Exploring Job Opportunities at UN Agencies: UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, and More

Are you interested in working for prestigious organizations like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), or the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)? These UN agencies offer a wide range of job opportunities for individuals passionate about making a positive impact on the world. In this blog post, we will discuss how you can find employment with UN agencies and address whether international experience is a requirement.

1. Research and Familiarize Yourself with UN Agencies

Before diving into the job search, it is essential to understand the different UN agencies and their respective mandates. Each agency focuses on a specific area, such as refugee protection (UNHCR), education and culture (UNESCO), or child rights (UNICEF). Take the time to explore their websites, read about their work, and understand their values and goals. This knowledge will help you align your skills and interests with the agency that resonates with you the most.

2. Utilize the UN Careers Portal

The UN Careers portal is the primary platform for job opportunities within the UN system. It provides a centralized database of vacancies across various UN agencies, including UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, and many others. Visit the UN Careers website and create a personal account to access the latest job postings.

Once you have created an account, you can set up job alerts based on your preferences and receive notifications when relevant positions become available. Remember to tailor your profile and upload a comprehensive resume that highlights your skills, qualifications, and experiences.

3. Explore Different Job Categories

The UN offers a wide range of job categories to cater to diverse skill sets and professional backgrounds. Whether you are an expert in program management, finance, communications, human resources, or any other field, there are opportunities available within UN agencies.

Take the time to explore the different job categories and identify the ones that align with your skills and experience. Some common job categories include professional and higher categories, field service, national professional officers, general service, and internship programs.

4. Showcase Transferable Skills

While international experience can be an advantage when applying for jobs at UN agencies, it is not always a strict requirement. UN agencies value a diverse workforce and recognize that skills gained in different contexts can be transferable.

When applying for positions, focus on highlighting your transferable skills and relevant experiences. Emphasize your ability to work in multicultural environments, adaptability, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and strong communication abilities. Additionally, showcase your commitment to the mission and values of the UN agency you are applying to.

5. Gain Experience through Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

If you are just starting your career or looking to transition into the international development sector, gaining experience through internships and volunteer opportunities can be valuable. UN agencies often offer internship programs that provide hands-on experience and exposure to their work.

Internships can be a stepping stone to future employment within the UN system. They allow you to build connections, develop skills, and demonstrate your commitment to the organization’s mission. Additionally, volunteering with organizations that align with the UN’s goals can also enhance your profile and demonstrate your dedication to making a positive impact.

6. Network and Engage with UN Professionals

Networking plays a crucial role in accessing job opportunities within UN agencies. Attend conferences, seminars, and workshops related to the fields of interest. Connect with professionals already working in the sector through LinkedIn or other professional networking platforms.

Engaging with UN professionals can provide valuable insights, guidance, and potential referrals. They can share their experiences, offer advice on the recruitment process, and provide information about upcoming vacancies that may not be publicly advertised.


Working for UN agencies like UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, and others can be a rewarding experience for individuals passionate about making a difference in the world. While international experience can be beneficial, it is not always a strict requirement. By researching the agencies, utilizing the UN Careers portal, showcasing transferable skills, gaining experience through internships and volunteering, and networking with professionals, you can increase your chances of securing a job with a UN agency.

Remember to stay persistent, keep building your skills and knowledge, and remain committed to the values and missions of the UN agencies you are interested in. Good luck with your job search!

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