The Commonwealth is committed to a diverse workforce, which includes those who require reasonable accommodations to do their job. The Candidate Portal has been tested by the Mass Office on Disability and the Mass Commission for the Blind for accessibility. This guide has been developed to assist candidates using JAWS 13 or 15 in creating a profile and applying for a job. Additionally, every job requisition posted on the site has the name and phone number of the Diversity/ADA coordinator included. Please reach out to them for any reasonable accommodation needed to apply for a job with the Commonwealth.
First time User creates a profile without applying for a job
Advantages of creating a profile
- The system works for you. If the system has your email it will send you a notification any time a new job posting matches your skills. This way you can immediately look at the posting and apply for that job.
- The system keeps all your information. This way you do not have to re-input your address, education, certifications and other common information. Each time you apply for another job the information is right there. Check it, correct/ edit/ update/ add to it and your application is ready to go.
Step 1. Go to Career Section - Create a Profile
Step 2. Press Insert + F7 to access the Links List. Press the letter A until you hear ALL JOBS and press Enter. You will arrive at the All Jobs Page.
Step 3. Press Insert + F7 to access the Links List. Press CTRL + END which will take you to the bottom of the links list. This entry should read Access My Profile. Press Enter. You should arrive at the Privacy Agreement page.
Step 4. Press the letter B until you hear I ACCEPT button. Then press Enter. You should arrive at the Login page.
Step 5. Your cursor should be in the User Name edit box and you should be in Forms Mode. Get out of forms mode by pressing NumPad +. You should now be in Virtual Cursor mode.
Step 6. Press the letter B until you get to the New User button. Press Enter. You should arrive at the New User Registration page.
Step 7. When you arrive on this page you are not immediately placed into the form fields. You are taken to the Welcome message at the top of the page. Tab to enter the first form field, User Name. You should be in Forms Mode. Fill in a user name. Tab to the next Form Field, Password. Enter a password based on these rules: the password must be between 6 and 32 characters. It must contain at least one of each of these: an upper case alphabet character, a lower case alphabet character, a number and one or more of these special characters: !, %, #, ?. Your password must not be the same as your user name or your email address.
Step 8. When you have finished filling in the form, Tab to the Register button. Press Enter. You will arrive at the Security Questions page.
Step 9. You will not be placed into the first form field edit box. You will be placed at the top of the page which will then be read to you. Press the letter H which will take you to the heading Security Question.
Step 10. Down arrow to read the short explanation to the security question.
Step 11. Down arrow again. You will be placed in the first form field box, Question. This is a mandatory field. Fill in a question.
Step 12. Tab to the next field, Answer. Fill in an answer.
Step 13. Tab to the next field, Confirm Answer. Fill in the same answer.
Step 14. Repeat this same sequence for the next three fields, which are Question, Answer and Confirm Answer. The two questions and answers must be different from one another.
Step 15. Tab to the OK button. Press Enter. You will arrive at the first page of the General Profile.
General Profile page
Step 1. You will hear “Same page Resume Upload. Link. Go to the main content.”
If you want to hear the entire page read to you, press Enter.
Note: There are two possible ways to use this page. You can upload a resume, which will be used by the system to move relevant information into your profile OR you can skip that step and choose to enter all of your information by yourself on the next page.
Note: If you want to upload a resume go to the section later in this document: Upload Resume and follow the instructions there.
Step 2. If you do not want to upload a resume follow steps 2 and 3. Press the letter R if you are using JAWS 13. If you are using JAWS 14 or 15 press the letter A. Either method will bring you to the radio buttons on the page. The first radio button is the default which is “I do not want to upload a resume.”
Step 3. Leave the default radio button selected. Tab twice to the Save and Continue button. Press Enter. You arrive at the Personal Information page.
Step 4. If you do want to upload a resume follow the steps 4 through 6. Press the letter R twice if you are using JAWS 13. If you are using JAWS 14 or 15 press the letter A twice. When you arrive at the radio button that is labeled ” I want to upload a resume” press the Spacebar. The radio button will be selected. This action will also activate the ‘Browse’ button.
Step 5. The Browse button opens a window that allows you to search through the computer to locate your resume. When you have located your resume, Press Open to insert a path to the resume into the Resume Upload page. You can verify that the path is there by Tabbing once into the input box provided for that purpose, if you are using IE. If you are using Firefox there is no input box but, by using your arrow keys you should be able to read the file name next to the Browse button. It is waiting for upload.
Step 6. Once you know your resume is ready for upload, press the letter B until you hear “Save and Continue to the next page”. Press Enter. You will arrive on the Personal Information Page. This action will upload your resume and allow some of the information to be moved into the system for use on the next few screens.
Personal Information Page
Note: on each page within the General Profile there is a progress bar before the main content area. This progress bar consists of all of the steps necessary to complete your profile. Each of the steps is merely informational until you have successfully filled out that page. At that time the informational name becomes a link so that you can navigate backwards to any page you have successfully finished. The instructions that follow skip over the progress bar to facilitate faster filling out of the profile. If you wish to hear the progress bar read simply arrow or Tab down from the top of the page. The progress bar is the preferred method for navigating back to prior pages. Use of the browser BACK button is discouraged.
Enter Information for Yourself
Step 1. If you have decided to enter all of your information for yourself into the Personal Info page then, once you arrive on that page, press the letter H. You will be taken to the beginning of the content which is the h1 heading, Personal Information.
Step 2. Press Tab. You will be placed into the Prefix form field. If you wish, enter Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. or any other prefix/ title you use for your name.
Step 3. Tab through all the input boxes and fill in all required fields and any other fields that contain information relevant to your situation. This will include your name, address, phone number(s), email address, employee information if you are already an employee of the Commonwealth and some basic schedule preferences and availability information.
Note: there are a number of input boxes which require data in the form of numbers. These would be items like “zip code” and “phone numbers”. Please enter 5 digits for the zip code and phone numbers in the following pattern “999-999-9999”. Please include the dashes in the phone number.
Step 5. Tab to the three phone number choices. Make sure you have placed a phone number in the field that corresponds to your choice in the Primary Number drop down box.
NOTE: All phone numbers in the site must be entered in the following format 999-999-9999. Remember to put the ‘–‘ in as well as omitting any “1” or “9” at the beginning of a number.
Step 6. When you have finished reviewing and/ or inputting your email address press Tab. You will be in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employee Only section. If this status applies to you there are three ways to indicate you are a current employee. First there is an ‘Internal Candidate’ checkbox. Use spacebar to select that. Next, there is a form field to input your Employee Number. Last, there is an optional Bargaining Unit drop down box. If you are in a bargaining unit, use the up/ down arrow keys to select your unit. Tab to the next section, Basic Profile Information
Step 7. This section is not required information but may help you get a better job match. There are questions about availability by dates, shifts, salary and travel. Tab through the shift and schedule choices and select whichever ones you will be available for.
Step 8. When you are finished press Tab. This will take you into the next drop down box, “Advanced Notice”. You can choose from a variety of timing choices that reflect how much notice you will need when accepting a job offer.
Step 9. Tab to the next section, “Date of Availability”. This section is made of three drop down boxes, month, day and year. By Tabbing into the drop down boxes and making selections using up/down arrows you can select your preferences.
Step 10. Tab into the next edit box which is “Minimum Annual Salary.” This is also not required, however if you do enter a number do not add a $. Just enter numbers like 45000.
Step 11. Tab into the next drop down box, Travel (up to…). This drop down box provides choices like “Yes. 25%of the time”. Using the up/down arrows select your choice.
Step 12. Tab to ‘Job Posting Notification’. There is a checkbox next to a statement. “Send an email notification whenever a new position matching this profile is posted.” If you want emails to arrive for new jobs press spacebar which will select this checkbox. Tab once.
Your cursor will be placed into the drop down box Source Type. You can use the up/ down arrow keys to select the closest choice to where or how you learned about the Commonwealth job site.
Step 13. When you have selected your Source Type, Tab again. This will bring you to a second Source Type box, which has selections that further explain where you heard about the job site. IF you do NOT hear this second drop down box announced, but hear ‘Save and Continue’ button, use your Tab + Shift to move back to the second drop down box. This is a mandatory box and skipping it will cause an error on the page.
Note: An example of what you might choose would be Source Type drop down box #1 = “Job Board”. Source Type drop down box #2, Job Board = “Monster”
Step 14. Tab to the ‘Save and Continue’ button. Press Enter. You will arrive on the Education page
Step 1. You will hear “Same page Resume Upload. Link. Go to the main content.”
If you want to hear the entire page read to you, press Enter. If not, go to Step 2.
Note: There are two possible ways to use this page. You can upload a resume, which will be used by the system to move relevant information into your profile OR you can skip that step and choose to enter all of your information by yourself on the next screen.
Step 2. If you want to upload a resume follow steps 2 and 3. Press the letter R if you are using JAWS 13. If you are using JAWS 14 or 15 press the letter A. Either of these methods will bring you to the radio buttons on the page. The first radio button is the default which is “I do not want to upload a resume.”
Step 3. Press either letter R or letter A, depending on which version of JAWS you are using. The second ratio button is “I want to upload a resume”. Press the spacebar to select this radio button. Make sure JAWS reads this to you and validates that the radio button is selected.
Step 4. Tab twice to go to the ‘Browse’ button. Press spacebar to activate this button.
Step 5. The Microsoft Windows “Choose File to Upload” window should be open and you should be able to locate whatever files you want to upload using the standard Windows keystrokes. When you have selected the file and pressed the Open button you should have the path to the desired file listed in the general profile resume upload page input box. Do a CTRL + Shift to move back into that box to read the file path.
Note: there is no Attach button on this page. When you navigate to the Save and Continue button and press Enter the resume will be uploaded and data will be extracted from your resume. You will check that data by following the profile through all the rest of the pages.
Step 6. When you are ready, Tab to the Save and Continue button. You will arrive on the Personal Information Page
Note: you would think you would arrive at the top of the page, but that is unpredictable so ensure you are at the top by doing a CTRL + Home.
Step 7. Press the letter H. You will go to h1 Personal Information.
Note: Follow all of the instructions in the Personal Information Page section in this document. Instead of having to fill in every box on the form some of the information should be there already having been extracted from your resume. Be sure to check every box and field to make sure that the information was extracted according to what you would like in your profile.
Step 1. Press the letter H. You will go to the h1 Education.
Step 2. Down arrow to hear that the page expects you to “List the educational experiences below, starting with the most relevant education.”
Step 3. Tab into the first edit box which is where you will type in the name of the school you attended. There is a message that there is a dropdown menu that suggests results that match what you type in. There is a dropdown menu with predictive results however the suggestions cannot be read by JAWS. Just type your own educational institute in, then Tab twice to place your cursor into the Program input box. There you will hear a repeat of the “claim” that there is a dropdown list that will help.
Step 4. Tab from the Program input box twice to go into the Education Level drop down box. While there select the highest level of education you have attained.
Step 5. Tab to the ‘Remove Education’ and the ‘Add Education’ links. If you need to, add and remove education.
Caution: If you press Enter while on the Remove Education link the institution, program and education level you have input directly BEFORE that link will be deleted. Be sure that is what you want to do. Once the data has been removed you will have to reenter all of it.
Step 6.When you Remove Education and then Tab once you will find the Add Education link. Pressing this link will restore a new education section with the three necessary fields in it.
Step 7. When you are finished in this section Tab to the “Save and Continue” button. Press Enter. You will arrive on the Employment History page.
Step 1. Press the letter H. You will go to h1 Employment History.
Step 2. Tab three times until you hear the cursor enter the edit box for Employer and enter Forms mode. You will hear a message when you reach the edit box that tells you there is ”a drop-down list that suggests values matching the text.” Once again, there is a drop-down list of predictive suggestions, however you cannot reach the list, nor have it read to you using JAWS. Ignore the list, type in the name of your employer and press Tab twice to move to the Job title edit box.
Note: Pass the “Select” link which, if selected, would move you to a separate page. Ignore this. There is no information on that page. Most users who do not use Assistive Technology will be ignoring these features as well.
Step 3. Tab to the Start Date drop down box. There are two drop down boxes (month and year) for both the Start and the End Dates.
Step 4. If this is your current job, Tab past the ‘End Date’ drop down boxes and Tab one more time to the checkbox which says ‘Current Job’ Press spacebar to select this checkbox.
Step 5. Tab one more time to enter the input box ‘Achievements/ Responsibilities’
Step 6. Tab to the ‘Remove Work Experience’ and the ‘Add Work Experience’ links. Use these links only If you need to add and remove work experience.
CAUTION: If you press Enter while on the ‘Remove Work Experience’ link the Employer, Job Title and Start/ End Dates you have input directly BEFORE that link will be deleted. Be sure that is what you want to do. Once the data has been removed you will have to reenter all of it.
Step 7. When you Remove Work Experience and then Tab once you will find the Add Work Experience link. Pressing this link will provide you with a new Work Experience section with the all necessary fields in it.
Step 8. When you are finished in this section Tab to the “Save and Continue” button. Press Enter. You will arrive on the ‘Certifications’ page.
Step 1. Press the letter H. You will go to the h1 Certifications.
Step 2. Tab three times until you hear the cursor enter the edit box for Certification and enter Forms mode. You will hear a message when you reach the edit box that tells you there is ”a drop-down list that suggests values matching the text.” Once again, there is a drop-down list of predictive suggestions, however you cannot reach the list, nor have it read to you using JAWS. Ignore the list, type in the name of your certification.
Step 3. Tab twice to move to the Issuing Organization edit box.
Step 4. Enter the name of the issuing organization.
Step 5. Tab once to the Number/ID edit box. Enter the unique identifying number.
Step 6. Tab once to the Country drop down box. The default value in that box is “Not specified”. The United States is the next country in the list. If this is the issuing country arrow down once and select it. If you have a different issuing country then you can either arrow up/ down until you find it or you can type in the first few letters of the country name.
Step 7. Tab once more to the State/ Province drop down box. Select your state.
Step 8. Tab once more to the Region drop down box. Select your region.
Step 9. Tab to the issue date. This is represented by two separate drop down boxes, Month and Year. Select the correct choices.
Step 10. Tab to the Expiration Date. This refers to the future expiration date. If the certificate has already expired, then it should not be included in the list.
Step 11. Tab to the ‘Remove Certification’ and the ‘Add Certification’ links. Use these links only if you need to add and remove certificates.
CAUTION: If you press Enter while on the ‘Remove Certification’ link the Certification, Issuing Organization, Number/ID and Issue/ Expiration Dates you have input directly BEFORE that link will be deleted. Be sure that is what you want to do. Once the data has been removed you will have to reenter all of it.
Step 12. When you remove a certification and then Tab once you will find the Add Certificate link. Pressing this link will provide you with a new Certificate section with the all necessary fields in it.
Step 13. When you are finished entering data on this screen press Tab and go to the Save and Continue button. Press Enter and you will arrive at the Preferences page.
Step 1. Press the letter H. You will go to an h1 Preferences
Note: there are three separate pages that comprise the Preferences section. This first one is the job category page. Next there will be a location page. Finally, there is an agency page. Job Category and Location are mandatory. You may leave Agency unselected.
Step 2. Tab once. You will be placed in a Job Category drop down box. You must select at least one job category to complete this page and move on.
Step 3. You can select, one at a time, as many job categories as you want. Use the up/ own arrow keys to go through the list. To select one, listen to the category being read to you. Then Tab once to the Add to List button. Press Enter.
Step 4. The Job Category will be added to your list.
Note: The job categories are added to the page in the order you select them. There is no
sort functionality on this page. If you want to be able to review them later and you prefer them to be alphabetized then select them in the A – Z order so that A will be at the top.
Step 5. When you have added one or more job categories and/ or want to review your list press Tab. You will be placed on a Remove link directly below your first job category. The entire category will be read to you. For instance “Remove this option from the list: Library Services.”
Step 6. If you want to remove this job category press Enter. If you wish to add it back to the list repeat Step 3.
Step 7. When you have reviewed your whole list press Tab. This will take you to the Save and Continue button. Press Enter. You will arrive on the Employment Preferences page
Note: This is page two of the three preferences pages. This page is the location page.
Step 8. Tab once. You will be placed into the Country drop down box. You will be in Forms mode. You must select at least one location to complete this page and move on.
Step 9. Using the down arrow select “United States”. This is the only location in the drop down box.
Step 10. Tab once. You will be placed in the State drop down box. Use the up/down arrows to select what state you wish to work in. Remember, you can choose more than one location; however, you must select one at a time.
Step 11. Once you have chosen your state Tab once. You will be placed in the City box. Use the up/down arrows to select from the City choices.
Step 12. Tab once to the Add to List button. Press Enter. Your location choice will be added to your list. Tab will bring you to the Remove link for that location. It will be read to you as “Remove : Woburn”, for example.
Step 13. Shift + Tab back up to the Country drop down box if you want to add another location. Add locations that you might be interested in working in until your list is complete. When you are through reviewing the list and want to move on press Tab until you go to the Save and Continue button. Press Enter. You will arrive at the Preferences Agency page.
Step 14. Press the letter H. You will be taken to h1 Preferences. Tab to the Agency dropdown list.
Note: You do NOT have to choose an agency to complete the page and move forward with your profile.
Step 15. If you wish to review the Agencies in the list use your up/down arrows. To select one of the agencies Tab to the Add to List button when you are on the agency you want to add to your profile. Press Enter. This agency choice will be added to your list.
Tab will bring you to the Remove link for that agency. It will be read to you as “Remove this department from the list : Department of Corrections ”, for example.
Step 16. When you are finished adding agencies and reviewing your list Tab to the Save and Continue button. Press Enter. You will arrive at the File Attachments page.
This is a good place to attach items like a cover letter that would help express your suitability for employment in your field. Letters of reference and portfolio items and samples can also be attached here. On this page you can upload files and add comments which can be read by a hiring manager and/ or the HR department.
Note: There is a 25 file limit. This limit applies to you, as an applicant, not per job. If you are planning on applying for multiple jobs think about the file limit and plan accordingly.
Step 1. Press the letter H. You will go to the heading level 1: File Attachments.
Step 2. Press the letter H a couple of times. Stop when you hear “Tips, heading level 3”.
Step 3. Press down arrow once and listen to the tip which tells you the size and number of files that you can attach. This tip also contains a list of the file types that are acceptable.
Note: This is a good place to attach items like cover letters, letters of recommendation or other files that would help express your suitability for employment in your field. On this page you can download files and add comments which can be read by a hiring manager and/ or the HR department. Since you cannot add Comments after you have attached a specific file make sure you enter the comments PRIOR to pressing the Attach button.
Step 4. Once you have oriented yourself to what the page does press the letter H again until you come to “Attachments. Heading level 2”.
Step 5. Press the down arrow and read the paragraph explaining how to attach a file.
Step 6. Press Tab twice until you are on the Browse… button. Press spacebar to activate this button.
Step 7. The Microsoft Windows “Choose File to Upload” window should be open and you should be able to locate whatever files you want to upload using the standard Windows keystrokes. When you have selected the file and pressed the Open button you should have the path to the desired file listed in the input box. Do a CTRL + Shift to move back into that box to have the file path read to you.
Step 8. When you are satisfied that the correct file is in the attachment box, Tab three times until you are in the “Comments about the file” input box. This is your opportunity to very briefly put a meaningful tag on the document so that you can tell your docs apart and so that the hiring managers have a quick idea of what the file’s purpose is. Examples might be “Cover letter program manager position May 2015” or “Letter of recommendation Dr. Jones Suffolk University”.
Step 9. When you are finished adding a comment CTRL + Shift back to the Attach button. Press Enter.
Step 10. If you have chosen to attach a resume be sure that the checkbox prior to the resume name is checked. Use up/ down arrows to move through the attachments list. When you hear your resume name do a Shift + Tab to go to the checkbox that precedes it in the table and press Spacebar. This will designate it as your resume.
Step 11. When you have finished reviewing all files in the table Tab to the Save and Continue button. Press Enter. You will arrive on the Summary page.
Overwrite a file on file attachments page
There are times when you might want to return to the File Attachments page to add files, including updated resumes, cover letters, etc. Follow Steps 1 through 11. The system will notice that you are trying to add a file with the same name. When you press Enter on the Attach button the system will put up a message that says, “This file has already been attached. Are you sure that you want to overwrite it?” Select Yes or No. This gives you a final opportunity to make this decision.
Step 1. Since this is a summary of all of the information you have input you may want to read through the entire page and make notes of anything that you find incomplete or incorrect. You can still edit from this page before you finally submit your profile. When you arrive at the page press CTRL + Home. This will take you to the top of the page. Read from that point.
Step 2. If you find an item to correct, your best course of action is to move to each heading in turn and then down arrow once to identify the Edit link that pertains to that section.
Note: Using an Insert + F7 approach to bring up a links list would result in 7 or 8 links all named “Edit.” To reach the correct “Edit” link that corresponds to the section you wish to edit follow Step 2.
Step 3. If you are still not finished with the Profile you can choose to Save as Draft. You could also do this on any of the other intermediate pages.
Note: Choosing Save as Draft triggers a warning which is read to you. “You are about to save this job submission (including the information on this page) as draft. If you save as draft, you will exit the current submission process. Are you sure that you want to save as draft and exit the job submission process? Yes No”
Step 4. When you are ready to Submit the entire Profile navigate to the Submit button and press Enter. You will arrive at the Thank You page. You can sign out from here or go to the Job Search or View all jobs links.
Finding your profile to continue working on it
Step 1. Go to Career Section - Finding your profile
Note: You will have to be logged in to work on your Profile. Login before you go on to Step2.
Step 2. Press Insert + F7 to access the Links List. Press the letter A until you hear ALL JOBS and press Enter. You will arrive at the All Jobs Page.
Step 3. Press Insert + F7 to access the Links List. Press CTRL + END which will take you to the bottom of the links list. This entry should read Access My Profile. Press Enter. If you have previously submitted your profile you should arrive at the Summary page of your profile. If you have saved as a Draft you should arrive at whichever page you were last on when you Saved the profile.
Step 4. If you have Submitted the profile already then refer to the instructions in the ‘Edit something from the Summary page’ section.
Step 5. If you have Saved as a Draft from some page in the profile refer to the instructions for that page to complete your profile.
Edit something from the Summary page
Note: You can go back to your profile after submitting it and Edit one or more of the entries. This is so you can update your resume, add jobs, education or change personal details, such as if you move or change your phone number.
Step 1. Go to: Career Section - Summary Page
Step 2. Go to the “Login” page using the link “Sign in” which you can Tab to or find on the Insert + F7 page of links.
Step 3. Once on the Login page you should find your cursor in the first form field input box, Username. Enter your Username and Tab to get to the Password input box.
Step 4 Press Enter after you have entered both your Username and Password in the appropriate boxes.
Step 5. If you forget your Username or your password there are links on the Login Page you can use to recover those pieces of information.
Step 6. Once you are logged in you can return to your profile by locating the link on either the ‘My Job page’ page or the All Jobs page. Do an Insert + F7, then look for either of those two links in the links list. Once on either of these pages do another Insert + F7 and locate the ‘Access my profile’ link. Press Enter.
Note: there are six sections in the profile that you can edit. They are Personal Information, Education, Employment History, Certifications, Preferences, and File Attachments. These are all heading level 2.
Step 7. To locate the correct Edit link for the section you wish to edit, navigate through the headings, then press the down arrow once to arrive at the Edit link for that heading.
Example: To add a Certification press the letter H to go through the Summary page. When you arrive at “Certifications heading level 2” press the down arrow once to the Edit link. Press Enter. You will arrive at the Certifications page and be able to use the instructions from that section to add or remove a certification.
Step 8. Go to the Submit button. This completes your profile. A Thank you page will appear. There is a link on this screen to view all jobs.