Are you a school teacher or careers advisor helping a young person into a career?

Careers advisors

You know and we know that choosing a rewarding career and getting that ‘right’ first job is hugely important for your students. It can also be difficult.

So we’ve talked to employers we work with and put together the handy hints below. They’ll help you help the young people you work with get to where they want to go. 

Choosing a career: tips for your students

Great careers bring together many things: your passion, your skills, and opportunities to do something useful, gain experience and learn new things.

Some tips for choosing a great career:


  • 1

    Think about what excites you

    We all have things we enjoy doing: making things, working outdoors, being creative... Think about what excites you.

  • 2

    Identify your skills

    Look at what you've already achieved in life - big and small. Then identify the skills that got you there.

  • 3

    Talk to us

    Talk to our Competenz careers team (0800 526 1800), a schools careers advisor and people doing jobs you're interested in. Check out the Careers NZ website.

  • 4

    Get work experience

    It's a great way to check out a career, gain some skills and build your networks. And if you shine, you may even get a job offer.

  • 5

    Bring it all together in a plan

    What do you need to do to make your chosen career happen?

Getting a job: tips for your students

  • 1

    Employers want to know you're interested in their industry and their business.

    So take the time to learn about the company before you approach them.

  • 2

    Show employers that you've mastered new skills in the past

    and that you're keen to keep learning.

  • 3

    Your employer wants to be able to rely on you.

    Turn up on time, follow instructions and work hard!

  • 4

    Employers are looking for people who fit in.

    Show them you're friendly, helpful and reliable. It's a great way to show you're interested in an employer's business and motivated to get ahead. And you may even get a job offer.

  • 5

    And stick with it!

    It can take a while to find the right job. Persevering will pay off!

These are some things your students can do:

  • Put together a short CV (curriculum vitae) summarising the skills and experience they can offer an employer.
  • Ask a friend or family member to pretend they’re interviewing them for a job. Then practise their answers.

Go to the Teachers page to check out our project template for students to use in their CV's.

Visit the Careers New Zealand website for more information.

Your students don’t need to be working to start building their skills. Getting started now shows employers they're serious about learning and contributing to their workplace. 

Here are some things your students can do.

  • Get a first aid certificate. It’s useful in every workplace.
  • Get their full driver’s licence.
  • Check out the subjects your school offers. For example, if they want to be an engineer, they may be able to do mechanical engineering as an NCEA subject.
  • Many community organisations run useful courses. For example, if it’s a maritime career they’re keen on, they should check out the boatmaster courses at their local Coastguard.