Searching for a new employment in New Zealand is never easy. To find a good work or the right career job as a new migrant you often have to face many issues specific to this country. In our latest article we focused on NZ work experience and reference checks as the two main things being the most different than in other countries. However, there are many other factors to consider that are important for your success in securing your dream job in New Zealand. There are few differences between applying for jobs requiring certain level of qualification and basic manual labour jobs. Here we will focus on the first jobs category that is jobs requiring some level of qualification and work experience.

Tip #1 – New Zealand specific format and content of your CV or Resume

In most countries it is recommended that your CV should be between 1 and 2 pages long. It should be brief, information summarized into points and presented clearly. However, this is not exactly what’s considered an ideal CV in New Zealand. Most HR professionals will tell you that an effective CV that can secure you a job interview and help you to be successful in your search for work should be at least 4 pages long. It’s not unheard of CVs that are 6 or 8 pages long.

Also the CV format in New Zealand is different than in most other countries. An ideal CV is still divided into standard sections like personal details, qualification, work experience, employment history, skills and so on. However, the content is not in form of bullet points but rather as short essays. The result then is that instead of 2 pages you end up having 6 or more pages of Resume. The question is whether someone even reads it considering hundreds of job applications for certain positions. It’s hard to tell, but the truth is that CVs are generally much longer in New Zealand then in the rest of the world.

Tip #2 – Personalized Cover Letters

Another very important thing every migrant to New Zealand searching for a new job should not take lightly is writing a proper cover letter. It is not only a formality. In New Zealand it can mean the difference between getting an interview or not. The other important thing is that companies and their hiring managers expect to receive a personalized Cover Letter letter with every application for employment.

It may be very time consuming writing a new cover letter if you are submitting tens or even hundreds of job applications. You may consider to create a template and just adjust few words or paragraphs for each job application, however, make sure that the final cover letter doesn’t sound like a standard template. If it does then you won’t even get an invitation for interview, not mentioning securing your new dream career job.

Tip #3 – Posting your CV or Resume online

In some countries job seekers will post their CV or Resume online and then wait for companies to contact them. Well, not in New Zealand, this doesn’t work here. The major job search websites allow you to post your Resume or create an online version of your CV by filling pre-defaulted fields, but in reality no company and no personal agency bothers to look for these online CVs. Don’t ask why, that’s just the way it is in New Zealand. Even for jobs that are in shortage and there is a high demand for them, the NZ companies and personal agencies just sit back and wait for job seekers to show their initiative. You may still want to fill out or submit couple of such on-line Resumes, but don’t expect to get too much success out of it.

Tip #4 – Use of Personal Agencies

We don’t want to generalize or be unfair to some worthy personal agencies, however, it can be comfortably said that New Zealand personal agencies are quite difficult to deal and work with and that’s aspecially true if you are a new migrant. They have tendencies to ignore people, not returning phone calls of emails. You may apply for 20 different jobs with one agency and never hear from them. This is especially truth if you are a new migrant searching for your first employment in New Zealand. If you have been in the country for some time, they consider you a bit more worthy and sometimes even call you out of their own initiative.

There is one more important thing to know about New Zealand personal agencies. They are not only competing for candidates or between themselves, they are also trying to portray themselves bigger than they really are. The result is that many advertised jobs simply do not exist. They publish it in order to create an illusion how many job listings they have and how popular they are among companies looking for job applicants. It is very unfair to job seekers letting them work hard on preparing lengthy customized cover letters and CVs only to apply for a virtual, non-existent jobs. But that’s a reality and you should be aware of it.

Many companies in New Zealand that offer employment opportunities are advertising their jobs directly. The biggest jobs website in New Zealand is There are couple of smaller ones, but this one is basically the biggest and the most important one, used both by personal agencies and companies directly. If you find an interesting job posting listed by personal agency, try to keep looking, because there is a big chance that the same job is also posted directly by original company. Often the same job is posted by a company itself and then by several different personal agencies who search the same website as you and re-post jobs under their names, sometimes with the original advertisers permission, sometimes even without.

Why would you want to submit your application for employment through an agency and relay on their mercy to forward or not to forward your Resume to the company when you can apply directly. Also, some companies may prefer to interview direct job seekers first and then only if they cannot find a suitable applicant, will continue interviewing those applicants searching for work via agency. They can save substantial commission fees paid to personal agencies if they do it that way.

The conclusion is that if you are a new migrant then in your search for an employment and dream career job in New Zealand you can still apply for those jobs posted by agencies. But don’t rise your hopes to high to get much of a response from them. Also, when submitting job application to these agencies you may slightly lower your standard for the Cover Letter, don’t spend too much time working on its personalization. These agencies are rarely interested in your Cover Letter. In most cases if they are not marketing them selves or creating illusions about their popularity, they are most likely just to be fishing for people’s Resumes to fill their own databases.

Posted on: September 13, 2013
Categories: Articles

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