For those at the beginning of your career, finding your first aid and development experience can be challenging. Volunteering positions is a good solution – however, not all of you can contribute many hours per week volunteering, not to mention the difficulty to support projects that matter to you wherever the project location. Well, you don’t have to look too far away! The United Nations offer a service that could help you kick start your career, or add another experience that could take your career path to the next level.
Since 2005, the UNV Online Volunteering Service platform is proposing volunteering opportunities to individuals interested in strengthening peace and development efforts. Using this platform is definitely a win-win situation both for the organizations and the volunteers:
Step 1 – Browse volunteering opportunities on their platform.
Several search modes are available such as by language (English, French, and Spanish), by country and geographical area, as well as the project type. Many posts are for report translation, web design, and donor sourcing or setting a communication campaign.
Step 2 – Send your application.
When you have found a volunteering opportunity that matches your skills, you would need to register, fill in an application form, and upload your CV. You should keep in mind that as with any application, the sooner you apply, the more likely you are to be selected.
Explaining your motivation is key for a successful application. As such, we recommend that you pay special attention to the ‘motivation section’ given that no cover letter will be sent to the organization. That being said, these questions are standard which would not be too difficult to answer:
[Source: United Nations Online Volunteers website].
Also, remember that your answers are limited to 500 characters each so avoid doing a copy-paste of an old cover letter! Do not hesitate to use bullet points to shorten your answers.
You can always look at our career advice to get more tips on how to prepare successful applications for aid and development post.
When you support the UN through their volunteering platform, you are not only making a difference in the world, you become part of a growing community of thousands of volunteers around the world with 12,000 more volunteers participating each year.
While our job board lists a selection of UN positions, we encourage you to visit UNV Online platform: it contains lots of information about volunteering and the Millenial Development Goals and who knows… the gateway to your first experience in the aid and development sector!