UN Jobs

How to make a winning application for UN jobs

1. How to Apply for a job?

All job openings in the UN Secretariat are issued on the United Nations Careers Portal. When you apply for a job, you have to submit an application in the UN online recruitment system called Inspira.

2. What is Inspira?

The Inspira application is an extended online resume, specifically used by the United Nations, where you articulate your education, competencies, achievements, and professional experience. The application is used to assess your eligibility and suitability for the job. It is your chance to tell your story in a way that illustrates that you are the best candidate for the job.

If you want to apply for more than one job you can update and modify your information in the online recruitment system before submitting a new application.

3. What to consider while applying for a UN job?

Make sure you find as much information as possible about the job and apply only to vacancies that are suited to your strengths and aspirations.

Completing the job requirement section is a compulsory step, in your application process. It is your opportunity to highlight your specific experiences, skills, knowledge, and practitioner credentials in relation to the job you are applying for in order to persuade the hiring manager that you are a qualified candidate.

Your job requirements responses should be coherent, consistent, and supported by information provided in your candidate profile. Watch the Job Requirements video on this page to learn more.

You may want to see: What is the Application Process for UN jobs?

4. List of required documents for UN job application.

  1. Motivation letter
  2. CV ( Curriculum Vitea
  3. Resume

1. Motivation letter

The motivation statement allows you up to 2,000 characters (including spaces) to include information that is not found elsewhere in your application.

You may wish to use the motivation statement to explain why you are applying for this job, in this location, at this moment; how the position aligns with your overall career goals, including a career or location change; how elements of your personal character or experience will support your success in the role; and/or how your competencies, values, and behaviors align with the mandate of the UN and the mandate of the particular UN office you are applying to.

2. CV ( Curriculum Vitea)

A CV—short for the Latin “curriculum vitae,” meaning “course of life”—is a detailed document highlighting your professional and academic history. CVs typically include information such as your work experience, along with your achievements, awards, scholarships or grants you’ve earned, coursework, research projects, and publications of your work.

A CV is typically two or three pages long, but it’s not unusual for it to be much longer for mid-level or senior job applicants as a CV serves as a full outline of one’s career accomplishments. When it comes to CVs, though, don’t cut crucial information just to save space.

The following are the elements of a standard CV:

  • Contact information including your name, phone, and email address

  • Personal profile stating your CV summary or career objective

  • Work experience including previous and current duties and responsibilities relevant to the role

  • Education

  • Skills relevant to the job

  • Additional sections, including hobbies and interests where applicable

You may want to see: What should be included in a CV ( Curriculum Vieta)?

3. Resume

A resume is a formal document providing an overview of your professional background and relevant skills. Standard sections on a resume include your work history, education, a professional summary, and a list of your skills. The three resume formats are reverse chronological, functional and combined.

Tips for an Effective Resume:

1. Look for keywords in the job posting

2. Review resume examples for your industry

3. Use a professional font

4. Include only relevant information

5. Use active language

6. Call attention to important achievements

7. Only include subheadings and sections you need

8. Choose appropriate margins

9. Proofread

10. Make multiple versions of your resume

You may want to see:Ultimate guide for Writing an effective Resume

The differences between a CV and a Resume 

As noted, a CV and resume are similar in that they’re both formal, details documents that summarize your professional history, education, skills, and achievements. They’re also both documents you may provide an employer for consideration for an open position. This said, there are differences and it’s important you know when a CV would be preferred and how to properly create one. Here is an overview of how CVs compare to resumes:



Latin: curriculum vitae or “course of life”

French: résumé or “abstract” or “summary”

Emphasis placed on academic credentials

Emphasis placed on experience/skills

Used when applying for positions in academia (education, science and research), fellowships or grants and jobs outside the U.S.

Used when applying for most jobs (non-academic)

One main format

Three formats: reverse chronological, functional and combined

Two to three pages is typical (but not unusual to be longer)

Typically one page in length (no more than two)

The education section always begins a CV

The education section appears toward the bottom of resumes (with experience)

5. Tips for an effective UN job application

  • Make your words count. Your use of language is extremely important; you need to project yourself efficiently. Address the job’s needs with clearly written, powerful phrases. Provide small, digestible pieces of information. Use action verbs. Avoid passive sentence constructions. Avoid clichés.
  • Don’t be vague. Especially in your achievements section, focus on what you’ve accomplished and achieved, as opposed to what you do on a daily basis. Be honest. There is a difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it.
  • Be specific. If you are going after more than one job opening, customize your application accordingly. The system allows you to update it, so you can tailor your application for a specific position. The same applies to your answers to the Job Requirements questions as well as to your motivational statement – customize them for each application. Customizing your application is the easiest way for you to demonstrate that you have clearly read and understood the job opening.

Check this: Guide for preparing to UN jobs interview  Question and Answers

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