Job hunting for the first time – prepare yourself

If you haven’t been in paid work before, the process of getting a job can be a bit scary, and advice can be confusing.

Here are some easy-to-follow tips on job hunting.

Can I prepare myself for success?


The success of your job hunt will depend a lot on how you approach it. You will maximise your chances if you:

• know what employers are looking for

• prepare a really good CV and cover letter

• practise your interview skills.

Find out more: Information interviewing – what it is and how it can help you

Will I get lucky? Will the job come to me?

Generally, no.

It’s important to apply for jobs that you see in the paper or on job vacancy websites, but many jobs are never advertised. These are called hidden jobs. People who make sure they look for hidden jobs usually have more success.

Find out more: Find out more about the hidden job market, Find out more about networking – how and why you should do it, Find out what employers are looking for.

Do I really need a CV?


Before you start job hunting it’s important to prepare a CV that you are happy with and that you know will sell you to employers. Once you have your main CV, you can then customise it for each position you apply for.

Find out more: What a CV is and what it should include, What your CV should look like , Use our templates to get ideas for your CV and cover letters

What’s a cover letter and do I really need one?


It is generally expected that you attach a cover letter to your CV when applying for a job. It’s how you introduce yourself when you can’t do it in person. It’s also a way of directing the reader to look at your great CV.

Find out more: What a cover letter is and what it should include, What your cover letter should look like, Use our templates to help you write your cover letter

Should I prepare for interviews?


Think of an interview as being like an exam. The more prepared you are, the better you will do. The interview is a great chance for you to sell yourself and to convince the employer that you are the right person for the job.

Find out more: What you can do to prepare for an interview, Tips for a successful interview, Common questions employers ask at interviews , Questions you can ask employers

I have the facts, now what?

Your chances of success will be greater if you:

• have really clear, achievable goals

• are well organised

• stay positive.

To help you stay focused and organised, it’s a good idea to keep a log that includes the names and phone numbers of employers you have contacted.

Be realistic with your job hunting, but also challenge yourself.

For more information and tips for finding a job, visit www.careers.govt.nz.


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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