going directly to the source.
Remember that most scams are sprinkled with just enough truth to convince victims to open their wallets. A dose of healthy skepticism can help you steer clear of U.S. Federal and Postal Job scams.