Job Hunting - there are many places to start your search

The step from a structured school environment into employment can be a daunting prospect for many. How do you start looking for a job? It’s a step that’s harder today than it may have been for your parents. They may have been able to count on a job or career for life, but the current employment market is far more diverse and unpredictable.

Tracking down that first job needs focus and resilience. It’s a hunt, and not every approach will be successful. It’s how you pick yourself up and look for the next opportunity that will determine the success of your hunt.  The first part of the hunt for a first or a new job is knowing where to look for work.  

Here are some suggestions on how to get started. 

Searching online

Job search websites are a good start. They have jobs advertised by employers and employment agencies.  

Some websites like Seek or Trade Me Jobs or MyJobSpace advertise jobs in all industries while others specialise in just one sector or industry. You are able to search these sites by keywords, location, industry etc.  

You are able with some to register your interest in various types of work and be sent emails to alert you to jobs that may match your interests and skills.   

Companies, organisations and government departments often advertise vacancies and cadet or work starter programs on their websites. Check for a 'careers' or 'about us' section on the homepage. They are also likely to advertise through social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+).  

Careers New Zealand suggests the following online job vacancy websites: 

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A professional looking resume is a must

See our tips on presenting yourself effectively to prospective employers
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Newspapers and other publications

Newspapers – daily, weekly, local and national – generally have job advertisements, and most have regular days that feature careers and employment stories and advertising. Daily and weekly newspapers are available in libraries and many cafes. 

Check local papers for local jobs. The job you want may be just around the corner from you.  

Work your personal network

  • Telling people you know that you are looking for work means they will keep you in mind if position comes up.
  • Talk to your parents’ friends and try to learn about any types of work when you can. They may not know of anything that day, but if they know you are keen and looking, they will recall this later when an opportunity opens. 
  • This network – your wider family your friends, your friends’ parents, your part-time employer - may be able to put you in touch with possible employers if they know about upcoming jobs. They may also put you in touch with others who can help. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for some advice or help.  

Employment agencies

Different agencies offer different services. Some specialise in one specific area, while others might cover a group of related areas. Some specialise in entry-level positions, others in executive positions, so make sure you know what sort you are approaching.   

In some cases getting a job with an agency requires you to register with that agency. This will be completing a registration or application form and may also include a skills test for certain jobs like computing. You can register with more than one agency, and some even offer training to boost your skills and make you more employable. 

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Let the professionals help you find the job you want

Check out recruitment websites
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Labour hire and temporary agencies

Temporary jobs can be a good way to build skills and get experience while earning money. The agency is your employer, assigning you to different jobs they think you will be suitable for.  

Sometimes employers use labour hire and temp agencies to trial workers before offering permanent employment. The downside of temporary work like this is that you don’t have a guarantee of work, and being young might mean older workers with more experience may be selected ahead of you. 

Here are three of these agencies: 

Career Expos 

There are a growing number of career expo events being held around New Zealand and if you are looking for a start, you owe it to yourself to check an expo out. A good example is the “Got a Trade – Got it Made” roadshow sponsored by the New Zealand ITOs. At events like these, industries promote themselves as career options and employers give out information about working with their companies and their current vacancies. 

 Build your employability  

  • Look for some work experience, even while at school. Any work experience is great to have on your CV, even if you decide that the role or career itself is not for you.  
  • One of the best ways to get experience is to do volunteer work. This can build all sorts of skills that look great to an employer. Putting a few hours a week or month into a community project, helping a team, helping older people, fundraising and collecting, planting or whatever can translate on a CV into some great work skills.  
  • Volunteering can show you can work in a team, that you can manage your time, manage your priorities, or other specifics your volunteer work may involve. Local communities usually have lots of different volunteering projects.  


Find out more about in-work training