A job seekers guide to the galaxy

Maybe you are an Engineer or a Drain Digger, perhaps you've worked for twenty years or two, possibly your career has taken you all over the world or just around your hometown. Whatever your experiences have been, there is one thing that is true to everyone, no matter the path you have walked - you have developed new skills with each new experience along your journey that increase your value...

... is "job hunting" one of the skills you practiced?

When you consider the importance of the activity you are now undertaking and quite possibly your lack of experience with the skills required to be successful - and indeed the consequences of failure - why wouldn't you take some time to understand the process, learn and practice the skills you're going to need?

Every job hunter new to the market brings different attributes, characteristics and values to the table - and every one of you faces different challenges. You may be indigenous to New Zealand and familiar with Kiwi culture and able to 'relate' to an interviewer on a cultural basis, but lacking in particular job skills. You might be a immigrant who has been here a few years and have learned a few skills to bridge the cultural gap, learned how to present yourself and your CV in the way that New Zealand employers expect, but have been working in jobs lower than your abilities and struggling to find an employer that values your skills and experience. Perhaps you are 'fresh off the boat' with an impressive work history from all around the world, having worked on projects much larger and more complex than anything New Zealand has to offer, but you struggle to understand Kiwi culture, or present yourself in a manner that will get you noticed amongst the crowd of applicants passing over the desk of every interviewer.

Your career is arguably the most significant choice you will make in life. It will determine in part your character, your status, your values and your wealth accumulation. You may buy and sell 10 houses in your lifetime, own 20 cars - maybe even marry two or three times, but if you're an Engineer at the start of your career, you are probably still going to be an Engineer at the end.

You may have studied for years to learn your craft, along with hundreds of others - but how much time did you take to learn how to beat the crowd when you are pursuing that job that can change your life or progress your career?

Your unique circumstances bought you to this point where you are looking for new employment, perhaps in a new land or a new city. Now that you are here, you would be wise to consider not only what you have to offer to new employers, but also what they expect. The first step in this is to prepare your CV to a template that is not only acceptable in the NZ marketplace, but also presents your skills and experience in the most noticeable format.

  • Focus on your most recent experience. Kiwi employers will look primarily at the last 3-4 years of your working history

  • Keep it clean, keep it brief. Although substance is important, employers aren't going to read an overly wordy CV at the first introduction. There will be time to introduce them to the depth of your knowledge and experience at interview stage, but now is the time to catch their attention. Use bullet points and short paragraphs to make an easy flowing document and try to keep it to 2-3 pages.

  • Are all your relevant details in there? Visa status? Drivers licences? Address? Yes, this is all important information and a consideration for employers. If you live in a city like Auckland, you will understand how location impacts on both employees and employers. If you're going to drive company cars, they will need to know your licence status for insurance purposes. Your visa status can impact on an employers decision for obvious reasons. If your application has all the information the employer needs readily available, this may at least expedite your application and at best move you closer to success

  • Check your grammar! Even if writing is not a required skill for the job, a well written and edited CV will show your attention to detail and commitment to your job

Remember - when a job is in high demand, employers and recruiters can often be approaching applications not with the mindset of finding a reason to give you the job, but often instead with the mind-set of finding a reason to not give you the job - so don't give them any!

Check the following links for a few tips:

NZ Immigration website​  A great resource for all kinds of employment tips

CareersNZ website          NZ Govt website to help you build a Cv

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