Networking in New Zealand

Building a professional network in a foreign country can be challenging. However, migrant job seekers can benefit substantially from it. Watch the following video to learn more about the importance of networking and how to do it successfully in New Zealand:


The 'Hidden Job Market:

As 97% of New Zealand businesses are small organisations, employers and employees are often in close contact.

This is why when hiring, 4 out of 5 employers, prefer to do so through their social network — looking for people they can trust.

If you are considering moving to New Zealand or if you have just arrived, creating your network of contacts or even knowing where to start can be a daunting process.

Anna Fyfe, a Job Search Coach with many years of experience in working with migrant job seekers, is confident that the best way to begin is to reach out to employers, employees and recruiters in your industry, and ask them to have an informal chat over a coffee. 

This might seem odd for international job seekers, but in New Zealand, is quite common. 

Reaching out and networking doesn’t mean you should ask for a job straight away.

The objective is to show your interest in their industry, asking what the challenges and opportunities are and how you might fit in, given your expertise. 

In Anna’s experience, when looking for a job in New Zealand, most people are reluctant to reach out to new and unfamiliar contacts and build their local network.

It usually takes a real switch in mindset to commence the networking process. 

You might have to do things differently to the way you’ve done them previously and in your home country.

Anna encourages job seekers to write well prepared and personalised emails and LinkedIn messages to people who might be able to offer you advice about your industry. 

Remember that you are approaching a different culture to what you may be used to:

  • New Zealand culture is relatively informal;
  • Hierarchy is not very important here;
  • New Zealand has few degrees of separation (e.g. running into the Prime Minister isn’t that difficult here);
  • And, most importantly, a message from a stranger is not likely to be viewed with suspicion and might be answered. 


Anna’s tips for connecting successfully in NZ: 

  • Keep it reasonably informall - we don’t tend to use titles, and prefer a first-name basis, even when we don’t know someone. We don’t call generally call people ‘Sir’ or “Madam”, and rather than feel respected, your NZ listener (or reader) may feel awkward.
  • Maintain a bit of humility - job seeking is, of course, about showing off your skills and achievements, but New Zealanders tend to be put off if this is done explicitly. We can be a bit reserved in this respect.
  • Recognise that most New Zealanders are generally indirect communicators, most requests will be delivered in a very roundabout way, rather than directly. 


We highly recommend that you read Anna's very insightful full article on this topic:  "You want me to do what?!".

Read more Job Search FAQ's:

Search in New Zealand icon
Essential Job Search Tips for your Job Hunt in New Zealand
Search in New Zealand icon
Job Searching in NZ

Are you looking for a job in New Zealand?

Complete our Free Assessment Form to find out how we can help you!

Do you want to migrate to New Zealand?

Base your move on solid grounds: Ask us for a Free Assessment and join our Immigration Webinar.

Migrate from South Africa
Migrate from the UK
Migrate from the US
german flag symbol

NZIC helped me in my way to get a Visa and job search. They were always available to talk to and were open to all sorts of questions. No matter how random they were. Very friendly staff. And even when they had changes in employee and advisors, they always stayed professional and up to date. I can only say good things and recommend them highly.

USA flag symbol

“In contrast to another Immigration consultancy that we contacted, your company offered a free webinar and an assessment, warm, approachable staff that communicates openly with potential customers. I found your website and it was very detailed and informative. I understand that your company is a fee for services provider, but that has not been conveyed as a prerequisite during the decision making process.”

indonesian flag symbol

At first, Maj kindly explained the whole process and what to expect. I was coached and introduced to New Zealand job market by their Job Search team, and getting assistance until I got a job in the country. The Visa team would also follow me up on my pending documents, so I never felt left out. Truly recommended for those seeking out an option to live in New Zealand. Big thanks from me and my whole family for things NZIC did for us..!

south african flag symbol

Very pleased and satisfied with the service we received from NZIC. They assisted me and my family from start to finish. Always willing to assist, and communicated our progress every step of the way. With their assistance we managed to obtain permanent resident visa status.

South Africa