How to write an impressive CV for NZ

Your Curriculum Vitae - CV - or Résumé is one of your key tools for your successful job hunt.

Your CV reflects your professional attributes and strengths.

Your resume can open the door to your dream job.
However, if you are missing the point, or just don't get it 100 percent right, your chances of getting to the next round of the recruitment process and being invited for a job interview might be lost.
On average recruiters take less than 30 seconds to scan through a job application, before they move on to the next CV. You really need to nail your CV to get a chance for a closer look.
You need to put your best effort into getting your CV right.
Two things you should consider when writing your CV:
Average Viewing Time
  • On average, recruiters read your CV for less than 30 seconds before moving on to the next application
  • You need to catch their attention by ensuring you present information in a concise and interesting way
CV Scanning Software
(Applicant Tracking System, ATS)
  • This software scans your CV for keywords found in the job description
  • Your application is rated depending on how strong the match is and if your CV returns with a high rating, then the chances of a person reading your CV are good

Our Job Search Coach Jannie Allan shares her expert CV writing tips

Jannie says:

"In New Zealand your CV is a marketing tool, not a full work and educational history.
A successful CV will stand out and land you a job interview."

Customising your resume: The key to a writing a successful CV.

Keen to apply for that interesting role? Now you need to customise your CV.
It's worth spending time on your CV for a role where your skills and experience are a good fit.
Your CV should have information that will allow an employer to quickly see why you'd be a good fit for the advertised position.
Keeping in mind that most advertised positions attract numerous applicants, your CV will only stand out if its well considered, succinct and customised.

Jannie's top tips to ensure your CV is effective and ATS friendly:

  • Address keywords in your CV that reflect your knowledge of the role you are applying for. Do your research by reading through job adverts carefully and taking note of the terminology used
  • Appropriately labeling your sections will help avoid confusing the ATS. Use common headers like Experience or Skills rather than "what I'm good at" or "what do I do"
  • Skip the fancy graphics and text boxes and submit your CV in the required file format
  • Read the job description carefully to see which skills are mentioned, and if you've demonstrated these in a current or previous role it should be on your CV. You may need to rearrange sections to ensure that the most important information appears on the first page
  • Customise every CV and a good way to do this is to take a highlighter to everything that aligns with the job description. When deciding what to keep in and what to leave out, be guided by what matches the skills and experience required and focus on what the employer needs.

Further pointers:

  • Keep it brief (preferably 2 pages and no more than 3)
  • Don't emphasise qualifications not relevant to the position
  • Apply only for jobs where you can make a good match. The advert will usually specify 'essential' experience and then 'desirable' experience. If you are missing some of the essential requirements, then just move on to something else
  • Focus on your current role, or the most relevant to the one you are applying for and don't repeat information
  • Don't leave any unexplained gaps in employment

Jannie says:

" Remember that you can use the cover letter to bring in more of your personality and motivation for a particular position and company.
And don't forget to use spell check and ask someone else to read it over before you press send."

Article by Jannie Allen, Job Search Coach at NZIC

Read more about job searching in NZ:

Job Searching in NZ

Want access to 4x as many opportunities in NZ?

Job search is not just about CV's. New Zealand's job market is highly network based, and our Job Search Professionals know it inside and out.

Find out how we can help maximise your potential by completing our Free Assessment.
USA flag symbol

Anna was worth her weight in gold---she was fantastic at helping me format my CV and search for jobs that suited my skill set. In the end, I got a great job in a great city. Carsten and his team were very thorough and helpful when it came time to apply for and get our visas. They are now helping us with our resident visas, and I'm certain that the process will be the same. I'd recommend them highly.

KJ
USA
french flag image

The great work done before has surely helped to achieve this quick positive result. NZIC are really professional and know what to do when to do it and how to do it. That is so convenient and efficient! I’m still working with them for the next steps and would like to thank them again for their help and support.  Thank you.  Kind Regards.

FB
France
brazilian flag image

NZIC guided me all the way through getting my first work visa to permanent residency. Their job seeking support was key when I first arrived in NZ, communication was always easy and clear. I'm very thankful for their help and definitely recommend their services.

DO
Brazil
hong kong flag image

Dear Jannie, just want to drop a note to thank for your everything. Your help is much appreciated! You are a wonderful and professional job search coach! I am so lucky to have you supporting me!

MK
Hong Kong