Getting into a position with the United Nations is not something that is as simple and straightforward as applying for any other job out there. It is an intricate process; everything from the initial research you must do; the relative experience you must have; from the beginning of the application process to the “resume” you create to the written and oral tests that must be passed can quickly turn this process into a time-consuming and tricky endeavor. Even with everything an impressive resume that boasts all of the necessary qualifications that the United Nations looks for, you could end up on the job roster and still not make the final cut. It is for this reason that it is imperative a UN hopeful does their part to not only ensure they are meeting the basic requirements, but to attempt to make the right sort of contacts with UN figures and perform volunteer work in order to give themselves a competitive edge.
While people can and do begin working for the United Nations by moving into a senior position laterally, entry-level positions come with a bit more structure. Some UN officials are able to get past the standard procedures of certain UN organizations, vacancy announcements and policies to help young hopefuls gain a position in this extremely rigid recruitment process, making it necessary that you make contacts with the right people to help you along.
To get your foot in the door for a UN job, research and choose the application method that is best for you. Though the UN Recruitment site dictates that becoming a UN Volunteer is not a way to get into the United Nations, it could potentially become a fantastic way for you gain the relative experience that you need to join, as well as to place emphasis on your dedication to the organization itself which will look outstanding on future applications.
Connections, on top of building relationships with UN officials, are key to getting into the UN, especially if you are interested in becoming an intern. Just like in most fields with a competitive job market, relationships are critical. If you have a serious interest in the position, connections can make or break your chance. Build relationships with current employees at the UN, such as alumni from your university. Set up an informal interview to understand how they got their position and help you to understand the core responsibilities.
By making a strong impression on these individuals, your effective networking may pay off in the form of them letting you know about new vacancy announcements before they are widely circulated. If you make the right contact, you may also be able to get your resume reviewed as one of the first of many applications that the United Nations receives. With a diligent combination of research, volunteer work, the correct job qualifications and the right connections, you will be well on your way to a fulfilling position at your dream job with the United Nations.