The New Zealand workforce has been cornered into a period of rapid change and economic shift.

Every Tuesday, the Herald will bring job seekers and small-business owners tips from the experts on how to prepare and pivot their career in uncertain times.

Finding a job is tough at the best of times but a new search in the current climate is uncharted territory.

Back in February this year there were an average of 26 jobs for every job seeker according to data from employment website Indeed.

Now, it's estimated there are around 30 candidates for each vacancy.

This means your CV needs to stand out and grab the attention of potential employers and recruiters - what better time to get it right than during a lockdown.


Recruitment expert Sharon Davies from Talent Propeller said on average a CV is read for 10 seconds or less so there is very little time to make a great impression.

Design plays a big part of "instant appeal" Davies said but even more important was a focus on getting the basics right.

A consistent font size and style, good use of bullet points and trimming all unnecessary content was key.

Once the CV was perfected, Davies said it was time to get networking - all online of course.

"This means get out on your social channels such as LinkedIn and communicate and engage with professionals in your chosen industry," she said.

"You never know when someone might have an opportunity they haven't gone to market with yet and because you talked to them, they will think of you.

And Davies said job seekers should not hesitate to apply - even during the lockdown period.

"Even in recessions, companies will still need to fill critical roles or replace people who have left the business."


Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Simon Rooney from Find Recruitment said job seekers should look for both short-term and long-term employment.

"In this sort of crisis short-term thinking is acceptable," Rooney said.

"Taking a role on a contract basis below your experience demonstrates that you are down to earth and willing to change."

Rooney said when the market comes back so will opportunities.

It was better to have been working in a lower-level role than unemployed for six months or longer.

As well as updates to your CV, Rooney said a professional-looking LinkedIn profile was paramount.

"Update your roles on LinkedIn, again spelling it out if you are immediately available as LinkedIn doesn't tell recruiters/employers unless they have the top subscription.

And if you secure an interview make it count by interviewing well.


With no face-to-face interviews for the foreseeable future, video interviews are commonplace.

Emma Scott from Tribe Recruitment urged all job seekers to take some time to get familiar with platforms such as Zoom or Skype so they are as relaxed as possible during the interview.

Scott's Top Tips

• Set up your phone or laptop ahead of time to get lighting and angles right.

• Dress appropriately as you would for a face-to-face interview.

• Ensure your surroundings are tidy.


• Be personable – make eye-contact (with the camera) smile often and engage with the interviewer.

• Remove distractions such as clutter, pets and children.

• Follow up – send a message to your interviewer thanking them for their time.