4 areas to focus on if you are new to the New Zealand IT Industry?

It’s not always easy finding a new job, let alone settling in to a new country and trying to find that elusive new position at the same time. In the current world we live in, moving away from your place of birth and permanently settling in a new country is, for a large number of us, a reality.  It was for me back in 2004 when, with my soon to be Kiwi wife, I settled in New Zealand with a few Cisco certifications and a 5 year old IT career working for a UK IT service provider.  Since that time I have learnt a few lessons and gained numerous insights about the IT/Technology industry in New Zealand. I have also been a hiring manager for some time and have seen my fair share of CVs/resumes.  I would like to pass on to those of you who are either; new to the New Zealand IT industry or thinking of moving to New Zealand some of those insights/lessons so that you too can begin to enjoy this fast paced industry that truly punches well above its weight on a global scale.  So for those who are not fortunate enough to have a job already before arriving in New Zealand, or who are straight out of University, here are my 4 areas to focus on when trying to land you first IT job:

1. Research

Before you go to a new restaurant or holiday destination you conduct extensive research on sites such as TripAdvisor or Metro Eats to see where the best place will be based on recommendations and feedback. The same should apply for any job you want to find or company in which you want to work.  Using sites such as www.glassdoor.com that has reviews on companies as well as job listing, or other social media sites such as twitter, LinkedIn or general Google search can be helpful.  If you want some New Zealand specific information on the IT industry I recommend you refer to sites such as http://www.tin100.com/ or http://www.cio.co.nz/cio100nz/. These sites are detailed in terms of larger organisations within New Zealand and what projects they are conducting in the IT/Technology space as well as information on their current IT set up. Such information will be invaluable when interviewing with these organisations. As an example see the details for Spark NZ and Air New Zealand from the CIO 100 website

There are also a number of IT websites dedicated to IT/technology within New Zealand such as CIO.co.nz and Computerworld.  Both provide valuable information on IT news, whitepapers, events, as well as all things “Digital”. You can also subscribe to these sites so you never miss the latest news. There is another site that lists the fastest growing companies in New Zealand http://www.deloitteprivate.co.nz/fast50/2015/, some of which are technology related. The list below details those fastest growing technology companies as recognised by Deloitte for 2015:


There is only really 2 main job boards in New Zealand: www.Seek.co.nz and www.trademe.co.nz/jobs, these sites also let you sign up to receive job alerts in your areas of interest. Additionally seek and trademe give you an insight tin to who is currently hiring.  That said I have found www.workhere.co.nz/ to be useful as it gives some very good information on working in New Zealand – well worth checking out if you are thinking of moving to New Zealand. The site also has links to external Government sites such as http://skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz/ as well as a highly informative list of FAQs.  New Zealand is regionally diverse, with Auckland having the bulk of the international/National IT/technology sector companies/roles (e.g. banks, media, software, Local Government) with Wellington concentrating on Government IT roles with other notable companies such as TradeMe and Xero.


2. Networking

The biggest realisation I had early on was that I had to get to know more people in the IT/technology industry.  When you are new to a particular industry you need to know what is happening and the IT Industry in New Zealand is no exception. The industry in New Zealand feels very small where most people know each other.  Another good networking opportunity is to get to know the recruitment companies, especially the ones that specialise in IT such as Potentia, RecruitIT, Comspek, Halo or Davidson.  That said there are many more generalist recruitment agencies in New Zealand such as Robert Walters, Randstad and Global Attract.  All of these recruitment agencies provide valuable information around what is going on in the IT industry and who is hiring.  There often events organised such as the larger conferences (Microsoft Ignite or AWS Summit) which provide excellent networking opportunities. Some smaller events are also great to go along to such as AFQY (you can find this group on LinkedIn), or you can find other events to attend through http://www.eventfinda.co.nz/.  For those graduating from Universities with IT related degrees looking for work in New Zealand, try using organisations such as http://www.summeroftech.co.nz/ who can link you up with potential employers through intern programmes, which will give you vital work experience.


3.  Social

Get your LinkedIn profile up to date, with all your certifications and technical skills listed. Publishing posts through LinkedIn will also help you stand out.  Recruiters and HR professionals are increasingly using social media to look for potential candidates for new positions they wish to fill, so it is vital that your profile has the correct phrases/words for the roles you are interested in.  LinkedIn can also be a networking tool as well as a place where you can communicate directly with people in your network and follow those companies you may wish to work for. Remember anything on social media is out there for potential employers to search for, so make sure it is professional and any posts/tweets are ideally related to IT/Technology or give a positive side to who you are.  There may be a large number of people going for one role so you need to positively stand out from the crowd.  Being active on social media is a good way of showing that you have a little bit extra to offer a potential employer.


4. CV/Resume

As with your social presence, ensure you have an updated CV/resume. If you are going for a technical role ensure all technical skills/experiences are highly visible, ideally on the first page.  Your CV should start with a bang, setting out what you can offer an organisation. It should then detail all current and previous positions, including responsibilities in each as well any achievements, to back up the “bang”.


Hopefully the above 4 areas will help you focus on some particular areas to assist you in finding your first IT role in New Zealand.  Furthermore, there are a few roles that are currently hot right now; anyone with demonstrable experience in Amazon Web Services (certifications even better), Data Analytics (Data Scientists, Data Engineers) and Dev Ops as well as any Software Developers (.net or Java) are in high demand. Of course “Going Digital” is front of mind for most progressive New Zealand organisations, so any experience with mobility, data analytics, social media or cloud within an organisation will be highly sought after.  If there are any other tips you wish to add please feel free to comment below…………



Also, please check out the presentation I gave to a group of IT professionals who had recently migrated to New Zealand: click here

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