What happens when you apply to serve where you're needed most?

By Lydia Jimenez
June 21, 2022

If you are interested in Peace Corps service, but can't or don’t want to choose a specific country and position, you can choose to go where you are needed most.

Applying to serve where needed most allows the Peace Corps to identify a program that matches your skills and interests to our current placement needs. Applicants who apply to serve where needed most are often matched to programs that receive fewer applications, and therefore have the highest need for qualified candidates.

When you submit an application to serve where needed most, a placement specialist will review your application and place you under consideration for an open program that aligns with your skills, language qualifications, geographic and sector preferences, and availability date. You will then receive information about your program and country of consideration, and be assigned a placement specialist. This person will serve as your point of contact throughout the application process.

Applicants are able to have one active application at a time. Once a program of consideration is identified, that will be your only program of consideration moving forward. You will not be considered for multiple programs simultaneously. If at any point during the application process you have changes to your preferences and availability date, communicate these to your placement specialist, who will do their best to identify an alternate program for your consideration.

Can I express my preferences?

When completing your application, you will have the opportunity to provide geographic and sector interests. You are encouraged to list all the sectors on your application that you are interested in and have experience with. The greater flexibility you demonstrate with your geographic and sector preferences, the greater chance the Peace Corps will be able to identify an appropriate program of consideration.

I found out my program of consideration! Do I have to submit an updated motivation statement and resume specific to the position?

Once you receive information about your program of consideration, you do not need to submit an updated motivation statement and resume. The motivation statement is used by the placement office to understand your general interest in Peace Corps service and you capacity for coping with the various challenges of service. However, at any time during the application process, if you gain additional volunteer and professional experience, you are encouraged to submit an updated resume.

Regardless of whether you apply to serve where needed most or directly to a Volunteer opening, your resume is an important piece of your application that will help the placement office identify a program that fits your skills and interests. Before applying for the Peace Corps, you are encouraged to connect with a recruiter who will work with you to your highlight relevant experience and skills on your resume.

Lydia Jimenez is an RPCV