Please look below to find answers to frequently asked questions.
Are you having trouble using the e-Recruitment system?
Please note that it is recommended that you use Microsoft Internet Explorer rather than different web browser (Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari - Mac computer) because you will not be able to get the optimized version of the e-Recruitment system. We also recommend that you disable the pop-up blockers from your internet browser to enable additional windows such as the application wizard to open. Please click here to read more FAQs on the eRecruitment system.
If you cannot find an answer to your questions in this section, you can contact us directly at eRecruitment@unicef.org. We will do our best to answer your question in a timely manner. However, please do not send us your CV or your application as we will be unable to accept them.
What are UNICEF’s areas of work?
UNICEF staff work in a number of areas related to our mandate. These functional areas in which we operate have been categorized in four broad areas: programme and policy – our work for the children, operations – support to our programmes, external relations – communication and advocacy, and emergency response.
Programme (including cross-cutting functions): Adolescent Development, Child Protection, Communication for Development, Early Childhood Development, Education, Education, Environmental and Climate Change, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Immunization, Innovation, Nutrition, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Social and Economic Policy, Social Inclusion, Emergencies and Humanitarian Affairs
Operations: Administration, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Internal Audit, Information and Communication Technology, Legal, Operations, Supply and Logistics
External Relations: Communication, Private Fundraising and Partnerships, Public Partnerships, Resources Mobilization.
To find more information on UNICEF’s focus areas please click on the “what we do section” of the website.
Which type of roles does UNICEF offer?
UNICEF’s workforce is made up of different categories of staff reflecting various levels of responsibilities and duties. Each category of staff has its own requirements.
UNICEF provides opportunities for various categories of staff and non-staff functions:
International Professional (IP) staff is recruited internationally and serve in all duty station globally. They hold leadership, managerial or specialist functions which require a level of technical expertise.
General Service (GS) staff is locally recruited and provide administrative and support services across all areas of the Organization.
National Officer (NO) staff is nationals of the country in which they perform functions of a technical and professional nature.
Which type of contracts does UNICEF offer?
UNICEF offers various employment contracts based on the needs of organization. You can learn more about these types of contracts in the “what we offer section”.
Fixed-Term or regular appointment – typically for a period of two years, renewable subject to the needs of the organization. You will be a UNICEF staff. Fixed-Term contracts can be issued in three categories of staff: International Professional, National Officer and General Service categories.
Temporary appointments are time-limited appointments issued for less than one year to meet specific short-term requirements, including in response to emergencies. Temporary Appointments can be issued in all three categories of UNICEF staff. Staff members recruited under a temporary appointment modality receive full salary but slightly reduced benefits.
UNICEF also hires individuals for consultancies to accomplish, within a specified period of time, a defined task for which the necessary expertise is not readily available within the organization.
In which countries/locations does UNICEF provide opportunities?
UNICEF provides exciting job opportunities around the world, with approximately 85% of locations in the field in 190 countries and territories. Seven regional offices and over 124 country offices worldwide and UNICEF HQ (New York, Brussels, Tokyo, Berlin, Copenhagen, Geneva) work on helping children thrive and survive, every day, everywhere. A list of UNICEF offices globally is available here.
Which qualifications are required to enter UNICEF?
We are looking for committed, creative professionals, who are passionate making a lasting difference for children and are comfortable working in a challenging environments.
The required employment qualifications differ by level. For mid and senior level positions in the International Professional category candidates should have:
- Advanced university degree in a relevant field
- Relevant professional work experience, preferable developing countries, with a minimum of
o 5 years for P-3 level roles
o 8 years for P-4 level roles
o 10 years for P-5 level roles
- Proficiency in English is required, with working knowledge in a second UN language being a strong asset (in certain locations required)
UNICEF International Staff must be prepared to work in any region or country and to under-take in country field travel. International Professional Staff on Fixed Term contracts are usually subject to its mobility policy and required to move every 2-5 years.
All staff must share our organization’s values of diversity and inclusion, integrity and commitment and meet our core employment competencies of communication, working with people and drive for results. Details on UNICEF Competency Definitions, please click here: [PDF]
For more information about the employment qualifications for potential UNICEF staff, please visit the “what we look for section” of the website.
Should I apply for a post if I have more than the required years of experience?
The advertised years of experience that is found in an advertisement is a minimum requirement. Applicants who meet the minimum requirements and also have additional qualifications are encouraged to apply to should they wish to compete in the recruitment process.
Do you need experience working with the UN?
Many UNICEF positions do not require applicants to have work experience from any specific organization. There are some positions that include experience within the UN Common System as a requirement or asset when knowledge of systems and procedures is critical. The qualifications section of a Vacancy Announcement will indicate the type of experience required for successful candidates.
What are the compensations and benefits like at UNICEF?
UNICEFs compensation system is governed by the UN Staff Rules and Regulations and the International Civil Service Commission. For more information on the salary scale, benefits and entitlements offered here at UNICEF such as full medical and dental coverage, opportunities for paid leave, and a range of other great benefits, please click here.
I would like to work for UNICEF. How do I apply for a job?
Please check for any suitable vacancy announcements here and click "Apply"
When completing your application form, please provide sufficient information to enable recruiters to evaluate your eligibility and suitability for the specific position. Make sure you update your resume and attach a cover letter outlining your motivation for the specific position. Please use English as an application language for International Professional positions and make sure you keep your email and phone number updated throughout the application process.
Please click here to view a video tutorial on how to apply for a position advertised on UNICEF's employment website: Candidate Experience Training
How can I enter UNICEF?
To join UNICEF on a regular or temporary staff contract, apply for the following sourcing streams and current vacancies advertised here
Generic Vacancy Announcements and Talent Groups
A UNICEF Talent Group is a pool of potential employees defined by area, expertise and level of seniority, from which UNICEF offices worldwide can quickly select to fill a role through an expedited recruitment process when an employment need is identified.
To join a Talent Group, submit an application in response to Generic Vacancy Announcements (GVAs) that are periodically advertised here. A candidate who meets the required GVA qualifications may be invited to participate in a detailed assessment of their skills and experience. The process includes interviews, technical tests, and may include other forms of written and verbal assessment, so as to ensure all candidates in a Talent Group are properly evaluated prior to recommendation for a specific vacancy.
Successful candidates will be notified and placed in a Talent Group for a three year period and applicants are welcome to apply to more than one Talent Group.
Hiring offices review relevant Talent Groups and contact candidates directly when there is an opening for a specific position. They may conduct additional interviews to get to know the candidates to determine the best fit for their post.
Specific Vacancy Announcement and Batch Recruitment
A specific vacancy announcement invites applications for specific posts, while batch recruitments are utilized to combine selection processes for multiple vacant positions within the same functional area. These are normally used if there is no talent group or no qualified candidate in the talent group because of the specific nature of the position
Can I share my resume to be kept on file for future positions?
Applicants are encouraged to create a Profile in our Talent Management System and input updates frequently. Hiring offices are able to access candidate profiles to easily identify qualified candidates for internships/ consultancies, or to invite candidates to apply to a Specific Vacancy Announcement, Batch Recruitment, or Generic Vacancy Announcement.
Does UNICEF hire candidates through recruitment firms?
Candidates are most often identified through a variety of sourcing channels (advertisements on websites, career fairs, etc.). Recruitment firms are occasionally used to identify candidates for short-term consultancies.
What does a UNICEF assessment process look like?
For selection of its staff, UNICEF is committed to securing the highest standard of competence, by means of a competitive selection process and to achieving gender and geographic balance.
Upon closing of the application deadline, the hiring office reviews all profiles to ascertain the candidates' eligibility and suitability for the position, following the minimum requirements stipulated in the vacancy announcement. If necessary, the hiring office may consider additional criteria in order to further reduce the number of candidates in the shortlist.
Based on this analysis, the hiring office retains a few candidates and uses a number of assessment tools, including written examinations, (competency-based) interviews and assessment centre findings to arrive at a recommendation.
Online assessment: which include a series of online capability tests consisting of questions covering the areas of Numerical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning.
Pre-recorded video assessments: focusing on competencies and knowledge that are expected of the successful candidates. You will be presented with various scenarios following a series of multiple choice questions.
Remote written exercise: The written exercise will assess the competencies and skills that are expected of the successful candidates and will typically focus on the technical competencies described in the vacancy. You will be advised on the format of the written assessments, which usually take place by email or through an online testing platform.
Interview: If you are successful at this stage you will receive an invitation for an interview, which usually takes place on the phone or Skype. Interviews can follow the competency-based format, in which you are asked to describe a relevant concrete examples drawn from your personal work experience depicting UNICEFs competencies. Interviews may also include motivational questions, as well technical questions and presentations
The selection of staff will be guided by UNICEF’s competency model. Core values should be held by all UNICEF staff. Competencies are sets of behaviours that are essential for the delivery of results for UNICEF. Please refer to the vacancy announcement of a position to learn about the required competencies. You can click on the following document for a detailed description of each UNICEF core value and competency. [pdf]
Junior Professional Opportunities
I’ve recently graduated from university. What does UNICEF offer?
UNICEF has a number of initiatives for young professionals. Please see below information on these programmes. UNICEF generally requires that candidates have an advanced university degree as well as at a minimum two to three years of relevant professional experience in a field related to our work and/or in a development context.
The New and Emerging Talent Initiative (NETI) is an entry point for external professionals interested in an international career with UNICEF. As part of UNICEF’s global talent management strategy to achieve its current and future goals, NETI focuses on attracting, selecting, developing and retaining new external talent from entry to mid-career levels to grow and to develop in the organisation. NETI participants work actively in a multicultural environment within the development and humanitarian arenas, while contributing to delivering results for children. Click here to learn more about the NETI programme.
UNICEF Junior Professional Officers (JPOs) programme provides young professionals pursuing a career in development and humanitarian arena with hands-on experience working in the field or in Headquarters for 2 to 4 years. JPOs are recruited as regular Fixed Term international professional staff members and each JPO’s assignment is funded by one of the donors Governments based on the agreements between UNICEF and the donor governments. For more information about the JPO Programme, please click here.
I cannot find vacancies for internships. Do you have an internship programme?
The UNICEF Internship Programme offers eligible/qualified students at both Headquarters and country offices the opportunity to acquire direct practical experience in UNICEF's work under the direct supervision of experienced UNICEF staff. For more information and to apply, click here.
I cannot find any vacancy for Volunteers. Do you have a Volunteer Programme?
UNICEF does not recruit volunteers directly. The United Nations Volunteer (UNV) programme recruits volunteers for assignments throughout the United Nations system, including UNICEF. Application procedures and information are available at the UNV Web site (external link – www.unv.org). You may also wish to contact the UNICEF National Committee in your home country which can provide information on volunteer activities.
What is the New and Emerging Talent Initiative (NETI) programme?
The New and Emerging Talent Initiative (NETI) is an entry point for external professionals interested in an international career with UNICEF. As part of UNICEF’s global talent management strategy to achieve its current and future goals, NETI focuses on attracting, selecting, developing and retaining new external talent from entry to mid-career levels to grow and to develop in the organisation. NETI participants work actively in a multicultural environment within the development and humanitarian arenas, while contributing to delivering results for children.
What is the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme?
- UNICEF Junior Professional Officers (JPOs) provides young professionals pursuing a career in development and humanitarian arena with hands-on experience working in the field or in Headquarters for 2 to 4 years;
- JPOs are recruited as regular Fixed Term international professional staff members and each JPO’s assignment is funded by one of the donors Governments based on the agreements between UNICEF and the donor governments;
- Since its inception in UNICEF in 1968, the JPO programme in UNICEF has grown steadily and presently UNICEF manages an average of 90-120 JPOs every year.
For more information about the JPO Programme, please click here.
What donor governments participate in the JPO programme?
The following donor governments currently sponsor JPOs for UNICEF:
• The Netherlands
• Republic of Korea
For donor contact information please refer to the how to apply section.