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[Merged] Ask Me About Working For Canada Post

[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
855 posts
109 upvotes
Mississauga

[Merged] Ask Me About Working For Canada Post

I've recently gone through the hiring process with Canada Post and have been a letter carrier for a month.

If you're interested about the hiring/training to be a letter carrier, or what the job is like (it's more complicated than just going door to door and putting mail in a box) ask here, and I'll do what I can to answer.
17768 replies
Member
Apr 20, 2008
218 posts
22 upvotes
If you could, please tell us about the process (interviews etc.)?
What is the pre-employment test?
What background are you coming from (in terms of previous employment)?
How long it took to get hired?
What is there to the job, other than carrying the mail?

Thanx
Sr. Member
Jul 4, 2006
554 posts
question about postal clerk at shoppers drugmart, do you know how much is the wage for a part-time postal clerk or is this set by the owner of the store?
Member
Apr 20, 2008
218 posts
22 upvotes
lame23 wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 9:06 am
question about postal clerk at shoppers drugmart, do you know how much is the wage for a part-time postal clerk or is this set by the owner of the store?
although I am not the OP or very knowledgeable in this area, but I believe the start is always the same in any post office ~$9-10/hr
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 22, 2005
3286 posts
39 upvotes
Ottawa
How many hours a day do you work as a letter carrier?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
855 posts
109 upvotes
Mississauga
g_b_ya wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 9:03 am
If you could, please tell us about the process (interviews etc.)?
What is the pre-employment test?
What background are you coming from (in terms of previous employment)?
How long it took to get hired?
What is there to the job, other than carrying the mail?

Thanx
First step is submitting online application. www.canadapost.ca has a careers section, which is where all job postings are. It's all done electronically.

If you get called in, there's a General Aptitude Test. It's broken up into I believe 5 different sections where they test things like basic math skills, reading comprehension, memory, comparing 2 addresses, and number sequences. You need to get a minimum score on each of the sections to continue on.

Then there's an interview for the position you're going for. Standard interview questions, situational questions (i.e. you have a customer who's upset his pension cheque hasn't arrived yet, how do you handle it?), you give them reference letters.

After that is a vision and driving test. Letter carriers do a road test in a van, couriers I believe take a stepvan. If all goes well, you go in and do paperwork in a few days and start training.

Canada Post really doesn't discriminate about previous employment. There are people there with university degrees, people with highschool. Some start at 20, some guys there are starting with Canada Post at 50. This is one area in which they are very good - they don't discriminate about age or level of education or disability, as long as you are able to perform the job you apply for.

Timeframe for hire can range. Some people apply, and are working within a few weeks. Others had to do fingerprint checks (quite common, actually) and it took 4-6 months for the prints to come back from the RCMP. They accept electronic fingerprint checks now, though, so it takes about 3 weeks if they make you go through the certified criminal record check.

The job starts in the morning where you collect the mail for the entire day and bring it to a sortation case. You start with the small letter mail and take each one and put it in a slot for the address. Slots go alphabetically by street and then by number (even/odd) ascending or descending. You spend 2-3 hours sorting your mail. Any flyers also need to get sorted into the case, or you can keep them separate in your bag and pull them individually, but it's much easier to put the flyers with each house's or apartment's mail.

Once the letter and oversize mail is sorted, you get any personal contact items (letters or parcels that require signatures, or have been paid to be delivered faster than normal) and scan them. You print a sheet to collect your signatures and record the information, and sort them, too.

Then you take all the mail, and bundle it up together in order of delivery, and put them in bags for a driver to drop off in relay boxes on your route. This is assuming you are a walking letter carrier. Some carriers have vehicles because they deliver to multiple places that aren't in walking distance. Some are drivers who have a number of packages that you need a vehicle for, etc. So you have all your mail in bags, give it to your driver, and then head out of the station.

Sorting the mail is the most complicated part. It needs to be done very quickly and very accurately. Once you're up to speed, you should be sorting each piece of mail into its slot in 1-3 seconds. If you do the same route every day it gets faster, but when you start off they bounce you from route to route covering people who are sick, so it takes a while to get used to it.

Once you're outside things are a bit easier, but if it's your first day on a route it can be tough. In some areas people have their mailbox at the side of their house, sometimes it blends in with their porch, and sometimes you just can't find it for the life of you. You go through each piece of mail as you're walking to make sure you sorted it correctly, to help ensure you are delivering 1 X street to 1 X street, not to 1 Y street or 11X street. There isn't time allocated for backtracking, so if you make too many mistakes your day is going to take well over 8 hours. Supervisors aren't happy about giving out overtime. Some are worse than others. I won't comment more on that.

The essence of the job is sort the mail and deliver it, but it's a lot more complicated than it seems, and you're always on your toes. You need to be organized, and it takes a while to learn some of the intricacies. How to get all your mail in order in the bags so you don't have to fumble with it figuring out what goes where. Knowing which keys are for which apartments. Learning which order you deliver the streets, how often and which order you get mail from your relay boxes, making sure you don't forget which places you have signature items, etc.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
855 posts
109 upvotes
Mississauga
lame23 wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 9:06 am
question about postal clerk at shoppers drugmart, do you know how much is the wage for a part-time postal clerk or is this set by the owner of the store?
All of the retail clerks in SDM are SDM employees, not Canada Post employees. I've talked to a couple of them, and they're making retail wages, $10 an hour or something like that. It's not a Canada Post job, it's a SDM job, and really wouldn't count towards getting anything further down the line with Canada Post.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
855 posts
109 upvotes
Mississauga
monty613 wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 9:41 am
How many hours a day do you work as a letter carrier?
It depends on how long you've been working with the post office. New employees generally work a minimum of 8 hours, but work overtime past that because they aren't able to sort as quickly and don't know the intricacies of the job. Once you have 10 or 15 years of seniority, are a permanent full time employee, and have a choice which routes to bid on, you can end up working 5-6 hours in the summer (low mail volumes) and get paid for 8. It takes a while to get to that point, and new letter carriers are working an average 40 hours a week. Some stations have walks that are better/worse than others and that affects whether you're working overtime or finishing early.
Deal Expert
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May 8, 2005
31842 posts
1304 upvotes
Any idea how difficult it is for university students to land summer jobs with Canada Post ( thinking more ahead to next summer ) ?

I'm not thinking as carriers so much but perhaps in some other capacity - whatever that might be ?
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 6, 2004
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Toronto
g_b_ya wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 9:10 am
although I am not the OP or very knowledgeable in this area, but I believe the start is always the same in any post office ~$9-10/hr


Im not the OP either, but I can guarantee you a letter carrier starting out with CP will NOT be making less than or anything equal to minimum wage. Its more like $17-20, give or take a few cents.
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
855 posts
109 upvotes
Mississauga
poedua wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 11:59 am
Any idea how difficult it is for university students to land summer jobs with Canada Post ( thinking more ahead to next summer ) ?

I'm not thinking as carriers so much but perhaps in some other capacity - whatever that might be ?
Only temporary work I know of is in november they hire extra people to sort mail in the plants (evening and midnights) for the christmas rush. I've never heard of anything in the summertime, and nobody I've come across has mentioned being a temporary summer student.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2007
855 posts
109 upvotes
Mississauga
Neovingian wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 12:11 pm


Im not the OP either, but I can guarantee you a letter carrier starting out with CP will NOT be making less than or anything equal to minimum wage. Its more like $17-20, give or take a few cents.
Relief letter carrier is currently $23.28 an hour base, but he was talking about postal clerks in Shopper's Drug Mart. They make minimum wage, or close to it.
Member
Apr 20, 2008
218 posts
22 upvotes
Bleys007 wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 11:36 am
First step is submitting online application. www.canadapost.ca has a careers section, which is where all job postings are. It's all done electronically.

If you get called in, there's a General Aptitude Test. It's broken up into I believe 5 different sections where they test things like basic math skills, reading comprehension, memory, comparing 2 addresses, and number sequences. You need to get a minimum score on each of the sections to continue on.

Then there's an interview for the position you're going for. Standard interview questions, situational questions (i.e. you have a customer who's upset his pension cheque hasn't arrived yet, how do you handle it?), you give them reference letters.

After that is a vision and driving test. Letter carriers do a road test in a van, couriers I believe take a stepvan. If all goes well, you go in and do paperwork in a few days and start training.

Canada Post really doesn't discriminate about previous employment. There are people there with university degrees, people with highschool. Some start at 20, some guys there are starting with Canada Post at 50. This is one area in which they are very good - they don't discriminate about age or level of education or disability, as long as you are able to perform the job you apply for.

Timeframe for hire can range. Some people apply, and are working within a few weeks. Others had to do fingerprint checks (quite common, actually) and it took 4-6 months for the prints to come back from the RCMP. They accept electronic fingerprint checks now, though, so it takes about 3 weeks if they make you go through the certified criminal record check.

The job starts in the morning where you collect the mail for the entire day and bring it to a sortation case. You start with the small letter mail and take each one and put it in a slot for the address. Slots go alphabetically by street and then by number (even/odd) ascending or descending. You spend 2-3 hours sorting your mail. Any flyers also need to get sorted into the case, or you can keep them separate in your bag and pull them individually, but it's much easier to put the flyers with each house's or apartment's mail.

Once the letter and oversize mail is sorted, you get any personal contact items (letters or parcels that require signatures, or have been paid to be delivered faster than normal) and scan them. You print a sheet to collect your signatures and record the information, and sort them, too.

Then you take all the mail, and bundle it up together in order of delivery, and put them in bags for a driver to drop off in relay boxes on your route. This is assuming you are a walking letter carrier. Some carriers have vehicles because they deliver to multiple places that aren't in walking distance. Some are drivers who have a number of packages that you need a vehicle for, etc. So you have all your mail in bags, give it to your driver, and then head out of the station.

Sorting the mail is the most complicated part. It needs to be done very quickly and very accurately. Once you're up to speed, you should be sorting each piece of mail into its slot in 1-3 seconds. If you do the same route every day it gets faster, but when you start off they bounce you from route to route covering people who are sick, so it takes a while to get used to it.

Once you're outside things are a bit easier, but if it's your first day on a route it can be tough. In some areas people have their mailbox at the side of their house, sometimes it blends in with their porch, and sometimes you just can't find it for the life of you. You go through each piece of mail as you're walking to make sure you sorted it correctly, to help ensure you are delivering 1 X street to 1 X street, not to 1 Y street or 11X street. There isn't time allocated for backtracking, so if you make too many mistakes your day is going to take well over 8 hours. Supervisors aren't happy about giving out overtime. Some are worse than others. I won't comment more on that.

The essence of the job is sort the mail and deliver it, but it's a lot more complicated than it seems, and you're always on your toes. You need to be organized, and it takes a while to learn some of the intricacies. How to get all your mail in order in the bags so you don't have to fumble with it figuring out what goes where. Knowing which keys are for which apartments. Learning which order you deliver the streets, how often and which order you get mail from your relay boxes, making sure you don't forget which places you have signature items, etc.
T H A N K Y O U !!! That's some good info! Good Luck on the job!!!
Member
Apr 20, 2008
218 posts
22 upvotes
Bleys007 wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 1:10 pm
Relief letter carrier is currently $23.28 an hour base, but he was talking about postal clerks in Shopper's Drug Mart. They make minimum wage, or close to it.
yep
Newbie
Jun 20, 2008
2 posts
g_b_ya wrote:
Jul 19th, 2008 1:22 pm
yep
How long will it take to start working after training?

What kind of training? I mean, What kind of things do you learn during training?

I'm waiting to be trained
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