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9 tips to smoothen your career transition into UN Or the Impact sector

Author photo

by Henrik Rydén
COO and Co-founder of Impactpool

Are you a mid-level career professional?

Have you applied for several UN jobs without success?

If so, this may be a valuable reading for you. In this article, I share the experience I have gained over the last 20 years recruiting for International organizations.

I have seen colleagues entering the sector after transitioning from the private to the impact sector. Many have four things in common - all the qualifications of the job, eligibility to apply, persistence, and sector knowledge.

I have chosen nine questions from our fellowship inbox and translated the answers into a list of tips.

Tips 1 - Applying to headquarters (HQ) vacancies only lowers your chances of success! 

It is rare that an external applicant serves their first assignment in an HQ location. The only group where this happens frequently is among seconded personnel (individuals funded by an external source - an example is Junior Professional Officer (JPO), but outside seconded personnel it is rare to start a career in HQ. 

Mid-career jobs in New York receive about five to ten times more applications per job than similar jobs in a country office location. If an HQ position is compared with a position in a crisis location, I have seen similar jobs where the HQ position attracted 100 times more applicants. 

Also In many organizations HQ jobs are given with preference to staff members that have served in a challenging environment and need recuperation or to colleagues with a family situation that requires more security.

Hence for a completely external candidate to the UN, HQ jobs are very competitive.

Sign in to your Impactpool account to read 8 more tips.

Photo: View of Kabul by Sohaib Ghyasi at Unsplash. Starting your mid-career in Kabul is a shortcut to success. 

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