Signing your P11 electronically

Are you also one of those people who jump from country to country often enough to find it completely unreasonable to bring a printer along? If you also want to apply for UN positions you will probably face a reoccurring problem – the forms that you need to fill out are restricted Word and PDF files. So, after spending hours filling out all the details about your work experience, languages, skills and nationalities – you get to the part where you need to sign.  Meaning that you’re supposed to print the pages, sign, somehow scan them and then merge them back into one horribly looking pdf before being able to send your application.

I get quite upset when electronic devices try to limit me, so I made sure to find an alternative way to this issue. Good thing is, it applies not only for UN recruitment forms but for all kinds of online or restricted forms that need to be printed, signed and scanned. And actually, it’s fairly simple.

I’m sharing this mainly because I wish somebody else had done it before me, and I hope it will help some stressed out soul to send the application in before deadline. So, if you use this method – and get the position, make sure to let me know! :)

Here it goes:

Getting your signature on file

Before being able to “sign” your document, you will need to have an image of your signature on a file. This requires a little bit of patience and Photoshop skills, but it will be a great investment as you will be able to use this signature every time you need to sign something on your computer.

1. Sign your name on a blank paper
2. Take a close-up photo of the signature with a digital camera set on macro-mode.
3. Upload the photo to your computer an open it in a photo editing program. (Photoshop)
4. Fix the image and erase the background so that it becomes transparent and only the signature is seen. (See this tutorial)
6. Save as .PNG

Signing a restricted form

The issue with restricted forms is that you usually can’t edit the place where the signature is suppose to be, meaning that you theoretically need to print them to be able to sign. Here’s the way to get around that issue:

1. Complete the form.
2. Save the page that needs to be signed as a PDF using either the built in function in Word 2010, or if you have an older version – install and use a free virtual PDF printer.
3. Save the rest of the pages as PDF separately.
4. Convert the page that needs to be signed from PDF to JPG using one of the many free online converters. (
5. Open a new Word document (Page size: Letter 8.5″ x 11″) and insert the image. Set image positioning as “tight” and drag it out all the way to the corners until it looks like the other pages in the form.
6. Choose “insert image” and add your signature file into the same document, set the positioning of the image as “in front of text” and place it where you would normally sign.
7. Save this one Word page as PDF, using either the built in function in Word 2010, or if you have an older version – install and use a free virtual PDF printer.
8. Merge the signed page with the rest of the pdf using one of the free online PDF-merging services (
9. Download and save your signed form.

And there you have it. Your P11 properly signed and saved without having to run around looking for printers and scanners.. Best of luck with your application!


  1. Hey gorgeous!! this is amazing!!! also consider the fact that you can fill out this online through the Overseas Human Resources Office and its system Galaxy!! check out on in this way you won’t need to have it with you and you just need to log in and apply from there to any post published within the system. However is always better to have the form ready with you, in case the post belongs to an organization out of the control of the OHRO XD We should talk and update!!! :d

  2. Thanks dear. I somehow only find positions outside of Galaxy.. probably because I’m trying to avoid that platform as I find it annoying. haha.. We should talk and update indeed – I want to know everything! Inbox me. Besito

  3. the 10 page UNP11 becomes huge- mine was 4 MB compared to the 512 KB limit.
    do u have any solutions please?

    1. Hi Vikram,

      first of all, when embedding the picture into the Word document, make sure that all image files are compressed before you save, there is an option to do that in the “picture tools” section in Word. If that’s not enough, do the same when saving as pdf and try saving in a lower resolution.

      Good luck!

  4. I have a website that requires the form to be attached in Word format. This is a great puzzle. How do they expect a Word document to be signed, when they have protected the entire form??

    1. Hi Rastogi. Haha, that is puzzling indeed. I guess the only way would be to 1. Attach the word document unsigned. 2. Attach the entire document with .jpg files. The reason they want it in word is probably to facilitate importing the data into the system. Can you attach two documents? Email the signed version with an explanation to the HR Officer where you are applying? Good luck and let me know how you solve this!

  5. I downloaded the P 11 form and i am so confused how to fill it, can i directly start editing the downloaded file ? or is there another way to fill it !!! please help me with it asp!! i am running out of time .

      1. How am i supposed to answer the questions such as marital status and Yes/ No questions which needed to be ticked inside a small box!! i am not being able to edit inside such tiny boxes .please suggest me some idea . And do i need to answer every question of the form? what shall i do if i don’t have not written any significant publication as asked in item 26 of P 11 form.please help me with it !! i really need to complete this form in few days!!

  6. In Soda PDF, you can directly insert the signature image, right-clicking on it, ‘send back’. Resize the image according to the signature line, and the signature looks as if it was manually signed on the paper.

  7. how to attach real signed page to p.11 form? I am having trouble adding signed page to p.11 form which is exactly 9 pages. How can I delete page 9 and replace it with the signed one?? Thank you all.

  8. Thankyou for the brilliant way to add the signature .
    However , i am not able to insert additional pages for work experience .
    If I attach them by merging files – how do i redo the page numbering?
    Please advise

  9. I cannot get my preferred field of work which is Securty field. Thats my preferred field of work.

  10. I have find an easy way to sign/ put signature in P11 application. You don’t have to print it, scan or… All you need to is to fill the P11 in word, convert to PDF and then use online PDF Buddy editor, . Upload your file, then sign (You can draw or upload picture) and then save on your computer. Be aware that U can use it for free only once, so make sure that U upload completely filled P11 application.
    Good luck!

    1. thank you Natasha. That’s was so easy. Regards and good luck to all signing the form.

  11. Googled “p11 United Nations signature” and didn’t think I’d actually find a link that leads me to exactly what I need!! Thank you!!

    And I got in, by the way! Cheers! :)

  12. The number of pages has got increased as the space provided can’t accommodate some of the answers. What to do? Are there any restrictions regarding this?

  13. I am running out of time. Please provide clear and reliable answers. The given p11 doc contained 8 pages and after editing now it stands at 9 pages. What to do? There is no way for me to reduce the number. Will my application be accepted? REPLY ASAP. it’s emergency.

  14. I have filled in P11 form bur same is not being uploaded. anyone can guide please.

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