Develop a New Zealand-style CV

New Zealand employers like short, easy to read curriculum vitae (CVs). This may be different from the style you are used to.

Most employers will quickly scan your CV to decide if it is worth reading in more detail. So it needs to make a good impression quickly.

What to include in your CV

CV and cover letter

New Zealand employers only want to see relevant information on your CV. They do not need a list of every job or course you have ever done.

Employers are most interested in your:

  • technical and personal skills
  • work experience
  • qualifications and education
  • community and volunteer experience.

They also like to see some evidence of how you have applied your skills.

It is best to only include relevant details of your skills and experience and to give brief examples of how you have used your skills in the past.

Skills employers are looking for | careers.govt.nz

Previous employers

Local employers may not be familiar with the organisations you have worked for overseas. It helps if you include a short description of organisations you list on your CV, like:

  • the number of employees
  • the location
  • a website link so they can get more information if they need it.

The careers.govt.nz website has tips on how to write a CV for New Zealand employers.

How to write a CV | careers.govt.nz

Make a good impression

It is important to make a good impression of yourself as a potential employee, but not to appear too boastful about your achievements.

Many people make the mistake of writing a CV and using it for every job application. New Zealand employers expect you to adjust your CV to suit each job so that it highlights the skills that are relevant to the job.

People suggested that my CV was not what New Zealand employers would look at. Where I come from we prepare a CV in a different way: we give all our experience right from day one. Here, nobody likes to read a story!

Cover letters

Most New Zealand employers expect a cover letter with your CV when you apply for a job. A cover letter is a ‘sales pitch’ about why you think you are ideal for the job.

Your cover letter should:

  • briefly introduce yourself
  • outline your main relevant skills and experience
  • make an argument for why you are the right person for the specific job.

Just like your CV, it should focus on details that are relevant to the job you are applying for and it should be brief – no longer than 1 page.

Use a formal and persuasive style when writing a cover letter. It is a good idea to have a generic letter that you can adjust to match the job description you are applying for.

How to write a cover letter | careers.govt.nz

Your qualifications

Remember to bring your qualifications with you to New Zealand. If you are sending them in with an application, send a copy. Keep the originals safe and get copies made and certified. If you are in New Zealand, a Justice of the Peace (JP) can certify them.

Find a JP | Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices' Associations

Helpful resources

The careers.govt.nz website has many resources that can help you to make a New Zealand-style CV and cover letter. There is material to help you:

  • understand the parts of a CV
  • learn how to put transferable skills on your CV
  • learn how to write a cover letter
  • fill in job application forms.

CV and cover letter templates | careers.govt.nz

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Page last updated: 07/09/2020

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