Plan your job search

When you're looking for a new job it's best to start with a plan. You need to make sure you'll have everything you need when you start applying for jobs.


Being out of work is tough. Finding a job can also be frustrating and hard. Work and Income can help you turn things around.

There are lots of reasons to work. It's better for your family and better for your health. You can also earn a lot more working, even if you're on the minimum wage, than you get on a benefit like Jobseeker Support.

When it comes to finding work some people need a lot of help, others don't need much at all. No one size fits all.

Work and Income helps in a number of ways. We talk to you about your skills and needs, and put you in touch with the most suitable job opportunities. There are things you need to do to improve your chances of finding work.

Here is practical advice on how to look for work, and tools to help. It tells you what to do when you find work, and how Work and Income can support you entering employment.

Other useful information can also be found on the Careers NZ website.

If you don't have internet access visit your nearest Work and Income office which has a self-service kiosk that accesses all websites listed in here.

  • First steps

    It can be a big step to start looking for a job. There are things you can do to make it easier and increase your chance of success. The best place to start is with a plan.

    • Set some goals and make a plan.
    • Treat your search as a job - take action now.
    • Write down your skills.

    Some people may find preparing their CV and applying for jobs easy, but many don't.

  • Setting goals and making a plan

    Set some goals. It's good to challenge yourself but also be realistic. Then list actions you'll take to help you reach your goals. Check your progress against your goals regularly to make sure you're on track.

    If what you're doing isn't working, do something different. Write down what might get in your way and think about how you can sort it out.

    You may like to think about your skills and abilities before you work out your goals.

    If you'd like help with the plan, talk to us.

  • Treat your search as a job - take action now

    Finding work takes time and you need to keep at it. Decide on a daily job search routine and stick to it. Things you need to do to find advertised jobs are:

    • search job websites and those of potential employers
    • read the papers
    • talk to your friends, family and other contacts
      - they may know of advertised jobs
    • check new job listings on our website or at our service centres
    • list yourself with employment and recruitment services.

    Many jobs aren't advertised, and go to people who have contacted the employer to tell them they want to work for them. To find your own job leads:

    • find employers online or in the yellow pages and contact them
    • use social media to let a wider group know that you're looking for work
    • talk to your friends, family and other contacts who may know of organisations worth contacting
    • read your local paper and go online to find new or growing businesses that might have jobs
    • knock on doors - visit places you'd like to work.

    Set yourself targets, like what you'll do each day before lunchtime. We suggest you answer all calls, including those from unidentified numbers. Often calls from companies and organisations show up as a 'private' or 'blocked' number. Answering a call will also save you the cost of calling back.

    Make sure you regularly check your emails and phone messages (if you miss a call), so you don't miss out when someone calls to tell you about an opportunity.

  • Stay confident

    During your job search you may face knock-backs like jobs you don't get or employers who don't reply. Try to stay positive, talk to family and friends about how your job search is going and remind yourself of your goals and skills.

    Visit the Careers NZ website which has online tools to help you identify your skills. The Careers NZ website also suggests types of jobs that will match your skills.

  • Your skills and abilities

    You need to tell employers what you can do. Making a list of what you're good at prepares you to write a CV.

    List your work skills. Then write other things you can do or personal qualities you have - for instance are you honest and reliable? Do you get on with others? Can you make decisions and manage money?

    Jot down some of the things you'd like to improve on, for example self-confidence or interview skills. What steps can you take to improve in these areas? Ask us how we can help.

  • What skills do you have?

    Your skills could come from:

    • attending school or training courses
    • any type of job, including charity work
    • projects at home or in the community
    • running a home or looking after people
    • making or fixing things and solving problems.


If you would like help with your job search contact us