Student Job Search Review

Ash Simpson
November 9, 2020

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Student Job Search, or sjs as its known, has been a go-to for New Zealand student job seekers for several decades. It is owned by 18 student organisations, who each pay an annual levy that funds the service and allows it free for both employers and jobseekers. Student Job Seach was established in the pre-internet age of the mid-1980s, which meant it was initially a physical job board where students would go to their local student union office and view jobs posted on a wall.


Fast forward a few years to 2001 when the internet started to take off (all be it at dial-up speed), and Student Job Seach began transitioning its service online, meaning students no longer had to skateboard down to the local sjs office to see what jobs were up for grabs. By the time 2011 rolled around, all physical Student Job Search offices had closed their doors, and sjs was a fully online service.


Who Can Use Student Job Search?


It’s important to note only students or recent graduates (who graduated within the last two years) can use Student Job Search. If you aren’t a student or recent graduate looking to use sjs to find a job, you are out of luck.




Student Job Search



What Kind of Jobs are Available?


Student Job Search allows employers from all different industries to post jobs on their site, so you will find a bit of everything. Hospitality, retail, cleaning, and outdoor work, i.e. labouring & gardening, seem to be the categories with the most jobs available. Being a student job site, the majority of jobs are casual, part-time or one-off jobs. This makes sense that most students are studying/partying full time and cannot hold down a full-time job.



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Applying for Jobs


When applying for a job on sjs, the process can work a bit differently than other job sites. Firstly, you must register and supply supporting documents showing that you are indeed a student or intend to study soon. You can’t apply for jobs until you have uploaded these documents and they have been checked and verified by sjs staff. This process can take 1-2 business days, so don’t expect to apply for jobs straight away.


Once you have completed the registration process and have been verified, you are free to search and apply for as many jobs as you like. You will notice that you can‘t see who the employer is that has posted the job. This makes it hard to research the company before applying as you won't know who they are. So, you may end up applying for a job with a company that you don’t want to work for. Not ideal, but that’s the model sjs uses.


When you find a job that you would like to apply for, you click the ‘Apply Now’ button, and it will take you to an application form page that contains questions related to the job you are applying for. You have to fill out this form to check your suitability for the role so the Student Job Search staff can check your suitability. You may then be asked to either call sjs for an initial interview or receive further instructions from the employer themselves around the application process, i.e. giving them a call or applying through their company's website.


In some instances, you would say Student Job Search acts as a student recruitment agency because you can’t see who the employers are posting the jobs, and you have to be interviewed by them first. If you get through to an interview with an employer, then sjs play no further part in the process, and it is up to you and the employer to agree to your employment contract If you are successful in getting the job.



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A Useful Platform...If You are a Student


Like anything, there are pros and cons to using Student Job Search to find a job. The obvious con would be that it is only available to students or recent graduates, but then again, that’s who the site was made for in the first place. The student associations also provide the site's funding, so of course, they want it to benefit their customers (students are their customers, if you didn't realise). The biggest negative for me is the lack of visibility around who the employers are. I want to know who the business is before I apply for a job. The registration process, which can take up to 2 business days to complete, is also not ideal for looking to start their job search straight away.


On the other hand, there is no shortage of jobs for you to apply for. Being a free service, employers have nothing to lose in posting their positions on the site. The customer service that sjs offer is a plus. If you have any questions about a role or need a hand with anything, you can quickly contact them by phone or email.



Other Options for Students and Graduates?


Seek NZ is another popular job board you can use to find a job in New Zealand. I have written about its 3 best features and how you can use them to improve your job search.