United Nations Young Professionals Programme – UN YPP 2015

Timeline for applications
Timeline for applications

Young professionals who meet all the eligibility criteria are welcome to apply for the United Nations Young Professionals Programme (UN YPP) 2015. Applications for the YPP examination should be submitted online through Inspira – a special UN recruitment system. In order to use it, you first need to register. You will then be able to search current job openings in the United Nations Secretariat, including YPP openings. To apply for the position, you have to fill in a job application which includes a profile section (My Profile), an application form, and a cover letter, all of which should be prepared online on this website (attached resumes and CVs are not accepted). The application form for the UN YPP is called Personal History Profile (PHP) form.

The Inspira application (or PHP form) is an extended online resume, specifically used by the United Nations, through which you articulate your education, competencies, achievements and professional experience. The application is used to evaluate your eligibility and suitability for the job. It is your opportunity to tell your story in a way that demonstrates that you are the best candidate for the job.

Application period differs depending on the job family. In 2015 the application periods for all job families are the following:

  • 17 June – 16 August: Social Affairs
  • 24 June – 23 August: Legal Affairs

When you submit an application, the system will automatically send an email to your primary email address to confirm that your application has been received. Please note that after submitting the application, it is no longer possible to make changes to it.

Be aware that many potentially successful applicants do not pass the screening stage because they inadvertently provide incomplete or imprecise information in the application form or a badly-written cover letter. See our practical guidelines and recommendations in the Tips to prepare section and take advantage of our individual application assistance packages to make it to the written exam.


The applications are first screened to determine if applicants are eligible for the examination in the job family they applied for (see all eligibility criteria here). Preliminary eligibility screening are fully automated in the Inspira system. The software automatically filters the candidates who meet the minimum qualification requirements, including fields of study, stated in the job opening.

Many potentially successful applicants do not pass the screening stage because they inadvertently provide incomplete or imprecise information. We will verify the correctness of the eligibility PHP fields indication, which are the subject of the automated software screening.

In 2015, members of the following countries are eligible to participate in the YPP (Colombia is not included this year):

Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea (Republic of ), Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Zambia.


If there are more than 40 eligible applicants from the same participating Member State in the same job family, a second round of screening will be conducted. If there are 40 or less eligible applicants from the same participating Member State in the same job family, no additional screening will be conducted.

The Inspira system is also used to “rank” the top 40 eligible candidates from each country in each job family. This screening is partially automated, as the system ranks all candidates from a given Member State based on each candidate’s number of years of educational and work experience, as well as the number of United Nations official languages mastered. However, the Office of Human Resources Management must manually review and confirm that the work experience and expertise of the 40 top-ranked applicants are relevant for the job family concerned.

Successful candidates will receive convocation letters.

Our qualified professionals will carefully examine your PHP form and provide feedback and suggestions on improvements to boost your chances to be convoked for the written examination.


In 2015 the written part of the YPP exam will consist of two papers: the Specialised Paper and the General Paper.

  • The Specialised Paper tests the substantive knowledge corresponding to the job family in which the exam is taken and also the candidate’s analytical thinking. It consists of multiple choice questions, essays and short questions in the substantive area and can be taken in any of the six UN official languages. Each part of this paper is eliminatory: only examinees who are successful in the eliminatory parts of the examination will have the other parts marked.
  • The General Paper, which is the same for all job families, tests your drafting abilities and/or your knowledge of international affairs. It consists of a summary and should be written in either English or French.

In 2015 the written examination will take place on Tuesday, 15 December 2015. The total duration of the written examination is 4 hours and 30 minutes. The exam answers are marked anonymously by a panel of markers.

The YPP examination, especially its written part is highly competitive and requires preparation. Carefully read our guidelines and recommendations in the Tips to prepare section and take the full advantage of our written exam preparation packages to pass this competitive YPP stage.


The UN YPP interview consists of a competency-based interview and possibly an oral presentation. It is conducted in either English or French and aims to test your consistence with values and competencies of the United Nations.

Values are shared principles and beliefs that underpin the Organisation’s work and they guide the actions and behaviour of staff. In total, there are three core values:

  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism;
  • Respect for Diversity.

Competencies are skills, attributes and behaviours directly related to successful job performance. In total, there are eight competences:

  • Communication;
  • Teamwork;
  • Planning and Organising;
  • Accountability;
  • Creativity;
  • Client Orientation;
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning;
  • Technological Awareness.

For each job family, three values/competences will be tested during the UN YPP interview. They vary for different job families and are specified in the YPP openings announcements.

After being successful in the highly competitive written exam, it would be a shame not to pass the interview. Consult with our practical guidelines in the Tips to prepare section and take the full advantage of our interview preparation packages to pass the final stage and be placed in the roster as a successful UN YPP candidate.

Still have questions about the YPP procedure? We have all your questions answered in the FAQ

All information: http://ypun.org/ypp/exam-structure/

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