The Applicant's Manual

Instructional Manual for the Applicant on the Staff Selection System (inspira)

Attention Applicants!

There are job advertisements and offers that falsely state that they are from the UN.

The UN does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees).

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  1. Searching for job openings

    You search for job openings at the United Nations using the search engine on this website. Most job openings are for a specific position in a particular office and duty station but there are also so-called generic job openings, which are used to create rosters, i.e. pools, of candidates available for immediate selection across the Organization. Generic job openings are recognized by the following text "This Job Opening is for roster purposes". Typically, positions in field missions are advertised as generic job openings. You can learn more about rosters in the section below, "Understanding Roster Management". The application process is the same for both types of job openings, whether position-specific or generic.

    If you want to receive e-mails letting you know about newly posted jobs, you must first log into your account. You can then perform a Job Search that can be saved to create a Job Alert that matches your search criteria. For instructions on how to create a Job Alert, please see the Applicants Manual (section 5.2, page 55) available in .pdf on the top left of this page.

  2. Creating a profile and preparing an application

    A job application at the United Nations is made up of a profile section (My Profile), and an application form that includes a cover letter, all of which should be prepared online on this website (attached resumes are not accepted). When you fill out the information online you should make sure to click Save after each section before exiting the page. Also be aware that the session times out after 60 minutes of inactivity.

    In order to prepare an application, you must first register on this website (click here to register). After you have registered you will be welcomed to your Careers Home page, which is where you will fill out and manage your profile, application form and all information relating to your application(s). First you should create a user profile (My Profile). The information in My Profile includes your name, nationality, contact information and marital status. You can make changes, such as updating your phone number or family status, to My Profile at any time and the information is automatically updated on all job applications you have already submitted.

    After you have registered and completed My Profile, you can create one or several job applications. The application form is the part of your application that has information about your education, present and past jobs, experiences, skills etc. You can start preparing an application form without immediately applying for a job by clicking Create Draft Application. After you have entered the data you click Save to save the data without submitting. You can prepare, access, edit and save one or more fully, or partially completed application forms without applying for a job right away.

    Once you have identified a job opening of interest, it is recommended that you update the application to highlight important facts relevant to the job you are applying for. It is also important to accurately complete and update all the information as it serves as a basis for evaluating your eligibility and suitability for a job opening.

    After you have prepared the application and after you have identified the job opening for which you want to apply, you should write a cover letter in the section called Cover Letter and Additional Info.

  3. Submitting a job application

    If you want to apply for a specific job after you have filled out your application, you click Add job to application. Depending on the job you are applying to you may get a set of questions, which are yes/no, true/false or multiple choice questions. Similarly, depending on the position, you may be prompted with a list of skills and be asked to perform a self-assessment on these, giving an indication of your level of proficiency for each skill listed. Your responses will be used in the evaluation and assessment of your candidature.

    After the job application is complete, you submit your application by clicking Submit.

    The United Nations does not accept a resume as an attached document and it is neither considered a substitute nor a complementary document to a completed online application. If any additional information or documentation is required, you will be requested to submit it in the course of the application process.

    If you have submitted your job application successfully, you will promptly receive an automated acknowledgment by e-mail. Also note that once an application has been submitted it cannot be changed for that specific job opening.

    Each application you have prepared, and the list of job openings to which you have applied, along with the application status, is displayed in the My Career Tools page, which can be found in your Careers Home page. All applications you have submitted are listed under My Applications page with the appropriate status i.e. "Applied", "Under consideration", "Rostered" etc.

  4. Evaluation of the application

    Your application is evaluated in terms of experience, education and skills. Only if it is determined that you meet most or all of the requirements you will be contacted to undergo an assessment i.e. a knowledge-based test or another type of simulation exercise.

    If it is determined that you are not eligible or only meet some or none of the requirements for a particular job, you will be informed, at the appropriate time, that your application was unsuccessful for this particular job. In this case, you should not be discouraged but apply for other jobs for which you feel you are qualified.

  5. Assessment exercise

    The assessment exercise could be either a written exam or any other type of simulation exercise or case study. These assessment exercises are conducted in strict confidence and you will be informed in advance of the time, type and length of the assessment. If, based on the result of the assessment, you are short-listed for a competency-based interview, you are informed accordingly.

    If you are not short-listed for the competency-based interview, you will be so informed at the appropriate time. Please note, however, that the type and frequency of correspondence with individual candidates may vary throughout the application process.

  6. Competency-based interview

    The competency-based interview can take place either via telephone, video conference or in person. You will be notified in advance of the time, duration and means and/or place of the interview as well as of the names of the interview panel members. During the interview, we learn more about your combination of skills, attributes and behaviour that are directly related to your successful performance on the job. Read more about the interview in the section "At your interview".

  7. Selection notification

    A pool of qualified candidates is recommended for selection following the outcome of the various assessment stages. Any recommendations are then evaluated by an independent review body, composed of staff and management representatives, to ensure that the applicable procedures were followed correctly.

    After the review body has endorsed the recommended candidates, a selection decision is made by the head of the department usually for one individual, or if several positions are available, for the corresponding number of vacancies.

    You will be notified if you are the selected candidate for the job.

    If you were in the group of candidates recommended for the job opening but were not selected, you will be placed on the roster for similar functions at the level and category of the job opening for possible future selection. As a roster member, you will be notified when new job openings with the same job title, level, category and job family for which you have been rostered are advertised.

    If you are not included in the pool of candidates recommended for selection, you will be notified accordingly.

Understanding Roster Management

A roster is a pool of candidates who have already been vetted as viable candidates through the application process and who are ready for immediate selection.

If you have been informed of your inclusion in the roster, either based on the recommendation for a specific or for a generic job opening, you can potentially be selected for an upcoming job opening without having to undergo the entire application process.

Once you are included in a roster, you will be regularly contacted by e-mail to either confirm your continued interest in upcoming job openings, or you may choose to temporarily put on hold or permanently withdraw your roster candidature.

Even if you are placed on a roster, we recommend that you sign up for the Job Alert (for instructions, please see the Applicants Manual (section 5.2, page 55) available in .pdf on the top left of this page.) and/or regularly search our website for job openings and actively apply for positions for which you think you are qualified.

Understanding Reference Checks

Appointment at the United Nations is subject to satisfactory and complete verification of academic qualifications and employment. If you are a candidate under closer consideration, reference checks will be conducted and you will be notified accordingly. Regarding academic qualifications, only applicants with academic qualifications from accredited (officially recognized) universities or institutions are considered eligible. The accreditation status of an educational institution is verified through this reference check procedure. As for the employment verification, if you had indicated in your application that you have objections to contacting your current employer, this employer is not contacted until you have actually been selected for and you have confirmed your interest in a position. If you are selected for inclusion in the roster no reference checks are conducted with a current employer unless you are actually informed of your upcoming selection.

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