Start your search early! Once you have familiarised yourselves with the type of work available, start looking for work opportunities, this can be as early as your second or third year of university.
If this is your first time working in the planning field, apply widely and be open to any opportunity to learn. If you are still studying, it is likely that you will qualify for structured intern programmes which are focused on professional development and introducing you to the practice. These often run during summer and have application deadlines in the middle to latter part of the year.
If you have graduated recently or will be graduating in the next year, you can apply for graduate programmes. These are usually between two to four years and have application deadlines as early as the start of the year.
Also consider actively sending your CV and an expression of interest to employers as jobs may not always be advertised. Although this requires more groundwork on your part, it shows potential employers initiative and a willingness to learn.
Make a good impression
Set up your LinkedIn profile and keep updating it regularly. This is a great online platform for prospective employers or recruitment agencies to be aware of who you are and what you can offer to an employer.
Follow organisations that are involved in planning and start building your network through connecting with university alumni and teaching staff.
Make sure your CV highlights skills and experiences relevant to the role you are applying for. Use your cover letter to demonstrate your interests and enthusiasm, remember as a new planner being keen to learn is your best asset! Finally, remember to keep your cv short!
Where to look
The NZPI Jobs Board connects you with planning opportunities throughout the country. Many of the positions listed are not usually advertised elsewhere, or as comprehensively. Members are notified of new position via our weekly e-bulletin.