What does it take to find a job in New Zealand?

What does it take to find a job in New Zealand?

Being actively supported by a local team of job search and recruitment specialists throughout the process will give you the critical boost for your job search that will make all the difference!

The obvious starting point for determining your chances in the New Zealand job market is the quality your professional background. Are your qualifications and work experience recognised in New Zealand?

Then of course you have to convince your prospective new employer that you are the best candidate for the role and even in your home country this would be a difficult task. How do you present your skills and yourself in the best possible manner?

Being able to tap into local knowledge will make a huge difference for the success of your job search right from the start.


There are many factors to consider when looking for a job in a new country

General uncertainties 

Rules and regulations will vary from your home country and you are not familiar with the country, let alone the job market. You will ask yourself:  

  • Will I succeed in finding a job?
  • Are my skills are in demand in New Zealand?
  • What does the perfect job application material look like?
  • What do I need to consider for the job interview?
  • How important is a local network?
  • Will potential employers be reluctant to hire an overseas applicant?
  • How much will I be able to earn?
  • What is the process of following up my applications?

Professional etiquette

Once you have started your research, you will notice differences in professional etiquette that you might not have expected. 

Professional etiquette is based on the expectation of respectful, cultured behaviour, including courteous manners, appropriate image, and appropriate communications.
If the interviewer feels disrespected by your behaviour, you can bet that it won't help your job prospects. This is why it’s important to your career success to know and practice good professional etiquette. 

Cultural fit 

Every company's culture is slightly different, and each is founded on different core values. What matters most to employers is that the person they hire embodies those values in their everyday lives. 

Personal characteristics 

From our many years of experience with working with migrant job seekers, we think that above all, it is possibly the personal impression you make that will have the greatest impact on whether you get the job you want!


Personal strengths might determine the success of your job search in New Zealand 

1. Persistence - Perseverance - Commitment

The process of finding a job can be daunting and there will be good times and not so good times during job search and you have to possess a strong head and a strong sense of purpose. Without persistence, you will give up, get frustrated or stop acting with the commitment required to make it. 

The job-seekers who get hired and the employees who get promoted are the ones with drive and passion and who demonstrate enthusiasm through their words and actions. 

2. Goal-Focused

You need to have goals.  Without them, you are left to impulsive actions.  

3. Clarity

You need to know your job search objectives. This is the first thing we develop in the job search strategy process. We help you create clear objectives – so you and others know what you are looking for.

4. Efficiency

You have to create a structure for your job search. 

5. Tenacity

This isn’t about being aggressive.  Or pushy.  Or hard-coated.  It’s about being focused and having a stick-to-it personality. Making sure you get the most out of your job search initiatives.

6. Positive Attitude

Even when things aren’t going well, you have to bring your best each time you step into an interview room or recruiting office. People will be most willingly if you appear to be a positive person.  

7. Confidence

You need to display confidence, because employers like to hire confident people.  They don´t hire desperate people. You may feel it.  Therefore you need to maintain and build your confidence during job search:  if you don’t believe in yourself, in your skills, education, and abilities, why should a prospective employer?

8. Follow-through

Half steps aren’t good enough. Employers might need a reminder that they met you in some cases and that you are the right fit for the job.

9. Good communicator

You have to be able to tell your story.  And it’s not just the words. It’s the way you deliver them. Make sure you can tell your story with energy.

10. Hard worker

Sometimes we think the job will come to us.  It won’t most of the time. And especially not in a new country.  So you have to work for it. Lots of networking and research will be necessary to explore the job market, identify the right positions for you and then follow through with your job application.  

11. Likability 

Employers like people who are warm, friendly, easygoing, and cooperative with others.  New Zealand employers are looking for people who can join the team and be part of the work family.


This is the willingness to take risks. Courage also means the willingness to accept challenges, the willingness to take on big jobs or even new jobs where there is a high degree of uncertainty and the possibility of failure. Courage also means the willingness to speak up and say exactly what you think and feel in a difficult situation. Employers admire men and women who are not afraid to speak their minds. And you demonstrate this in a job interview when you ask frank and direct questions about the company, the position, and the future that you might have with the organisation.


Insider know-how and market knowledge can give you a huge advantage when looking for a job in New Zealand, but the deciding advantage for the success of your job hunt lies in ongoing active support and feedback! 

Our job search specialist Katrin and our recruitment expert Jacqui will work with you during your entire job search, providing you with their insider know-how and ongoing support and feedback. 


Read more about working in New Zealand


Are you eligible for a resident visa under Skilled Migrant Category? Find out by using our Quick Self-Check Guide.

Read more about becoming a New Zealand resident through the Skilled Migrant Category:

  • How many points will you need to have a realistic chance?
  • Will you be able to claim points for your qualifications?
  • Will you be able to claim bonus points for your professional expertise?
  • Do you have to be registered in New Zealand?
  • Will you meet the English language requirements?

Ask our Job Search Specialists

If you want to find out more about finding a job in New Zealand, contact Katrin Schottke, Job Search Manager at NZIC.

Ask Katrin for a Free Assessment