What do I have to do to get a job in a United Nations organization?

Updated on : January 17, 2022 by Maxwell Cherry



What do I have to do to get a job in a United Nations organization?

You must have all the skills and experience that a particular job requires. Every UN job is different. Look at a UN jobs website, look at the jobs, see what they ask for, model your local work and studies so that you will one day qualify.

Difficult to answer. Working for the organization at their headquarters and working for them on their projects are two different things. In my opinion, experience at the grassroots level is highly appreciated at the UN. So get to work, improve your skills and try to explore the unexplored and you will soon be on board.

There are several internships that are provided by the UN. In addition, many NGOs are linked to the UN through which you can also enter the UN. The UN notifies each year to various positions at various levels that you can apply for. For internships, there are always a few seats, so you should keep checking the UN website regularly.

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Hope you like the answer. Go ahead and vote for it.

As I work within the UN system, I prefer to remain anonymous.

There are two types of staff in my UN agency: general service staff (“G staff”) and professional staff (“P staff”). The first step will be to decide what kind of staff you want to be.

G's staff are basically the people who keep the system running, usually secretaries, technicians, handymen, but also warehouse packers, cooks, etc. They are only hired locally at the destination.

Some examples (not exhaustive):

A typical secretary would be a G-4. These days, they are known as "team assistants", covering a wide

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As I work within the UN system, I prefer to remain anonymous.

There are two types of staff in my UN agency: general service staff (“G staff”) and professional staff (“P staff”). The first step will be to decide what kind of staff you want to be.

G's staff are basically the people who keep the system running, usually secretaries, technicians, handymen, but also warehouse packers, cooks, etc. They are only hired locally at the destination.

Some examples (not exhaustive):

A typical secretary would be a G-4. These days, they are known as "team assistants", covering a wide range of administrative tasks, including travel arrangements, filing, organizing workshops, and so on. In more technical areas, a lab technician or electrician would also be around G-3 or G -4. With experience, they can become G-5.

A G-5 is usually an assistant director rather than a section chief (the director is usually the chief of 3-5 section chiefs within a division), or their job is somewhat more specific and / or technical. A G-6 will be a highly experienced technician or administrative assistant who will take care of important division matters such as hiring, budgeting and finances, resource planning, etc.

At the low end, a G-1 would be, for example, a warehouse packer, a G-2 would be a lab assistant (mainly cleaning the lab), and a G-3 would be a cook, mail messenger, junior lab technician. and often a ticket. grade for newcomers placed in G-4 jobs.

The other category is the P staff:

Most of the time they will be senior scientists or technicians, engineers, translators or senior managers of entities that involve hundreds of people. P staff are hired from around the world and are paid much more than G staff; however, their tenure in the UN agency is generally limited to several years (with exceptions). Almost all managers are at the P-4 or P-5 level, division directors D-1 or D-2. "D staff" is rarely used, directors "count as P staff".

Young graduates with the proper scientific training often start out as P-1 (really fresh out of school, no experience). P-2 is, for example, a junior scientist with some experience, and P-3 a fairly broad category of established personnel with usual experience. Senior scientists are typically P-4, equivalent to junior managers (eg, Team Leaders).

So from the above your first question is: G or P? Personally, I am fortunate to live in a city with a UN agency and be employed there as G staff, which already pays very well.

Yes. The pay is good. That is one of the reasons why it is not easy to enter the United Nations system. Many people want to enter. And the vacancies are almost always distributed among the people who are already there.

Now you understand why I was anonymous. It is almost impossible to get in without a "door opener", either G or P level. Recruitment processes between staff categories differ considerably, and since I am a general service staff member, my additional lines will be more from the perspective of category G staff.

In my case, it was an old friend of my dad's within the system who told me exactly what to write on the online personal history form (UN slang for CV), how to write it, and where exactly to send it (yes, at that time still I sent it by post!). He or she told me what to wear, what questions to expect, etc. With the help of this person (and he / she "supporting" me internally), I was able to secure a short-term G-3 contract for three months. A humble assistant secretary job with a lot of photocopying and really quite mundane administrative tasks. But he paid me over $ 2,000 p / m - NET! (2005)

I continued for almost five years with short-term contracts. I was never "too good" at photocopying thick documents or packing boxes if office needs called for it. You must show will and dedication, and endure fear about the next extension of your contract, possibly for years. You also learn a lot of cool things, you learn what is needed here, and you can apply that knowledge. In general, you have to be willing to eat a humble cake, which does not mean that you allow people to screw you. But don't consider any mundane tasks "under you" at first.

You should also prepare to change jobs frequently initially. In the beginning, I was always the stand-in for this maternity leave secretary, that sick lady, this guy on a career development reassignment. That's great. You quickly learn a lot of different things.

But once you've managed to get into the system and prove yourself for a while, the most important step is to land a fixed-term contract. The hiring process for short-term contracts is comparatively unbureaucratic, designed to quickly obtain replacements for staff on sick leave / other assignments / retired, etc.

However, for a fixed period, you must formally apply for the job officially advertised on the UN agency website. You will compete against dozens of insiders and hundreds of outsiders (whose chances are negligible). You must "fear" more internal competitors ...

Often times, you will have done a great job on your temporary post, but now the time has come for it to be officially announced. Maybe the guy he's been replacing (because he himself was temporary at a higher grade level) now got the "highest job for real", and now he can do the same. Apply for your own job! To really get it.

You'll be faced with the fact that other 360s want that job too. But since you've already kept the hot chair on the desk for a while, your chances of getting it are very, very high if you've done a good job. However, they are never 100%.

And you will face a wait.

Getting a fixed term as a general service staff (less professional) rewards you with a very strong contract and very high job security. But between clicking the submit button and actually being interviewed (either for the job you're already sitting in, or another, if you're invited for an interview) three months can easily go by. When you walk out of the interview feeling pretty confident, you still need to prepare to wait two and a half to four months for that precious email informing you that you got the job. Seriously. Be patient.

You may also know in advance that your current job has a timestamp (maternity leave, she will come back), so you will apply for many jobs in addition to your current one, the ones that have already been advertised in the system. Be prepared to submit about 25 job applications and attend 7 interviews before you get the "Yes, baby!" Message. (my experience)

Wow ... not sure how focused this article was ... I am writing it today because I was privileged to be recently promoted to a higher G staff level. And I have a secure long-term contract. It has been a great battle within the UN system to get to where I am now. And I can still go further, but I'll let it rest for a while.

Good luck applicants! Maybe my information above will give you some useful ideas ...

Aviva Zaveri has asked me to answer this question, so thank you!

I'll start by pointing out the obvious, just to clarify:

  • I do not work in the UN or in any known organization associated with the UN.
  • I attend Model UN, therefore I have knowledge of the United Nations that is learned by attending MUN.
  • This year is the first year I have attended Model UN.

All right, now I will proceed to answer your question.

What is it like to work at the UN? I can't tell you exactly why I haven't worked there, not once in my life (yet). However, I can say that you will spend more or less a lot of time researching.

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Aviva Zaveri has asked me to answer this question, so thank you!

I'll start by pointing out the obvious, just to clarify:

  • I do not work in the UN or in any known organization associated with the UN.
  • I attend Model UN, therefore I have knowledge of the United Nations that is learned by attending MUN.
  • This year is the first year I have attended Model UN.

All right, now I will proceed to answer your question.

What is it like to work at the UN? I can't tell you exactly why I haven't worked there, not once in my life (yet). However, I can say that you will spend more or less a lot of time researching and reviewing information related to political, economic, social and environmental issues within our world when drafting a resolution. If you are an ambassador or delegate, you probably won't do most of the research. I could and would assume that there are people appointed for a task like that, mainly due to the fact that generally those who are delegates or ambassadors would have other tasks to attend to.

Not only does the resolution exist, but if you have seen general assemblies, you would have seen that many of the UN members who speak tend to look down, this is due to the fact that they have a written speech in front of them. which ensures that they do not slip when speaking. The UN is NOT in a place where you would be allowed to make mistakes, people will call you out for what you have said in the future, and you will have to justify and support this mistake or you will have to admit. that you didn't mean to say such a thing. Most would opt for the former to show that they are a trustworthy and organized member of the institution. However, most wouldn't be making such mistakes in the first place, thanks to written speeches.

About the process of a conference:

This is a speech recently delivered by Ambassador Haley of the United States.

This is one of the General Assemblies that was held recently. This is similar to how Model UN runs (except on a much smaller scale) as well. As you can see if you watch the second video, the Presidents announce the agenda and give the floor to the delegates, who will then read the operative clauses within the draft resolution. It is here where much of the debate takes place, this would be known as the moderate caucus in MUN, where the president elects the delegates and ambassadors to make their speeches. In my opinion, a speech in written form is much more effective than improvising but it takes more time, so I have also delivered an impromptu speech and my resolution has passed.

I would also like to talk about one of my teachers, who was able to work at the UN, but decided not to. You may wonder why, and I did too. Apparently, it is because the UN favors certain states over others and allocates them more time to speak. This gives the state more time to develop its points and justify why its resolution should pass / why the other state's resolution should not pass / etc. Well, suppose this IS true. To some extent, you could still understand why, but it can't be fully justified. States can be favored by their active participation within the institution or by their involvement in a specific issue, the list can be endless. Take the 5 permanent members of the security council, they are given veto power (Yes,

The United Nations is an institution focused on maintaining global peace and unity, some people do not like, even detest, the UN, while others appreciate its efforts and even admire it. If you want to be a member of the United Nations, I advise you to do your research on their courses (see the appendix) and keep up to date with world news. If you have asked this question out of curiosity, I hope my lengthy answer has shed some light on a better understanding of the UN.

Appendix:
Open and free courses - UN Courses
United Nations | History, organization, functions and facts

I got my first job with a United Nations agency (but it was not entry-level) because I had a unique experience that that agency needed. And that was my first lesson on how to get a job at the UN: you need to have the specific skills and experience that a particular job requires. Often an entry-level person is the one who goes through the pile of hundreds of CVs for a position, leaving out all those who do not have the EXACT experience requested (if the position asks for a Russian speaker, any CV that does not take into account that Russian is left out, for example).

I find the

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I got my first job with a United Nations agency (but it was not entry-level) because I had a unique experience that that agency needed. And that was my first lesson on how to get a job at the UN: you need to have the specific skills and experience that a particular job requires. Often an entry-level person is the one who goes through the pile of hundreds of CVs for a position, leaving out all those who do not have the EXACT experience requested (if the position asks for a Russian speaker, any CV that does not take into account that Russian is left out, for example).

I find that most of the people who work for UN agencies at the P3 level or higher did not work in the UN system, they did not start in entry level jobs. Rather, they were hired because they had expertise in the area of ​​expertise. And they got that experience from nonprofits and NGOs, often in their own countries. And that experience can come from paid work, or it can come from volunteering. In my first interview with a UN agency, the interview committee focused on my volunteering to help with communications for a reproductive rights organization; They didn't care that it was an unpaid position, they cared that I had so much experience communicating on a sensitive topic.

Entry-level jobs, those at G-level, which are considered administrative, are almost all held by people who already live in the city where the entry-level job is located. Besides being already in the area, there are other things that can help you get a G-level job: being able to work not only in English, but also in another UN language; have an outstanding administrative experience (he is a genius in the use of any database, not only to enter data but to generate reports); has worked in multicultural environments; be a citizen of the country that finances the position; and be from a developing country. And for entry-level positions, it certainly helps tremendously if you have someone at that agency who is familiar with your job and

I have a blog with much more information on what the UN and other international NGOs are looking for when it comes to candidates.

The most important reason I would like to work for the UN is because I am a strong advocate for peace. I have that passion since I was very young. I went to an international school and although we all had our differences due to our diverse cultures. I loved being the peacemaker between my friends and my teachers at school who were from different places and that's why they instilled that in me.

However, I have other reasons why I would like to work with them. Among those reasons is learning to harmonize the actions of the different countries and create a peace plan for them. I want to make a difference

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The most important reason I would like to work for the UN is because I am a strong advocate for peace. I have that passion since I was very young. I went to an international school and although we all had our differences due to our diverse cultures. I loved being the peacemaker between my friends and my teachers at school who were from different places and that's why they instilled that in me.

However, I have other reasons why I would like to work with them. Among those reasons is learning to harmonize the actions of the different countries and create a peace plan for them. I want to make a difference in the world and make it a better place for everyone. Can you imagine waking up every day knowing that you saved a poor soul in Uganda or the United States? I would love to make people's dreams come true. It would make me a happier person since I have been there and I would feel great empathy for poor people or people in difficult situations.

Another reason is to travel the world, which would give me a broader perspective on things. He would learn to see the world with different eyes and to see what is happening in the world. Most of us spend our days locked in our homes without really knowing what is going on around us. It would be great to travel and see how others live their daily lives and possibly participate in global campaigns.

Those are just some of the reasons that would lead me to work for the United Nations, but I'm sure there are other perks to working for them, like an amazing pension, benefits and pay, plus friends!

First of all, I am a UN retiree having been an employee of the UN and other international organizations for over fifteen years as a professional in social development affairs. I can only refer to my experience and what I have seen during the performance of my job. Maybe. A specialized employee of the UN agency or department issuing these documents can expand on these comments.

You can only obtain a UN passport if you are a formal employee hired by the organization and / or are on a mission in a foreign country where this identification is needed to fulfill your duties. Often

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First of all, I am a UN retiree having been an employee of the UN and other international organizations for over fifteen years as a professional in social development affairs. I can only refer to my experience and what I have seen during the performance of my job. Maybe. A specialized employee of the UN agency or department issuing these documents can expand on these comments.

You can only obtain a UN passport if you are a formal employee hired by the organization and / or are on a mission in a foreign country where this identification is needed to fulfill your duties. Often times, the latter also depends on how long the job will last. Also, if you are a close relative of a UN staff member, the UN office in charge may request a passport from you and issue the document. Generally, the latter covers close relatives such as wife and children or other special situations when this relative belongs to the immediate family and / or lives with them in the same residence.

"To get a job at the United Nations"?

If that's all you want then give it up. Competition is fierce and internal contacts are between very important and essential.

If you are looking for a specific and useful job, follow JC's advice below.

I am constantly amazed and disgusted by the number of people whose sole goal is to get a comfortable, safe and tax-free job at the UN, without even considering what they might actually contribute.

And, from my experience after 3 years in the field with the UN, the headquarters are full of useless, idle, bureaucratic

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"To get a job at the United Nations"?

If that's all you want then give it up. Competition is fierce and internal contacts are between very important and essential.

If you are looking for a specific and useful job, follow JC's advice below.

I am constantly amazed and disgusted by the number of people whose sole goal is to get a comfortable, safe and tax-free job at the UN, without even considering what they might actually contribute.

And, in my experience after 3 years in the field with the UN, the headquarters are full of those bureaucratic, useless and idle nullities, which only serve to fatten the already heavy procedures of the UN.

I am not suggesting that OP is necessarily one of them. But the way the question is phrased undoubtedly raises suspicions. . . . .

The best thing an Indian-based engineer can do is sit for the UPSC civil services exam. Assuming you do very well on the exam, you can choose to join Foreign Services India. Once you join the Foreign Services of India, you can get an internal promotion based on your merit and one fine day you can be appointed as India's Ambassador to the United Nations. In that way, it serves the United Nations and India.

I don't have a master's degree in anything, but the people I knew who worked at the UN (or even around it) and who had master's degrees tended to have things like:

  • LL.M (Master of Laws, typically international law)
  • Master's degree in subjects such as international studies, political science, economics, etc.
  • Master's degree in a specific area relevant to something the UN deals with (forestry, marine science or whatever)
  • Perhaps an administrative field, such as an MBA or Master of Public Administration.

Hope this gives you some good ideas!

United Nations (UN) is an international organization. It has an international civil service commission dedicated to recruiting civil servants for various positions. You can check the pay and benefits of UN officials by clicking on the link.

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