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So You Want to Work for the UN? Some Resources

On Tuesday August 25, UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development Lenni Montiel held a live tweetchat on how to get jobs at the UN. While one can find the entire record of the tweetchat using the #workatUN hashtag, below is a brief summary of ASG Montiel’s remarks and a link to an edited Storify with the chat.

There were 4 key takeaways from the chat for UN job seekers:

1) Multiple Routes to the Same Goal.  The ASG discussed three points of entry for young professionals into the UN: the Junior Professional Officer program, the Young Professionals Program, and the Associate Expert Programme. It is worth noting that these aren’t the only possible routes. Some students are hired by country missions, and some UN specialized agencies have their own hiring processes. He also mentioned the UN Volunteers Program, which is a great opportunity for people to take on projects (as they have an online volunteers component) and also develop skills in the field. Job seekers need to be well apprised of what the market looks like, lest one miss opportunities.

2) Lots of specific advice! The UN job application process takes some getting used to, so there were plenty of links in the chat about how to prepare a resume based on UN standards, how to think about UN job competencies , and how to prep for interviews.

3) Lots of other resources. There is no centralized place for advice about the UN job system. Montiel linked to a number of resources well worth reviewing:

4) Some closing advice. The ASG closed with three pieces of advice for UN job hunters:

  • You need to make sure you are really a match with the position requirements;
  • You need to realize that hundreds of people are applying for the same position;
  • You need to think long-term and work to improve your skillsets so that you will be more competitive in future years.

If you are interested in more resources, you can check out our own blog series on the Young Professionals Programme, and the link to the full Storify is here. Good luck!


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