On completion of the United Nations Jobs Guide course you will be able to search, prepare and apply for United Nations jobs using
This course will not take you more than 3 hours to complete with video lectures, reading materials and practice; is based on the official "Manual for the Applicant on the Staff Selection System" (Inspira), version 3.0 and will also include preparation for
If you are looking for a job and you are interested in working for the United Nations, you will understand how job applications, assessments and interviews are evaluated and conducted, and you will get a great job.
This is a step by step guide. You will learn how to search, understand, apply to United Nations jobs and how to succeed in assessments and interviews.
We are going to focus on the most important recruitment platform and I will walk you through all the steps that will get you a job with the United Nations, if of course you meet the requirements.
United Nations employs a wide range of staff to respond to disasters, conflicts, poverty, hunger, climate change or human rights. Therefore a wide variety of professions and professional categories can find a job with the United Nations.
In the UN Peacekeeping Missions and Agencies, without exception, all the professions we can find in the labour market are represented. Lawyers, engineers, architects, project and program specialists, linguists, psychologists, sociologists, teachers, trainers, administrative and support, and many more.
We are only going to focus on one platform. But from the beginning you should know that there are a number of other websites that you can use.
One very used is unjobs.org, a Swiss Association, not an official website of the UN. Here you will have UN Jobs but also other non-UN and International organizations.
We have already briefly explored UN Careers website. Basically here we find jobs offered by the United Nations Secretariat. Not the agencies, not NGO-s, not any other international organization.
And If I was not very clear before, I want to make it clear. The 44,000 civilian staff I was referring to is only the part under the umbrella of the UN Secretariat. It sounds a lot but compared with the operations it's not that much.
You don't need to register or login to inspira to search or see job openings. But, to apply for one position you need a complete profile.
And you can login, or register to Inspira differently if you are a staff or non-staff of UN. Staff members are provided with a login and user id while non-staff must first register.
You can apply in 5 steps to for a job on Inspira. There is also a sixth step if you are shortlisted. The first five are:
If you are shortlisted then you are going through the sixth step:
Every job opening on Inspira contains the following information:
The evaluation criteria used by the United Nations are:
Every applicant must meet the eligibility criteria to be considered for a position, but some are relevant only to serving staff other only for certain levels and positions.
Inspira makes this pre-screening based on the information provided in the application comparing with eligibility criteria for internal and external staff.
There are three categories of eligibility rules:
Understand United Nations Staff Selection Systems
Although they might be aggregated to other websites, the official UN Secretariat Job Openings are published on the Careers Portal. And, you can search for jobs using the Careers Portal or Inspira.
Other web searches might land on the same jobs you will find here, but be careful to the quality of the job opening details on non-UN websites.
You don't need to register, and you don't need to login to Inspira to perform this search. Staff or non-staff, search here is easy and simple. This one would be one of the search options we discussed in the previous lessons.To use the Job Opening link in Careers Portal, you first go to the portal and scroll down.
It's somewhere on the middle of the page on the right side of your screen, under the How do I apply column. Then you click on this link. The Job Openings page appears, and you can perform your search using the predefined search categories. The page has navigation buttons if search gives you many results.
To use the Job Opening section on the Careers portal there is no need also to login to Inspira. In the previous search example we have accessed a list with open positions by different categories of staff.
In this case we will look for what is interesting us by using a number of search criteria such us:
To perform a Basic Search in Inspira, Registration and Login is required. Only in this case you will be able to search using a keyword for example.
Previously we have seen how to browse the Job Opening list or how to search by different pre-defined categories, this one allows us to refine our search.
In order to perform a basic search in Inspira, step 1 is to register, directly in INspira or in Careers Home Page.
Register or login to perform the Advanced Search Job in Inspira. Staff members, may search for job openings using their index number and password.
This type of search allows you to land on your desired job by giving you the possibility use more refined criteria.
If you have the same search criteria, a good way of saving time is to use the Saved Searches. Remember you can save a search if you are logged in Inspira. On Inspira Home page, click on the My Saved Searches & Job Alerts tab.
Locate the saved search you wish to run and click on the Run Search button. Job openings matching your saved search criteria appear in the Search Results page. Based on this Saved Searches you can create Job Alerts and you can have Inspira mail the result for you.
Understand and use job searching on UN Inspira and UN Careers
Your profile includes important information about you like name, address, phone numbers, and e-mail. This information is used for contact during the application process, and it is very important to be up to date.
If you make a change now in your profile, previous applications, under review maybe, will be updated. Only in this regard, everything else stays the same. You are required to complete the correct personal data and to certify that this is complete to the best of your knowledge.
If you are a serving staff member this means you have a user profile. HR made it for you at some point, when shifting from previous Staff Selection Systems. What you can do, and it's advisable, is to make sure that everything is accurate in your profile. Postal address being one record to check first.
The mailing address may be the same or different from the home or permanent address, but it's important to have all clearly detailed, to avoid confusion and missed mails. Make sure that all is complete and correct. Sometimes the zip code is the problem, and makes it difficult to save your changes.
We have already seen briefly how this works with our exercise profile. After you register to Inspira you can Login and then you can go to Main Menu - Careers and the Careers Home Page Appears. There you go to My Profile tab and fill in the information in the required sections:
Understand and use personal profile in Inspira
You can create an application only after your profile is saved and you are registered. There is an off-line form for this but usually this is done directly in Inspira.
A good idea would be to have an application prepared in advance, in draft mode. When you find a suitable job opening the application is easier.
In Inspira you can prepare an application when you apply to a job opening, and later on you can use it as a template. Or, you can draft and save one or more fully or partially completed draft applications without applying for a job opening.
The average time to complete your application, first time is between 90 and 120 minutes if you have about 4 work experiences. If you have more add some time for this and also for education if you have more than the average applicant.
In this section you will give details on your work history, education, degrees and qualifications. This information is used for pre-screening, so be as accurate as you can be. If you don't remember when you started your job 5 years ago, check before writing a date.
Do the same with your education. Maybe some details you forget. It's normal, check before completing your profile. You will be evaluated based on this information, so don't limit your chances by approximating dates, names, and so on related to your work experience.
After you finished giving all the details about your education and work experience you can proceed to the skills section. Click on the Skills tab, the Skills page appears. And here you will see the following sub-sections:
In the next section of your application you will be required to give at least three persons as references who can give details about your work history and qualifications. Here you can list colleagues, supervisors, mentors, professors, and so on. Do not list family members or personal friends.
A cover letter should be brief, three to four paragraphs of 4 - 6 lines each maximum. Not more than 3/4 of a page anyway. And, your Cover Letter should be as targeted as possible to the position for which you are applying.
Of course you can have one you can modify. But adapt it, don't make one for all potential applications. Contents for the cover letter should focus on the most relevant parts of your background that relate to the job opening.
Learn how to use the Application Form in Inspira
You can freely apply on Inspira to as many jobs as you feel qualified. Even for the jobs where you need to be on the roster to apply. You will get a warning, but you can apply. Of course you have chances if you match the profile and if you respect the rules, but the system is not restricting you.
Once you identified an interesting job, you can open the job opening, review it and start the application process. You will submit your complete profile and application with the cover letter to apply for a job. And, we have seen how this works.
Managing your application is not at all complicated in Inspira. You just go to the Careers Home Page and you choose a view to expand or shrink the list you work with. And, if it's a sent application basically follow status.
Nevertheless, I would spend some time on Managing multiple draft applications, Withdrawing an application and withdrawing yourself from a roster. But also Placing your Roster Status on Hold.
Once an applicant passes pre-screening his application is sent to the Hiring Manager on a daily basis within the posting period. Roster applicants who are interested by the position and apply, are sent as a priority to the Hiring Manager.
This means that a preliminary evaluation of the applicants may be conducted while the job opening is still active. But, only after the expiration of the deadline assessments can be conducted by the Hiring Manager with the assessment panel.
The evaluation of applicants is a process that follows common standards within UN Secretariat. To ensure a fair and predictable selection process it is clearly established how evaluations, assessments and interviews are conducted and recorded.
Which doesn't mean that you will not find now and then some recruiter asking you questions in an interview that are completely outside the CBI procedure. It happens and if you prepare your assessments and interviews you will greatly improve your chances to ace every question.
The Assessment Panel is formed of staff members holding a fixed-term appointment, a permanent appointment or a continuing appointment and serving at the same or at a higher level than that of the job opening.
The current/temporary staff holding the position should not be in the panel that selects the person who is supposed to replace him or her. Retired UN staff, temporary staff, contractors and interns are not allowed to be part of the Assessment Panels.
The assessments can be technical, written, case study, presentation, simulation, essay or something else that can measure your skill as an applicant. They are strictly confidential and you will be advised in advance regarding time, assessment organization, how to work and what are the rules.
And the idea behind is to make you show in a simulated environment how you will work on a real job. How you think, how you act, what qualities and characteristics you demonstrate and what you know or you can prove as expertise.
You will be notified for an interview with at least 5 days in advance and you will receive other needed details. With this video-lecture we are ending our course. There is a tutorial on the UN Careers website and I will not repeat that. I strongly encourage you to see this tutorial before any interview.
If you are short-listed you will be invited for an interview, which for UN Secretariat has a clear procedure and is quite predictable in this sense. Not the questions of course, but the path is clear. It can be a face-to-face interview or a telephone interview. For some reason Skype and other video conference tools are not that used. The interviewer can be in multiple locations and communication would be difficult.
Preparing for assessments
Before Udemy, Sorin developed and delivered on management, project management, computer literacy, human resources, career development, soft skills for employees and even corrections incidents management.
Currently working as a prison service consultant, he is a certified trainer and project manager, holding a master degree in International Relations and Policy Making and a bachelor degree in Law and Public Administration.
Sorin coordinated during the last 10 years projects in the areas of rule of law, regional development and human resources.
He has more than 10 years of middle/senior managerial experience within the civil service (justice, corrections, internal affairs, training), private sector (project management, consultancy, training) and NGO (industrial relations, rural development).
Sorin is also a certified International Computer Driving License (ICDL) tester and trainer for the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, certified Human Resource Professional and a Public Manager (professional degree).