How To Master a Cover Letter for New Zealand [Examples & Tips]

Although you might don’t want to, yet in most cases, you need to include a cover letter when applying for a job in New Zealand. NZ cover letter is similar to other countries; it should show the company why you are the right candidate for the job. Take your time to write a personal and customized letter. Never send the generic one; this can ruin your application from the start.

A cover letter is a monumental part of your job application in New Zealand. A good cover letter should answer the main question, which is why the company should hire you. Additionally, it must provide information on how you can bring value to the company and help them with the challenges. A cover letter should showcase the relevant skills and experience you have.

In most cases, businesses and recruiters in New Zealand will require you to attach a customized cover letter. And it’s a good thing for you. In the end, the cover letter is a claim for the role – it’s your chance to highlight and match your experience against the job description and to clearly state what you can offer your potential employer.

If you are looking for a job in New Zealand, I would highly recommend going through the Job Hunter’s handbook made by

Is a cover letter necessary in New Zealand?

Unfortunately, yes, you need to include a customized cover letter when applying for a job in New Zealand. Almost half of the recruiters reject applications without a cover letter. A high-quality, customized cover letter tells the manager you are a dedicated professional. It should be only a page long.

A resume or CV alone can show your achievements and qualifications, but it can’t tell the story and explain why you choose this company in particular. That’s why we need a cover letter. It’s also a great tool to show your personality and motivation. It must show the employer you are an asset to their company.

Are you resigning from your previous job? Read how to write a proper resignation letter.

Tips and guidance for a winner cover letter

So what is a cover letter, and why it’s so important for your job application in New Zealand?

  • Cover letter is your first point of contact with employers.
  • It should fit on one page.
  • It needs to explain why you want this job.
  • It should relate to your CV.
  • It should describe your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments.
  • It should show the evidence that you have researched the company and that you are the right candidate.

If you follow these simple statements, you should already be able to create a decent letter. Yet, if you want more, read this article to the end and follow the advice.

The winning tactic here is focusing on them, not just on you, which will ultimately make you stand out from other applicants

When writing your cover letter, pay attention to the following:


  • Do very extensive research about the company. Show it in the cover letter.
  • Reflect on the company’s vision.
  • Highlight specific achievements and successes that show you can address the challenges the employer is facing.
  • Show your personality.
  • Prove that you understand the challenges of the company.
  • Explain your motivation and fit for the position.
  • Presents how your skills and experience as a solution for the company.
  • Create a list of job keywords that are mentioned in the job ad. Include them in the cover letter.
  • Address the cover letter to the right person, e.g., the hiring manager or recruiter
  • Be clear and concise
  • Have a structure in the letter – beginning, middle, end
  • Use active words to describe your work – accomplished, achieved, led, created, increased, identified
  • Finish with a call to action and ask for a meeting.


  • Try to be funny
  • Send a generic cover letter — customize each one for the specific job.
  • Lie, ever
  • Forget your full contact details
  • Generic and boring opening paragraph
  • Copy-paste from the CV or job ad
  • Start every sentence with “I”
  • Write more than one page

Looking for a job? Check out the best recruitment agencies in New Zealand.

1. Research about the company and position

Your knowledge about the company you are applying to work for is crucial. You must also know all the essential details about the advertised position and how your skills and experience fit in.

When someone reads your cover letter, they must be sure you are the right candidate for this position and for this company. That’s why you must include as many tailored to the job ad details as possible (yet not too many).

So, look for information on the company, its key products or services, its mission, and anything else that gives you an insight into them. Notice the most important details and mention them in the cover letter where appropriate.

You might want to check out the company’s website, its executives’ Twitter feeds, and LinkedIn profiles.

The culture of the organization is vital to note. This will influence your communication style. For instance, you might be more casual with start-ups or advertising agencies but more formal with banks and large corporations.

2. Show how you can help

A company hires you to solve a problem or to help with challenging tasks they are unable to manage. Point out the things you can do for a company and which potential results it might bring. Or maybe you already were challenged with similar tasks? Mention it in your cover letter!

3. Why are you a perfect fit?

The second paragraph of your cover letter should give a clear idea to the reader why you are the one and that you will satisfy the company’s specific needs.

Here you should match the keywords mentioned in the job ad with your skills and experience. You also must show the hiring manager why you want this job, not just any job. Include all the enthusiasm and passion you have.

Match your skills with a job ad

Highlight the key skills and qualities in the ad, e.g.:

  • strong written and verbal communication
  • technical skills
  • analytical thinking
  • creativity
  • team player or teamwork
  • problem-solving
  • time management
  • knowledge of software & tools
  • specialized or technical competencies
  • high level of computer competency
  • ability to work well under pressure
  • enthusiasm and initiative
  • excellent customer service

Include them in the cover letter with real-life examples.

Connections matter in New Zealand

About 70% of all jobs in New Zealand are so-called hidden. They are simply not advertised because hiring managers seek candidates within the company, their circle of colleagues, and people they know before they post a job ad. For that reason, having connections in New Zealand is very crucial.

You are more likely to be invited to an interview if you know a friend of a friend and they got a reference they you rather than just based on your qualifications and experience.

That might be good news for some and bad news for others. Nonetheless, it’s highly recommended to start networking as soon as you land in New Zealand. Join groups, participate in social and professional events, work on your Linkedin profile, and just be proactive.

And if you are lucky to know someone in the company you are applying to work for, mention it in the first sentence or two of your cover letter.

Don’t forget to include

Your cover letter shouldn’t miss these small but key elements:

Your personal value and personality

While skills and experiences are indeed critical, New Zealanders love human connection. If they find you an interesting and nice person, they are more likely to move forward with your application.

Try to be personal in your cover letter; tell them more unique things about you and your experience. Avoid being general at any cost.

Reflect on your experience that relates to the job ad and company profile. What challenges have you faced, and how did you solve them? You also want to provide evidence of the things you mention by using concrete examples, situations, numbers, and facts. For example:

“During the last quarter, my company was challenged by the supply shortage of …We have had 200% more orders than we can ever fulfill. To solve this problem, I was on the lookout for new suppliers for several weeks; after dozens of selling calls, I finally managed to sign a contract with our best supplier so far. I will never come across them otherwise.”

Your enthusiasm

In many cases, people don’t get hired because they aren’t enthusiastic and convincing enough. So, it’s not the lack of skills; it’s your desire and how you show it. If you make it as if it was your dream job, you are more likely to be invited. Avoid at any cost writing in a manner as you are doing a company a favor by working for them.

Hiring managers even say, “Enthusiasm conveys personality.” Some tips that help you to point out your enthusiasm include:

  • Show that you have thought about the job and why you would like to work for them.
  • Why is this company so brilliant? What they do the best? How they stand out?
  • Mention their reputation, performance, and product.
  • Remember, it’s about what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.

NZ cover letter structure

Following the formal structure when piecing together a cover letter is as much as important as its content. So, make sure you stick to New Zealand standards. Here is an example:

Your Name
Street Address
City, Post Code

Andrew Black
66 Hagley Way
Christchurch, 9888
02 334 4333
[email protected]
Recipient Name
Job Title
Company Name
Street Address
City, Post Code

Anthony Steward
Senior recruiter
6 The End Way
Auckland, 0692
09 7744 6253
[email protected]

Date, Job title vacancy, reference number

Dear [Ms. or Mr. Surname],

  • Opening – Explain why you are writing this letter (add an interesting one-liner summarizing why you’re interested in the role and what you’d bring to their business.)
  • Explain your interest in the job, show knowledge about the company and position
  • Demonstrate your skills and experience related to the job
  • Explain why you will fit into this role and which value you will bring to the company
  • Sign off and offer them to contact you

Yours sincerely,

Your name – Andrew Black.

Make sure you check your cover letter via Grammarly for spelling and grammar mistakes!

Cover letter introduction

The introduction sentences will determine whether the hiring manager will read on or skip your resume. Start your cover letter in an unconventional way and hold the reader’s interest. Here are some tips for a stellar introduction:

  • Highlight your achievements in the industry.
  • Display your passion and enthusiasm.
  • Mention some names and numbers.

A no-go cover letter introduction looks like this:

In response to your posting for the Digital Marketing Manager position, I would like to express my interest in participating in the recruitment process. As a digital marketing manager with 8+ years of experience, I am optimistic that I would succeed in this role.

Top cover letter example

Since you already know how to write the header, here is only the main part of the cover letter.

” I am writing regarding the Marketing Manager position you currently have open. As a marketer with over 5 years of experience managing small and larger teams, I would love to take a challenge and work for your company. Marketing is my passion, so it’s to achieve monthly goals, generate new leads & sales, and train the team for success.

In my previous role at (company name), I reached not only the set marketing goals but exceeded them by 80% and, in some months, even 120%. Your company (name) already has brilliant strategies in place, you use paid advertising, social media, and outreach, but I would add other channels to ramp up the reach and revenue. I am experienced and knowledgeable in the SEO scene; hence we can explore new opportunities for your business in this area of marketing.

My previous team of marketing assistants was great! I love to work with people and guide them in our current strategies. At the same time, responsibility for people does not make me stressed or scared but ignites my motivation to bring even better results so we can all be proud as a team.

Besides, my Master’s degree in Business taught me fundamental knowledge about organizations, management, strategy, and agility, which I would be happy to apply when working for (company).

It will be great to talk in person one day. You can reach me at 123456789 any time or via email at [email protected] to arrange an interview. Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Your name”

Cover letter for a visa application

Im most cases, Immigration New Zealand, will request a cover or so-called motivational letter together with your visa application. This is generally a less complex document that you would write for the employer.

Your cover letter for a visa should include:

  • Reasons why you are moving or visiting New Zealand
  • How are you going to support yourself
  • Demonstration of how you meet the criteria for the visa

The content of the cover letter will vary depending on the visa type you are applying for. If it’s, for instance, to join a partner in New Zealand, you should include your relationship to them and explain it briefly.

Therefore, your cover letter should target your visa category’s main requirements. 

When I was applying for a student visa, my cover letter described why I decided to study in New Zealand and what are my plans after my studies. Immigration New Zealand also mentioned in their requirements that the cover letter must include these details.

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