How to write a more effective job posting (2): Use meaningful words.

The title of the posting is the first piece of information a job seeker sees and has the potential to catch the candidate’s eye. Data shows that job seekers only spend 47 seconds scanning one page of search results.

So, start engaging candidates from the moment they see your posting by choosing a job title that’s accurate and relevant to your ideal prospects. Doing so will improve your response rate and ultimately your candidate results. 

When naming a job…

Be Clear and Concise

While catchy titles can help garner attention, don’t choose something so abstract that your positions are hard to find via search. Think of what terms your ideal candidate would use to describe the position and try to include those.

By placing keywords in your job titles, you can help expand your candidate reach by increasing the posting’s ranking in search engine results.

Use an Appealing but Appropriate Job Title

Choosing words your potential candidate would use doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use plain terms. Rely on compelling descriptors to add interest to your job title. Just make sure it truthfully represents the scope of the position.

Identify Special Skills or Niche Positions

If the position requires a particular type of industry experience or if the posting is for a niche position, clarify that in the job title.

Use Shortcuts When Appropriate

Some job titles are often referenced by their acronym (like RN or LPN). In those cases, make sure to use the abbreviation in addition to the full length version. When it comes to internal abbreviations like, plan on leaving those out. Candidates will almost never type those references when searching for a part-time job. Use the correct spelling to optimize your search engine visibility.

Avoid Keyword Overload

While keywords are great for effectively writing job titles, it can be easy to get carried away. Avoid adding too many keywords in a job title. Keep the length around five words or less.

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Describing accurately the role…  

So far, you’ve captured the job seeker’s initial interest with an appealing job title. Now, it’s time to work on a just-as-captivating job description to get them to apply. Use this section to provide a snapshot of what the open position entails, so job seekers can better decide whether or not they’re qualified.

An effective job description typically contains two components: the position summary and daily responsibilities. Both sections should be written succinctly by only choosing the most significant information to highlight.

Try to keep the summary as concise as possible

The position summary is typically written in paragraph form and gives job seekers a general idea of how the role functions.  Stuffing too much information into one paragraph will only confuse the job seeker.

Quick advice: Always use the word “you” as opposed to “the incumbent, the person, or the candidate.” Doing so allows your prospects to actually envision themselves performing the job–a strong tool for encouraging candidates to apply.

List Job Responsibilities

When listing the position’s key responsibilities, choose the 5-7 most relevant responsibilities to highlight. Use bullet points for listing daily tasks, so you can order them according to importance or relevance.

Quick advice: Action words work best when describing responsibilities as opposed to simply listing the tasks. 

Highlight the Essential Skills

Using bullet points makes it easy for job seekers to quickly scan and assess their eligibility. When listing skills and requirements, start with the most desired and end with those that are “preferred, but not required.”

 

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How to write a more effective job posting (1)

Lately, we have faced that some job postings outperform others and this is not directly related with the job itself. Even some times, the position announces is the same, for example for consultancy projects under the framework contracts for Europeaid, but the audience is not attracted with the same effectiveness.

So, what is happening?

From the conversations with different experts and potential employees, we have come to the conclusion that how the job is presented is the key for attracting the right talent. Every decision a company make–from naming a job title to choosing keywords–can affect a candidate’s perception and ultimately their decision to apply.

In order to standout in the highly competitive talent marketplace, we want to share with you some recommendations. Stay tuned!

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1: Essentials in Job Posting

Posting a job accurately requires different pieces of information, each one of them is important for communication with the right candidates and together give the idea of how the person would be related with the company. Let’s break into 6 parts a standard job posting:

  1. Job Title: When a job seeker first conducts a job search, this is the initial thing he or she will see. It should be eye catching to the right person, but not obscure enough that he or she can’t find it via a search.
  2. Company Description: Job seekers rely on this information to decide if it fits with their work style. It should also give candidates a clue as to what kind of people they will be working with.
  3. Job Responsibilities: This should essentially be a snapshot of what your open position will entail. Include the key responsibilities, qualifications, tasks and skills your job requires.
  4. Length of the contract: Some candidates may be interested in joining a company but others are more focused on providing services in assignments. The candidate is interested to know whether you are posting a permanent position or a fixed-term contract, especially important in recruiting externals of the company is to describe the length of the contract in terms of years, months or even days.
  5. Call to Action: Every job posting should include a strong statement that entices the reader to take action such as “Apply now,” “Send your resume to” or “Contact”.
  6. Channels: To improve your search engine visibility, weave a few SEO best practices within your posting. Custom url structure and keyword rich content can help you reach more candidates searching from sites like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Otherwise publishing the job position in the accurate platforms, as Inttal, could bring you some potential candidates.

And remember: 2015 data shows that job seekers spend an average of a minute and a half reviewing a job before either applying or moving to the next job posting!

 

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United Nations Careers (4). Staff categories: the National Professional Officers (NO) and Field Services.

The United Nations workforce is made up of different categories of staff. Within each category there are different levels, which reflect increasing levels of responsibilities and requirements.

Is not to forget that at the United Nations the progress in a category is done through merit and qualifications. There are, however, restrictions on movement between the different categories.

The information in this publication and the following ones will help you decide in which staff category, and at what level, you fit in. This will be useful when you start searching and applying for jobs.

To continue with the previous, let’s check the National Professional Officers (NO) and Field Services.

National Professional Officers are normally locally recruited and perform functions at the professional level. The qualifications for National Professional Officers are the same as for the Professional category and require as a minimum a first-level university degree. Jobs for National Professional Officers can only be found in non-headquarters duty stations.

National Professional Officers are nationals of the country in which they are serving and their functions must have a national context, i.e. functions that require national experience or knowledge of the national language, culture, institutions, and systems. Examples of these positions include human rights officers, political affairs officers, legal officers, medical officers, child protection officers, humanitarian affairs officers, interpreters and civil engineers.

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There are five levels of National Professional Officers, A through E. The higher the level, the more responsibilities the job requires and the more work experience is necessary.

  • A minimum 1 to 2 years of work experience
  • B minimum 2 to 3 years of work experience
  • C minimum 5 years of work experience
  • D minimum 7 years of work experience
  • E over 7 years of work experience

Staff in the Field Service category are normally recruited internationally to serve in field missions. You are expected to be highly mobile and to serve in different locations during your career.

Field Service staff members provide administrative, technical, logistics and other support services to United Nations field missions. You are required to have as a minimum a High School diploma or equivalent; some positions may require a technical or vocational certificate.

There are four levels of the field service category: FS-4 through FS-7. As you acquire more relevant work experience you can progressively apply for higher positions.

Mid-level Field Service Senior level Field Service
FS-4 minimum 6 years work experience FS-6* minimum 10 years work experience
FS-5 minimum 8 years work experience FS-7* minimum 12 years work experience

* The minimum number of years of relevant experience is reduced for candidates who possess a first-level university degree; for FS-6 a minimum of 5 years of experience is needed and for FS-7 a minimum of 7 years of experience is needed.

Information extracted of the UN Careers webpage. https://careers.un.org

 

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United Nations Careers (3). Staff categories: General Service and related categories (G, TC, S, PIA, LT).

The United Nations workforce is made up of different categories of staff. Within each category there are different levels, which reflect increasing levels of responsibilities and requirements.

Is not to forget that at the United Nations the progress in a category is done through merit and qualifications. There are, however, restrictions on movement between the different categories.

The information in this publication and the following ones will help you decide in which staff category, and at what level, you fit in. This will be useful when you start searching and applying for jobs.

To continue with the previous, let’s check the General Service and related categories (G, TC, S, PIA, LT)and Field Service

The functions in the General Service and related categories include administrative, secretarial and clerical support as well as specialized technical functions such as printing, security and buildings maintenance. There are jobs in all the eight job networks: management and operations support; economic and social development; political, peace and security; information systems and communication technology; legal; public information and external relations; conference management; and safety and security.

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The work carried out by General Service staff supports the functioning of the Organization and is typically procedural, operational or technical in nature. The work in these categories ranges from routine duties to varied and complex assignments. The knowledge of the subject matter and higher-level skills are generally developed through long experience and familiarity with applicable procedures, regulations and precedents or projects of the Organization in a narrow technical field or in an administrative support activity. The higher the level of the job, the more complex the functions become along with higher levels of responsibility.

Staff in the General Service and related categories are generally recruited locally from the area in which the particular office is located but could be of any nationality. As a result, such staff members are usually not expected to move between different duty stations.

At the Organization’s Headquarters in New York, jobs such as drivers, electricians, building management and printing staff fall under the related category called Trades and Crafts (TC). Similarly, Security Officer jobs in New York are advertised as a separate category called Security (S), and tour guides in New York as Public Information Assistants (PIA). Another related category is the Language Teachers (LT), for which positions can be found only in New York and Geneva. In all other duty stations these jobs are included, and listed, under General Service.

Currently, the following General Service Tests are administered in the UN Secretariat (some of them in New York only):

 

What qualifications do I need to work in the General Service and related categories?

The following requirements have to be met to be considered for General Service jobs:

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Minimum age of 18 years.
  • Required number of years of work experience relevant to the job and its level, as specified in the job opening.
  • Language requirements depending on the job and the location of the office. Most jobs require fluency in one of the two working languages, English or French.
  • There might be additional requirements which are listed in the specific job opening. Always check to make sure you meet the minimum requirements for the job for which you are applying.
  • Pass the Global General Services Test (GGST) and any specialised test required for specific functions. The test is taken at the duty station in the locality where you wish to apply. For more information on the test, please refer to the GGST section on this page. You may also contact the United Nations offices in New York (email: ggst@un.org), Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Santiago, Bangkok, Beirut, Addis Ababa, Arusha or The Hague, or contact your nearest United Nations Information Centre or United Nations Development Programme office.

What work experience do I need?

Your work experience should be relevant to the job for which you are applying and each job may also have specific requirements, which are specified in the job opening. For mid-career and senior level positions, progressively responsible work experience is required. As you acquire more relevant work experience you can apply for higher level positions.

You can move from the General Service and related categories to the professional category only by passing a special competitive examination subject to certain conditions.

Global General Service Test (GGST)

The GGST is an important initiative in the process of General Service staff selection. Launched in July 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters, the GGST will soon be introduced to other offices away from Headquarters. Available initially in English, the GGST will also be available in French and Spanish depending on the language requirements of the position.

The GGST is a computer-based invigilated/proctored test, which assesses the competencies identified as core to the functions of General Service staff, e.g., communication and planning and organizing, through work-relevant scenarios and tasks.

The three sections of the GGST are: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning and Situational Judgment. The Verbal Reasoning Section tests candidates’ ability to work effectively with written communication. The Numerical Reasoning section tests candidates’ ability to work effectively with numerical data. The Situational Judgment section tests candidates’ ability to work effectively in line with the core United Nations values and competencies.

Applicants interested in working for the United Nations in the General Services category, must first apply for a vacant position advertised on the this website. Once your application has been reviewed and if you meet the requirements, you will be invited to participate in the Global General Services Test (GGST) at the duty station to which you have applied.

Language teachers’ competitive examination

Language teachers for the United Nations six official languages are recruited locally through a competitive examination. There are language teacher jobs only at the New York Headquarters and in the United Nations Office at Geneva. The competitive exams are held when there is a requirement for such positions and are posted in the Language Competitive Examinations section.

Applicants have to meet the following requirements to be eligible to take the examination:

  • Advanced university degree (Masters) in language teaching, applied linguistics or a related field.
  • Minimum of five years’ experience in teaching the language as a second or foreign language to adults, preferably in a professional setting.
  • The language you wish to teach is your main language and you are fluent in English and/or French.
  • Experience in using multimedia and web-based tools to teach the language.

Competitive Examination for Statistical Assistants and Accounting Assistants

Candidates applying for jobs as a Statistical Assistant or Accounting Assistant must pass both a competitive exam in the specialised field as well as the GGST. The competitive exams are held when there is a requirement for such positions and are posted on the UN Careers website. For these positions, passing both the specialised competitive examination and the GGST are a requirement.

Security Officers Test

Candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible for consideration for a job as entry-level Security Officer:

  • Between the ages of 22 and 35 years at the time of application.
  • A high School diploma.
  • Excellent physical condition.
  • At least two years’ experience with a civilian police force or three years in a military police force. Candidates holding a degree in criminal justice with a minimum of 18 months’ experience in the security field will also be considered.
  • Pass the United Nations Security Officer Test. The tests are held when there is a requirement for such positions at the duty station in the locality where you wish to apply. For more information on the test and where to take it, please contact the Organization’s offices in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Santiago, Bangkok, Beirut, Addis Ababa, Arusha or The Hague, or contact your nearest United Nations Information Centre or United Nations Development Programme office.

 

Information extracted of the UN Careers webpage. https://careers.un.org

 

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United Nations Careers (2). Staff categories: Professional and higher categories (P and D).

The United Nations workforce is made up of different categories of staff. Within each category
there are different levels, which reflect increasing levels of responsibilities and requirements.

Is not to forget that at the United Nations the progress in a category is done through merit and
qualifications. There are, however, restrictions on movement between the different categories.

The information in this publication and the following ones will help you decide in which staff
category, and at what level, you fit in. This will be useful when you start searching and applying
for jobs.

To start, let’s check the Professional and higher categories (P and D).

Staff members in the Professional and higher categories (P and D) are normally internationally
recruited and are expected to serve at different duty stations throughout their career with the
Organization. Openings for professional jobs can be found at all duty stations across the global
United Nations Secretariat.

What education do I need?

Normally, it is required that you have an advanced university degree for the professional and
director level positions. It is, however, frequently accepted that if you have a first­level
university degree, combined with qualifying work experience, you meet the educational requirements.

Positions in certain job families, including military, civilian police, medical, conference
services may have different standards for the minimum educational requirements, which are
accordingly reflected in their respective job openings. Positions from job families that require
specialized studies, e.g. Medical Doctors, require an advanced university degree, which cannot be
substituted by a combination of a first­level university degree and experience. Positions in some
other areas, mainly language positions, might require only a first­level university degree for the
minimum educational requirements.

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What work experience do I need?

Your work experience should be relevant to the job for which you are applying; each job may also
have specific requirements, which are specified in the opening. For mid­career and senior level
positions, progressively responsible work experience is required. As you acquire more relevant work
experience you can progressively apply for higher positions.
Entry level professionals Mid­level professionals
Senior level professionals

P­ minimum 2 years of P­
2 work experience 4

minimum 7 years of work experience

P­6/D­1 minimum 15 years of work experience

No experience is required if applying to the young professionals programme

P­ minimum 5 years of P­
3 work experience 5

minimum 10 years of work experience

P­7/D­2 more than 15 years of work experience
What are the language requirements?

There are six official languages at the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English,
French, Russian and Spanish. Two of these, English and French, are the working languages. To work
for the United Nations you need to have excellent command of either English or French. Knowledge of
an additional language is an asset but is not required for most jobs.

If there are additional language requirements, as may be the case for some language positions, they
are specified in the respective job openings.

What kind of jobs are there in the Professional and higher categories?

There is a wide range of jobs in the eight job networks: management and operations support;
economic and social development; political, peace and security; information systems and
communication technology; legal; public information and external relations; conference management;
and safety and security. You can learn more about the different jobs in the section on job
networks.

What is the nature of the work in the Professional and higher categories?

Work in the Professional category generally demands a high degree of analytical and communication
skills, substantive expertise and/or managerial leadership ability.

Typically, these positions require judgment in analyzing and evaluating problems as well as in
decision­making involving discretionary choices between alternative courses of action. They also
require the understanding of an organized body of theoretical knowledge at a level equivalent to
that represented by a university degree. While this knowledge is customarily and characteristically
acquired through formal education, it may, in some fields of learning or specialized disciplines,
be acquired through other training, self­study, or practical experience.

What do the jobs at the senior professional level entail?

Directors (D­1 and D­2 levels) represent the highest level on the career staffing structure of the
Organization. As a Director you manage a programme of the Organization. You are also expected to
provide leadership in formulating and implementing the substantive work
programme of an office, determine priorities, and allocate resources for the completion of
outputs and their timely delivery.

Senior professionals hired for positions at the P­6 and P­7 level typically work as
senior advisers or experts, bringing several years of analytical and research experience to the
United Nations.

Information extracted of the UN Careers webpage. https://careers.un.org

 

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