Three mistakes that will make you wait in the U.N. mission roster forever

I participated several times on the selection of candidates who would be deployed to a peacekeeping operation as a UNPOL member (Individual Police Officer). Our panel - comprising three, sometimes four veteran police officers - should analyse the EASP that the candidates provided us and select those who would come to mission.
They were already SAAT/AMS approved candidates, and we should select among them who would come to mission, according to the skill-sets we needed. As we didn’t have vacancies for everybody, we should choose the best ones in despite of others.

One very interesting fact I noticed is there were some candidates who were always in this “roster” list, but they were never selected, and I would like to explain today why this happens. This is particular important for countries that have lots of SAAT approved candidates waiting for deployment or rotation. Check the common errors list our team created based in our field experience, and be sure you will not make them:

Mistake #1: Candidate did everything in Police Service, which means: nothing!

The first kind of profile that will remain in the “roster” forever and ever is the police officer that did everything in police, but didn’t specialise in any area. For example: in the EASP we read that the candidate spent 1 year patrolling, then 1 year in investigation, then 2 years in the human resources office, then… then… then…. (You got the idea).

figure 1: A “multi task” police officer is not the ideal profile
Put yourself in our situation: if we need one investigator in our mission, we would rather select one specialist who spent 10 years in investigation, than a more experienced police officer (for example with 20 years of service) but who spent only 2 or 3 years as an investigator.
This profile will remain in the roster. A peacekeeping mission does not need generic police officers.

Mistake #2: Wrong skill-set. Candidate didn’t do the actual work.

This is a not so serious mistake, but it can also diminish your chance of being recruited. Some candidates state that they have “10 years of patrolling/investigation experience”, and when we interview them we find out that they were, actually, the chief or the manager of that unit. He/she didn’t do any patrolling/investigation at all, but his/her job was to manage police officers, budget, vacation plan, etc. in a patrolling/investigation unit.

If you are a chief of anything, the correlated skillset is Administration, you are a manager, not a patrol officer, not an investigator! (at least to U.N.)
And this is not bad at all; it is actually very good because every single mission needs experienced managers and chiefs with solid management skills.
What will happen if you make this mistake? Your profile will be sent by N.Y. to field missions that need field officers, instead of missions that need administrators (or vice versa). And until U.N. figures this out, you can lose a deployment opportunity!

Mistake #3: Candidate summarizes everything!

Imagine that you are a very experienced police officer, the one that a peacekeeping mission is in need of, let’s say a shooting instructor. You teach in the Police Academy the use of lethal and non-lethal (less than lethal) equipment, you have solid background on crowd control and you participated with success in several demonstrations back in your country. You are able to use and teach how to use a Taser gun, rubber bullets and so on. And then in your EASP you write only: shooting instructor, 4 years
Come on! How do you want the panel to find out that you have experience with non-lethal weapons! Again, put yourself in the recruiters’ place: Sometimes they have a small time frame to select the best suitable candidates.

Imagine in this particular situation (mental exercise), that the peacekeeping mission needs a Taser expert to teach the host country Police how to use it. You have two candidates with following EASP:

• Candidate #1: shooting instructor, 4 years.
• Candidate #2: shooting instructor, 2 years. Specialist in crowd control, rubber bullets and Taser.

Be very honest. Who would you chose? So put everything in your EASP with details. Don’t be lazy!

That's it for today. Our team really hopes this tips can help you or anyone of your friends. Did you like it? Share, comment! Your participation is very important for us.

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