How to Get a Winter Job in Queenstown in Two Days

wish i had a job bro

Don’t you just hate misleading titles to entice you to read articles? This is one of them (kind of). But wait don’t leave yet! Within two days of being in Queenstown, I had a job secured – this is true. Admittedly, the job finding process started with one job application just before I arrived in Queenstown. But if you are one of those guys in the struggle to get a job in Queenstown, try these tips in your job search.

As the central hub for partying and snowsports in New Zealand, everyone with a desire to hurtle down a snowy mountain wants to be here between June and October. Sounds like fun until you realise you have to fund this life.

For a week now I have been a hostel dweller in Queenstown. Talking to fellow hostel dwellers, I have realised that finding a job in Queenstown right now – just before winter kicks off – is tougher than eating a leather boot. By collecting a few job success and failure stories, there has been a pattern emerging of what works quickly when finding a job in Queenstown for the winter season.

The impression of New Zealand and Kiwi’s is that they like face-to-face contact. They’re friendly people – they like to have a chat. So walking into a bar or restaurant with the friendly aura of a dream hospitality worker and CV/resume in hand should seem like the perfect thing, right? So imagine my surprise when I was met with an English bloke saying: “We only accept online applications.” Yep, the café I went to next said the same thing. Clearly many people had been before at the next place because they were too bombarded with CVs to accept any more – I even heard smug giggles as I left at what I can only assume was the hilarity of yet another loser trying to get a job.

All is not lost

No bother! I had a job interview lined up that day anyway because nine days before, while I was sat in Base Hostel in Taupo praising the Lord that I had finally got access to WiFi, I applied for a kitchenhand job on the day it was listed. With a cover letter and CV tailored to the role, I was invited to an interview for when I arrived in Queenstown.

The next day I attended a trial, and bish-bash-bosh, job accomplished. It’s probably hard to get a kitchenhand job wrong, but I still felt triumphant. Within two days of being in Queenstown I had landed myself a job with fulltime hours for the winter season – just what I needed. A guy I was also trialling with had applied for jobs online also, and he had another trial that same day because he was favouring the online applications over the face-to-face application. Good for him.


After a long-winded story, here are some tips on how to get a winter job:

  • Search for jobs on TradeMe and Lakes Weekly Bulletin.
  • Got a spare moment while travelling to Queenstown? Check online job listings and apply to avoid the days of waiting, wondering and crying that occur if you start applying in town.
  • Apply for jobs that are newly listed – they get snatched up quickly.
  • A short (half a page cover letter) tailored to the job description and to sell yourself is always a plus, if not essential.
  • Make your most relevant experience on you CV stand out.
  • You have a working visa, right?
  • Stay positive 😉

You thought getting a job was challenging? Try getting a room to rent for the winter season… I will keep you updated on that old chestnut, if I manage to keep myself off the street.


4 responses to “How to Get a Winter Job in Queenstown in Two Days

  1. Congrats on bagging yourself a job in the winter season- not surprising though considering how organised you’ve been about this whole trip- you’re a model working tourist 😀

    Great advice about online applications- although it does seem a bit strange, you’d think people would prefer good old face to face introductions. It’s weird how much of the “real world” now relies on the internet.


    • Oh my, thank you for your kind words.

      I know! I would have thought showing up in person shows a little more initiative (plus I paid $5 to print off my CVs)… but I suppose if everyone is doing it, it can take up a lot of the employer’s time and doesn’t seem as impressive if 20 people have come in before you doing the same thing.

      I’ll see how face-to-face CV handing out goes when I move on from Queenstown. Maybe it’s just fact that it is so busy here. Ain’t nobody got time for my face!


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