Getting job-ready

A little planning and preparation will save a lot of time, frustration and stress in your job hunt.

Here are some steps to help you plan if you want to work in New Zealand.

Research New Zealand industries

Find out which industries are big employers in the region you would like to work in. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has a useful tool.

Then do some research into New Zealand industries and sectors. Find out which ones are the main industries here and which ones need skilled people. Our 'Job market and key industries' page will give you a good overview.

Regional economic activity web tool | MBIE

Job market and key industries

Find out what New Zealand employers like

New Zealand employers look for certain qualities when interviewing people for a job. It helps if you know what New Zealand employers look for so you can understand how to present yourself in the best way.

Skills employers are looking for |

Find job possibilities and requirements

You can use the jobs database to search for specific job titles or professions. It also has information about pay, job opportunities and entry and qualification requirements in New Zealand. If there is no role exactly like the one you want, then this site can also help you find other areas of work where your skills and experience may fit. 

If you are coming to New Zealand as the partner of someone with a skilled migrant or work visa, and you want to try something new, the jobs database can give you interesting job possibilities to explore.

Job profiles |

How to get ideas for your career |

Start your job search

Our Job websites and recruitment companies page has a list of the main job websites used in New Zealand. It is a good place to start your search.

To find a job, you need a strategy. This is the starting point for the Job Seeker Online Course. Complete this free online course to gain insights into preparing yourself for the New Zealand workforce.

Job websites and recruitment companies

Job Seeker Online Course | New Kiwis

Finding work (01:28)

Finding work

Giselle Abrianos – For me find a job here in NZ was not so hard because I start to look for job when I was in Brazil. So first I started to check if the same position that I had in Brazil I could have here. So I already had some idea which companies I could work. So the company I am working now it was one company that I discovered when I was there.

Dominique O’Callaghan - I arrived on a Thursday night, had my first two interviews on a Friday morning, uhm, had my second interviews on a Wednesday and got offered the job on a Wednesday afternoon. 

Diego Abrianos - attending the workshops provided by ARMS it just kind of opened doors for me. Ah… I was able to find another organization that was called Omega and another called Chamber of Commerce. And combining the help I received from those three major organisations I was able to review my CV to improve my CV to the local standard and then after more six weeks I guess, I was able to get a job or to get a proposal to sign to get the job.

Lindsey Crummett – My brother-in-law’s best friend worked at Weta - remembered he said he would talk to Richard for me – and it just seemed so easy that I was able to set up a meeting and meet Richard Taylor, and it was, it actually blew my mind how quickly it happened, I was able to show him a sculpture I had done and I was blown away by how friendly and warm he was.


Research potential employers

Once you have found one or more potential jobs, you will want to get some background information about the employers, like:

  • what sort of work they do
  • what they specialise in
  • how big they are
  • who they compete with
  • what clients and customers they have.

You will find that employers expect you to have this sort of general industry knowledge.

Although New Zealand companies tend to be small  most will have a website where you can find information on them, so do some searching online.

Start your search with Immigration New Zealand’s list of accredited employers (accredited means they frequently employ migrants). It has web addresses for over 450 businesses.

Accredited Employers List | Immigration New Zealand

Allow enough time and money

Some jobs require you to be registered in New Zealand or to have your overseas qualifications assessed and recognised. This takes time. Then your immigration application needs to be processed.

Gathering all the documents you need and getting things approved will be time consuming and may take weeks. And of course there will be costs, for example, gaining registration can sometimes be expensive. Remember to budget for them.

Make sure you allow enough time and money for all this when you are planning your move here. 

Qualifications and occupational registration

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

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Page last updated: 13/10/2020

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