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Senior Translator/Reviser (Head of German Unit)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: ILO - International Labour Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Translations and Languages
    • Managerial positions
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Internal audit, Investigation and Inspection
  • Closing Date: 2020-01-08

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Grade: P4  

Vacancy no.: RAPS/3/2019/RELMEETINGS/01
Publication date: 27 November 2019
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 08 January 2020


Job ID: 1998 
Department: RELMEETINGS 
Organization Unit: OFFDOC/G 
Location: Geneva   
Contract type: Fixed Term 


The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.


Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply and will be given special consideration at the screening and evaluation stage.


Applications from officials who have reached their age of retirement as defined in Article 11.3 of the Staff Regulations on or before 31 December 2017, or who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.


The ILO values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including those with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


Applications from qualified candidates from non- or under-represented member States, or from those member States which staffing forecasts indicate will become non- or under-represented in the near future, would be particularly welcome. A list of these countries can be found here:


Successful completion of the Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates.


The position is located in the Official Documents German Translation Unit within the Department of Official Meetings, Documentation and Relations (RELMEETINGS). There are seven language units in the Department that provide languages services in the ILO official languages (English, French and Spanish Units) and in the ILO working languages (Chinese, Russian, Arabic and German Units).

The Official Documents German Translation Unit is responsible for the editing, translation and revision and text processing ofofficial ILO documents, including those submitted to the International Labour Conference, the Governing Body, Regional Meetings and Expert and TechnicalMeetings as well as documents produced by the Office of the Director-General.

The position will report to the Deputy Director of RELMEETINGS.


Specific Duties

1. Organise and coordinate the work of the Unit. Plan recruitment of external staff and submit proposals to the management of RELMEETINGS for approval.  Liaise with external collaborators as required.
2. Prospect for, identify, test and select suitable candidates to replenish the roster of German freelance-translators and revisers.
3. Brief, guide and provide technical advice to external and temporary staff; assign and monitor their work to ensure quality standards and timeliness.
4. Ensure that the documents produced in the German language reflect the equivalent of the original text in terms of accuracy, completeness, meaning, style and effectiveness,. Liaise with author units, as appropriate.
5. Revise in the German language from two or more language translations prepared by external translators and provide them with feedback to ensure high professional standards.
6. Translate, from two languages, and self-revise especially complex and technical texts without further revision.
7. Research terminology and contribute to the terminology database.
8. Hold preliminary consultations, organize and participate actively in the annual meeting with the German-speaking constituents to finalize the German version of the text of instruments adopted by the International Labour Conference. 
9. Under the guidance of the department management, liaise with the German-speaking constituents in relation to their specific needs for translation of ILO official documentation and ensure these are taken into account in the overall planning and delivery of work.
10. Promote the development and use of appropriate CATT (computer-assisted translation and terminology) tools.
11. Perform other relevant duties as assigned.



These specific duties are aligned with the relevant ILO generic job description, which includes the following generic duties:

Generic Duties
  1. Revise in the target language from two or more languages translations prepared by other staff and by external translators.
  2. Translate, from two languages, and self-revise especially complex and technical texts for issue without further revision.
  3. Edit texts in the target language to ensure a style of presentation in conformity with ILO standards.
  4. Produce versions in the target language, which are in terms of accuracy, completeness, meaning, style and effectiveness, the equivalent of the original text. Conduct supplementary research to solve problems of terminology and meaning, and consult with substantive units regarding possible inconsistencies or errors in the original text.
  5. Carry out linguistic research and prepare terminological bulletins and glossaries and other reference tools.
  6. May organize and coordinate the work of other translators of the same language unit, monitoring the progress of work in relation to an agreed schedule or coordinating the work for simultaneous issue before or during a meeting.


Required qualifications

Advanced university degree in languages or some other relevant field (or the equivalent in experience), and sustained experience in the translation field. Translators must also be assessed in a competitive framework in the occupational field, which may if necessary include an examination.


At least seven years of professional translation, revision and editing experience and at least three years at the international level. Experience in the organization of translation and revision work during meetings and conferences.


Excellent command of German and English and a working knowledge of French or Spanish.


In addition to the ILO core competencies, this position requires:
Technical competencies – Ability to use a wide range of vocabulary and professional and technical concepts and terms relating to the mandate of the Organization. Excellent drafting skills in German language, proven translation and revision skills and extensive knowledge of work practices, methods and processes in the language field.  Ability to plan and organise work. Knowledge and skills in utilising word processing and CATT tools. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Ability to coordinate, guide and train lower level staff and external professionals. Ability to work autonomously as well as a member of a team.

Behavioural Competencies: Ability to work quickly and accurately under time pressure. Excellent collaboration and interpersonal skills. Ability to maintain a harmonious working environment. Active interest in new developments in the linguistic profession and willingness to initiate and promote change. Keen sense of responsibility.  Flexibility, capacity to handle a high number of individual contacts with tact and discretion. Excellent coordination and networking skills. Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.



Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • The first contract will be issued for a twenty-four month period.
  • A successful external candidate will be on probation for the first two years of assignment.
  • Any extension of contract beyond the probation period is subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.

For more information on conditions of employment, please visit:


Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website at The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 3 to 4 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.


Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including assessment centres, technical tests or interviews.


Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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