CareerQuest guide

CareerQuest is a job-matching tool designed to provide career suggestions and promote career conversations. Find out more about how it works, and get resources and tips to help others make the most of this tool.

CareerQuest helps people discover jobs through an online questionnaire. It analyses people’s interest in different types of work, and matches these interests to more than 400 job outlines on the Careers New Zealand website.

CareerQuest helps users to:

  • explore jobs and see how those jobs match their interests
  • see and review their answers, and make changes
  • filter their results by education level
  • create a list of favourite jobs, and compare aspects of these jobs
  • save their results, and return to them later.

The CareerQuest approach to job matching

CareerQuest is designed to provide career suggestions and promote career conversations.

It looks at a combination of different aspects that make up a job, such as working outdoors or working with children. A person may really like some aspects of a job, be OK with others, and find there are other aspects they'd prefer not to do at all. 

For example, carpentry work includes working with buildings, working with your hands, working outdoors, and doing physical work. If a person likes all of these things, carpenter is likely to be listed in their results.

Answers to each question are compared with each job in our database. Results are all about what the individual thinks, and are not related to other people's responses to the same questions.

Ranking of jobs

The ranking of job results is based on the combination of work aspects linked to each job, and the strength of interest a person has in each of these areas.

For example:

  • an interest in sport and recreation and teaching people will combine as a suggestion for the job of outdoor recreation guide/instructor
  • an interest in air transport, but dislike of working with tourists or customer service, will eliminate flight attendant from job results.

The job ranking is not designed to say categorically that a person is better-suited to the top job than a job further down the list. This is because some jobs are linked to fewer job aspects than others.

Several jobs may also have a similar number of interest matches. For example, the first 20 jobs in the results may all have an equal number of interest matches.

The impact of the 'neutral' response

Some people may be unsure about how they feel about some work aspects, and the 'neutral' option is included for this reason.

If someone is unsure, make sure they know that the 'neutral' option is a valid choice. Selecting 'neutral', rather than 'no interest' will keep interest areas open, whereas picking 'no interest' will filter out jobs that feature this aspect of work.

For example, if a user responds 'neutral' to 'farming animals' and is interested in working outdoors and physical activity, they are still likely to get farming jobs suggested to them.

Users are encouraged to come back and change their mind, or simply explore what happens when they change a few responses. 

Helping users get the most out of CareerQuest

Follow these quick tips for working with CareerQuest.

Discover why a job has been suggested

Once you have completed the questionaire, you can click on the job title for each of the suggested jobs and you will see what responses led to a job being matched.  

Use the education filter to help narrow down options

The education level filter can also help refine results by filtering out jobs that require an education or training level that may not be appropriate. For example, a user could eliminate all jobs requiring a postgraduate level degree if they were not interested in studying for a long time.

Ensuring students have a good understanding of the National Qualifications Framework will help them better understand how their career options will be affected depending on the level of education they aspire to.

Explore why an expected job has not shown up in the results

Discuss with each student what ideas they have for careers before they use CareerQuest. Afterwards, they'll be able to compare their own suggestions with what CareerQuest suggests, as well as explore what elements led to a similarity or difference in results.

Sometimes their career ideas won't show up in their results. This could happen for a number of reasons:

  • We don't have the job title in our database. Try using different search terms to see if you can find something similar.
  • A person's response to the questions causes the job to be eliminated from the results. For example, if a person wants to be a carpenter, but in the questionnaire selected 'no interest' to physical activity, working with your hands or working outdoors, carpenter would not show up in the results.
  • If someone has answered positively to many job aspects, they may get many results. The CareerQuest result list shows the first 100 jobs only, so this job may simply come after these other options.

Encourage users to revisit and update their answers

Suggest they try out some changes to see what happens to their results.

For example, you might encourage someone to reconsider their neutral responses, and whether they could move from neutral to a negative or positive response.

Try asking:

  • If you had no neutral option, what would you choose instead?
  • What made you decide on neutral?

Useful resources

Use the following resources to help people work through CareerQuest.

Saving and sharing results in CareerQuest

To create favourites and compare them, you need to create a My Career Portfolio account on the Careers New Zealand website. Users can complete the registration process and return to their CareerQuest work in one session.

Important things to know for registering a My Career Portfolio account:

  • Each user needs to enter an email address to complete the My Career Portfolio registration form, they will need to access their email account to complete the registration process.
  • You can only have one My Career Portfolio account per email address.
  • If a user forgets their password, they will need to log in to their email account to retrieve it. They can then carry on their CareerQuest session.

How to share CareerQuest results using My Career Portfolio

If you want to look at a client or student’s CareerQuest results, you will need their permission to access their My Career Portfolio account. You will need their username and password so you can log in to see the results.
You can have someone save their results to your own username and password, but this will replace any other results that you had saved. Each My Career Portfolio account can have only one session saved within it.

Updated 2 Dec 2015