Working in New Zealand

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Finding a Job

Bear with me, this is a work in progress and may take some time, so I will reference bits with 'more to come'. I copied big chunks from the Canada Wiki and edited to suit, as it seems very similar etiquette applies to job hunting in Canada.

Finding a job in New Zealand may not always be as easy as you think, especially when that all important Catch22 situation of requiring 'Kiwi Experience' raises its ugly head. New Zealand also has some 'quirky' ways in the job world, which can easily alienate new arrivals. The large majority of jobs are not advertised and generally Kiwi companies prefer to employ people they know and trust. Word of mouth is the key; networking and getting to know people is the way they prefer to work.

  • Find out what you need to do to get your qualifications recognised in New Zealand.
  • Turn your overseas CV into a Kiwi style CV (will expand on this later).
  • If you have varied experience, create two or three different tailored versions of your resume, each emphasising different skills.

Look at samples of NZ CVs, (they tend to be much longer and 'flowery' than UK CVs) so that you can get an idea of what a New Zealand resume looks like.

Use the NZIS Labour Shortages list to find out the regions of New Zealand that most need people in your occupation.

Identify the sorts of companies that need people in your occupation. Where possible, find names of individual people within companies.

You should spend most of your efforts identifying companies that may need your services. Yellow Pages is very useful. Do not focus on recruitment agencies. Yes, if your occupation is in hot demand in New Zealand, recruitment agencies may be able to help you, but as before Kiwi companies aren't quite as up to speed on the Agency bandwagon as the UK and companies would prefer not to have to pay someone to find them employees. By all means check out recruitment agencies in your job hunting mix. But be sure to communicate directly with potential employers as well. If your occupation is not in huge demand, you can contact a couple of recruitment agencies, but the vast majority of your efforts should be directed towards directly contacting potential employers.

Mail hard copies of your CV, with a covering letter, to selected employers. Make sure to use the opportunity of a good covering letter, to draw attention to a couple of ways in which your qualifications and experience are a particularly good fit for that particular company. I'm sorry but a standard two lines of please find enclosed my CV will have little effect. You need to sell yourself in the initial opening letter.

It is recommended that you do not use e-mail for your initial communication with a potential employer. It is alright to send your CV by e-mail if you've already been in telephone or personal contact with an employer and been invited to submit your details. Make sure the employer is expecting your e-mail, otherwise your e-mail will just be one of dozens of e-mails that the employer receives every day, that clutter his/her inbox, and that are a nuisance to him/her.

Allow a suitable time of a week or more for the CV to arrive in the mail and another week for this to be read. Things do not happen quickly here, major decisions on recruiting and hiring staff have been known to take several months. Don't be surprised to receive interest in your CV many months after you have settled and got yourself a shiny new job.

After an initial period of about two weeks (longer if sending mail from overseas), phone the prospective employers to whom you sent your CVs. Remembering of course that you sent it to an individual person and not some anonymous 'HR Dept'

Yes, you read the previous statement correctly. It is expected that you should phone prospective employer. Rarely will you be invited to attend an interview based solely on the fabulous content of your CV, they like to talk and suss you out first.

Yes, we know that cold calling may not come naturally to you at first. But if you confine your job hunting efforts to e-mailing potential employers from the UK, it's unlikely that you'll get anywhere.

Phoning prospective employers

Here's the funny thing and I think it's related to 'tall poppy syndrome' and being too big for your boots, it's fine to cold call and chat about jobs, ask if they know anyone who is recruiting or looking for a 'doofer whatsit engineer' BUT DO NOT ASK FOR A JOB ....!!

You have to become one of their mates and since they've had a very nice friendly chat with you and you haven't asked them FOR anything or asked them to DO anything, they will be fine, a friend for life. LOL!

  • Say you're planning to move to New Zealand, and you're just researching the employment scene.
  • Make it sound as if you're picking the person's brain for ideas of how you might find a job.
  • Don't come on too strongly.
  • Don't start the conversation by asking for a job.
  • Ask them what kinds of qualifications and experience they seek in their companies.

Try to find out, in a casual accidental tone, if they have any vacancies for which you would be suitable. If they say they don't have vacancies, ask them for names of companies that need people like you (and, if possible, names of individuals within those companies).

Employment Agencies

Will add later


Watch this space


Major Employers Websites

External Links

1. Yellow Pages

More to come