How to Write an NZ-Style CV

As promised in my earlier post on finding a job in New Zealand, I would like to share with you how I wrote my CV to match what NZ employers are expecting. New Zealand government has created its own careers website where you can find valuable information to help job hunters. They have tips for creating a NZ-style CV and CVs and cover letter templates to help you start with. You can read the details from their website, so I won’t explain each points in details.

Format:

  1. Contact Details – Name, address, email, phone number and job title (optional and if only relevant e.g. you don’t want to put ‘Vice President’ in your CV, but it makes sense for a Software Tester, Nurse, Math Teacher, if you want to catch hiring manager’s attention).
  2. Personal Statement – This is an overview of your career. It should briefly answer questions about who you are, what you can offer, and what are your objectives in relation to the job you are applying for.
  3. Work History – This covers companies you’ve worked with, starting from the recent one. This should include the name of the company, period of your employment, job title, and a short description of your responsibilities and achievements.
  4. Skills and Credentials – Put relevant education, trainings, and certifications. This part answers the things you know and your personal achievements, e.g. if you are a scholar or you graduated with honors.

The one important point I learned when selling yourself in your CV is this – don’t just list your skills, instead, make sure to summarize your duties and achievements.

To give you a more concrete example, here is a section of my old CV and new CV.

Old CV

  • Developed a real-time reporting tool for traders
  • Part of the technology team responsible for maintaining internal bank applications
  • Spring, Hibernate, ActiveMQ, Google Protobuff, Git

 

New CV (NZ Style)

I am a senior developer in *your company* and part of a team which maintains and develops internal bank applications. One of these is a real-time risk reporting system which enables traders to manage financial risks by providing them timely data so they can respond to the fast changing market conditions. We used technologies such as Spring, Hibernate, <blah, blah, blah>.

My responsibilities also include

  • leading a team of software developers
  • requirements elicitation from users
  • providing third level support

Hope the difference is clear.

More Tips:

  • Keep it brief and straightforward (about 2-3 pages).
  • No need to include personal details like age, marital status, religion etc.
  • Focus on relevant work experience and skills.
  • Avoid spelling and grammar errors.

Oh, and don’t forget to include a cover letter. I didn’t write one, but it gives you a better chance to secure that interview. Make it special and tailor it for the job you are applying for. Give specific reasons why the job is appealing to you, why you think you have what it takes to be successful for the job, and what you can offer your prospective employer to achieve their goals. Be honest and try not to just copy-and-paste from Google. Imagine how the reader would feel when this is the case.

careers.govt.nz has a helpful guide on how to write a good cover letter. seek.co.nz has a very good example on writing good and bad cover letters.

Feel free to share your insights!

How to Apply for NZ Work Visa

Hi there! Hope you were able to find your dream job. On this post, I will be discussing the next step after getting a job offer – applying for a work visa!

For those who were not able to get an offer of employment, don’t lose hope. Keep on trying or you may want to look at other work visa options.

You actually have options on the type of visa that you can apply for. They have their own advantages and disadvantages. You can either apply for

  • Essential Skills Work Visa – Temporary Visa
  • Work to Residence Visa (WTR) – Temporary Visa
  • Residence Visa under Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)

In my case, I chose to apply for Essential Skills Work Visa due to following:

  1. Both WTR and SMC encourage you to have New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) assessment so you will have a better chance of obtaining a visa successfully.
  2. Time is gold. I’d like to be able to start work as soon as possible. NZQA assessment alone could take about 10 weeks. Other things to consider are the Expression of Interest (EOI) and Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Skilled Migrant Category.
  3. Money is gold. Residence Visa application would burn your bank account. I needed my money to start my life in NZ (rent, car, home furnishings and list goes on).
  4. I needed to assess the situation first. I don’t know anyone from NZ. It would be my first time to live abroad, and I’m not sure if we will like it in NZ. Better to come here by myself first, before we sell our stuffs back in Philippines.

You can create an account and submit your NZ Visa application online. You do not need to complete the application form at once – just save your online form and come back any time. You need to have your credit card ready for payment once you completed the form and ready to submit your application.

Below are the things I submitted with my work visa application. Some are required and some are just supporting documents which give you a better chance to get your visa approved.

  • Face imageHere is the photo requirements.  You may ask your photo service to provide you a soft copy. Please take note that they require light background, like a grayish one, but not white!
  • Birth Certificate
  • Cover Letter – from your employer stating the reason why they hired you. Usually, they mention here that they need to fill a job opening, but could not find one from NZ, so they consider overseas applicants (at least in my case).
  • Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 113) – to be filled up by your employer.
  • Employment Agreement – your job contract
  • Evidence of attempts to recruit New Zealanders – Screenshots of job post from recruitment websites or anything that proves your employer attempted to hire locally would suffice.
  • IELTS certificate
  • Marriage Certificate (if married)
  • Medical Information Sheet – this will be given to you by your accredited clinic (we got ours from St. Luke’s Extension Clinic in Global City) after your medical exam. It contains your “NZER” case number.
  • Passport
  • Police Certificate – NBI clearance
  • Certificate of Employment from your previous companies – should be relevant to your job offer.
  • Transcript of Records / Diploma

The complete list of supporting documents that you can provide can be seen online once you’ve created your account and you’ve started to upload scanned copies of your documents.

Once the immigration officer received your application, he/she would start verifying the documents you provided. Expect them to call/ email your employer (current and previous) and school. They will ask you to provide more documents to support your application, if needed.

They will ask you to send your passport. This will be returned to you with the result of your application. If successful, then you’re visa will be attached on your passport.

 

New Zealand Work Visa
New Zealand Work Visa