Job Opening

Posting Period: 15 February 2017 - 19 March 2017
Job Opening Number: 17-Language-DGACM-74726-L- (L)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Special Notice

• The purpose of the present job opening is to invite applications to sit the combined competitive examination for French-language Translators, Editors, Verbatim Reporters and Copy Preparers/ Proofreaders/ Production Editors, which will be held in two parts (see “Assessment Method” below). Each part of the examination is eliminatory: only those successful in part one will be convoked to part two, and only those successful in part two will be placed on the roster for recruitment. The first part of the examination is tentatively scheduled to take place on 23 May 2017 and will be carried out entirely online.

• Candidates wishing to sit this competitive examination must submit an application in French through Inspira, the United Nations Secretariat’s online recruitment platform. They can start this process by clicking on the “Apply Now” button in the electronic version of the French version of this Job Opening. Applications must be submitted in French, referring to the Job Opening, accessible under the French version of the UN Careers Portal. The process is described in the "Competitive examinations for language professionals" section of the United Nations Careers Portal (

• When filling out their applications in Inspira, applicants should write in the cover letter section (step 7) approximately 150-200 words in French explaining how their experience, qualifications and competencies match the position for which they are applying.

• Applications that are incomplete (including those submitted without the required evidence of language skills or without the cover letter requested in steps 6 and 7, respectively, of the Inspira application form) and applications that are submitted or received after the deadline specified in Inspira will not be considered.

• All applications will be reviewed by the Board of Examiners. In instances where a large number of applications are received, the Board of Examiners reserves the right to admit to the examination only the most qualified applicants based on a review of qualifications over and above the minimum criteria (see education, work experience and language requirements below). All applicants will be notified by e-mail of the Board’s decision in respect of their application. The Board’s decisions are final.

• On the basis of the overall results of the examination, the Board will recommend to the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management the names of candidates who qualify for inclusion in a roster of successful examinees.

• Present and future vacancies for Translators, Editors, Verbatim Reporters and Copy Preparers/Proofreaders/Production Editors will be filled from the roster of successful examinees, subject to the requirements of each section or service in terms of expertise and language combinations. There are French Translator posts in the language services of the United Nations Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Geneva, Nairobi, New York and Vienna; French Editor posts in Geneva, New York and Vienna; and French Verbatim Reporter posts and French Copy Preparer/Proofreader/Production Editor posts in the respective sections in New York.

• Successful examinees selected from the roster to fill vacancies are normally offered an initial fixed-term appointment at the P-2 level for a trial period of two years. Upon satisfactory completion of this trial period, they may be promoted to the P-3 level. Fully qualified translators, editors or other language professionals with several years of internationally recognized professional language experience and demonstrated ability to perform high-quality work may be recruited at the P-3 level. After two years of satisfactory service on a fixed-term appointment, the candidate will be considered for a continuing appointment. Fixed-term appointments of those whose performance proves unsatisfactory will not be extended after the trial period of two years.

• It should be noted that successful candidates are expected to serve a minimum of five years in a language post and may, after the two-year trial period, be called upon to serve at a different duty stations according to the needs of the Organization. They should also note that, in accordance with the needs of the service/section, they may be called upon to work outside normal working hours, including weekends and holidays.

• Successful candidates who receive an offer of appointment are strongly encouraged to accept it, as declining may affect their prospects of receiving a subsequent offer.


• The combined competitive examination for French Translators, Editors, Verbatim Reporters and Copy Preparers/Proofreaders/Production Editors in 2017 is open to internal applicants at the P-3 level and below who meet the eligibility requirements, as well as qualified external candidates, in accordance with the provisions of ST/AI/1998/7 and ST/AI/2000/1, as amended by ST/AI/1998/7/Amend.1 and ST/AI/2003/1.

• It should be noted that the requirement for a university degree or its equivalent from a university or institution of equivalent status (set forth in “Education” below) may be waived for staff members who, in the judgment of the Board of Examiners, have adequate post-secondary educational qualifications from a university or institution of equivalent status and adequate secondary educational qualifications from an establishment, preferably one at which the principal language of instruction is French , in addition to five years of continuous service with the United Nations Secretariat by 31 December 1989.

• The assignment of staff members of the United Nations who are successful in the examination and are selected to fill vacancies will be subject to the following conditions:

• Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be assigned as a French Translator, Editor, Verbatim Reporter or Copy Preparer/Proofreader/Production Editor for a trial period of two years according to the staff rules in force. Staff members below the P-2 level or in the General Service category will receive a special post allowance to the P-2 level. Staff members at the P-2 and P-3 levels will be assigned at their respective levels.

• Staff members with a special post allowance to the P-2 level and those already at the P-2 level who successfully complete the trial period and are recommended by the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management and the Office of Human Resources Management may be promoted to the P-3 level. Staff members already at the P-3 level who successfully complete the trial period will be confirmed in their functions at the P-3 level. After two years of satisfactory service on a fixed-term appointment, the candidate will be considered for a continuing appointment. This means that the candidate must demonstrate within that time that he or she possesses the requisite qualifications to serve as a career staff member of the United Nations in order to receive such an appointment. Staff members who do not successfully complete the trial period will be reassigned to posts at their previous levels, and any special post allowance will be discontinued.

• Staff members from subsidiary organs of the United Nations and staff members whose service is limited to a particular organ, fund or programme of the United Nations or a special mission are considered external candidates for the purpose of this examination. Such candidates, if successful in the examination, will be offered a new appointment with the United Nations, subject to normal United Nations recruitment procedures and standards.

• Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be recruited as French Translators, Editors, Verbatim Reporters or Copy Preparers/Proofreaders/Production Editors according to the staff rules in force.

Org. Setting and Reporting

These positions are located at United Nations Headquarters in New York in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) and in the United Nations Offices at Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna, as well as in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok. • These positions are under the general supervision of the Chief of the French Translation Service, the Chief of the French Verbatim Section or the Chief of the Copy Preparation and Proofreading Section at United Nations Headquarters in New York, or of the respective Chief of Section/Unit at duty stations away from Headquarters. Further details can be found in the language careers section of the United Nations Language Careers Portal (


• Duties and responsibilities depend on the service/ section and duty station in which the position is located.

• In Translator positions, they include: translating, subject to revision, documents covering a broad range of subjects dealt with by the United Nations, i.e., in the political, social, legal, economic, financial, administrative, scientific and technical fields.

• In Editor positions, they include: ensuring that the phraseology, the terminology and, where appropriate, the translation are correct and that the style is appropriate to the audience; editing for continuity, logic, completeness, relevance of material, readability, clarity of expression and consistency, as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar; verifying the accuracy of facts, figures and references through research and consultation; identifying unclear or ambiguous statements and proposing amendments for consideration by the author, the supervising editor or the relevant translation service.

• In Verbatim Reporter positions, they include: producing in extenso verbatim records of meetings; editing the original language version as necessary for accuracy, making the required changes for style, syntax and grammar and procedure; transcribing and/or translating assigned portions of meetings; comparing transcripts of interpretation with original language versions to ensure completeness and accuracy of the records; and translating passages that are either inaccurate or incomplete.

• In Copy Preparer/Proofreader/Production Editor positions, they include copy-editing electronic manuscripts of publications, ensuring accuracy of content, terminology, grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling, and conformity with United Nations style; importing text into desktop publishing software and completing formatting of text, tabular matter, front matter and back matter, using electronic templates and style sheets; proofreading galley or page proofs against original source manuscript to ensure that the printed version is a true transcription of the text supplied for publishing, and introducing corrections of substance, spelling, grammar, style and typography; completing cross references within text and footnotes, as well as pagination and correlation of tables of contents with listed items in a publication; checking the concordance of text with texts of other official languages to ensure substantive and typographical conformity; and reading amended proofs against previous proofs and incorporating additional editorial alterations as required.


Professionalism: Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.


• Applicants must hold at least a first-level degree or an equivalent qualification in a relevant subject (e.g. modern languages, translation, political science, law, jurilinguistics, economics, finance, business, accounting, science or engineering) from a university or institution of equivalent status, preferably one at which French is the principal language of instruction.

• Applicants will preferably also have a Master’s degree in translation, or a Master’s degree in one of the above mentioned subjects.

Work Experience

No experience is required; two or more years of practical experience in translation, interpretation, journalism, verbatim reporting, editing, proofreading or a related field is preferred.


• All applicants must have French as their main language (language A, the language into which the candidate is best able to translate, usually the mother tongue or main language of education).

• All applicants must have either an excellent or a workable knowledge of English, as language B or C language, respectively.

• Applicants must apply as either generalists or specialists.

• Generalists must have three official United Nations languages: (i) French as mother tongue or main language of education (language A); (ii) an excellent passive knowledge of English, Arabic or Russian (language B); and (iii) a workable passive knowledge of a third official language (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian or Spanish), as language C (i.e.). Applications from candidates with excellent passive knowledge of Arabic or Russian are strongly encouraged.

• Specialists may apply with just French as language A and English as Language B provided they hold a first-level degree in either law, jurilinguistics, economics, finance, business or accounting, science or engineering. Candidates with five years of proven experience in specialized translation in one of these fields who hold a first-level degree in another relevant field (translation, political sciences or humanities, etc.) may also apply as specialists.

• Applicants' claims to knowledge of official languages must be supported by relevant documentation attached to their application. Further evidence of degrees/diplomas, knowledge of languages and/or relevant experience may be required prior to convocation to sit the examination.


• Applications will be assessed and screened on the basis of how well applicants meet the education, work experience and language requirements listed above, and only those applicants deemed qualified will be convoked for the first part of the examination.

• The first part of the examination, which will be conducted entirely online using a dedicated platform, is likely to consist of the following three exercises:

(a)Translation into French of a general text in English (approx. 2 hours). It should be noted that, depending on the number of applicants, this exercise may be eliminatory.

(b) Translation into French of a text on an international relations or development issue in English (approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes).
(c) For generalists only: translation into French of a general text in Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish (approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes).
For specialists only: translation into French of a legal, economic/financial or scientific/engineering text in English (approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes).

• Details regarding the exact timing and arrangements will be sent to the candidates convoked for this first part of the examination. Details of any changes to the format of the test will be posted on the “Competitive examinations for language professionals” section of the United Nations Careers Portal ( Please check it regularly.

• On the basis of the results of the first part of the examination, the Board of Examiners will invite selected examinees to take the second part, which will include a proctored (invigilated) remote translation test, in which they may be required to translate without using dictionaries, glossaries or other resources, possible other additional exercises and a competency-based interview. The interview is to assess whether the candidate possesses the competencies required for the position and is an integral part of the examination. Examinees who are invited to take the second part should not assume that they will be automatically placed on a roster or offered an appointment.

• All examinees will be informed by e-mail of the Board's final recommendation in respect of their candidature. The Board's recommendations are final and not subject to appeal. The Board does not release individual scores or results.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: no amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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