JOB HUNTING TIPS AND POINTERS
Migrating to and settling in a new country on the opposite side of the world requires careful planning, a dose of realism and a pragmatic approach. Like any major life decision, migration is certainly not one to be taken lightly. The reality is that New Zealand is a long way away from friends, family and support networks in the UK and anyone contemplating a move should take due care to research thoroughly.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Research, research, research! A decision to move to the other side of the world is a major financial, practical and emotional undertaking. Failing to adequately study and understand the ramifications of such a life-changing decision could lead to heartbreak. There are many factors to take into account including: visa eligibility, employment, cost of living, location preferences, education, health and housing.
NZ job sites such as www.seek.co.nz and www.trademe.co.nz will give you a feel for whether your skills are in demand. It is also important to speak to New Zealand Recruitment agencies and employers to get realistic feedback on whether your background is likely to be a good fit for the NZ job market.
GET GOOD ADVICE
Although it’s possible to perform a lot of the work involved in the immigration process by yourself, you can save considerable time, stress and effort by seeking out competent immigration professionals/specialists to assist you – this also provides reassurances to employers that you can comply with the immigration requirements and the application process will be go through smoothly. Shop around until you find organisations and professionals that you feel comfortable with – ideally you should obtain assistance from an advisor who is legally trained in New Zealand immigration law and procedure.
CONSIDER A JOB HUNTING/INVESTIGATION TRIP
Before making a firm decision to migrate, an investigative trip is a must. It is important to gather as much information as possible to ascertain whether a move to New Zealand is right for you and your family. The round-trip is not cheap, but the price is insignificant in comparison to the cost (both financial and emotional) of getting it wrong. In many instances people make multiple trips before making a final decision.
While it is possible to secure a role in New Zealand before you leave the UK this is only an option for a select few and is definitely not the preferred route for most employers. There are simple reasons behind this including the fact that employers have a preference for being able to meet with prospective employees face to face.
Think about it- if you were doing the hiring how comfortable would you be recruiting someone based overseas without having the opportunity to meet with them first? Also ask yourself whether you could seriously consider an application for a UK based role from someone based in New Zealand who does not have a UK working visa or a firm arrival date. The reality is that 9 times out of 10 this application would end up on the thank you but no thank you pile regardless of the strength of the CV.
In general employers are reluctant to offer individuals while they are still based remotely with no right to work in New Zealand unless there is something very specific in your background that they require and can’t source from the local market. They are also more open to interviewing individuals who have already started the residency application process under the Skilled Migrant Category, secured work visas or who at least have concrete travel plans/arrival dates in place.
Your CV is your first opportunity to sell yourself and it is important to spend time getting it right. Your CV should aim to create a really clear picture of your experience and skills (both technical and interpersonal). Ideally someone coming from a completely different background should be able to get a really clear idea of what you do. Don’t waffle but it is not necessary to stick to the old 1-2 page rule. There is a difference between being succinct and not providing enough detail for an employer to access whether you are a good fit.
Get some advice on whether your CV follows a standard NZ format and try to avoid terminology that is unlikely to be recognized in the NZ market. Unless you have worked for globally recognized firms then make sure you provide background information on your existing and past employers so that employers can get an appreciation for your sector experience.
When speaking with employers and recruiters; be very clear about where your strengths lie and the sort of opportunities you are targeting. Flexibility is a good thing but being too vague can make it hard for an employer to know where they can utilize your skills and experience.
Do be specific about the NZ location that you wish to settle in. Whilst it is great to be flexible, it will be of more benefit to demonstrate clear reasons why you prefer one city over another to reassure employers that you have done your research, are moving for the right reasons and are more likely to settle.