How to Quickly Find a Job in New Zealand

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Quick Methods of Finding a Job in New Zealand

Jobs are pretty easy to come by in New Zealand, even seasonal jobs for working holidaymakers. A question we are often asked is if the working holiday visa, (which you can read up on here if you don’t know what this visa is), reduces the likelihood of getting a job. Although you can’t take up a permanent job, it absolutely does not impact your job search in New Zealand. If anything, seasonal workers are encouraged, as we have a reputation for being hard workers.

As backpackers on a working holiday, our biggest challenge is to find a job quick enough so that we are not wasting money living somewhere without a job. The quicker we find a job, the better!

With a proactive approach and using multiple ways of finding a job that we list below, you’re likely to find a job within two weeks! If anything, we recommend being open-minded when choosing jobs to apply for to make things go faster. Finding and getting a job is a full-time job in itself, so don’t expect a job to come and find you.

The Job Searching Process

We recommend following this process when searching for a job in New Zealand.

  • Make sure you are legally able to work in New Zealand by having a working holiday visa.
  • Know your IRD number and tax code for when you are employed.
  • Create a killer New Zealand CV using our How to Create a New Zealand CV guide – if you’re lacking skills and qualifications to include in your CV, book into a three-day to two-week course in hospitality training with Barista Academy.
  • Before arriving at your destination, send off some online applications. A good place to start is on our job listings page.
  • Once you arrive, print off some CVs and approach employers, introduce yourself face-to-face, and ask if any jobs are available.
  • Look at the supermarket job boards, hostel job boards, newspapers and bulletins for job listings and apply as soon as possible!
  • Join a job agency to compliment all of the above.
  • Nail the interview by following our How to Nail a Job Interview in New Zealand.

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Apply for New Zealand Jobs Online…

This is the first element of your job search. It’s the easiest option because you don’t even need to leave the hostel, as long as you have a good WiFi connection (Get tips on finding WiFi in New Zealand here). However, you do need to be quick with applications, especially in busy towns and cities where there’s likely to be competition. The quicker you apply for a job after it has been listed, the better. Most job listings websites will show the date the job was listed.

Another tip is to apply for New Zealand jobs online before you reach the destination where you want to find a job. This will give your job search a good head start. You’ll spend less time trying to find a job and more time attending interviews presuming you have an awesome New Zealand CV. Online job applications often take a couple of weeks to process, so putting some time aside while you are travelling to apply for jobs will increase the chance of interviews to attend when you arrive.

Find jobs online at these websites:

If you know exactly which company you want to work for, go directly to their website where they will sometimes display job openings. For example, this is a popular method for New Zealand’s ski fields to get staff. You can read more information on What’s the Right New Zealand Ski Field Job for You.

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… But Also Approach Employers Face-to-face

Only a fraction of the jobs going in New Zealand is advertised online. Approaching an employer and simply asking for a job goes a long way in New Zealand.

Once you have found a place you love and want to find a job in, print off some CVs and take a walk around the village/town/city. Walk into offices, hostels, shops, cafes, etc, ask for the manager and ask if there are any jobs openings available? Showing you’re proactive and confident are traits highly sought by employers.

Be persistent! You might not get a job on the first try, but there might be something waiting around the corner just for you. This is by far the most effective method of finding a job in New Zealand.©

Browse the Newspapers, Bulletins and Job Boards

Newspapers and Bulletins

Probably your first experience of living like a local is picking up a local newspaper or bulletin (a magazine with short news stories and classified advertising) and having a look at the job listings. These can usually be found in convenience stores and bottle shops. Find out when the newspaper or bulletin is released so you can be one of the first to pick it up and apply for the jobs inside.

Notice Boards

Yes, we still use notice boards in New Zealand! These are found in local supermarkets and convenient stores. They often have notice boards filled with job ads, room to rent and item to sell near the entrance of the supermarket. A similar sort of thing can be found in many backpacker hostels. Ask the receptionist if they have a job notice board.

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Join a Job Recruitment Agency

This option is by no means something you should solely rely on, but it is certainly a helpful tool in your job search kit!

The idea of a recruitment agency is for them to match you up for an interview with potential employers. Signing up to a job recruitment agency is usually free, so you have nothing to lose. Plus, they have access to jobs that may not be advertised elsewhere.

You can read our full guide on Job Recruitment Agencies here for more information on how they work. Although they are a good way of finding employers, getting the job with your CV and interview is up to you.

Learn more in What You Need to Know About Recruitment Agencies in New Zealand.

More About Getting a Job in New Zealand

As backpackers who have worked multiple jobs throughout the country, we know a thing or two about getting a job in New Zealand. Read more of our tips here:


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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