Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between professional posts and general service posts?

Applicants for positions at the Professional (P) and Director (D) category are required to have a university degree, as well as several years of experience at the national and/or international level in a relevant field of expertise. Professional posts are limited to a maximum of 7 years. For P5-level posts the maximum period of service is five years; for Directors (D1/D2) the maximum is four years. Applicants for positions in the General Service (GS) category are required to have completed secondary education, supplementary courses related to the functions of the position and the commensurate number of years of relevant working experience. General Service staff contracts may be issued on a one or two year basis following a satisfactory performance appraisal and are not limited in the total number of years of service.

What is the difference between contracted and seconded posts?

Contracted staff members and mission members are directly employed by the OSCE and are paid by the OSCE. Seconded employees are pre-selected and nominated by their respective participating State. They receive a Board and Lodging Allowance (BLA) from the OSCE Field Operation and may receive additional benefits from their seconding State; however, this is subject to national policies and regulations. Please note that no BLA is paid by the OSCE for seconded posts in the Secretariat and the Institutions.

What types of employment does the OSCE offer?

The various types of employment are listed under Types of Employment.

Does the OSCE provide internship opportunities? How do I apply to become an intern?

The OSCE offers a limited number of places for interns under the age of 30 that are filled subject to the current needs and facilities of various Departments. Internships usually last between two to six months and do not constitute a commitment to future employment with the OSCE.

To apply for an internship in the OSCE please go to the list of contracted vacancies where you will find current internship vacancy notices for which you can apply using online application system

What is the age limit for applying for posts?

For contracted positions at the general service, professional and director level, the mandatory retirement age in the OSCE is 65. The maximum age at the time of appointment is 63. For seconded positions, including the posts of Head of Mission and Deputy Head of Mission, and other officials appointed by the Chairman-in-Office or the Ministerial Council, there is no age limit.

Can I submit a CV or resume?

All candidates must submit an OSCE application form through the Taleo platform (). All candidates are strongly advised to complete the online application.

If I am successful in my application for a post with an OSCE mission, can I take my family?

From time to time, due to the nature of our business, some of our missions may be categorized as “hazardous” or “non-family missions.” This means that family members may not accompany an appointed staff/mission member. This is reviewed on a yearly basis.

What benefits will I receive if my application is successful?

The salary for a given post is indicated at the end of each vacancy notice. However, the benefits and entitlements will depend on your status, the location of the post and the current rates. If you are offered a post with the OSCE, your recruiter will be happy to discuss this in detail after your appointment.

Can I work for the OSCE on a short-term position or consultancy?

From time to time and on an ad-hoc basis the OSCE requires temporary assistance or the services of experts and consultants. Vacancy notices for specific consultancies or for the roster of consultants are advertised under “contracted posts”.

Should I send copies of my degrees and diplomas with my application?

You should not send copies of diplomas, degrees or certificates, nor should you send reference letters with your application. You are required to provide the contact details of three references and contact details for previous supervisors in the OSCE application form. If you are invited to an interview you will be asked to supply copies of your degrees and diplomas. The OSCE will conduct reference checks based on the information supplied.

Should I send a photograph with my application?

Candidates should not submit a photograph with their application.

If I am invited to an interview will the OSCE pay the travel costs?

Most interviews are conducted online with exception of senior management levels or other key roles. If you are invited to an interview for a professional contracted post the OSCE will reimburse the costs of the most economic form of travel. For general service posts, no interview costs are reimbursed.

If I successful with my application, what kind of training is provided?

The OSCE runs an extensive General Orientation programme (the “GO”) for new staff/mission members . Local induction courses are also run in our Institutions and Field Operations. In addition to this, the OSCE offers a range of internal and external training opportunities to support both programmatic and administrative activities.

If I live in a country which is not an OSCE participating State, am I eligible to apply for an OSCE position?

Vacancies are open for competition only amongst nationals of its 57 participating States ( OSCE Partners for Co-operation ( also nominate candidates for seconded posts at S1 and S2 level. Consultancy positions, also known as Special Service Agreements (SSAs) are open for application by citizens of non-participating States.

If a family member of mine works for the OSCE, can I still apply for a position myself?

An appointment or assignment shall not be granted to a person who is the father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister of an OSCE official, except for an appointment or assignment to an institution or mission, which is different to from that of the OSCE official. OSCE officials closely related to another shall not be assigned to serve in a post in which they directly supervise and are supervised by their relative, partner or spouse.

In my online recruitment profile I still have some posts for which the status shows “active application”. At what stage of the process is this status updated?

Your status will remain “active” until the recruitment process has been completed and the chosen candidate has accepted the post.

Will I be notified if I have been long-listed for a position?

Your status will remain “active” until the recruitment process has been completed and the chosen candidate has accepted the post.

How long does the recruitment process take?

Your status will remain “active” until the recruitment process has been completed and the chosen candidate has accepted the post.

If I send the OSCE a completed application form with a general interest in employment, will you contact me if something suitable comes up?

Due to the large amount of applications received (over 10,000 per year in Vienna alone) we are not in a position to review your generic application on an individual basis. You should apply directly for a specific vacancy which suits your qualifications and experience using the online recruitment procedure. A recruitment professional will review your application against the requirements of the post for which you applied.

Does the OSCE accept applications from candidates with disabilities?

Candidates with disabilities are welcome to apply for OSCE positions. To ensure that candidates would not be put at any risk should they be given a post, candidates are asked to declare in the application form any disabilities or health conditions that would affect their ability to carrying out the assignment, limit the ability to undertake field work if required, or pose a threat to the health of others.

Whom should I contact for recruitment-related questions?

In case of any recruitment related question, please feel free to contact the relevant email address below and remember to quote the vacancy notice number and job title in the subject line to:

  • for all vacancies at the Secretariat, as well as professional- level (P) and seconded (S) vacancies in field operations;
  • for all vacancies at ODIHR; or
  • for all vacancies at HCNM.
Important: Applicants are strongly advised not to wait until the last minute to submit their application since heavy internet traffic or other dysfunctions could lead to difficulties in submission. The Organization shall not be held responsible for such difficulties and applications which are incomplete or submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Please ensure that the contact details (telephone numbers, email addresses) that you provide on your application form are up-to-date.

Whom should I contact if I encounter any problems while using the online application system?

If you encounter any problems while using online application system, the issue may be internet browser-related. Please use Google Chrome browser and delete temporary internet files and cookies. If problem persists, please contact with detailed information on the issue you are experiencing and provide screen shots

Do you have any tips or resources on how to apply for OSCE positions?

The OSCE’s Webinar Outreach Programme ( features monthly interactive presentations to offer guidance on interview and application preparation strategies that potential applicants would benefit from.

Where can I see a summary of the recruitment steps?

You can visit our infographics page containing Recruitment in 10 Steps for international contracted and international seconded positions. These resources are available in English and Russian. Visit this site for more information.

Relevant links for reference:

Can I receive notifications about my jobs?

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If you send a Recruiter Campaign from your account, the Social Sourcing system will automatically star the jobs you selected for that message. Therefore, you will be alerted immediately of any activity happening on those jobs.