Opportunity for Young Professionals to start a career with the United Nations

Once every year, the United Nations invites applications from young professionals for the United Nations Young Professionals Programme that provides an opportunity for talented, highly qualified professionals to start a career as an international civil servant with the United Nations Secretariat.

The Young Professionals Programme consists of an entrance examination and professional development programmes once successful candidates start their career with the UN.

The basic application criteria are:

  • You must have the nationality of a participating country.
  • You must hold at least a first-level university degree relevant for the exam subject you are applying for.
  • You must be 32 or younger in the year of the examination.
  • You must be fluent in either English or French.
  • There are seven steps in the application process for the Young Professionals Programme. Once you believe that you fulfill the basic application criteria, you can register at and create a profile. You can then submit your application online. Your application will be evaluated and if selected, you will have to undergo a written examination. Following this will be an oral examination. Then results are finally announced and, if selected, you will be welcomed to join the United Nations. You can learn more about the application process here.

Opportunity for Young Professionals to start a career with the United Nations

The written examination comprises of The General Paper and The Specialized Paper.

  • The General Paper assesses drafting skills in English or French.
  • The Specialized Paper tests substantive knowledge of the subject relevant to the job network you have applied for.

The Specialised Paper consists of two parts:

  • Part I: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) art I consists of 25 MCQs relevant to the job network you have applied for.
  • Part II: Constructed Response Items. Part II consists of open-ended questions, some of which will be mandatory. You will be expected to write a long response (up to four pages with a suggested word limit) to one question and shorter responses to the rest of the items (up to two pages with a suggested word limit).
    Applicants from the following countries are eligible to apply (Countries that are participating in the annual recruitment exercise).

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

Recruitment process

Placement on the roster

Successful candidates will be placed on their respective rosters in July and will remain on the roster for the duration of three years. After three years the roster closes. Those not placed within these three years will no longer be considered for posts and will have to re-take the YPP examination if they wish to be reconsidered.

Type of contract offered

Candidates who are selected from the roster will be offered a two-year fixed term contract at the start of their Professional career with the Secretariat. After two years and subject to satisfactory performance, they may be granted a continuing contract.

Level of first placement

Your placement level can only be at a P-1 or P-2 level. Successful candidates holding a bachelor’s degree and no work experience will be offered placement at the P-1 level. Successful candidates holding a bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience, or a master’s degree and no work experience, will be offered placement at the P-2 level. You are expected to serve for a minimum of two years in that position before being considered for appointment to another position.

Managed Reassignment Programme

Once a year, junior professionals with a minimum of 2 years in their first function will be invited to participate in a Managed Reassignment Program (MRP). They are invited to select other positions of interest to them so they can be reassigned to another position, normally in a different department and duty station. The objective of this programme is to provide Junior Professional staff with new opportunities to diversify and develop their career, to acquire new skills and to consolidate a solid foundation for their career advancement. It should be noted that staff are responsible for selecting as many positions as possible in order to maximise their chances of reassignment. Those who are not successful may be required to participate in the following MRP.