5 Steps to get a job in the United Nations

UN Missions - general tips on how to get a job in the UN?

UN Roster - Fastest Route to UN Field Missions (UPD. 2024)

Securing a job with the United Nations (UN) is a highly competitive process that requires diligence, strategic preparation, and a deep understanding of the UN's recruitment system, including the UN Roster. The UN Roster is a pool of pre-assessed candidates deemed suitable for potential employment. Being on the Roster significantly increases your chances of being selected for a job. Here are essential tips to navigate the UN's hiring process and increase your likelihood of being added to the UN Roster.

• Approximately 90% of civilian staff are recruited from rosters

• A roster is a list of pre-approved candidates who have already been assessed and cleared. They can then be rapidly selected for service in UN Peace Operations. Once you have a roster membership, you will receive invitations to apply for posts at that level (e.g. P3 or P4) and job title (e.g. political or civil affairs)

• You decide which posts to apply for and when to apply based on the vacancies available

• Roster openings are also advertised on uncareer.net

How the UN Roster Works

  • Application and Assessment: Candidates apply for specific positions or generic job openings through the UN Careers portal. The application process typically involves submitting a Personal History Profile (PHP), a resume, and undergoing various assessments, which may include technical exams, competency-based interviews, and language tests.
  • Pre-selection: Successful candidates who pass the assessments and interviews are "rostered," meaning they are added to a pool of pre-qualified candidates for similar positions.
  • Roster Inclusion: Being on a roster does not guarantee immediate employment but places candidates in a strong position to be considered for future vacancies. Rostered candidates are essentially on a shortlist for positions that match their profile.
  • Activation: When a vacancy arises, hiring managers may search the roster for suitable candidates. Those selected from the roster are typically subject to a streamlined interview process, or in some cases, may be directly offered a position.

Advantages of Being on a UN Roster

  • Expedited Hiring Process: Rostered candidates can be hired more quickly than those outside the roster, as they have already been vetted.
  • Increased Visibility: Being on a roster increases a candidate's visibility to UN hiring managers across the organization.
  • Career Opportunities: Roster inclusion offers potential access to a wide range of short-term and long-term opportunities, including fixed-term positions, temporary assignments, and consultancy roles, across the UN system.

Tips for Getting on a UN Roster

  • Tailor Your Application: Ensure your PHP and application materials clearly match the qualifications and competencies sought for the roster or position.
  • Prepare for Assessments: Familiarize yourself with the UN's competency framework and prepare thoroughly for any assessments and interviews.
  • Highlight Relevant Experience: Emphasize experiences that align with the UN's values and the specific requirements of the roster, including international exposure, language skills, and areas of expertise.
  • Stay Updated: Keep your PHP and contact information up to date in the UN's recruitment system to ensure you can be easily contacted for opportunities.

UN Roster Opportunities

Generic Job Openings (GJOs) scheduled are:

Priority 1 - Supply Chain/Service Delivery

Priority 2 fill in roster Gaps

Priority 3. Women-only. In Mission Support at the D-1 and P-5 levels, matched to Senior Women Talent Pipeline profiles, which will be posted as part of the implementation of the Gender Parity Strategy.


• If you have the required qualifications, always indicate your first level degree as `Bachelor's degree and your Master as `Master's Degree'. Do not select 'Certificate/Diplomat as this is riot recognized as a degree by the system.

• Always list an end date for your degree and indicate that you have obtained the degree. (Tick YES 'Yes' for 'Degree obtained). If you do not do so, the system will automatically reject your application.

• Always indicate whether you completed the degree full-time or part-time, and in person or distance learning.

• If you don't find your university on the list. put it under 'Other accredited university.

How do I get on the UN roster?

• Submit your application by the closing date

• Suitable candidates will be invited to take a written test (online)

• Short-listed candidates invited to a Competency Based Interview, usually conducted in English • During the interview, candidates are asked to provide examples from their past experience to illustrate the competencies specified in the job description

• Successful candidates will be notified and placed on the roster

The recruitment process for the rosters may take up to 6-12 months.

UN Work Experience

• The UN needs to know all of your work experience history. Make sure to list all your work experience, even if it goes back 15 years!

• Don't forget to list your current job in your PHP.

• Indicate an end date on all your previous jobs and make sure all dates are consistent.

• Highlight 5-10 outcomes or deliverables under 'Achievements'.

• Do not assume recruiters know what you mean. Be clear and precise in your description of duties.

It takes up to three hours to compile a PHP from scratch do not wait until the last minute to apply!


• It is very important to include your mother tongue in the list of languages you are fluent in.

📚 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗮 𝗝𝗼𝗯 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗡 𝗶𝗻 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯! 🌍🤝 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗘𝗪 𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗿𝘂𝗶𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗚𝘂𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗡 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗨𝗡𝗛𝗖𝗥, 𝗪𝗙𝗣, 𝗨𝗡𝗜𝗖𝗘𝗙, 𝗨𝗡𝗗𝗦𝗦, 𝗨𝗡𝗙𝗣𝗔, 𝗜𝗢𝗠 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀! 🌐

⚠️ 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐰: 𝐏𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐓𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐢𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐚 𝐣𝐨𝐛 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐍𝐎𝐖!

• Candidates who forget to list English will be automatically rejected by the system if fluency in English is a requirement.

• Fluency in a language is defined as being 'Fluent' in all 4 areas (Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Understanding). If you are fluent but do riot indicate fluency in all 4. The system will reject your application if fluency is required, even if you have worked in that language previously.

• Good working knowledge of a language is defined as being 'Fluent' or 'Confident in at least 2 of the 4 areas. When in doubt, check the requirements!

UN Core Values

• Integrity, Professionalism, Respect, and Diversity

Questions on professionalism will include a gender parity or mainstreaming element

UN Core Competencies

Communication, Teamwork, Planning and Organizing, Accountability, Creativity, Client Orientation, Commitment to Continuous Learning, Technological Awareness

UN Managerial Competencies

Vision, Leadership, Empowering, Others, Managing Performance, Building Trust, Judgement, and Decision-making


Being included on a UN Roster is a significant achievement that positions candidates well for future employment opportunities within the UN system. It reflects a candidate's proven competencies and suitability for contributing to the UN's mission. As such, interested professionals should focus on building a strong application, excelling in the assessment process, and continuously developing their skills and knowledge to maintain their competitiveness for UN roles.

Check competencies in the job opening before your interview to prepare for likely questions! Questions are based on the competencies!

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