This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Mail Clerk

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Departmental Administration

Job Announcement Number:DA-98-2013-0014

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$34,075.00 to $44,293.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, November 20, 2012 to Monday, November 26, 2012




Permanent - Full-Time




2 vacancies in the following location:
Beltsville, MD, USView Map


Applications will be accepted from all United States citizens.


USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science and efficient management. Our goal is to be recognized as a dynamic organization that is able to efficiently provide the integrated program delivery needed to lead a rapidly evolving food and agriculture system. We invite you to join us in meeting our goal, contributing to the future of our organization and advancing the best food and agriculture system in the world.

CONCURRENT ANNOUNCEMENT: This vacancy is also being announced as vacancy announcement number DA-98-2013-0012.  Please review that announcement if you wish to be considered under merit promotion procedures. Note: Applicants must apply separately for each announcement in order to be considered under both procedures. Note: Applicants must apply separately for each announcement in order to be considered under both procedures. 

This mission of the Office of Operations is to provide overall general direction, leadership, and coordination of procurement, mail and real property activities, and to provide consolidated administrative functions and services within the Department. The Mail and Reproduction Management (MRMD) is responsible for managing and directing a staff that analyzes, develops evaluates, and promotes improvements in policies, plans, methods, procedures and systems of the USDA Mail Management and Copier Management programs. MRMD has responsibility for directing centralized printing and copier/duplication systems; a centralized mail distribution system; automated systems providing text editing and mailing list services; divisional ADP support, and a staff support system in the areas of divisional financial management, program analysis and administration.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must obtain and maintain a clearance.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.


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Assists in the management of the unit mail management system by ensuring that incoming public inquiries and staff mail is properly opened, logged, date stamped, and sorted into established categories for distribution to appropriate units and staff.

Maintains listings of current assignment for persons along the designated route and those along other routes as assigned, based on information received from memos; and leads mail clerks concerning ongoing office moves, misdirected mail, and new employees along the route; and periodically visits offices to update room assignments. Provides procedural advice and assists lower-graded mail clerks.

Sorts mail for distribution that is addressed in a variety of ways, requiring association of names, room numbers, and organizational abbreviations association of incomplete designations with established breakdowns; and identifies and routes mail.  Establishes additional and eliminates unnecessary mail stops in order to meet the needs of the organization and to facilitate mail processing. Sets up, adjusts, and monitors the operation of computerized mail processing equipment


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Specialized Experience: Qualifying experience for the GS-5 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-4 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience sorting and distributing mail for clients and employees and preparing files for retention and disposition.

You must meet all time-in-grade and qualification requirements outlined on this vacancy announcement by the closing date. Employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background investigation and the granting of a federal suitability or security clearance.


GS-05 level: 4 years above high school education can be substituted for the specialized experience requirement at this grade level.

NOTE: If you are qualifying based on your education, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcript OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify education. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by the selected applicant will be verified before an appointment is made to this position. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Please visit OPM's website at for additional information on this topic.

RESUME - showing relevant experience.


All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background investigation and the granting of a federal suitability or security clearance.


Applicants will be evaluated on their demonstration of the possession of the following competencies as described in the online assessment questions. You do not need to respond separately to these competencies. Your answers to the online questions will serve as responses to the competencies.  Applicant’s answers will be validated against information provided in their resumes.

Knowledge of complex and sensitive file classification systems sufficient to file materials.

Ability to track listings of current assignments and monitor office moves, misdirected mail, and new employees in order to develop special reports.

Ability to provide procedural advice and assistance to lower-graded mail clerks.

Ability to analyze and route incoming mail materials with close and overlapping missions and functions.

If you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for this position, you will be rated on your possession of the competencies listed above.  Based on the extent and quality of your experience and training in relation to these competencies, you will be placed into one of the following three categories: Best Qualified applicants with a background that demonstrates a superior level of possession of all competencies.  Well Qualified applicants with a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of possession of the competencies.  Qualified applicants possessing the specialized described above.


To preview questions please click here.


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Eligibility for employee benefits depends on your type of appointment and your tour of duty (work schedule). Generally, you must be hired on a permanent basis and have a regular full or part- time work schedule. Some of the benefits for which you may be entitled are: Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) Participate in a one of the nation's best health insurance program. With nearly 180 health plans to choose from, employees can select a plan that best fit their health care needs, with the Government contributing a substantial amount to your premiums. Visit: FEHB Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) The largest group life insurance program in the world, covering over 4 million Federal employees and retirees, as well as many of their family members. FEGLI offers many policy options. Visit: FEGLI Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) Eligible Federal employees and eligible family members can enroll in the supplemental dental and vision insurance plans. The program currently consists of 7 dental plans and 6 vision plans employees can choose from. Visit: FEDVIP Flexible Spending Accounts For Federal Employees (FSAFEDS) FSAFEDS is a pre-tax benefit program that allows employees to pay for eligible expenses while reducing their out-of-pocket cost. The program offers 3 different flexible spending accounts: health care flexible, limited expense health care flexible, and dependent care. Visit: FSAFEDS Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) FLTCIP provides long term care insurance to help pay for costs of care when you need help with activities you perform every day. Visit: FLTCIP Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) All new permanent Federal employees receive automatic coverage under the retirement system. FERS is a three tier retirement program offering employees financial stability in the later years. Visit: FERS Employees under The Civil Service Retirement Act (CSRS), which became effective on August 1, 1920, and was replaced by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for Federal employees who first entered covered service on and after January 1, 1987. Visit: CSRS Additional Retirement information can be obtained by visiting: RETIREMENT Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Considered as the Federal Government's "401K program", TSP is a retirement savings and investment program where employees contribute to their individual plan. By contributing, employees receive savings and tax benefits. Visit: TSP Leave and Holidays Federal employees are entitled to at 13 days of sick leave a year; and based on years of employment service employees can earn up to 26 days of annual leave. Visit: SICK LEAVE and/or ANNUAL LEAVE There are ten (10) paid Federal holidays: New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Presidents Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veteran's Day; Thanksgiving Day; and Christmas Day. You must be in a pay status either the day before or after the holiday in order to be paid. For more information on other employee benefits the Federal Government has to offer please visit EMPLOYEE BENEFITS


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is an agency committed to the needs of its employees' personal and professional lives. We offer a myriad of work/life balance programs: Flexible/Alternative Work Schedules-Balance both your professional and personal lives by participating in a work schedule outside of the standard 8 hour schedule. USDA's telecommuting program, where employees can work at a designated work sites or from their home. Transit Subsidy Program: monthly transit subsidy program offered to all agency employees who utilize public transportation. The Department of Agriculture's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) assists employees and their families with issues affecting work or home. EEO Policy Statement: Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement: Veterans Information: Legal and Regulatory Guidance:


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ONLINE APPLICATION: Application to this announcement requires the online submission of basic applicant information and responses to competency questions and submission of supporting documentation (described in the required documents section below). All application materials will be accepted until midnight Eastern Time on the closing date. Help in applying online is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the number listed in the Contact information section. NOTE: Our online application system is 100% compatible with the following web browsers: Netscape; IE versions 5.5 and above and Safari 1.0 and above on Mac. If you are using any other web browser to complete your application you may experience errors, missing text or you may be unable to complete your application on-line.

STEP ONE (On-lin

e Resume): You must create a user account and at least one Federal resume at USAJOBS. The information you provide in your Federal resume will become part of your application and will automatically be transferred to our system when you apply on-line. 1. Begin the application process by clicking on the [Apply Online] button at the bottom of the announcement. 2. Log into your USAJOBS account (if you are not already logged in) or create one (if you do not have one established). 3. Select the resume you would like to submit and click on [Apply for this position now!]. You will now be automatically transferred to our system where you will complete the application process.

STEP TWO (Personal Information and Competencies): 1. Once you have been transferred, follow the on-screen prompts to complete your application. Be certain to read the on-screen instructions thoroughly before continuing. First, you will be asked to complete or update your information on file. 2. After completing or updating your information, you will be asked to respond to questions specific to this vacancy. You must respond to all questions in order to save or proceed with the application process. 3. Once you have answered all the vacancy questions click on [Finished].

STEP THREE (Faxing Supporting Documentation): The next step of the application process is to fax all the required supporting documentation specified in the Required Documents section of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your supporting documentation submitted in order continue with the online portion of the application process. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents are properly faxed and received. All required documents must be received by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

FAX INSTRUCTIONS: 1. After answering all vacancy related questions, you will be taken to a page containing a list of fax cover sheets for all required supporting documents. 2. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status of those documents will indicate Received. There is no need to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are submitting an updated copy. 3. You must use a separate cover sheet for each type of supporting documentation. Choose the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column. 4. Click the Print Cover Sheets button. A window will pop up containing the fax cover sheet(s) you selected. Print the coversheet(s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to print the coversheets. 5. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved forward in the application process. 6. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document is legible and all information is complete and signed, if necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification purposes. 7. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing more than one document, EACH DOCUMENT MUST BE FAXED SEPARATELY under its corresponding cover sheet to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. DO NOT FAX ALL DOCUMENTS UNDER ONE COVER SHEET. 8. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re-fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification number, which ensures your document is processed correctly. 9. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been successfully received by Human Resources. This EMAIL CONFIRMATION is our official receipt of submission. The fax confirmation generated by the fax machine is NOT your official receipt of submission. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required documentation as specified under the required documents section by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

STEP FOUR (Review and Submit Application): The final step of the application process is to review and submit your complete online application package. 1. Review the personal information, core questions, vacancy questions and resume for accuracy and completeness. 2. Once you are satisfied with your application click on [Finished] to submit your application. If you do not click on [Finished] your application will not be submitted and you will not receive consideration. 3. Once you have submitted your application you will be redirected back to USAJOBS where you may view your application status, continue to browse for open positions and/or apply for additional positions. You may return at any time until midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement to update or make changes to your application.

APPLICANTS WHO DO NOT APPLY ONLINE: You are strongly encouraged to complete the on-line portion of the application process via USAJOBS. If you cannot apply on-line, call the number listed under Agency Contact section between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. prior to the closing date to request a hard copy of the complete application package. If you do not request the complete application package, and your application does not include all the information requested within the web site How do I apply if I cannot apply on-line (See link below.), you will not be considered for this vacancy. Be advised, if you request an application package late in the announcement period, you cannot receive an extension past the closing date. Hard copy faxed applications must be received by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement. Hard copy applications that are not faxed will be accepted at the Human Resources Office listed in the Agency Contact section of this announcement until 4:30 p.m. All hard copy applications must include all the information listed at How do I Apply if I cannot apply on-line. Application packages submitted via e-mail will NOT be accepted.

***Do NOT use government postage paid envelopes.

***Applicants who cannot apply on-line, click the link below for instructions on how to apply. How to apply if I cannot apply online.

At the above web site, click on Frequently Asked Questions, then Appling for Jobs and finally How to apply if I cannot apply online.

***Be certain to submit all supporting documentation. This information should be submitted in the format prescribed within the Required Documents section of this announcement.

***If you are found qualified for this position, you will ONLY be considered at the grade level(s) for which you applied



All required supporting documents listed below must be faxed by 11:59 P.M. EST of the closing date of this announcement. Veterans who are preference eligibles or who have been separated from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous active service may apply. Veterans MUST submit their DD-214 or other proof of service to be considered. All current Federal employees and reinstatement eligible applicants (including current and former USDA Employees) must submit an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting proof of competitive status, tenure, grade level and step. All non-competitive eligible applicants must submit proof of eligibility (i.e., SF-50 documenting the full performance level of a position held on a permanent basis). Special Appointing Authority Eligibles: Candidates who have acquired eligibility under a special appointment authority must submit supporting documentation that verifies this eligibility. ICTAP/CTAP ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION: CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must satisfy the following criteria: (1) meeting minimum qualifications, including selective factors, education, and experience requirements, and score at least an 85 on the application questions as established and be able to perform the duties of the position upon entry. (2) submit a copy of the appropriate documentation, such as a RIF separation notice, certificate of expected separation, Standard Form 50 Notification of Personnel Action stating you were separated by RIF, OR a letter from your agency documenting your priority consideration status, with your application package. THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES OF CANDIDATES ARE CONSIDERED DISPLACED EMPLOYEES UNDER ICTAP: Current or former career or career-conditional (tenure group 1 or 2) competitive service employees who 1) received a specific RIF separation notice; or 2) separated because of a compensable injury or illness, whose compensation has been terminated and whose former agency certifies that it is unable to place them; or 3) retired with a disability and whose disability annuity has been or is being terminated; or 4) upon receipt of a RIF separation notice retired on the effective date of the RIF and submits a Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) that indicates "Retirement in lieu of RIF"; or 5) retired under the discontinued service retirement option; or 6) was or will be separated because he/she declined a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area. Former Military Reserve or National Guard Technicians who are receiving a special Office of Personnel Management disability retirement annuity under Section 8337(h) or 8456 of Title 5 United States Code. THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES OF CANDIDATES ARE CONSIDERED DISPLACED EMPLOYEES UNDER CTAP: Current eligible United States Department of Agriculture employees must submit a copy of their SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" that reflects career or career-conditional tenure or non-competitive eligibility, proof of competitive status, tenure, grade level and step. All non-eligibility (i.e., SF-50 documenting the full performance level of a position held on a permanent basis). TO RECEIVE PRIORITY CONSIDERATION UNDER ICTAP/CTAP YOU MUST: Apply for a position at or below the grade level of the position from which you were or will be separated and that does not have a greater promotion potential than the position from which you were or will be separated. Apply for a position in the same local commuting area from which you were or will be separated. Submit a copy of the appropriate documentation, such as a RIF separation notice, certificate of expected separation, an SF-50 stating you were separated by RIF, or a letter from OPM or your agency documenting your priority consideration status, with your application package. Submit your current (or last) performance rating of record, which must be at least fully successful or equivalent. Provide all required information specified in the vacancy announcement, e.g., SF-50s, performance appraisals, transcripts, etc. Failure to comply with ALL the instructions in the vacancy announcement will result in loss of priority consideration for the vacancy. File your application by the vacancy announcement closing date. Be rated "Well-Qualified" for the position. To be considered well- qualified, you must earn a score of 85 based upon the rating criteria established for this position (prior to veteran's preference being applied). OTHER REQUIRED DOCUMENTS and QUALIFICATIONS INFORMATION: If you are qualifying based on education OR if there are mandatory education requirements listed under the Qualifications and Evaluations section, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcript with your application by the 11:59 P.M. EST of closing date of this announcement, and if selected, an official college transcript will be required to verify education prior to employment. If you fail to provide required information, or the information you submit is insufficient to verify your qualifications, you WILL lose consideration for the position. If you are qualifying based on other criteria listed under the Qualification Section of this announcement, you MUST submit the required supporting documentation (certificates, certifications, panel recommendations, etc.) with your application by 11:59 P.M. EST of the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to provide requested information, or the information you submit is insufficient to verify your eligibility, you WILL lose consideration for this position. For more information about which documents you should submit for Merit Promotion, Veterans' Preference, or Special Appointing Authorities, visit Frequently asked questions, FAQ FAXING INSTRUCTIONS AND CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT - Where and When to FAX: Documentation required by this announcement must be FAXED to 571-258- 4052. Please read the announcement carefully. Documents must be faxed, by the closing date of this announcement using appropriate cover sheet and a legible copy of the corresponding document. Failure to provide requested documents may result in lost consideration. At the end of your application, you will see a text box that will prompt you to indicate which documents you intend to submit. Please "check" only the boxes for which documents are required by this announcement. - How to FAX: Each document must be faxed in separately as each sheet includes an identification number, which ensures your document is processed correctly. Illegible supporting documentation may not be considered, nor will you be contacted to resubmit the documents. Documentation Receipt Confirmation: After you fax in your documentation, you will receive an email notification from .


Nicole Smith
Phone: 301-504-4321
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
Departmental Management
5601 Sunnyside Ave
Room 2-2138C
Beltsville, MD
Fax: 571-258-4052


You may check your application status any time after the announcement closes. USAJOBS has added an alert setting to the system to drive status updates notification for applicants. We recommend that you update your USAJOBS profile to receive these status updates via email after the announcement closes. We will continue to update your status on-line as changes are made. You can elect to activate the proactive notification from your USAJOBS profile at any point during the application process. Proactive notification will provide you an opportunity to sign-up for automatic alerts when there are status changes for jobs to which you have applied. These alerts will automatically notify you that your status has changed and remind you to check your USAJOBS profile for the specifics. Go to the USAJOBS web site, select MY USAJOBS and enter your ID and Password and follow the on screen prompts. If you have other questions or need other assistance, you may contact the Human Resources Specialist listed as the contact person in the Vacancy Announcement

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