Essential Information on an Essential Issue
22 February, 2001
NZ Job Search Websites
- Our Review of the Top Ten Job Sites
- Karl's Jobs Site tips
- Jobsites at a glance
- Richard Bowles and The Old Faithful Parachute
THE FACE OF JOBHUNTING has quickly changed as more and more job advertisements,
recruitment agencies, and careers advisers have gone on-line.
The internet may still be in its infancy, but it is clear that the web has already become an
important tool for unemployed New Zealanders searching for their next job, or researching the
companies and causes they want to work for.
The new job search websites are continually updating their services ... demonstrating for
themselves the sort of creativity and innovation expected of job applicants in the
They are already far more than simply on-line situations vacant databases. Besides offering a
list of jobs to search (and emailing you when a job appears that you might like), they also
offer careers advice, CV preparation tips, and facilities for creating and storing CVs online.
Some even have virtual interviewers that ask you common questions, and suggest model answers.
The best sites are making the jobseeker's visit as interesting and informative as possible,
and updating their content regularly, in order to keep the visitor coming back for their services.
The Jobs Letter has asked KARL GORRINGE, a 25-year old Taskforce Green worker,
to check out the main New Zealand job search websites available today, and to give his
verdict. Here is his special report ... plus his tips for jobseekers (like himself) who are using the
internet to hunt down their job prospects.
Picking the best job site in New Zealand is a relatively straightforward matter. Seek is the top job seekers’ site in the country right now. The site (www.seek.co.nz) won Best Employment Site at the 2000 NetGuide Awards and it’s easy to see why. It has many features in common with other sites, but Seek is the most logically laid out and has a huge number of jobs available. It also has an excellent online CV builder, dozens of useful resources for those wanting to research a particular career, profiles of companies, and a job alert service, which lets you register and have jobs that interest you emailed to an address you specify. Seek has the best job search engine of all the sites visited, allowing job seekers to search based on almost every kind of category imaginable.
Verdict: An outstanding site and highly recommended.
Also very impressive is Monster (www.monster.co.nz). It is not laid out with the simplicity and fluency of Seek, and some of its content has not yet been tailored for New Zealand (clicking on some links will take you to www.monster.com.au, its parent Australian site). Its job search engine is almost as good as Seek’s, but does not allow you specify a timeframe for your search. It also doesn’t have nearly the number of jobs listed that Seek does, but it still has much to recommend it – a superb CV builder, a job alert service, lots of career resources, company profiles (some Australian, but many NZ as well). It also has a few unique features such as a job-related weekly poll, a “dream job” expert, career horoscopes and a dot.com job converter, which allows you to find out the internet equivalent of your current job, and the skills needed to do it.
Verdict: the most fun, though not as many vacancies as Seek.
Nzjobs (www.nzjobs.co.nz) was the 1999 winner at the NetGuide awards, but it has been well overtaken by both Seek and Monster since then. Its job search engine, while very good, is not as comprehensive as those of either Monster or Seek, and its career resources are a little sparse. On the plus side, it has a very good selection of local and international links. This is a no frills site, although it has a job alert service. It has a large amount of jobs available. Nzjobs does not have a free CV builder, but instead links to a pay site that offers this service.
Verdict: good range of jobs but could do with more frills.
Career.co.nz (www.career.co.nz) has a nice clear layout. Make sure you don’t confuse it with the Kiwi Careers site (www.careers.co.nz), which offers NZ job industry and training information and links. It has a very good search engine, although the number of categories you can search under is relatively small. The site offers a job alert service. There are some very useful, well-written career resources.. It has a good selection of international, but no local, links and a basic online CV builder, and has a small amount of jobs on offer. Career.co.nz is really easy on the eye, and a pleasure to navigate.
Verdict: clean and simple. I like it.
MyJob (www.myjob.co.nz), is part of the New Zealand Herald’s excellent news site, www.nzherald.co.nz. It has a very good search engine, and one of the best collections of career resources of any NZ job site. Everything from changing careers, to advice for the unemployed and even those contemplating retirement is covered, and the site has several special features, including the latest news stories from the Herald about careers and employment. It has a good free online CV builder. The number of jobs listed is small, as MyJob only covers vacancies in the New Zealand Herald.
Verdict: Good for Auckland job hunters, and a valuable general career resource site.
Work and Income NZ’s site (www.winz.govt.nz ) has a good search engine, and some basic job-hunting resources. It is not as navigation-friendly as Seek, for example, and contains no special features. The site offers no job alert service, nor an online CV building service, something offered by the majority sites reviewed here. It does give useful summaries of the services offered by Winz. It has a decent amount of vacancies listed, and these are updated regularly. Winz's site also, surprisingly, has no email contact address for the department, and you cannot apply for jobs online. The site does allow would-be employers to search for workers in Winz’s “talent bank” but the search engine for this function will only say how many people are available for the sort of work an employer is offering, and will not say who they are, nor what specific skills and experience they have. It would be a simple matter to seek clients’ permission to provide these details, and would certainly increase their job chances.
Verdict: good basic services, but needs more features added.
JobCafe (www.jobcafe.co.nz) has a very good search engine, but its categories (the site calls them Career Channels) are not as comprehensive as that of Monster or Seek. The site has a nice café theme running throughout – instead of applying for jobs, you “order” them, etc. Its career resources are sparse, with only the basics covered well, and the resources section is really an advertisement for a career consultant. JobCafe has a very good online CV builder. Most of the vacancies listed seem to be in the IT area.
Verdict: job hunting for the espresso lifestyle.
Netcheck (www.netcheck.co.nz) is another no frills site. It has a good search engine, but not nearly the number of vacancies listed as the top sites. Its range of career resources is limited – only one page. It has a job alert service, but few links to other job-seeking resources, and no special features. Its claim to be “New Zealand’s most famous job seekers’ site” is a curious assertion. I had never heard of it before I started writing this, and I had certainly heard of Monster and Seek.
Verdict: Good for the basics.
Jobstuff (www.jobstuff.co.nz, formerly known as JobNet) is one of a number of sites in New Zealand that are run by major NZ media companies, in this case, International Newspapers Limited (INL). For a company with the resources of INL, and an excellent news site (www.stuff.co.nz) this site has room for improvement. Its search engine is not as good as those of the top sites. The site has no career resources, or links of any kind, and no special features that set it apart from other, much better designed and resourced sites. It does offer a job alert service. Not all the vacancies that are listed in INL’s newspapers appear on the site.
Verdict: Could do better.
JobUniverse (www.jobuniverse.co.nz) is run by IDG Communications Ltd, the publishers of PC World magazine. It claims to be a general jobseeking site, but it mainly lists jobs in the IT field. The site has very few career resources, some company profiles, but some good links. It has no online CV builder. One rather nifty feature is What Am I Worth?, a link to a site where you can email a consultant to find out how much your skills are worth – although, again, it is limited to IT skills.
Verdict: too focussed on IT to be useful to the general jobseeker.
Karl's Job Site Tips
- Visit as many sites as you can. Some jobs are only advertised on one particular job site.
- Visit sites often. Most are updated on a daily basis, and there is no guarantee that what
is listed today will be there tomorrow. If you see something that interests you, apply for it
- Recognise that some sites specialise in particular skill areas - eg JobUniverse, which
is largely devoted to IT jobs.
- The search engines of some sites may not work the way you expect, or as well as you
might think. Going through five hundred fulltime Wellington jobs one by one may be time
consuming, but the more thoroughly you search, the greater your chances of finding what you are looking for.
- If the kind of job you are looking for is not a listed category, think about other areas
related to that. There is no consistent method of categorisation across all the websites.
- If you are searching by keyword, think laterally. If you search for something specific
such as "hotel receptionist" and nothing comes up, try a more general search such as "hotel" or
"hospitality" to see if you can narrow it down.
- If you don't find what you want, have suitable vacancies emailed to you when they
appear. Many sites offer this "job alert" service.
- Create a web based email address (eg Hotmail, Yahoo Mail), or set up a new folder
inside your existing mail program, to store messages relating to your job hunt. This folder will soon
fill up. It's also a good way of keeping track of how much of an effort you are making to look
- There are many sites that offer special services if you register as a member, and
some require you to register before you can use them.
- When you register with a site, make a note of your password and username. Don't count
on being able to use the same username with every site. Make a file for storing your usernames
and passwords - you will end up with many.
- The internet is probably not the best place to find your first full-time job. Most of the
job descriptions I checked out required people with experience - but you never know your luck.
- It is a great place to research the places you would like to work first, and also to get
information on career paths (check out www.kiwicareers.co.nz).
- It is also very valuable for researching companies and recruitment agencies. Most have
a website. There are hundreds of them in NZ, and many specialise in certain kinds of jobs. For
a searchable database of over 160,000 NZ businesses, visit the online version of the
Universal Business Directory (www.ubd.co.nz), which is updated daily, and one of the most
exhaustive lists of employment and recruitment sites can be found at www.piperpat.co.nz/nz/careers.html
- Many sites allow you to create an online CV. If you do decide to do this, keep it short
and sweet. Sites such as Seek allow you to remain anonymous when you post your CV, if you
are afraid of being sprung by your current boss. Make sure to update your CV regularly, as
employers are unlikely to contact you if it hasn't changed for six months.
- If you are sending a CV you have created (for example with Microsoft Word), make sure
it looks good and uses a font that reads well onscreen.
- Check your spelling and grammar thoroughly several times. A CV is your advertisement.
- Make sure to check your CV for viruses before e-mailing it to a prospective employer.
You will definitely not get a callback if you infect a potential workplace. If you don't have a
virus checker, get one now before you send out anything. I recommend Inoculate, available free
- The internet is a fantastic place to find free hints on how to write a great CV. There
are also many sites that will write one for you - for a modest fee, of course.
- Some employment sites also give out interview tips or provide the opportunity for
Karl Gorringe can be contacted at email@example.com
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