Swiss JPO positions – Frequently asked questions

#1 – I have a solid professional background and am looking to work for a multilateral organisation. Why should I apply for a junior position (JPOJunior Professional Officer )?

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  • At the UN and in international financial institutions (IFI), professionals with less than 5 years’ experience are called juniors. Nevertheless, JPO positions are attractive and challenging, and require a good level of expertise.
  • At the end of the 2 or 3-year JPO programme, a JPO is meant to apply for a P-3 level UN staff position, requiring at least 5 years’ work experience.
  • In the case of IFI, the same logic applies. At the end of the 2- or 3-year JPO programme, a JPO is meant to shift to an international staff position at the GF level. The management of a practice group cannot justify hiring you at this level if you don’t have enough work experience. 


#2 – I would like to acquire some work experience abroad, but then I intend to settle in Switzerland. Are Junior Professional Officer (JPOJunior Professional Officer ) positions for me?

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  • No. Only consider JPO positions if you really want to start a long-term career with the UN or an international financial institution. 
  • Please note that particularly UN professionals aren’t stationed for long periods in a single country. Relocation is frequent, thus flexibility is highly required.


#3 – As a Junior Professional Officer (JPOJunior Professional Officer ), who is my employer? The Swiss government or the multilateral organisation I work with?

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  • Your employer is the UN organisation or the IFI you work with. 
  • You become a staff member of the organisation and you report to the organisation only.
  • Your personnel costs are billed to the Swiss Confederation, hence your position is subsidised by the Confederation. This is your only official link to the Swiss government.


#4 – Does a Junior Professional Officer (JPOJunior Professional Officer ) position guarantee a long-lasting career in multilateral organisations?

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  • There is no guarantee but JPO positions are one of the best springboards into the UN or an IFI. 
  • JPO positions offer ideal conditions to gain relevant work experience, to expand your network and to build a reputation. 
  • These are key ingredients for career success in the multilateral system.


#5 – How many candidates am I competing against when I apply for a Junior Professional Officer (JPOJunior Professional Officer ) position?

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  • Since JPO positions are open to Swiss nationals only, the number of candidates is limited. 
  • It varies between a few to more than 70, depending on the position. 
  • Chances of getting the job are significantly higher in comparison with equivalent Young Professional Programmes of multilateral organisations, where the competition is worldwide.


#6 – Can I apply for different Junior Professional Officer (JPOJunior Professional Officer ) positions at the same time?

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  • It is in the nature of the job market of international cooperation that you need to work on several career options at a time. 
  • You can be recommended for several JPO selection processes simultaneously, without reducing your chances of getting the jobs. 
  • Make sure that you tailor each application to the respective job. It is not the number of applications but their quality that makes the difference.


All you need to know

Current vacancies

6 open positions at the moment.

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