United Nations Jobs Guide
4.7 (55 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,150 students enrolled
Wishlisted Wishlist

Please confirm that you want to add United Nations Jobs Guide to your Wishlist.

Add to Wishlist

United Nations Jobs Guide

A guide to success on United Nations Careers Portals. Find your job, apply and be ready for assessments and interviews.
4.7 (55 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,150 students enrolled
Created by Sorin Dumitrascu
Last updated 7/2017
Curiosity Sale
Current price: $10 Original price: $100 Discount: 90% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • At the end of this course, students will effectively use on-line search tools, prepare a professional profile and applications for United Nations jobs
  • At the end of this course, students will be able to pass assessments and interviews for jobs advertised on United Nations Careers and Inspira on-line platforms
View Curriculum
  • Explore United Nations website to understand its structure and functioning.

On completion of the United Nations Jobs Guide course you will be able to search, prepare and apply for United Nations jobs using

  1. United Nations Careers Platform, and
  2. Inspira Human Resources Gateway.

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

  1. knowledge and skills assessments, and
  2. competency based interviews.

Course structure:

  1. Introduction to United Nations careers and jobs mapping;
  2. United Nations Careers and Inspira;
  3. The job application process;
  4. Job openings in Inspira;
  5. Evaluation criteria;
  6. Pre-screening and eligibility rules;
  7. Search, prepare and apply for job applications;
  8. Assessments and interviews.

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.

Who is the target audience?
  • If you are looking for a job or a promotion and you are interested in working for the United Nations, this course is for you.
  • If you just want to understand how applications are managed on staff recruitment systems and how can you have a successful application, this course is for you.
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
35 Lectures
United Nations Jobs in a Nutshell
4 Lectures 10:00

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.

Preview 02:16

Advice on a better learning experince on Udemy.

Preview 01:07

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.

Preview 03:13

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.

Preview 03:24
Staff Selection Systems
2 Lectures 09:39

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.

Inspira Careers Home Page

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.

Register and login to Inspira
Understanding Job Applications
2 Lectures 12:07

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:

  • Search for a Job
  • Login to Inspira
  • Create and / or Update your Profile
  • Complete Application, and
  • Submit Application

If you are shortlisted then you are going through the sixth step:

  • Assessment and Interview
The Application Process

Every job opening on Inspira contains the following information:

  • Heading: job title, department/office, duty station, posting period, job opening number and United Nations core values;
  • Description: organizational setting and reporting, responsibilities, competencies, education, work experience, languages, and assessment methods
Job Openings in Inspira
Selection Criteria and Rules
3 Lectures 13:54

The evaluation criteria used by the United Nations are:

  • years of experience
  • field of work and area of speciality
  • education
  • language
  • assessments
  • competencies, and
  • pre-screening questions.
Evaluation Criteria

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:

  • eligibility rules for all applicants
  • eligibility rules for staff except the ones holding a temporary assignment, and
  • eligibility rules for non-serving staff members or for the ones on a temporary appointment.
Eligibility Rules
Intro Quiz
0 Lectures 00:00

Understand United Nations Staff Selection Systems

United Nations Staff Selection Systems
6 questions
Job Searching
6 Lectures 19:54

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.

Job searching on Careers and Inspira

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.

Using the Job Opening Link on the Careers Portal

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:

  • Category
  • Level
  • Job Network
  • Job Family
  • Department / Office or Duty Station, and
  • Date posted
Search Job Openings Section on the Careers Portal

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.

Perform Basic Searches in Inspira

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.

Perform Advanced Searches in Inspira

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.

Create Job Alerts

Understand and use job searching on UN Inspira and UN Careers

Job Searching
3 questions
The Personal Profile
3 Lectures 07:33

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.

Completing your profile

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.

Personal Profiles for Serving Staff-Members

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:

  • Personal Details
  • UN Employment
  • Family Details
  • Nationality and Residence
Each section will have a profile when it has enough information to be considered complete, and you can see the percentage of completion of your profile.
Personal Profiles for Non-Staff Members

Understand and use personal profile in Inspira

Personal profile
2 questions
The Application Form
6 Lectures 24:48

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.

Completing the Application Form

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.

Preparing your application

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.

Education and 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:

  • UN Training and Learning
  • Licenses and Certificates
  • Languages
  • Publications

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.

Cover Letter

Learn how to use the Application Form in Inspira

The Application Form
4 questions
Applying for a Job
2 Lectures 05:22

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.

Apply for a job in Inspira

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.

Manage your applications

Applying for a Job
3 questions
5 Lectures 12:51

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.

Undergoing Assessments

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.

Evaluation of Applicants

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 Assessment Panel

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.

Assessment Methods

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.

Competency Based Interviews

Preparing for assessments

3 questions
1 More Section
About the Instructor
Sorin Dumitrascu
4.4 Average rating
2,029 Reviews
23,900 Students
38 Courses
Management trainer

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).