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Finding work in Wellington

We’ve put together a list of top tips to help international students find work in Wellington – whether that is part-time work while you study or a full-time job in your chosen career.

Make use of resources and advice available to you

Develop skills and experiences outside of your academic work

The right qualification and a good academic record may not be sufficient to get you short listed for a role. Use your interests outside your academic studies to develop other skills that will help you stand out from other candidates.

  • Take part in a leadership programme.
  • Get involved in a community project.
  • Take on part time or voluntary work.

Build a network of personal contacts

Personal contacts can help you find work or act as a referees who can speak to an employer about your character, skills and experience. Personal networks can be developed and extended through

  • part time and voluntary workplaces
  • sports teams, clubs or cultural groups
  • meet up groups (both professional and hobby-related).

Improve your communications skills and English language proficiency

A high level of English proficiency is highly valued by employers.

  • Take every opportunity to practise your spoken English.
  • Take part in groups or move into a flat where the common language is English.
  • Read, listen and watch news on New Zealand newspapers, websites, radio and TV.
  • Watch movies in English.

Identify where you would like to work

Research organisations where you would like to work or you think are a fit with your particular skills.

  • Watch their websites for job vacancies or graduate opportunities.
  • Register for an industry or professional body associated with your discipline if they offer student/graduate memberships. Find out what they offer for students and graduates and what is required to become registered.
  • Make sure that you have done your research about organisations you would like to work for so you can have a knowledgeable conversation if an opportunity presents.

Get some New Zealand experience

Employers value local work experience.

  • Part time or voluntary work, even if it is not in your professional field, will give you useful insights into NZ workplaces as well as valuable experience.
  • Make sure that you are aware of all of the industry projects, internships or practicums available to you through your course of study.
  • List any New Zealand experience on your CV.

Stay positive

It can be hard to get a job. Be persistent and put in the time. Be aware that a large number of roles are never advertised and are filled by word of mouth through networks.

  • Start researching employers and building your experience and networks before you finish your studies.
  • Accept rejection as part of the process and keep trying.
  • Follow up on as many opportunities as you can, don’t rely on being successful with your preferred role.