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Smart Guide how to get a Job into the UN and NGOs

The United Nations is an international organization founded 72 years ago and now it is one of the leading organization (#1 at the best NGOs list). UN popularity is grown faster and faster, people around the world uphold, share ideas and missions followed by UN. Therefore, we are asked so many times – how to become a part of UN? How to get a job in it?

UN need a wide range of specialists – translators, nurses, engineers, lawyers, photographers, farmers, political experts and so on and so forth. You may have 1 or 10 years of experience – you can get a job here. But how? You have to follow a few steps.

#1. Narrow the range: Choose a few agencies, offices, departments you would like to work into.

There are 16 specialized organizations and agencies at the United Nations, like WHO (World Health Organization), ITU (International Telecommunication Union), UNESCO, IAEA, FAO, ILO for example. They have a particular specialization mostly – Aviation, Agriculture, Atomic Energy, Health, etc. So if you are a psychologist, for instance, it’d be appropriate to check out vacancies at WHO.

Choose a country or city you would like to work – if there any UN offices in your country or you are ready to work abroad? Answer for yourself.

#2. Pay attention to staff categories.

Decide what staff category you want to pursue. The United Nations workforce is made up of different categories of staff, each of which require a specific educational background and area of expertise. Taking into account your skills, interest and experience, decide which category and level is appropriate for you. There are the different categories of staff at the United Nations:

  • Professional and higher categories (P and D)
  • General Service and related categories (G, TC, S, PIA, LT)
  • National Professional Officers (NO)
  • Field Service (FS)
  • Senior Appointments (SG, DSG, USG and ASG)

More info about categories read here:
Staff Categories (P1 - P7).
General Service Staff (G1 - G7).

#3. Find a vacancy that is suitable for your background and your knowledge.

Read carefully Qualifications and Experience criteria in the vacancy description and make sure you have the required education and experience before applying. Apply ONLY if you own at least 80% of required skills. But educations and experience are strictly important part – it should be on required level or higher.

Usually, to apply for vacancies at UN you have to:

  • know English or French – the working languages of the organization. Fluency in additional languages (Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, or Russian) is helpful for most positions.
  • A bachelor's degree and higher. Some entry-level positions (clerical or secretarial jobs, P-1, P-2, G-1 levels) require only a high school diploma and, usually, relevant work experience as a clerk, for example. But most positions in the UN require at least a bachelor’s degree, or advanced.
  • Work experience in a particular field. In order to get a job with UN you need to have at least 1 year experience in particular field, relevant to applied position. Depending on the position for which you are applying, you might need anywhere from 1 - 15 years of work experience.

#4. Applying for a job.

Vacancies are constantly updated on, so if you don’t immediately see a position that fits your goals and qualifications, check back often. [On you can find all jobs from all International Organizations – all current vacancies in one place and geo targeting help you find suitable job and internship. We gather vacancies and internships from more than 2000 international organizations around the world, covering all UN organizations.

Good luck in searching and applying!

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