UN Young professionals programme (YPP) 2017 is open for applications

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The UN Young professionals programme is open for applications in the Political, Peace, and Humanitarian Network. To be eligible to apply you must be from one of the participating countries listed below. Additionally applications must be fluent in either English or French, be 32 or less years old and hold a first level degree in a relevant field. The deadline to apply for the examination is the 22 August 2017.

Which countries qualify in 2017?

Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam.

What is the UN Young Professionals Programme?

The UN Young Professionals Programme is an entry-hiring programme from the UN Secretariat which aim is to recruit young professionals who want to start their career as an international civil servant at the UN Secretariat. This programme is very popular among young professionals and according to the UN Secretariat there are on average 40.000 applicants every year.  Applicants have to pass the yearly YPP examination. The examination consists of a general examination which is the same for every applicant, as well as a specific examination based on the type of job the candidates is applying for. The exam subjects that are open for applicants are different every year, based on the expected needs of the UN. In 2015 for example, the exam subjects were Administration, Legal Affairs, Social Affairs, Statistics, Finance and Public Information. In general, an exam subject will be offered every other year.

Passing the examination does not automatically lead to a job with the UN. Successful candidates are put on the reserve list of qualified professionals, and the UN uses this list to fill available job positions every three months. Successful candidates will be on this list for two years and if no job offer is made within this time, they unfortunately have to go through the whole YPP process again to get their name on the reserve list. Experience shows however that many of the young professionals on this list get hired either temporarily or permanently by the UN secretariat and the entities it is responsible for and it is definitely worth it to try to pass this examination for the possible job prospect of working at the UN. Once you are hired, the UN provides professional development programs which are very useful for young professionals who want to start an international career in human rights. Usually, successful candidates will be hired for a period of two years, with the possibility of extension of the contract if performance during these two years has been satisfactory.

According to the UN website, the base salary for a young professional is between $37,000 – 80,000.

Required qualifications

The YPP examination is only open to nationals of certain countries and the list of countries changes annually. The UN Secretariat aims to have as many nationalities presented within its system and nationals of countries that are currently underrepresented within the United Nationals are therefore encouraged to take the YPP examination. The list gets published every year around the time that the application round begins. Candidates need to be fluent in English or French, the working languages of the UN. Furthermore, candidates need to have a first-level university degree in the field they want to apply for and cannot be older than 32 years old at the time of applying.

The Application Procedure

On this webpage of the UN you can find every little detail about the application procedure and the YPP examination. First of all, candidates have to prepare their application. In the application, candidates have to show that they fulfill all the eligibility requirements. In order to send the application, candidates have to make a profile at https://inspira.un.org and select which exam subject they are applying for. If more than 40 of the applications are from the same country, they will be ranked by a UN HR Officer based on their highest level of education, fluency in the UN working languages and relevant professional work experience. The most successful applicants will be invited to take the YPP examination.

The YPP examination consists of an oral and a written exam which add up to a maximum of 1000 points in total that applicants can score. Candidates will have four and a half hour to make the written part of the examination, which consists of a general part that all applicants have to make, regardless of which exam subject they are applying for. In this examination candidates are asked to summarize an article from 900 words to roughly 300 words. Candidates can score 150 points for this part. The other part of the written examination is specific to the exam subject and candidates are first asked to fill in a multiple choice test with relevant questions to the exam subject. After that, candidates will get up to 13 questions. Of these questions, the first three require a long answer of up to four pages, the rest of the questions needs a shorter answer of around two pages per question. Candidates can score a maximum of 650 points for this part of the examination.

The last part of the YPP examination is the oral examination and only candidates who have passed the written part of the examination will be invited to take part in the oral examination. Usually the oral examination will be done via a video-conference, where the candidate will be interviewed by a panel of the Specialized Examination Board. Candidates can score up to 200 points for the oral part of the examination. On thispage you can find more information about the oral interview as well as tips to make sure your interview will be successful.

It is important to note that the results of the YPP examination will not be given to every individual candidate. Only the candidates that successfully passed all parts of the YPP examination will be informed individually, while the rest of the candidates will have to keep an eye on the ‘Important Updates’ page of the YPP program. The UN will post there once the examination and its results have been concluded. If applicants have not heard anything about their results at that point, it can unfortunately be concluded that they did not pass the YPP examination.

Visit the official website of the UN Young professionals programme to gain more insights about the application process, the examination structure and the recruitment process.