28 Tips to Get Online UN Jobs

Online UN Jobs: Whether you want to prevent environmental degradation.

Help impoverished areas develop their economies, or advance progressive causes.

The United Nations may have the ideal job for you.

The UN is a huge employer and offers opportunities for advancement and career variety.

Comparable to those found in large private companies.

Competition for most positions is fierce, but with a lot of preparation and a little luck.

You may land your dream job with the UN.

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Online UN Jobs

1. Research career options at the UN.

Browse through the United Nations website to get a feel for the different types of work available at the UN.

Which areas interest you most? Are there areas you are already qualified for?

Are there areas you would like to work in but for which you still need qualifications?

Conduct research before starting your job search. Look at the following websites for information:

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2. Decide what staff category you want to pursue.

UN careers are divided into different staff categories.

Each of which require a specific educational background and area of expertise.

The categories are further broken down into jobs at different levels.

That require varying amounts of work experience.

Taking into account your skills, interest and experience.

Decide which category and level is appropriate for you.

Online UN Jobs

3. Get the options:

  • Professional and higher categories (P and D)
  • General Service and related categories (G, TC, S, PIA, LT)
  • National Professional Officers (NO)
  • Field Service (FS)
  • Senior Appointments (SG, DSG, USG and ASG)

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Online UN Jobs

4. Make sure you have the required education and experience.

Each career option has specific education and experience requirements.

Before you apply for a job, make sure you have all the prerequisites.

If you don’t, your application won’t be considered.

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5. Get the common requirements for many positions at the UN:

  • Fluency in English or French, the working languages of the organization. Fluency in additional languages, particularly Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, or Russian, is helpful for most positions.
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher. Some lower-level generalist positions (mostly clerical or secretarial jobs in the General Service category) require only a high school diploma and, usually, relevant work experience, but most positions in the UN require at least a bachelor’s degree. Many specialist positions require advanced degrees in the area of specialty.
  • Work experience in a related field. Depending on the position for which you are applying, you might need anywhere from 1 – 7 years of work experience.

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6.  Browse available jobs.

Look at the UN employment website to see current vacancies with organizations in the UN Secretariat.

You can use UNjobfinder to search vacancies in all UN organizations.

Vacancies are constantly updated.

So if you don’t immediately see a position that fits your goals and qualifications, check back often.

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Online UN Jobs

7. Register for a “My UN” account.

Click on the “Register as a User” option at the top of the UN employment website.

You will be required to fill in your name, email, and date of birth.

As well as creating a user name and password.

8. Create your “Personal History Profile” (PHP).

Once you register you will be prompted to create your PHP.

This profile will be your confidential online resume, and includes general information about you.

Your education, and your employment history.

You will only need to complete this once, but you can edit it for different vacancies if you wish.

  • You can complete the PHP right away, or come back later. It will take between 30 minutes to one hour to complete, and you can save a partially completed profile at any time and return to finish it.
  • Ensure that your PHP is thorough, detailed, accurate, and picture perfect. When you apply for a position, the PHP is the first (and, initially, only) thing the recruiter will see. If you don’t do a good job of representing your qualifications, or if your profile is marred by spelling or grammar mistakes, your application will be passed over.
  • You can continue to update your PHP at any time, but make sure it is in perfect condition when you actually apply for a listed vacancy.

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9. Select the job for which you’re applying.

Be certain you meet all its requirements; if not, either have very good reasons for why the recruiter might overlook whatever is lacking, or don’t apply.
The UN website makes it clear that you can apply for as many vacancies as you like.
But your credibility will be hurt if you apply for positions for which you are not qualified.

Online UN Jobs

10. Apply for the chosen vacancy by following the online instructions.

You will be prompted to submit your most recent version of the PHP.

Along with any other information required by the particular vacancy.

Update the PHP if necessary before submitting your application.

  • Provide an e-mail address so that they can acknowledge your application. If you don’t get such acknowledgment within 24 hours, contact them again for confirmation.

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11. Wait for an interview invitation.

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted, and this can take some time.

You may check the status of your application in the “Application History” of your “My UN” account.

Many positions require that you pass an examination in order to be considered.

Follow the instructions given for the specific vacancy for which you are applying.

Online UN Jobs

12. Make sure you’re eligible.

The Young Professionals Programme (YPP) is intended for talented young men and women with little to no work experience.

Those who are eligible may take a written and oral examination to determine whether they qualify for placement on the job roster for YPP participants.

Those on the job roster are selected for YPP jobs as they become available.

To be eligible for the YPP, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 32 years or younger
  • Hold at least a first-level university degree in one of the job families offered
  • Be fluent in either English or French
  • Be a national of a participating country

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13. Register for a “My UN” account.

Click on the “Register as a User” option at the top of the UN employment website.

You will be required to fill in your name, email, and date of birth.

As well as creating a user name and password.

Online UN Jobs

14. Create your Personal History Profile.

Once you register you will be prompted to create your Personal History Profile.

This profile will be your confidential online resume.

And includes general information about you, your education, and your employment history.

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15. Online UN Jobs

You can complete the PHP right away, or come back later.

It will take between 30 minutes to one hour to complete.

And you can save a partially completed profile at any time and return to finish it.

Make sure you fill out the space for your “Country of Nationality” with a country participating in the YPP program.

16. Apply for a job.

As a YPP candidate, you must select a job labeled “YPP Examination.”

Choose a job in the job family you’re interested in and qualified for.

Fill out the correct combination of “Main Course of Study”.

And “Field of Study” that matches your degree and the requirements for the job.

You can submit only one application for an examination.

17. Online UN Jobs

After completing the forms, click “Apply Now” to submit your application.

You’ll need to answer a few screening questions and agree with the terms to successfully submit the application.

You will receive an email confirmation that your application was received.

Your application will be evaluated, and you will either be invited to take the examination or informed that you are not eligible.

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18. Take the written examination.

If you are eligible, you will be invited to take the written examination.

It lasts 4 1/2 hours and consists of two parts: the General Paper, which is the same for all job families.

And the Specialized Paper, which tests your knowledge on your specific area of expertise.

If you pass the test, you will be invited to take the oral examination.

19. Take the oral examination.

This is an interview conducted by the Specialized Board to determine whether you have the skills.

And behaviors required for the jobs within the job family you’re applying for.

After the examination, you will be contacted by the Central Examinations Board.

To let you know whether or not you may participate in YPP.

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20. Receive endorsement from the Central Examinations Board.

If your interview is successful, the Central Examinations Board will endorse you for a position on the YPP job roster.

When a job in the appropriate job family becomes available, you will receive an offer.

  • Receiving an endorsement doesn’t automatically mean you will get a job.
  • While the chances are quite high, getting an offer is dependent on job availability in your job family.
  • If your interview is not successful, you’ll be contacted by the Central Examinations Board to let you know that you did not receive an endorsement.

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21. Online UN Jobs

Be very, very careful in putting together your application.

Check for spelling errors, gaps in information, sloppy grammar, etc.

Remember that every little slip-up is an excuse to eliminate your application.

And recruiters will likely be inundated with applications.

22. Online UN Jobs

By all means try to find out more information by e-mail or telephone.

Things to ask include whether the position is one that an existing lower-level.
UN employee acting in that position is trying to get permanently.
This will give you an indication of what you’re up against.
Equally, don’t be surprised if seeking information proves difficult.

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity.

And under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs.

However, a rule exists in the UN recruitment policy (ST/AI/2006/3, Section 9.3).

That provides an eligibility advantage to women.

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24. Online UN Jobs

If there are a couple of candidates who are found to be suitable for a particular role.

If one of them is female and the other one is male.

And if women are under represented at that level/in that division the position will be offered to the female candidate.

Gender balance is also considered for men.

However men are over-represented in most professional levels roles and under represented in general service level roles (the opposite for women).

25. Online UN Jobs

Anyone can be placed on a roster (reserve list of those who did not get selected but were endorsed by the central review body). Roster membership, since 2012, has been indefinite. This could change at any time.

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26. Apply early.

UN recruiters tend to frown upon last minute applications.

You can also be assured that there will be a lot of applications coming in at the last minute.

So yours is likely to get a less thorough review if it’s one of them. Late applications are not accepted.

27. Do your research and look at books written by people

Be aware that working with the United Nations may not necessarily be the challenging, glamorous, “save the world” job you’re looking for.

Do your research and look at books written by people who have worked in the United Nations.

While the pay and benefits are great, many employees are quickly disenchanted by the stifling bureaucracy.

Lack of creativity, inability to utilize initiative, and nepotistic favoritism.

All the same, things won’t get better unless idealistic.

Strong-minded and determined people get in there and change it for the better.

Just be fully aware of the downsides as well as the advantages.

People who get jobs in the UN frequently know people within the organization.
They find out how to complete the PHP form correctly and better understand what the UN is looking for.
Who do you know? Find out how you can get to know some people who might be able to assist.
In spite of lip service to the principle, merit selection is not always the key to employment at the United Nations. Additionally, be aware of country quotas and of country biases.
These can operate for or against your chances of entry.


  • Be ready to wait a very long time after the position closes for any contact. Eight (8) months is not unusual.

  • Don’t apply willy-nilly for jobs for which you’re not qualified as the interviewers have long memories and may take advantage of any excuse to weed out people from a huge employment pool. Prior applications will remain on your employment file, so be judicious.

  • Don’t send extra information about yourself unless you are asked for it. Doing so will irritate the recruiters, who will view it as trying to go outside the bureaucratic process and they may use it as an excuse to bypass you. If you get an interview, that will be your chance to shine.

    Be prepared for a rigorous interview process if you are lucky enough to get that far. It may involve several rounds if you are selected to go further in the process.

  • The U.N. does not accept general applications or resumes. Unless otherwise noted, you must use the online application system to apply for vacancies.

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