Preparing the P-11

Along with a cover letter and an achievement orientated résumé, all applications for a UNDP position will require that you complete a Personal History Form (P11 for UNDP).

The following are some tips and advice for preparing your P-11.


Be sure to spell out acronyms and abbreviations that are not universally recognised. UNICEF or UNESCO would be fine, but DRA is not clear. At first usage, spell out Directorate of Rural Affairs (DRA), then use it subsequently.


Include complete mailing information: apartment number, postal codes, etc.

Avoid the following terms

  •   'I..., 'I was...: subject is assumed to be you.

  •   'Responsible for...', 'Primary responsibilities included'...: these are wasted words. Say what you did, as distinct from that for which you were responsible.

  •   'While serving as [Position X], I...': this can be inferred from the data above. It is redundant. Delete it.

  •   Using 'etc.' is considered imprecise. It is better to say precisely what you mean, and, if necessary, demonstrate using one or two clear examples, thus avoiding the need for 'etc.' Note on style: Never use 'etc.' in combination with 'for example' or '.e.g.'

Verb Tense/Parallel structure

Avoid mixing verb tenses (scheduling, attendance, liaise). Use simple, present for current assignment (schedule, attend, liaise)and simple past (scheduled, attended, liaised) for previous assignments."


Add email address, if possible, if the position was held within the past five years or so.


Omit spelling out periods of unemployment; that is, do not create a separate entry for time between jobs.

Reason for Leaving

Keep it short and keep it positive, e.g. 'Promotion', 'End of mission', 'Recalled to duty station', 'Temporary assignment,' 'Degree programme', 'Family obligations', 'Pursue different career options'. 'NA' if you still hold the job. Do not spell out your new assignment, e.g. 'Transferred to Division X', as this data is already on the form.


Do not:
1) Repeat the names of supervisors listed under Employment;
2) Include family members or partners.

Instead, list referees who can discuss your character and qualifications. Examples might include colleagues or clients from other international organizations, NGO counterparts, suppliers, university professors, school teachers or community members.


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Similar Jobs? Short Assignments?

If you had different contracts, but did a similar job with the same employer over, e.g., two different mandates or took on additional work for a short period, do not create separate entries. Reflect this in a blended entry.


Proofread again and again since there is no Spellchecker in the P.11. As such, draft in Word (or similar), check your spelling there and only then copy and paste onto your P11.


Multiple courses, e.g., UNITAR courses? Batch them. The same would apply for IT trainings.

Saving your Work

Be sure to SAVE EARLY AND SAVE OFTEN so you do not run the risk of losing your work.


Keep a PDF version of your P11 on your desktop, on a USB key or on hard disk just in case.


Updating the P.11 is a process. You should update every time you move to a new job. If you are in the job market, you should update it with each application submitted. You may also want to keep multiple, specialised versions, say one for Personnel and one for General Administration. Again, make sure to edit for each vacancy announcement