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UN Personal History Profile (UN YPP PHP)
The UN Personal History Profile (UN YPP PHP) or UN Personal History Form is the term given to the online application form for candidates to fill out with detailed personal information. The UN YPP PHP must show that you have the technical knowledge and skills desired by the UN; it should be well structured and contain no grammar, spelling, punctuation, or eligibility criteria mistakes. You can fill out your UN Personal History Profile and save your application form without submitting it right away. This way, you will be able to access and modify it, editing or adding information multiple times before you submit it.
To help you feel more secure and increase your chances of passing the Application stage, OpenIGO Network has developed an application review service, which is carried out by a native English proofreader and a PhD professor with extensive experience in the UN YPP.
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This article is only a small sample from the extensive content present in the chapter “Online Application Process: Personal History Profile” of our e-Book.
Screening and Fitness Questions
In this part of the PHP, you will be asked questions specific to the job opening you are applying for. Questions in this section will only appear when you apply for a job opening and must be answered before you submit your application. If you have not chosen a job opening yet, this section will probably be blank. The screening questions will appear later on when you click on “Replicate from an existing or previous application” to retrieve the information from this application when you decide to apply for a specific job opening.
For the UN YPP, the screening questions for existing job openings will be tailored around the basic application criteria of the program itself.
In this section, you must provide all the information related to your academic background. Remember that it is crucial that you meet the education requirements of the exam area you are applying for, and that you add relevant academic information. Therefore, it is more efficient for you to fill in these fields only after you have decided which job opening you are interested in and whether or not you have the required educational qualifications. You must list all formal education institutions attended from age 14 onwards (high school information). Do not include short-term, non-degree studies (e.g. short online courses)
- Higher Education/University Degrees
List all of your degree studies—whether completed, in progress, or incomplete. Select the name of your university from the dropdown list. Try different abbreviations to find it if you don’t succeed on the first try. Selecting “Other” and typing the name manually is not recommended and should be your last choice. Also, if you cannot find the exact match for your degree name in the dropdown list, select the closest option.
Note that for your university and/or higher education degree(s) to be recognized as eligible for the UN YPP, you must fill out the sections “Main Course of Study” and/or “Field of Study” exactly as they are stated in the job opening of your exam area of choice. Certain UN YPP job openings may also require a specific selection of “Field of Study”.
Candidates applying to the 2022-23 UN YPP in the Legal Affairs exam area have to select “Law” in the “Main Course of Study” area and choose a “Field of Study” from the ones listed in the job opening:
2022-23 UN YPP: Legal Affairs Education Requirements:
At least a first-level university degree (i.e., Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree of at least three years) in the main course of study “Law” including any of the following fields of study: General Law, History of Law, International Law, Jurisprudence, Labor Law, Local Magistrates, Maritime Law, Law of the Sea, Comparative Law, International Commercial Law, Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Affairs Law, Environmental Law.
- High School/Secondary Education
Name the institution from which you received your high school diploma.
- Non-UN Certificates/Diploma
List all diplomas granted to you as a part of your official education. If you have taken a summer language school/course or Inter-University Program, for example, this is the place to list it.
In this section, you must supply your UN Employment Status and add your previous work experience.
Note that, although this is not a requirement for candidates to apply, relevant work experience — as stated in the overview chapter of the program—will be used to rank applicants, especially if there are more than 60 from the same country applying for the same exam area. As the UN YPP is such a competitive selection process, it is highly unlikely that a candidate with zero work experience will be moved on to the next stage.
Taking into consideration the UN recruitment guidelines, prior professional engagements are considered as “relevant” if your duties are closely linked to the “Responsibilities” outlined in the job opening you are applying for. That is exactly why the use of keywords from the corresponding section of the job opening are crucial in this part. This will help you in describing your past experiences in line with the position you are applying for, confirming that you have previously taken on similar duties to the ones successful candidates will be assigned. If you have been or still are employed by a UN agency/entity, this is the space to add these details. Some examples of what you can include in this field: Volunteering experience with the organization (not online, though), internships, and consultancies.
Note that work experience will be relevant to your application if it falls within a category from the “Field of Work” dropdown menu showing fields closely related to the exam area you are applying for.
As for the “Description of Duties and Achievements” field, the UN advises applicants to be precise and succinct when reporting prior experience. The best way to do so is by using short paragraphs or bullet points focused on describing the main duties and achievements in each role performed. Use the UN vocabulary from the job opening, especially from the “Responsibilities” section.
Remember that description of achievements can always be enhanced through being more specific and providing numbers where possible. Take a look at the example below:
In the case of results, which cannot be expressed in numbers, qualitative indicators can be introduced to show what was achieved.
A practical method to present your professional accomplishments on your curriculum is called P.A.R. Using this, the Problem (or challenge) you experienced at work should be presented, mentioning the Actions the individual took and, lastly, demonstrating the Results which these actions produced. This should take between two and three lines per position and focus on your individual part and performance, which will demonstrate self-confidence and make the candidate’s individual role clear. Presenting your professional experience in this manner is an excellent way of showing a candidate’s competencies in an effective way!
In this section of your UN Personal History Profile (UN YPP PHP), state all the languages you have knowledge of, including your mother tongue. Remember that since fluent knowledge of English and/or French is a basic application criterion for the UN YPP, it is crucial that you indicate your proficiency in at least one of these languages as “Fluent” in all four fields: reading, speaking, understanding, and writing—otherwise you will be considered unqualified and will be automatically filtered out by the platform.
List all other languages you know besides English and/or French, choosing from the levels “Basic”, “Confident”, or “Fluent” offered as options in the dropdown list provided. Knowledge of another UN official language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and/or Spanish) is an advantage.
Skills and Training
This section will ask you to list any training and/or learning activities that you have completed, whether related to the United Nations or not. This is the place for you to show off all of the differentials and skills which, along with your work experience, could make you stand out from the other candidates. Remember to save your progress as you fill out the fields.
This section will ask for details on:
- UN Training and Learning
This applies more commonly to current and former United Nations staff members. Indicate any UN courses you attended or UN training certificates obtained. If this does not apply to you, this part should be left blank.
- Non-UN Training
List any training and learning activities you completed that are not linked to the United Nations, such as online/short courses that do not fit into the “Education” section.
- Licenses, professional certificates or UN exams
Indicate any licenses or certificates obtained from recognized authorities (that are not part of the United Nations). If you have successfully passed any UN examination in the past, it must also be indicated here. Remember: use appropriate English translations or acronyms for certificates/ licenses that were issued in a non-English speaking country and could be written in other languages.
If you are the author of any publications—books, articles, journals, reports—this is the place to list them. Add the title and date of your publication as well as the journal/publisher. This step adds relevance to your application but is not a requirement.
This section is subdivided into “Cover Letter & Attachments”, “References”, “Last Questions”, and “Review ‘My Profile”. We will examine each one of these separately.
- Cover Letter & Attachments
In this section, you will find a designated space to write your cover letter. Note that this text should NOT be attached as a .pdf or .word document, but actually WRITTEN in the field. A good tip in order to get a better idea of your cover letter’s length is to write and revise it in a separate document on your computer and only afterwards copy and paste the text in the field.
To help you feel more secure and increase your chances of passing the Application stage, OpenIGO Network has developed an application review service, which is carried out by a native English proofreader and a PhD professor with extensive experience in the UN YPP PHP.
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You may be asked to attach relevant documents in the “Attachments” field. This depends on the job opening you are applying for and whether or not it requires special documents such as Academic Credentials, Work Certificates, or e-PASes (for UN staff).
Remember that in order for your UN YPP PHP to be considered, you must attach the following documents:
- Passport or a valid identification document issued by a state authority, showing your name, birth date and nationality, including a clear photograph
- Documentation of University degree(s) (e.g., diploma, transcript or similar official document), reflecting the main course of study selected. If you have any kind of disability, attach a medical certificate in this field as proof. CVs and resumés are not accepted in the application processes carried out through Inspira.
This part will ask you to provide contact details for 3 people who can supply details about your work/educational history and qualifications. Family members or personal friends should not be included as references. On the other hand, mentors, colleagues, supervisors, and professors are great choices of references to include in this field.
It is important to choose your references carefully and wisely. Select people who can give positive feedback about you and your performance. Make sure to add up-to-date contact information so that recruiters can easily get in touch with the people named.
Also, remember to contact the 3 people you have chosen to let them know that you are taking part in the UN YPP selection process and have appointed them as your references, so they are not caught off-guard if they get a call.
- Last Questions
In this section of the UN YPP Personal History Profile, there will be questions about previous misconduct and convictions. If you happen to mark “Yes” to any of these questions, further details and information will be requested of you.
Lastly, you must answer the question regarding the National Competitive Recruitment Examination (NCRE)1, the competitive examination for recruitment to the Professional category of staff members from other categories (G to P) and previous UN YPP examinations. If you, as a UN staff member or external applicant, have ever been successful in any of the aforementioned examinations, mark “Yes”.
- Review “My Profile”
Indicate your nationality at birth and, in case you have more than one that figures on the UN YPP list of invited Member States, enter the nationality you wish to be considered in the field “Country of Nationality”. If you completed your Inspira profile as you were guided to do in this chapter, these fields should already be filled out with the information you added to your profile.
Remember that you can only apply under one nationality. In case you have more than one, your decision as to which to use could give you an advantage in the selection process. If you take into consideration, for instance, which country (of those you are a national of) is underrepresented in the UN Secretariat or by the number of nationals applying for the program, you could improve your chances of qualifying in the exam. That is an important strategy, considering that out of the total number of applicants, only the best 60 per country in each area are invited to take the written exam.
Note that prospective nationality status and residency status can NOT qualify as your nationality for application to the UN YPP. You must prove your nationality by presenting a passport or national identity card. A driver’s license or birth certificate is not a valid form of ID for the UN YPP.
Lastly, give details on relatives, indicating whether or not you have family members employed by the UN Secretariat. Remember that if you are a child or sibling of a UN Secretariat staff member you are not eligible to take part in the UN YPP.
In this section, the system will give you an overview of your application and all the information you have submitted. Review and confirm that all the data provided by you in the previous sections of your UN Personal History Profile are accurate and up to date and only then click on “Submit Application”.
OpenIGO offers a complete Application Review of the UN Personal History Profile/Form (UN YPP PHP) for candidates applying for the program. You can find out more about this service at our online store. We can help you succeed in this competitive selection process!
Access the following link to know more about our UN YPP products: