Learn how to prepare

your profile and cover letter. Click below:

How do I apply for a job?

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

For information on how to apply for a job using the new online recruitment system, inspira, go to Application Process.

Completing your Application

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 evaluate your eligibility and suitability for the job. It is your opportunity to tell your story in a way that demonstrates that you are the best candidate for the job.

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

Understanding the job requirements

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

Preparing the Cover Letter

The cover letter, which you must complete when applying for a job at the United Nations, is the personal introduction that accompanies your application.

Your aim in the cover letter is to describe how your experience, qualifications and competencies match the job for which you are applying. Think of your cover letter as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other job seekers by highlighting what makes you the best match for the position.

Your cover letter should be brief, three to four paragraphs, and as targeted as possible to the position for which you are applying. Focus on the most relevant parts of your background that relate to the job opening.

Application tips:

Be concise.

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.

Make the most of your experience.

We need to know what you have accomplished to have an idea of what you can do for us. 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.

Target. Target. Target.

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 cover letters – customize them for each application. Customizing the cover letter is the easiest way for you to demonstrate that you have clearly read and understood the job opening.

FAQs on preparing your Application

Q: Should I target my Application to a specific Job Opening (JO)?
A:
Yes. Naturally, a customized cover note will also help you focus on the key aspects of your Application that relate to the JO, but it is also in your interest to target the Application according to the responsibilities and competencies of the position.
Q: What's the difference between duties and achievements?
A:
Duties describe the specific responsibilities of your job. They accurately reflect what you are doing or have done in each of your previous jobs. In other words, it is the "what you do" of your job. Achievements describe in specific terms "how well" you did in your job.
Q: Many of my achievements are team-based, how do I draft them in my Application?
A:
You should include your team-based achievements in your Application. Indicate that you were part of a team, and describe your specific role in reaching the goal.

FAQs on general Application guidelines

Q: Can I update my Application to apply for a new JO?
A:
Yes. Each time you apply for a new JO, we recommend that you review your Application and update it, if appropriate, or target it to better reflect your suitability for the new JO. Your updates will not affect the content of Applications previously submitted against other JOs.
Q: Can I save my Application?
A:
Yes. You should save your Application when you make changes and/or update it. It is recommended that you save different versions of your Application in Word format and then edit the Application online according to the post for which you are applying.
Q: Must I use up all the available characters in each section of my Application?
A:
No. In fact, doing so may result in an unnecessary lengthy Application. Unless you have an enormous breadth of experience, there is no reason to use up all the space allotted. Applicants are encouraged to list their duties and achievements in a clear and concise manner.
Q: How do I know if my Application has been received?
A:
You will receive an automated email confirming that your application was received by the United Nations.

Should you not receive a confirmation email, please check your spam filter or visit, if needed, your "My Career Tools" page to check the status of your application: if its status is not 'Draft' or 'Withdrawn' then it means that this application has been successfully submitted and was received by the United Nations.

Please note that, to receive automatic confirmations of application submission, the primary email address you provided during registration and displayed in your profile should still be valid.
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