Gaining meaningful employment is a key to settling in to a new community. As well as the obvious need for most of us to earn an income, employment helps avoid isolation, leads to new friendships and a better integration into New Zealand society.
For many migrants gaining a job or an appropriate job offer is also a critical part of the immigration application, itself.
New Zealand employers are not, on the whole, prejudiced against migrants but they will sometimes be cautious about whether your skills will be matched by an easy ability to settle down and apply those skills readily in their particular work place.
It helps if you make sure your “Curriculum Vitae” meets the format local employers are used to.
Of course you should emphasize your skills and experience but also make sure you show a willingness to be flexible and fit in with the Kiwi way of doing things.
Trying to “oversell” yourself will often not work. Your employer will want to employ someone with the needed skills but could be unsure of someone “over qualified”. He may think an over qualified person will take the job but keep looking for better appointments.
Be patient. The modern job market is crowded. Web-based recruitment can lead to employers receiving huge numbers of applications, many from people who are not properly suited for the job. In an effort to clear their desks employers will often reject a majority, often with mass mailed standard letters. Don’t take it personally; it is a reflection of modern communication.
Often, the real purpose of the application is not to get a job; it is to secure an interview! Present yourself in a way that encourages the employer to quickly say; “lets talk to this one”.
Here is a truth that must be faced
– the employer is most likely to give preference to applicants who are in New Zealand now and, available for a quick start.
Other migrants, with whom you are competing, will have taken the initiative to either come to New Zealand to explore opportunities in person or will have made arrangements to move straight to a Visa as soon as they have the job offer. Being available immediately or at short notice is a big incentive for the employer to take your application seriously. Getting a job offer while you are overseas is close to impossible unless your skills are in high demand locally.
Getting help with a job search. When facing a strange country and with the need to solve problems at a distance it can be tempting to pay someone who offers to help you “get a job”. Be very careful. Such offers may be legitimate and can sometimes lead to happy endings but this is also a field famous for scams and exploitation. Job offers could be “for immigration purposes only” or at below market rates. Take independent advice and avoid becoming a victim.
The Internet has revolutionised recruitment in just the last few years. It has become a vast information base and clearing house for employment issues. Here are just a few New Zealand sites that you might find helpful: