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How to Find a Job With the United Nations

Updated on February 2, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

Many Jobs Available with UN Agencies

Jobs associated with the United Nations involve dozens of other organizations that advertise large numbers of openings for workers around the world. The UN is looking for job candidates that are committed to upholding the vision and missions of the United Nations and its partner agencies on a worldwide basis and eager to work overseas and/or in a multicultural environment.

Cultural Competency and the understanding of diversity are high on the list of skills required for these positions, as are written and verbal communcations. As large an organization as the UN has become, the agency would likely have print, broadcast, or online communications positions open from time to time.

The United Nations offers positions in full-time employment and a variety of student internships. Hiring is open to all qualified candidates, with special encouragement to women and individuals with disabilities.

In addition, the Sharmarke Peace Foundation offers United Nations Journalism Fellowships through its Dag Hammarskjöld Scholarship Fund. They are available in New York City to journalists ages 25 to 35 from developing countries.

Scam Warning

Be careful of companies that seem to represent the United Nations or related organizations, but charge some level of monetary fee for job applications or placements. These companies are not legitimate. These offers are fraudulent, according to warnings placed by many of the organizations listed with the United Nations and associate agencies.


The UN in Germany

Langer Eugenm UN headquarters in Bonn, Germany.
Langer Eugenm UN headquarters in Bonn, Germany. | Source

The UN in New York


United Nations System of Organizations

In order to find all the agencies and organizations with the United Nations, one may search the official website (under refurbishment since the 2017 US Presidential Election). This page features a list of approximately 30 different categories of job openings among the various UN partnered agencies. Clear application procedures are provided for each job title.


Specific educational levels, along with years and type of work experience required by each agency for each job listed are clearly defined. In addition, a candidate for employment may need to have skills in a specific language. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) requires candidates to be fluent in one of the following: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. Fluency in more than one of these languages would be a plus.

Additional Policies

The agencies listed on this website may have additional hiring policies. For instance, the WHO does not recruit smokers since December 1, 2005.

Location and Job Types

Work assignments can be of various types and in many places around the globe. A good example of this is the organization known as World Food Programme, with sites in many nations in the Eastern Hemisphere, but also in Central and South America. EFP jobs may be full-time or a short-term consultancy, and are offered also in the Junior Professional Officer Program for persons under the age of 32. Internships for students are offered, as well as special application procedures for people that wish to work in their own countries. Volunteers are also accepted.

Online Application

Not all of these organizations offer online application procedures, yet, but many do. UNICEF reports that theirs is in place since the end of the year 2009. With many positions open, this speeds the hiring process. One can sign up at their website to be notified when the online application page is in place.

UNICEF requires all job candidates to have at least a Masters Degree, work experience, and fluency in two of the United Nations languages mentioned above (one must be English). UNICEF offers a program for New and Emerging Talent, the Junior Professional Programme, and a number of full-time and short-term opportunities. Internships and volnteer positions are also available.

Journalism Jobs

The subject of this request is that of finding journalism jobs with the Untied Nations and this quest might prove difficult. It requires searching through all the position announcements for the UN and associated agencies. After taking a scanning look through several of them, I found no journalism jobs, but this likely changes from frequently. Some of the positions advertised surely require written communications and public relations activities at least.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
United Nations Office at GenevaSouth Lawn view.
United Nations Office at Geneva
United Nations Office at Geneva | Source
South Lawn view.
South Lawn view. | Source

Other UN Job Search Options

Untied Nations jobs can be found on, both Canadian and American sites. is another employment search engine option for both countries. Internet job search engines are operating in a number of countries scross the globe and may help in a United Nations Job search.


If there is a United Nations Mission (a headquarters) located in your own country, that would be the one to contact about journalistic positions. A job seeker can call and perhaps make an appointment to discuss such opportunities within the framework of an informational interview. Information might be received about the possibility of emerging journalism-linked job openings locally or in the wider marketplace.

Access the UN Website and their list of contact sites and phone numbers and make some calls about a job or internship you might like to have of it were available. As of 2006, there are 192 member nations of the UN, which seems to offer a wide range of possibilities for work.

© 2009 Patty Inglish MS


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