Hanna, our Visa Delivery Manager, relocated to New Zealand in 2008 and has had the privilege of working with numerous migrants who have made the journey down under – she loves making a positive difference to their experience. Here she shares her top tips for successful job hunting in New Zealand:
When sitting across the other side of the world with the ideology that you would like to work in New Zealand, how hard is it to get someone to take you seriously? How do you get yourself in front of the decision-makers and how do you get over the initial issues of “no job, no visa, but no visa, no job”?
The New Zealand immigration process is such that many people require that elusive offer of skilled employment in order to make their dreams of relocating a reality. You’ve heard the success stories from others who have managed it all seemingly without stress or issue. You also have the skills and knowledge that you would be an asset to a New Zealand employer. You’re able to jump on a plane and hit the ground running – so how do you get over the initial barriers?
1. Have a good CV.
A 12-page CV is daunting to anyone managing a recruitment process. Keep it to two pages and focus on your transferable skills, relevant qualifications and experience. Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for and be as specific as possible. Sell yourself.
2. Target your applications.
New Zealand is a small country with a natural propensity to rely on personal recommendations and word of mouth to get what you want. To fire your CV to all and sundry in the hope of getting someone, anyone, to respond favourably will not assist your chances of finding suitable work. It is likely to go to the same people more than once and this undermines how serious you are about your job search. Provide a covering letter which goes with your tailored CV, addressed to the person you know is managing the process. Be personally professional and stand out from the crowd.
3. Follow up.
You are on the other side of the world and in the same boat as many other hopeful migrants. When you fire off that CV and letter, keep track of the company, the contact name and the role you are applying for. Leave it a few days or until the closing date for applications has passed and then follow up with a phone call. Have they got your CV and covering letter? Do they have any questions you may be able to address? What is your availability for an interview?
4. Be patient.
New Zealand is a laid back country and things tend to move at a slower pace than you may expect. But that’s why you want to live here, right? You may not get an immediate response to your enquiry, timeframes may be extended more than once and your messages may not be returned. Don’t make a pest of yourself but proactively stay on top of things and try to be patient.
5. Be prepared.
You may not get a lot of notice for an interview. Do your research into the role and the company, know what you are talking about geographically and give yourself the best chance of success. An interview is likely to be by phone or Skype and the timing may not be very appropriate, given the time difference. Be prepared to make allowances and understand if you aren’t being treated with special dispensation due to your location. If you want this to work then you have to be able to be flexible. Remind yourself of why you want to relocate and what New Zealand has on offer. What’s an 11 pm phone call on a Sunday night, if it results in your ticket to a new life?
Remember, it’s never easy to find a new job in your home country so looking off-shore adds distance and a different culture to the challenges. Give yourself the best possible chance of being acknowledged. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and perseverance and a little smart thinking could be the winning approach.