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How to Get into the Junior Professional Officer Programme at the UN

by Minoas Vitalis
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Junior Professional Officer Programme at the United Nations is a great opportunity to gain experience in international relations and work with some of the brightest minds from around the world. The programme offers positions in a number of different departments, so there is sure to be an area that interests you. If you are looking for an exciting and challenging career, working at the United Nations is definitely the place for you.

Not only will you get to work in an international environment, but you will also have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and customs. The United Nations is committed to promoting diversity and understanding between people of all backgrounds, so this is a great place to learn about other cultures. You will also have the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, which is a great way to see new places and meet new people.

The Junior Professional Officer Programme at the United Nations is an excellent way to start your career in international relations. If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding experience, working at the United Nations is definitely the right choice for you. In this article, we are going to examine the different aspects of the programme so that you can decide if it is the right choice for you.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible to apply for the JPO Programme, you must:

  • Be a national of a country participating in the JPO Programme;
  • Have a first university degree relevant to the work of the sponsoring organisation;
  • Have 2 years’ professional work experience;
  • Be under 32 years of age on of the year of recruitment;
  • Meet the language requirements of the sponsoring organisation.

It is beneficial if you have studied public administration, law , political science, economics, or another relevant field. However, candidates with other academic backgrounds may also be considered if they have the necessary skills and experience.

What kind of skills do you need to succeed?

Well, first and foremost, you’ll need to be a wordsmith. A way with words, if you will. After all, being able to communicate effectively is key in any line of work, but especially in the UN. You’ll also need to have a sharp mind and be able to think on your feet. They are constantly faced with complex problems that require creative solutions, so being able to think outside the box is a must.

Of course, it helps if you’re passionate about making a difference in the world. The UN is all about helping others, so it’s important that you have a strong desire to make a positive impact. Finally, being able to work well under pressure is a must. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with the job, so being able to handle stress and keep a cool head is essential.

If you think you have what it takes to be a Junior Professional Officer at the UN, then we encourage you to apply. It’s an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the world and build a career that is truly rewarding.

What kind of tasks will you be doing?

They are looking for Junior Professional Officers (JPOs) to join their team and work on a variety of tasks, ranging from administrative and logistical support to research and analysis. No two days will be the same, but you can expect to be involved in:

  • Assisting with the planning and organisation of events and conferences
  • Coordinating travel and accommodation arrangements
  • Drafting correspondence, reports and other documents
  • Conducting research and data analysis
  • Providing administrative support to the team

If you are looking for an exciting and challenging role where no two days are the same, then this could be the perfect opportunity for you!

What kind of hours will you be working?

The United Nations Junior Professional Officer Programme offers successful candidates the opportunity to work a full-time, 40-hour week. This permits JPOs to have a good work/life balance while carrying out their responsibilities as international civil servants. On occasion,  JPOs may be required to work overtime to complete a project or meet a deadline, but this is usually the exception rather than the rule.

What kind of benefits will you receive?

As a United Nations Junior Professional Officer, you will be entitled to many of the same benefits as other international civil servants. These include a competitive salary, health insurance, and a pension plan. In addition, you will be able to take advantage of the organisation’s generous leave policies.

You will also have access to the United Nations extensive network of experts and professionals, which can provide you with valuable mentorship and career development opportunities.

In short, there are many benefits to being a United Nations Junior Professional Officer, including:

  • The opportunity to work in an international organization and gain first-hand experience of the United Nations system;
  • A competitive salary and benefits package;
  • Professional development opportunities;
  • The chance to live and work in another country;
  • The satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the work of the United Nations and making a difference in the world.

In the end, you will be well-positioned to launch a successful and fulfilling career within the organisation.

What is the application process like?

The United Nations Junior Professional Officer Programme is highly competitive. Every year, they receive thousands of applications from talented individuals all over the world.

To be considered for the programme, you will need to submit an online application form. You may also be required to attach your CV, motivation letter, and other supporting documents. Once your application has been received, it will be reviewed by a selection committee.

If you are successful, you will be invited to participate in an interview. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the role and explain why you should be chosen for the programme.

After the interview, the selection committee will make their final decision and notify all applicants of the outcome. You may also need to sit a written test or complete a practical exercise, depending on the vacancy you have applied for.

If you’re successful, congratulations! You will be on your way to an exciting and rewarding career as a United Nations Junior Professional Officer. You will be offered an initial one -year appointment, which may be renewed after agreement with the donor country. So what are you waiting for? Start your application today!

Where will you be able to work if you are successful?

The United Nations offers a unique and unparalleled opportunity to work on international peace and security, humanitarian issues, human rights, economic and social development, environmental issues, as well as other important issues facing the world today.

You could be working in the following Departments/Offices:

  • Join Inspection Unit (JIU) 
  • Regional Commissions (ECA, ECE, ESCWA, ECLAC, ESCAP) 
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) International Court of Justice and United Nations Tribunals 
  • United Nations Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), 
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 
  • Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) 
  • United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) 
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 
  • United Nations Secretariat (Headquarters and Field offices, incl. Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions) 
  • UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA) 
  • United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) 
  • United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)


The Junior Professional Officer Programme at the United Nations is a fantastic opportunity for young professionals to get their start in the international arena. The programme provides successful candidates with the chance to work in a variety of settings, including UN offices and agencies, and to gain valuable experience in their chosen field. The JPO Programme is an excellent way to build your CV and to make contacts within the UN system, which can lead to exciting career opportunities in the future.