Professional and General Service
You should apply to job vacancies using Careers.
Instructions on how to apply are available in the online application guide.
The recruitment process at UNESCO is as follows:
1. Applying for a job
For Professional posts, you normally have two months to apply once a job is advertised on-line (one month for internal vacancies). For General Service post, you normally have one month. You will receive a confirmation of your application by e-mail.
After the closing date, a Committee will select candidates on the basis of their qualifications, experience and skills (including language), as well as other relevant knowledge and abilities for a particular position.
Selected candidates will be invited for an interview (phone interviews may be conducted beforehand to make a preliminary assessment). Reference checks will also be made relating to your previous professional experience.
A Panel will make the final evaluation on whether your profile matches the job.
An offer of appointment will be made to the successful candidate.
During an interview you have an opportunity to demonstrate how your past behavior and experience match the requirements of the position you are applying for as these are indicators of future performance. Competency interviewing questions can look like this:
- Tell us about a situation when you went above and beyond your manager's expectations.
- Give an example of a time when you used your problem solving abilities to resolve an issue.
- Tell us about a time where you had a number of demands being made on you at the same time. How did you handle it?
Useful tips for your interview:
- Prepare a wide range of brief real life stories about your accomplishments. Be aware of the specific skills each story illustrates and remember to include the positive outcome or lesson learned from each experience. Be ready to discuss your strengths and your ability to learn from past experiences.
- Also think about how you could contribute to the work of UNESCO and to the specific position you are applying for.
- Review the competencies mentioned in the job opening. These will be probed during your interview, so your stories should show your skill in these competency areas. You should be prepared to address positive results and achievements using these competencies and also challenges you have had in each of these areas.
- The structure of your answer should be: Situation, Action, Result.
- Share information you feel is appropriate and relevant.
- Listen to the question carefully. Keep to the point. Be as specific as possible.
- Do some research on competency, or behavior based interviews. There is a lot of material available about preparing for such an interview structure.
- Learn as much as you can about the Sector/Bureau/Office you are applying to and the work it does.
The Young Professionals’ (YP) Programme provides the opportunity for young university graduates and young qualified professionals under or equal the age of 32 years of application from non- and under-represented Member States* to join UNESCO early in their professional career.
If you are interested and eligible to apply to the Young Professional Programme you need to contact your National Commission.
The application process is as follows:
1. Launching the Young Professionals Programme
The Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM) of UNESCO sends a call for applications to National Commissions and Permanent Delegations of non- or under-represented Member States. Each National Commission is responsible for the dissemination of this information and for the pre-selection at national level.
2. Submission of application
Candidates send their application to the National Commission/Permanent Delegation of their country of citizenship. UNESCO does not accept applications sent directly to the Organization.
National Commissions review all applications to ensure that the profiles match the required qualifications. The National Commissions then submits a list of a maximum of 12 shortlisted applicants to the Bureau of Human Resources Management at UNESCO.
3. Screening of applicants
All applications are reviewed by a committee which will establish a shortlist based on (1) academic qualifications, (2) motivation/statement of interest, (3) presentation of the application, (4) language and writing skills, and (5) level of professional experience.
4. Evaluation of applicants
If you are among the shortlisted candidates, you will be required to attend interviews at UNESCO Headquarters (Paris). The interviews provides candidates with an opportunity to demonstrate their communication skills, team spirit, analytical skills, sense of initiative, creativity, flexibility and adaptability. They evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of the technical aspects of education, science, culture, communication, information or administration. In addition to interviews, language tests are undertaken to determine your level of proficiency in the working languages of UNESCO (English and French).
5. Appointment decision
- If your application is successful, UNESCO will send you a letter of appointment.
- If your application is not successful, UNESCO will inform your National Commission/Permanent Delegation.
Note: Interview and entry on duty and other dates may be subject to change due to visa issues, family situation and/or the geographical location of the selected candidates. *
To consult current geographical distribution within the Organization, please click here.
UNESCO has an agreement with the following Donor countries.
Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, People's Republic of China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom
Please note that some donor governments have sponsored JPO positions in the past, but are currently inactive. Since the JPO/AE Programme is sponsored by participating donors, applicants are requested to follow the selection procedure established by their respective authorities:
If you are looking for a short term opportunity in support functions such as office assistance, secretarial, building services at Headquarters (Paris), you may also wish to register your CV on UNESCO Experts/Support Services Roster .