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3 Ways to Get Employment at the United Nations

Regardless of whether you want to help poverty-stricken areas experience economical development, prevent environmental damage or help progressive causes, the United Nations may be the career for you. The UN offers a number of opportunities that can advance your career within the organization. There is a rather fierce competition for the positions available, but by preparing correctly, you could be well on your way to your dream job.

Get Ready to Apply

Look up career opportunities at the UN and check out their website to really get an idea of what different sorts of work are available to you. Find areas that interest you and areas that you are already qualified for. If there is a position that you still need qualifications to apply for, you can work on that first.

Once you have the research done, discern which category you want to apply for. Each of the staff categories have specific requirements regarding area of expertise and educational background. These categories are then broken down into different levels of jobs that need varying years of work experience. Consider your interests, experience, and skills to decide which category and job level is right for you. Choose from:

  • Field Service
  • General Service categories
  • National Professional Officers
  • Professional and Higher categories
  • Senior Appointments

In lieu of the experience and education levels required, make sure you have all of the prerequisites before you apply otherwise your application will not be considered. Common requirements for UN positions include:

  • Fluency in the official working languages of the UN, English or French. Proficiency in other languages such as Arabic, Spanish, Russian and Chinese are also helpful.
  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher. While some in the General Service category will accept only a high school diploma and related work experience, many positions at the UN need at least a backelors degree or an advanced degree in the area of interest.
  • Work experience in a relative field. You may need between 1 – 7 years of experience, depending on the position you apply for.

Apply for the Position

When it is time to apply for a job, browse available jobs on the UN employment site to see available listings. Vacancies are updated constantly, so keep checking back periodically to see if there are positions that fit your qualifications and interests. When you have found a posiiton of interest, register for a UN account by clicking “register as a user” at the UN employment site. Here you will fill in your basic information and create a username and password. Then, create a Personal History Profile that is detailed and accurate. With that created, apply for the vacancy that interests you using this profile.

Try for the Young Professionals Program

If you have little to no work experience, the Young Professionals Program might be for you if you are qualified. It requires you to take an oral and written exam to see if you qualify for placement on the job roster, and then you will get selected for these jobs as they are made available. To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be younger than 32
  • Be fluent in either French or English
  • Have at least a first-level degree in one of the relevant fields
  • Be a national of a country in participation

Then, if you are selected after applying online, you will complete a written exam followed by a oral exam in person. If you are successful, you will receive an endorsement and be placed on the roster! There are a number of ways to gain employment at the UN, and each of them start with a passion to succeed, a little research and a few applications if you are qualified.

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Global Peace Careers

Global Peace Careers is a website dedicated to career related information in the sectors peace and conflict studies, conflict resolution, mediation and related sectors. On our website we collect and distribute information about entry level jobs, paid internships, affordable master degrees, online courses and other opportunities.