Applying for a position at UNESCO in Paris

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  simkas 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #2101 Score: 0

    fred flint

    Hi there

    thanks for creating the job list and forum- useful stuff.

    I am applying for a job at UNESCO. It is an administrative job, grade G3- a lower position from the one I have now (middle manager), but I am keen to have a shift in my career and relocate to France. I have all the skills and competencies required for the job and more, and much higher qualifications- could being overqualified work out against me?
    Also I’m a bit worried that the application includes age, as I am approaching 50- do you think UN would want to employ someone young for a junior position?

    Any tips about pre-screening or from people with experience of the recruitment process for UNESCO and/or in Paris welcome!


    • This topic was modified 1 year ago by  fred flint.
    • This topic was modified 1 year ago by  fred flint.
    #2106 Score: 0

    Rottmair Sebastian
    10 pts

    Hi Fred,

    I don’t think there are any written rules about age. So I wouldn’t be worried about that. But if you were a Middle Manager in a medium size (or larger) company before, you may not find a G3 suitable.

    A P3 would probably be more the kind of job you would be used to.

    Other than that – good luck!

    #2111 Score: 0

    fred flint


    thanks for that. I am currently a middle manager in a large education institution. Most of my skills are transferable, but areas of expertise wouldn’t necessarily be seen as directly applicable to most of the P3 positions (or, at least, the ones I saw advertised in the past couple of months). Also for P-scale posts, previous experience in a UN or similar international organisation seems to be a must. I would be happy to get a lower position to start with and then work my way up if and when opportunities arise.

    My main doubt is that, as I am aware that many organisations are not keen on hiring overqualified staff, this could be a problem common to the UN working culture. Do you have any idea about this? Just trying to work out if I should play down certain skills and experiences directly related to management and focus on the skills requested for the job at hand or if more skills and competencies than the person specification asks is good and gives me brownie points.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who takes time to contribute

    #2224 Score: 0
    1 pt

    Hallo everybody, this is an interesting thread for me as I am in a similar position.

    I keep applying for severals positions in severals Agencies (UNESCO included) at different levels. Let’s say from G5 (depending on the duty station) to P2, or equivalent.

    I am 57, with a long professional experience in the private sector wich, unfortunetly, is limited to my country rules and laws (I was an accountant, certified by the Italian accountans body/State Exam, as well as auditor again certified by the Italian Ministry). For example I don’t know either these memberships could be considered as some kind of equivalent of ACCA or similar or are completely unuseful.


    1. I cannot apply for P3 and higher positions not having the requested “specific” experience
    2. I apply for P2 but I am maybe a too aged professionaly junior
    3. I apply for the last grades of the G scale as Fred Flint said, with his same doubts, hoping it was some way to enter the System

    Anyway I did a big change leaving my clients to some collegues and starting this new challenge last year. In this way I could get some, but for now limited in terms of time, experience prior in an NGO and currently in a Governmental organisation. In both cases in the field (Africa).

    I actually don’t have a precise question. Let’s say I’m afraid I’m losing my time applying here and there not having a definite profile.

    My current situation is more than accettable in terms of professional growth and (maybe) perspectives but a little less in terms of salary and duty station. For these reasons I’m triyng some other chance.

    Any suggestion? Thanks!

    #2265 Score: 0

    Rottmair Sebastian
    10 pts


    I think that is a difficult situation. First I would encourage you to keep applying. And second, I think the idea of broadening your profile by getting some hands-on experience is not a bad idea at all. Many of the big 5 have corporate volunteering agreements and “lend out” their employees for pro-bono consulting/work to UN organisations. Maybe something like this could be an alternative for you?
    Otherwise, maybe UN Volunteers is a good way to start? The issue is: if you really have managerial experience and expectations of a job, I’m hesitant to recommend you apply to a GS position.

    So what is your arrangement now? Are you volunteering or are you working against a salary?

    #2270 Score: 0
    1 pt

    Hi Sebastian thank you very much for your reply.

    The step I did are:

    1. some training in my country with two different NGO (not a lot, total 3/4 weeks)
    2. 6 weeks unpaid training in the field (Sierra Leone) with one of these NGO
    3. after that I had a contract with them (project administrator)
    4. when I was close to the end of the contract I applied for the italian governmental agency and i was employed, again as project administrator, in Sudan where i still work and live. (no “lend out” is foreseen in my contract being a temporary contract)

    That means that I totalized nearly one year of experience up to now, some unpaid but most of it contracted. To become one year and a half when my present contract will expire next September.

    So in fews months (from April 2017 when i finished the unpaid training in the field to June 2017 when I was hired) I got two different paid positions. And this is positive and encouraging.

    I have a working knowledge of French too, language that i could improve a lot by practicing it being very close to italian.

    I could easily hope to grow in the organization I’m working with now (so nothing is urgent at the moment, except my age) but my actual aim is to be involved in the UN system, trying to, in a medium term perspective, come back to Europe for my last working years.

    Normally I apply for G positions only when located in Europe (I could accept such a position in order to come back someway) and P2 positions anywhere.

    I cannot imagine, at this step, any more unpaid experience as I already invested the whole 2016 (to transfer my clients) and half of 2017 on it.

    This is my situation.

    Thank you again for the reply and for this very useful blog!


    #2271 Score: 0

    Rottmair Sebastian
    10 pts

    Great! I think you are doing it exactly right! I would also consider consultant positions if I was you and your priority is the UN, I would also consider (higher paid) consulting contracts: they are often times easier to attain and may be able to put you in the “right place in the hierarchy”. P2s are really more entry level positions and I’m uncertain if you would like that kind of work.

    But in general: keep doing what you do! That’s the way to inch closer and you are starting to build-up experience.

    Good luck!

    #2275 Score: 1
    1 pt

    Thank you very much, this is encouraging!

    #2420 Score: 0



    are G positions only for nationals and current visa holders of the country? I read somewhere that G posts at UN in NYC are only for curent via holders,is that true?

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