Looking for a part time or full time job in New Zealand? The Job Preparation Workshops are designed to help you do just that.
- The Job Search Workshop is designed to suggest places where you can look for work both part time and full time.
- The CV and Cover Letter Workshop is designed to help you compile a New Zealand CV whether for part time work while you are studying or full time work when you graduate.
- The Interview Skills Workshop will help you with practical skills and strategies in handling a New Zealand interview.
Workshops are organised each semester.back to top
Guide to CV Writing
Your CV is a specific description of any skills, knowledge, experience, and personal qualities that you have. The objective of a CV is to position you favourably to gain an interview with a prospective employer.
Successful CVs are accurate, clear, concise and easy to follow, and create a first impression for employers. If it is well written it may assist you to get an interview. Below are general criteria for CV writing. Always follow any guidelines that may be required by a specific employer or industry.
Include information that is relevant to the position. Describe all experience that may be relevant including voluntary or unpaid work. This is evidence of your skills. State your qualifications and then how this and your education relate to the position you are applying for.
Must Have Information
- Contact Details - name, address, phone/fax, email
- Skills Summary - a list of your main selling points
- Education - details of qualifications and other training
- Employment History - relevant tasks and achievements
- Verbal Referees - 2 or 3 consenting employers or academics
Career Objective / Profile, Interests, Voluntary/Community Involvement, Memberships, Publications (if applicable)
DO NOT include
Information that may be used to discriminate, e.g. age, health status, marital status, photo, gender, father’s name, or sign as a true and correct record.
- 2 to 3 pages in length is usual
- Print on plain white A4 paper (high quality) that photocopies well
- DON’T bind or permanently fasten into a folder
- Choose standard layout and fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri); be consistent with fonts, styles and formatting
- Headings should be eye catching; add emphasis with bullet points, bold and italics
- Avoid too much detail and overcrowding
- Spelling must be perfect and tenses consistent (get a person to check it over; don’t rely solely on computer spell check)
- Put your name on each page by using footers
Our recommended style for students is a mixed format, taking advantage of both the chronological and functional features.
- Tailor each CV to the job you are applying for. Your CV should reflect the job description if you are sending it in for a particular job. If the job description asks for three main qualities in the ideal candidate makes sure those qualities are clearly indicated in your CV on the first page of your CV
- Reflect the words used in the job description and job advertisement in your CV
- Highlight achievements relevant to the position. You could say, “I was a member of the team who designed and introduced a new billing system for the company”
- Make everything positive on your CV. Your CV should show a sense of vitality and an image that you are progressing confidently through your career
Download a sample CV here (188kb).back to top
Interviews are an opportunity for you to present your skills, experience, personal qualities and other strengths as they relate to the position you are applying for.
This two-way process is between the prospective employer and you; this gives the employer the opportunity to assess what you are offering (skills, etc) and if you can be part of their team (personality, etc).
It is also the time when you can assess whether this is the right place, position, and future for you, as well as checking that what you applied for is what is offered. So preparation, practise and presentation are essential skills for interview success.
Good preparation is essential to winning the position. Employers need to ascertain what potential you will have as an integral part of their company. Therefore to answer this question for an employer you need to know about the organisation, and prepare for any possible questions.
Information About the Organisation
Find out as much as you can about your prospective employer and the company. A good starting point for this is visiting the premises and going to their website. Ask yourself: who they are, what do they do and how do they do it, what skills would they be looking for?
You need to look at:
- What is their service or product?
- Does the company have branches?
- What is their image – casual, corporate?
- Who or what is their competition?
- What is the main responsibility of his role?
- Is there up-skilling/training available?
- Who will I work with?
- How could I fit within the organisation?
Information About the Interview
Try and find out as much as you can about your forthcoming interview:
- What is the interview format? Ask the person who contacts you with the interview details
- How many people will there be? Who will I be talking to? How long will the interview be?
- Will I be tested? If I am being tested, what types of tests will I be given?
- Should I bring supporting documents with me? (portfolio, transcripts, samples etc)
How you end the interview has an impact on your chances of being employed. You need to prepare what you will say. The employer will normally thank you for your time and give you a date when they will be in contact with you regarding your status as a candidate. This is your opportunity to thank them for the interview and to express your positive thoughts regarding the job and the company. You need to think about what you could say so you must be prepared.
Information in Response to Questions They May Ask
What you say and how you say it is imperative. You will need to be able to discuss the areas of skill that you have and refer back to the job description. If you have only the advertisement then look at that critically to see the skill areas being asked for. Think carefully about what the interviewer would want to know about you and what sort of person you think they are looking for. It is vitally important that you are able to clearly articulate the skills, experience and knowledge you have to offer.
Behavioural questioning is often used by NZ interviewers. This means asking questions that are open-ended so you may talk extensively about your knowledge base. This is because the employer is looking for evidence from what you have done through paid or volunteer work, or study, that demonstrates your overall effectiveness. Choosing interesting and relevant examples that will showcase your skills will impress upon your interviewer to remember your interview. Every question gives you the opportunity to show you are the best person for the position.
There is always an opportunity for you to ask the interviewer questions and this is expected in a NZ interview. These need to be well thought out and appropriate to the position you are applying for. They may relate to the company, the company culture and / or structure.
You cannot be assured about the questions the interviewer may ask, but you can expect to be challenged. Commonly asked interview questions are available at the Careers and Alumni Office, Room M115 in Main Campus.
The Interview Challenge
Think about your answer before speaking, allow yourself some time.
Below are some good phrases you can use:
- ‘Can I have a moment please’ (if you need time to think)
- ‘I’m sorry, could you repeat that question please’ (if you have a mind blank)
- Can we come back to this question later? I need time to think about it’ (if you really do not know what to say)
Feeling nervous or feeling that you are not going to perform well in an interview is natural. You want to “be yourself” during the interview, but you also know that you need to put on a good performance to convince the employer that you are the one for the job. Preparing well and practising answers to questions will help you eliminate the fear and make you feel more confident. Once you have decided on the possible questions you could be asked, you can then start thinking about good examples that showcase your skills and then start practising your answers by looking in the mirror and answering the questions. Once you feel more confident role play your interview with someone else and get their feedback. You could also make an appointment with the staff in the Careers and Alumni Office.
How you look at an interview influences the interviewer and the decisions they make. Think about your clothing well in advance of the interview. Your clothes need to be clean, well pressed and suitable for the position you are being interviewed for. The dress code of other people in similar positions will give you an idea of what is appropriate to wear. You may wish to visit the organisation in advance to see what other employees are wearing.
Take the stress out of the interview
- Find out, well in advance, where the interview will take place
- Find out how to get there
- Is there parking if you are driving (how much will it cost?)
- Arrive early, allow for traffic delays
You may be assessed from the moment you walk into the building; be professional
How well you project your personality is an important area of presentation. Communicating easily with others is important. It is during the first 30 seconds that the interviewer will form an impression about you. A firm handshake, eye contact, your energy levels and enthusiasm are all part of non-verbal communication as well as your tone when you speak.back to top