Creative job search

Note that in New Zealand, many job opportunities are not openly advertised.  Rather, they but are filled by people already known to the organisation. To access this ‘hidden’ job market takes a range of creative job search techniques including:

Networking: Many student and graduate job seekers actively build; maintain and use a network of useful contacts, often starting with friends and family; their peers and tutors; friends of family or family of friends; past and present colleagues and members of professional associations.  Some add to this with contacts found in job advertisements, news articles, web searches and by emailing or calling organisations of interest to them.

Networking is not about making direct requests for work. Rather, it usually begins with requesting information; advice or further contacts.  Often this is done through informational interviews, namely a conversation to find out more about opportunities in your contact‘s area or about what their role involves.   Effective networking often leads to your contacts offering you invaluable and detailed information on roles; sectors and organisations and to them ‘keeping an ear to the ground’ for job opportunities for you. You can find out more about making and using contacts; networking and informational interviews here.

On-line networking: It is increasingly important that job seekers have a professional on-line presence and that they make active use of LinkedIn or similar professional networks, for example Twitter where many follow and engage with people and organisations in sectors of interest to them. LinkedIn offers useful student resources with advice on areas such as finding your career passion and building your professional brand.  To access more information on using social media in job search see the resources here.

Speculative applications: Sometimes referred to as cold calling, speculative applications can be useful.  Indeed they may be crucial for finding work in difficult to enter sectors (e.g. media); vacation work or where you know that you want to stay in a particular region such as the Manawatu.  In most instances you’ll be sending a speculative CV and letter, pro-actively followed up with a telephone call or email message. For speculative applications to stand most chance of success you should identify and research your target; try to contact an individual by name and adapt your application to show that you’ve researched the role you’re interested in and the organisation.  Ensure that you show how your experience; skills; knowledge and achievements are relevant.  The reader expects you to show what you have to offer them.

There's always the risk that your letter goes unanswered or you receive a rejection, Making speculative applications can put you more in charge of your job search, and can help you to uncover opportunities that might not have previously existed.

The links in the table below can help you to identify organisations in the Manawatu that you may want to contact.  In all cases, check the organisation’s website first.  A small number of employers ask that you only contact them if you’ve seen a role advertised.  Others allow you to register on-line your interest in working for them:

Index NZ

Manawatu Chamber of Commerce members

Yellow Pages

A – Z Manawatu

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