expat network

Finding A Job In New Zealand

Whether you are planning to work in New Zealand for a few years or emigrate permanently you will need to find a job and understand your visa options.  Finding a job in New Zealand is similar to anywhere else in the world but we set out some of the issues you will face so you can plan your move.

In order to work in New Zealand you will need a visa and you can find more details in our article Visa Options for New Zealand.


How can I find a role in New Zealand?

Before you apply for a visa you should do your research to find what industries and sectors are important in New Zealand and where they are located.  You should also undertand what is involved in finding a job in New Zealand and which regions have industries and sectors that are likely to require your skills and experience.  The Careers New Zealand web pages provide useful advice for migrants.

You can look at vacancies advertised online on job vacancy and recruitment websites as well as on social media outlets, especially LinkedIn and you can approach recruitment agencies to see the sort of roles available.  The majority of roles are filled by networking and where possible you should use industry contacts and others to find opportunities in New Zealand.

If you are in a position to do so, a holiday in New Zealand gives the opportunity to get a better feel for the lifestyle and allows you to set up appointments to see potential employers.  You will need to ensure that you set up the appointments well in advance.  Another option is to set up phone or Skype calls to explore the opportunities likely to be available.

You can also sign up with Immigration New Zealand to receive emails from Immigration New Zealand notifying you of relevant job opportunities and practical advice.


Will my skills and qualifications be recognised in New Zealand?

You will need to establish whether your skills and qualifications are recognised in New Zealand.  You can get your qualifications assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). They will tell how your qualification fits into New Zealand levels. You can then pass this information on to potential employers.  If you do not have the qualification at the level you need, having identified what qualifications are recognised, you can take a course to gain qualifications recognised in New Zealand before you leave the UK.  There are services like GB Construction Training, which are specifically set up to assist in gaining the necessary qualifications to enable you to move to New Zealand.  You can also contact industry bodies in your sector in New Zealand to find out whether your skills are in demand.

If your skills are not recognised another option is to take a role at a slightly lower level and then acquire the qualifications in New Zealand to progress with your career.

You will also need to establish whether there is a shortage for your skills in New Zealand.  If there is a shortage of workers in a job, it will be included on the skill shortage list, which means that the Government is actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in these jobs.   You can use the skills shortage list checker to see whether your skills are in demand.  There is , however, no guarantee that a vacancy will be available when you are looking for a job.

Certain jobs in New Zealand require some form of official registration and it is important to contact the appropriate registration authority to establish whether you meet their requirements and begin the registration process early.  You may need to provide evidence of your occupational registration when you submit a visa application.  New Zealand Immigration has a list of those occupations where registration is required.


Considerations when applying for a job in New Zealand

When applying for roles in New Zealand you need to ensure your CV and covering letter are appropriate for the task.  CVs in New Zealand tend not to list every job, but to provide evidence of your skills by giving examples of issues you have faced and how you have used your skills in the past.  You should also consider giving a bit more information about your past employers as they may be less familiar in New Zealand.

Interviews in New Zealand tend to less formal than in many countries.  It is as always important to research your employer and to be able to relate your experience to the challenges and opportunities faced by the company.  New Zealand Immigration provide useful advice on succeeding in job interviews.