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How To Get a Job in New Zealand

New Zealand welcomes new migrants with valuable skills and qualifications, however searching for employment will be a challenge. It is important to be realistic and understand that you may not be able to find your 'dream job' straight away. 

Do's and Don'ts

It is never easy searching for a job from overseas. Here is a summary of the do's and don'ts for overseas jobseekers in the New Zealand employment market place. 


  • Visit the various New Zealand job websites BEFORE deciding to emigrate to familiarise yourself with the job opportunities in your field.
  • Check eligibility and, where possible, apply for your permanent residence visas. Very important. Prospective employers will ask about your immigration status and having your residence visas (or at least being knowledgable about the application process) will remove barriers and make you more "marketable" in the New Zealand employment market place.
  • Start applying for advertised job vacancies from OVERSEAS, but only 1 to 12 weeks before a possible start date or a visit to New Zealand.
  • Send a "cold" letter of application and C.V. to EVERY potential employer and recruitment agent in the region of New Zealand you intend settling in to let them know that you are available. Use to locate details.
  • Prepare your C.V. in the New Zealand style and write a short but clear covering letter indicating your visa status..
  • Provide a New Zealand postal address and New Zealand mobile phone/email address in your C.V. where possible.
  • Tell employers you are available for skype webcam or face-to-face interviews. 
  • Make a positive impression in the interview, be flexible and have copies of your residence visas and references available for employers to sight.


  • Apply for job vacancies OR visit New Zealand for job interviews more than 1 - 12 weeks away from a possible start date. Employers may not be interested.
  • Expect everything to work like home. Be flexible and willing to fit in with local ways of doing things.
  • Expect the same salary or more than you had overseas. The cost of living and income tax rates are lower in New Zealand than some other western developed nations, so look at your NET INCOME not the gross amount.
  • Expect a job at the same level or higher than you had overseas. You may lack New Zealand local knowledge and may need to take a step back in order to advance later. Wait one year.
  • Expect a job offer in the first week. On average, it can take local resident New Zealanders 1 – 8 weeks or longer to find a new job.
  • "Over negotiate" the contract with your first employer. Be flexible and understand that employment law and contract terms may be different in New Zealand.

Job Search Sites


A web-based employment service provided by New Zealand Chambers of Commerce aimed at connecting job seekers with employers. There is a facility for uploading your CV / Resume, as well as useful related information and links. See




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