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Career advice: United Nations

Five insider tips for acing a UN online job application

By Amy Lieberman08 November 2010

The United Nations headquarters in New York. Photo by: USAID

Chances are that if you’re reading this, we need not tell you that securing a job within the United Nations is tough – and with this struggling economy, it isn’t bound to get any easier. In the past six months, the U.N. Secretariat alone has had more than 100,000 applicants from 190 countries, for just 640 positions.

But there are some tips that job seekers can keep in mind when applying to any position that will be sure to pay off in the long-run, and help place them in prime standing to make the final cut.

Devex sat down for an exclusive interview with Martha Helena Lopez, director of the U.N.’s strategic planning and staffing division, and Victor Kisob, chief of the U.N.’s staffing service, who filled us in on the five most common mistakes applicants make when applying via the United Nations online application platform.

1. Look past the job title

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About the author

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Amy Lieberman

Amy Lieberman is a journalist based in New York. She has reported on migration, health and gender from the UN Headquarters, in addition to nine countries, including Cambodia, Colombia, Mexico and Nepal. Her work has appeared in TheAtlantic.com, The Christian Science Monitor and World Policy Journal, among a host of other news outlets. She is a Master of Arts candidate in politics and government journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


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