HOW TO LAND THAT FIRST JOB WHEN LANDING IN NEW ZEALAND

MARISKA CARLSON-SMIT

Thousands of migrants choose to make New Zealand their home every year. But regardless of the reasons they emigrated to New Zealand in the first place, one thing remains common throughout: finding a job.

Many migrants are fortunate to have already landed a job in New Zealand before they arrive. In fact, that’s why many people decide to move overseas in the first place. However, it’s also common for immigrants to arrive in New Zealand with no job to go to, and there aren’t many things more daunting than trying to find a job in a foreign country.

Fortunately, there is help. Firstly, do your research. Find out what the major industries and sectors are in New Zealand, and which ones need skilled people. Then, find out about professions, job titles, salary expectations, job opportunities, and entry and qualification requirements to find a job in New Zealand – the Careers New Zealand Jobs Database is a great place to start.

It’s important to note that jobs and titles in your home country might be different to what they’re called here.

While you might not find a role that has the same job title as your previous one, you will be able to find other or similar roles that could be suitable based on your experience, skills and qualifications. Make sure you do your homework around salary expectations too, including currency exchange, cost of living and industry differences between countries. Secondly, unless you have New Zealand citizenship, you will need a visa to legally work in New Zealand.

Most migrants need a job offer to get a work visa, however if you qualify for permanent residence, a working holiday visa or a partner visa it is possible to get a visa before you find a job. While it’s common and acceptable for migrants to look for jobs before they have a visa, you won’t be able to start working – and most importantly, earning – until your visa has been approved. While some employers may help you with your visa application, it is important to note that most recruitment agencies will not, including Velocity.

Thirdly, update your CV for the New Zealand employment market. Your CV should be 2-3 pages long and only include your key employment, skills and qualifications highlights.

It is not normal practice to include a photo of yourself in a CV, so take that out. Make sure that your job titles and descriptions are relevant for the New Zealand market. Not all job titles are created equal, so find out what your previous job title is equivalent to in New Zealand. Remember: your CV not only needs to look impressive, it also needs to look relevant to the New Zealand market.

Fourthly, start looking for jobs. Recruitment agencies are a great place to start because they help you find suitable work based on your specific skillset, plus many jobs that are on offer through a recruitment agency aren’t advertised anywhere else. Seek and Trademe are popular local job websites, and New Zealand Immigration has a lot of useful tools around finding work too, including links to employment websites for specific skilled industries.

Finally, when you’re called up for an interview, carry out as much research as you can about your prospective employer and the role you’re going for. In some cities and countries around the world it’s possible to find work within an hour! That is not normally the case in New Zealand. The employment market here is very competitive, so it’s important that you make a great first impression!