Frequently asked questions

Resource date: 2015

My application

Can I submit an unsolicited application?

Unfortunately we are not able to consider unsolicited applications. Please watch the positions advertised on our site and apply for advertised vacancies for which you are suitable.

Do I have to apply through the e-recruitment site?

Yes, please do. Unless otherwise specified, for vacancies advertised on our site, UNFPA can only accept applications received via the e-Recruitment system.

Does it matter if I missed the closing date?

Unfortunately UNFPA is unable to accept any applications received after the closing date.

How many vacancies can I apply for?

You may apply for as many vacancies as you like. However, we recommend that you are selective and apply only for posts that match your qualifications and skills. Remember to tailor your application and to provide a unique motivational statement for each post.

Are there special restrictions on who can be employed by UNFPA?

We welcome applications from all countries and do not apply a geographic quota system. However, we try to make our staff composition reflect the vast diversity of the community we serve.

We also encourage women to apply to all vacancies and we are proud to have achieved gender balance.

UNFPA can’t hire persons over retirement age for staff positions. The UN retirement age is 60 years for staff who entered the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund on or before 31 December 1989, or 62 years for those who entered the Pension Fund after that date.

Can I create multiple online application logins?

Applicants should only create one login for themselves. In other words, you should register only once. Unfortunately, multiple application logins will not allow you to access information from previous applications.

Do I have to complete the application form in one session?

You can save the information you entered and return at a later time to finish your on-line application form by logging in and using your User Name and Password, which you created when you registered. Please click the ‘Submit’ button once your application is complete.

Can I change my application after I have submitted it for a job?

Yes. You can edit and resubmit your application as long as the job closing date has not passed. You can find your previously submitted application on the ‘My Applications’ page.

Do I have to complete a new application form every time I want to apply for a job in UNFPA?

You can use your existing application data. However, you should write a new motivational statement and fill in the application questionnaire for each new application. We recommend that you review your application and tailor it to the new post you are applying for.

How can I view my application status for the jobs I have applied for?

You can check your application status on the ‘View Application Status’ page after you have logged into the e-Recruit system.

When I make changes to my application data, are all of my previous applications updated automatically?

The application you submit to a vacancy remains with that particular vacancy and is not changed by subsequent changes you make to your data. Updating your Personal Information will apply to all of your applications. This allows you to keep your name, address, phone, email, marital status, and nationality information current.

Can I change my address after I save or submit an application?

After you have saved your application data, exit the application and then click the ‘Personal Information’ link. In the ‘Personal Information’ section you can change your address, e-mail, phone number, etc.

Do I have to pay an application, processing, interviewing or training fee?

UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web. 

E-Recruit system

What is the e-Recruit system?

UNFPA has established an electronic application management system called ‘e-Recruit’. This allows applicants to create a candidate profile, which can be updated regularly and submitted to more than one advertised vacancy.

What should I do if I encounter the message “This page is no longer available”; if the processing pinwheel in the top right corner of the page will not stop spinning; if I am presented with an usual login page; or if I am otherwise unable to continue entering my information into an active job application?

These issues are web browser-related. Please update your browser to the most current version, clear all browser cache, and continue the application process. Applicants have also found success by switching from Mozilla FireFox to Internet Explorer. If you are already using Internet Explorer, please consider taking the following steps.

Note that these steps will reset your personal browser configuration settings.

  1. Navigate to Tools > Internet Options and delete all cached temporary internet files and cookies.
  2. Click the Advanced tab and then click ‘Restore advanced settings’.
  3. Click the ‘Apply’ button.
  4. Click the ‘Reset...’ button under the ‘Reset Internet Explorer settings’ section of the Advanced tab.
  5. Continue through the process and delete all personal settings.
  6. Close all Internet Explorer Browser windows and then launch a new window to continue your application.

Can I apply for the local posts in the country offices through the UNFPA eRecruit system?

Currently, only some local posts are advertised in the UNFPA e-Recruit system. Vacancies for local positions will specify the means by which candidates should apply.

How can I change my password?

Select the ‘Change Password’ option from the ‘Personal Information’ link after you have logged in to the system.

My password to the online application is not working. What should I do?

Our passwords are case sensitive. Therefore, we suggest that you copy/paste your password in the appropriate box or type your password accordingly. You may request a new password by clicking on the ‘Forgot User Name or Password?’ link.

I have clicked on the ‘Forgot User Name or Password?’ link but I have not received a temporary password.

Check the specific email account that you used when creating your profile. The transmission time can vary depending on the email provider, the amount of email traffic, and other conditions. Please be patient and wait to see if you receive it. If not, please contact us.

I got a message from eRecruit system when I tried to apply for jobs. ”You are not authorized to access the component. (40, 20)”

The most likely cause for this error is to have another Atlas (or PeopleSoft) application open at the same time. Therefore, please make sure that you have signed out of all Atlas (or PeopleSoft) applications and have closed the browser(s) and clear the browser cache before attempting to access our eRecruit site again.

Entering data into the system

Which sections of the “Complete Application” page do I need to fill in?

We encourage you to complete all sections and to be as thorough as possible. In particular when describing your work history it is important to use the “key duties and achievements” box to give a brief description of your duties in your current and each of your previous jobs. Incomplete applications with missing information may not be considered. Please also note that required information is identified with an asterisk -‘*’.

If I copy and paste information from a Word document to the online application’s text fields, will my formatting remain?

Any formatting, such as bullets and/or underlining will be omitted.

Why are some fields highlighted in red when I attempt to save or submit my application?

Red fields have been highlighted by the system as missing information. Please complete your application by filling in the missing information and clicking ‘Save’ or ‘Submit’ again. Your application will not be saved and information could be lost if you do not provide the missing information and ‘Save’ or ‘Submit’.

How do I select dates from the calendar in the online application?

Dates can be selected in two ways. First, you can enter the date based on the day/month/year format in the appropriate section. Second, you can select the date by clicking on the calendar icon, where you must choose the year first, then the month, and then the day.

Am I required to provide multiple personal phone numbers?

You are welcome to provide multiple phone numbers. However, a single phone number is all that is required.

What if I get a message “Invalid value – press the prompt button or hyperlink for a list of valid values” when I am trying to enter a value in a field on my language code?

First, clear the value in the language code field. Second, use the magnifying glass to find and select a valid value for the language code.

Does present nationality refer to the acquired nationalities other than my birth nationality?

Yes, indicate other nationalities/citizenships you have acquired under the ‘Present Nationality’ section.

What order should I use to enter my work experience into the system?

It does not matter the order in which each of your work experiences are entered. The system will chronologically sort your work experiences for review by the recruiting team.

How do I show that I am still employed in my latest job?

You can leave the ‘End Date’ blank on your current job.

Is the phone number under work experience my supervisor’s phone number?

Yes. Provide your supervisor’s phone number if available. If not, provide the company’s or organization’s phone number.

Can I attach relevant articles that I wrote or published?

Please note that it is not possible to upload files to the application. However, you can provide articles and publications by indicating your publications’ webpage link in the publication textbox.

How many references should I include in my application?

You should include at least one and no more than three references in your application.

Recruitment process 

How do I know that my application has been received?

After you submit your application, the system will automatically send a confirmation of receipt to the email address you have entered in your candidate profile. If you do not enter a valid email address, the system will not be able to confirm receipt of your application. Be aware of spam filters that might block or re-route the confirmation email. You may also check that your application status says ‘Applied’ on the My Applications page at any time.

How long does the selection process last?

The selection process normally lasts between 2 to 6 months.

Will I be informed of the status of my application?

For applications made via the e-Recruitment system, the system will acknowledge safe receipt of your application. Only candidates who are short-listed will subsequently be contacted (normally 4 to 6 weeks after the closing date of the vacancy announcement). Due to the large volume of applications received, UNFPA regrets it is unable to contact all other applicants personally. You can determine the status of your application at any time by logging into the e-Recruit system and navigating to the ‘My Applications’ page. In the grid on the ‘My Applications’ page you will notice ‘Recruiting Status’ and ‘Application Status’ fields next to each job opening for which you have started an application, as follows:

Recruiting Status - The recruiting status lets you know where we are in the recruiting process.

Open - The system is still accepting applications to the position. You may submit a new application or edit and re-submit an existing application while the status is ‘Open’.

Closed - The job advertisement deadline has passed. New applications are not being accepted. Changes to existing applications are also not permitted.
Candidates Notified - Candidates have been contacted for interview or additional screening. If you have not been contacted by the recruiting team, then unfortunately you have not been shortlisted for interview.

Filled - Someone has been hired, the position has been filled, or the position is no longer available.

Application Status - The application status tells you the status of your application.

Not Applied - Your application has been started, but it has not been submitted.

Applied - Your application has been submitted. You may edit and re-submit your application up until the closing date of the job opening.

How can I find out about the outcome of the recruitment process?

Candidates who participate in the evaluation process (testing or interview) will be notified by UNFPA about whether or not they are finally selected for a position.


Are there special restrictions on who can be employed by UNFPA?

We welcome applications from all countries and do not apply a quota system for geographical distribution. However, we try to make the composition of our staff reflective of the vast diversity of the community we serve. We also encourage women to apply to all vacancies and we are proud to have achieved gender balance. UNFPA is not able to hire persons over retirement age for staff positions. The UN retirement age is 60 years for staff who entered the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund on or before 31 December 1989, or 62 years for those who entered the Pension Fund after that date.

What is the difference between a family and non-family duty station?

UNFPA has two types of duty stations: family and non-family. In a family duty station, an internationally-recruited staff member is allowed to have his/her family residing with him/her at the duty station. In the case of a non-family duty station, the family of an internationally recruited staff member is not permitted to reside there due to the prevailing security situation. Additional benefits are provided to a staff member to compensate for having to establish two separate households to enable the family to live outside the duty station in a safe location.

How does a position with UNFPA fit within the UN System?

The United Nations common system consists of the UN Secretariat, the UN’s programmes and funds, and specialized agencies. Related to the United Nations through special agreements, the specialized agencies coordinate their work with the UN but are separate, autonomous organizations. When you work for UNFPA, you are working for a UN fund. UNFPA is a signatory to an inter-organization agreement intended to facilitate mobility which allows transfers, secondments, and loans of staff between different organizations in the UN Common System.

What is the difference between a rotational and a non-rotational post?

UNFPA conducts an annual rotation exercise which involves the managed geographic rotation of those staff who encumber a rotational post from one UNFPA duty station to another. The length of the tour of duty in a particular duty station for a staff member in a rotational post depends on the conditions within the duty station and ranges from 2 to 5 years. Staff who occupy nonrotation posts are not included in the rotation exercise and remain in the same duty station. The vacancy announcement for a post indicates if the post is rotational or non-rotational.

Comments or concerns? Please contact us at

We use cookies and other identifiers to help improve your online experience. By using our website you agree to this. To learn more, including how to change your settings, see our cookie policy