Top 10 Tips for landing your dream graduate agribusiness job.

Top 10 Tips for landing your dream graduate agribusiness job.

Perrin Ag is tapping into more than a decade of experience employing agribusiness graduates to offer university students tips for landing their first dream role as 2025 intakes open.

Perrin Ag knows a thing or two about recruiting graduates. For nearly 10 years, the firm has taken on university graduates from across the country and officially launched its Empower Graduate Advisor programme in 2020. The 2025 intake is now open to Waikato, Lincoln and Massey university students.

The team has been impressed by the emerging talent, but solid academic performance and impressive community involvement won’t get you past the first gate if you don’t nail your application. The Perrin Ag team has seen its fair share of trainwrecks and best practice. The firm’s Business Manager Mike Matthews explains.

“We have received more than one cover letter that was obviously generic because it still included the names of our competitors!” he says. “We have seen CVs that were generated by ChatGPT and still included the ‘populate your experience here’ text prompts.

“Formatting mistakes and spelling errors are still commonplace. I would encourage applicants to make the most of support tools, such as Grammarly. We have seen evidence of people not reading application instructions. For example, we ask for an academic transcript and get a note with the application saying their transcripts are available on request.

“On the upside, we’ve been impressed over the years with people who have really done their homework on Perrin Ag. Those who have considered their 3–5-year plan and proactively shared examples of their work have also captured our attention. This is the type of effort and level of professionalism that will impress employers enough to offer you an interview.”

So, what is Mike’s top tip?

“Your CV and cover letter are your golden tickets, so it’s worth putting in the effort to make them shine,” he says. “Remember, one size doesn’t fit all, show your consideration by customising your application to each specific role. Trust us, it makes all the difference.”

With applications for Perrin Ag’s 2025 Empower graduate advisor intake open, the Perrin Ag team has put together its top ten tips for graduates beginning their job search in agribusiness.

Our top 10 tips for agri-business grads

  1. Have a concise CV – Employers have busy schedules, so make it easy for them to see your brilliance. Tailor the content for each of your applications by emphasising your most relevant skills. Don’t forget to list your community involvement. Can you inject some creativity and colour into your content and layout?

  2. Use numbers to quantify experience. For example, “I managed a team of 10 volunteers.”

  3. Personalise your cover letter. Tailor your cover letter to the role you are applying for. Avoid slang or informal language and prioritise grammar, punctuation, and spelling. While AI tools can assist, ensure your letter reflects your authentic voice. Consider standing out with video cover letters. Take an opportunity to set yourself apart with personalised, attention to detail and thoughtful preparation.

  4. Have a polished social media presence – Consider adjusting privacy settings on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to control who can view your content. Maintaining a clean and professional online presence is crucial in today’s job market.

  5. Research the company – Learn as much as you can about your prospective employer’s key people, products or services, competitors, and industry trends.

  6. Display your passion for agriculture and the impact it has on communities, the economy, and the environment. This shows the interviewer that you’re passionate about the role, and more likely to be engaged and motivated if you are hired.

  7. Be prepared to articulate your view on key industry issues. Take the time to research and identify key industry challenges. In ag, these may be things like environmental issues, GHG or animal welfare. Show you have a viewpoint, and an opinion on ways forward.

  8. Convey confidence – remember the power of a smile, maintaining eye contact and mindful body language. Dressing professionally is key – first impressions count for a lot.

  9. Have at least one good question prepared for your interview. This shows your genuine interest in the role and is a great opportunity to gather important information about the company. Remember you’re also interviewing them as a fit for you.

  10. Identify your career goals. Before the interview think about what you’d like to achieve in your career, both in the short and long term. This will help you talk about your goals more confidently during the interview and allow the business to consider how they might best support you.


Lee Matheson

Tumuaki Whakahaere
Kaiwhakahaere Matua

B.Appl.Sc (Hons), FNZIPIM (Reg)

Nā tana whakapakeketanga i Pōneke i haere mai ai a Lee ki tana mahi nei. He Tāhū Paetahi Pūtaiao Otaota, ā, he mātanga hoki a Lee ki te tāhua mākete. Nā tana tūranga Pouwhakahaere e kore e kaha a Lee ki te puta ki ngā pāmu, heoi anō ki te puta atu ia ki waho, ka hākoakoa katoa ngā koko o tōna ngākau. He ahakoa kai te tari e mahi ana a Lee ināianei, kai konei tonu ia e kaha ana ki te tohutohu ki te arahi ki te tuku i ana matauranga rautaki a pāmu , ona whakaaro auaha, ana matauranga a Kāwanatanga, te mātai whakangao me te rangahau ohaoha ki ngā taringa pakiki.

A waho atu i a Perrin Ag, he tangata aroha ki te whakaako whutupōro, te mātakitaki i ana tokotoru e pakeke tupu ana me te ngaki māra tahi me tana hoa rangatira a Haidee.

"E aroha ana ahau ki te whakamana i ngā tāngata i o mātau wāhanga tuatahi me te ngahau o te kite i ngā kiritaki e tutuki ana i a rātau hiahiatanga. Mēnā ka taea e tātau te whakahauhau i nga kaiahuwhenua kia whakauru ki o rātau kiritaki, kia nui ake te whakauru hohe ki a rātau mekameka putanga me te tirotiro i a rātau umanga mā tētahi arotahi whānui ake, kātahi ka whakaaro ahau he nui ake te wā e heke mai ana a tātau mahi."

Mikaera Booth

Mātanga Hāpai

B.Com Af (FM)

Ka kawea mai e Maika he taonga o nga pūnaha hangarau me nga pūnaha miraka kau ki Perrin Ag. I muri iho i tana mākatanga ki tētahi Bachelor of AgriCommerce mai i Massey, ka tīmataria e ia tana mahi ki a DairyNZ hei āpiha kōrero i reira i whakahaere ai ia i ngā rōpū kōrero, a, ka whakahaere i te whakahaere pāmu.

I mahue i a ia a DairyNZ ki te haere i te ao, engari i roto i ētahi marama ka patua e Covid, ka kati nga taitapa, a, ka hoki mai a Maika raua ko tana wahine ko Nikita ki te kāinga. I muri i Aotearoa, ka tangohia e ia he tūranga whakahaere i nga pāmu kaupane a DairyNZ i runga i nga Hauraki Plains i mua i tana uru ki Halter.

I muri i tana whakaotinga i tana OE, ka hoki mai a ia ki te kāinga kia noho i Papamoa, a, ka uru ki te tīma Perrin Ag i te wā o Hui tanguru 2024.

"Ehara ahau i te tangata e hiahia ana ki te noho tonu, ā, e hiahia ana ahau ki te ako tonu. I kite ahau i tētahi wā me Perrin Ag. He umanga a rātau kaupapa mo te whakapai haere tonu me te akoranga. I ngā wā katoa he huarahi hōu, pai ake hoki te mahi i ngā mea, ā, me noho tātau ki te aronga o tērā mō ā mātou kiritaki."

Abbey Dowd

Kaiwhakahaere

B.Ag.Sc (Hons), MNZIPIM

I uru a Abbey ki Perrin Ag i te wā o Hui 2023 hei wāhanga o te hōtaka tono mātauranga o te umanga, o Empower.

I tipu ake a Abbey e karapotitia ana e nga pāmu miraka kau i roto i tētahi iwi tata i Waikato ki te Tonga. I kite a ia i te tuatahi me pēhea te tautoko a nga kaiahuwhenua o te rohe i tōna iwi, koia ia i whakaawe ai i a ia ki te ako i te Whare Wānanga o Lincoln.

I nga wā katoa e mīharo ana te tipu ake i roto i tētahi iwi ā-taiwhenua o Abbey i nga wā katoa e hia nga kaiahuwhenua o te rohe e āwhina ana ki te iwi. I pīrangi a ia ki te āwhina ki te whakahoki ki te umanga me te tākaro i tētahi wāhanga ki te āwhina i to mātau wāhanga tuatahi kia whakaputa tonu i te kai kounga i runga i te āhua mārō.

I te tau 2022, i pau i a Abbey te raumati hai takawaenga i runga i tētahi o nga mahi miraka tauhokohoko tuatahi a Aotearoa. Ko tana kaupapa Honours e rangahau ana i te miraka deer i te taha o ētahi atu mahi miraka tūturu ake, me te arotake i ngā āheinga whakanao o te umanga miraka.

"I te tipu ake kaore ahau i noho i runga pāmu, engari i mōhio tonu ahau e hiahia ana ahau ki te mahi i te wāhanga pāmu. I pīrangi ahau ki tētahi tūranga i reira he toenga i waenganui i te mahi me te pāmu, ā, ka taea e au te tautoko i nga kaiahuwhenua kia whiwhi ai i te pai rawa atu i a rātau umanga."

Sam Gray

Kaiwhakahaere

I tipu ake a Sam i runga i te pāmu miraka kau i te Raki Tawhiti. I muri iho i tana whiwhinga mai i te Whare Wānanga o Otago i te tau 2005 me tētahi tohu Honours i roto i te hangarau hangarau rāpoi ngota, he maha nga tau e mahi ana a ia i roto i te rangahau rongoā i Aotearoa me Pākehā. I a ia e hoki ana ki Aotearoa i te tau 2012, e whā nga wā i pau ai i a ia te pāmu miraka kau i Te Whenua o Raki i mua i tana hokonga i tētahi paraka 56 ha i Taupо, i reira ia i kitea tuatahitia ai ki te pāmu i raro i te pū hauota. I uru a Sam ki Perrin Ag i te tau 2023, ā, ka mauria mai ōna pūkenga kaha e whakatūria ana e tētahi huarahi hāngai ki te whakaoti raruraru. I waho o te mahi pāmu me te tohutohu, tērā pea ka kitea e koe e rere ana a ia i te hī ika, te whaiwhai, te papa huka rānei.

"He tokomaha nga kaiahuwhenua e rongo ana i te uaua i mua i te huringa tere o te whenua mana. E tautohe ana ahau ki te āwhina i nga kaiahuwhenua kia mārama he aha te tikanga o ēnei ture taiao mo a rātau umanga, me te tuku rongoā māia e āhei ai rātau ki te mahi tonu i ā rātou mahi tino pai, i a rātau e noho tautuku tonu ana".

Danni Armstrong

Kaiwhakahaere pūtea

Pakeketia a Danni i te pāmu kau i Atiamuri ka noho hoki mō te rima tau hai pou hāpai kūtētē kau. He ahakoa tana mahi pāmu ehara i te mea ka noho motuhake ki tēnei mahi, ka aro atu hoki ki te rīhi motukā, ki te hauora me te mahi moana. He kaha tana aronga ki ngā take whakahaere me te tiaki moni, mātua ko te manaaki me te atawhai i ngā tini manuhiri ka whakatata mai, ka rua ko te tiaki i te taha ki te ao hangarau pēnā me ngā whārangi pāpāoho ki te ao hou ko te whakahaere tuku motukā, ā, tae rawa ki ngā kaupapa ako, te whakarite rōhi -a-mahi, H&S me te whakatika hapa. I whakapiri mai a Danni ki a Ag i te marama o Mei 2021, he ahakoa he tauhou he mātanga ki tōna ao pākihi koi i tāhuri mai ia ki tēnei whānau.

He wahine pānui pukapuka me ōna ngeru, he wahine takahi whenua haere ngāhere.

“I runga i ngā tini kaupapa whakawetewete, ara ake ai ahau ia rā ia rā – kāre i tua atu i te whakamutunga o aku mahi tatau kia ea ai– e whai tūranga mana ai taku tu ngātahi me tēnei tīma”.

Duncan Walker

Tumuaki
Kaiwhakahaere Matua

B.Appl.Sc, MNZIPIM (Reg)

I te haerenga mai i tētahi papamuri pāmu maroke me te miraka kau, i nga wā katoa e hiahia ana a Duncan ki te tipu i nga umanga o te wāhanga tuatahi. Ahakoa he pāmu tawhito, he ngahere, he pūtea penapena rānei i waho o te kēti pāmu, ko te mahinga pakihi tūturu ko te hiahia o Duncan. I muri i te mākatanga mai i te Whare Wānanga o Massey me tētahi Bachelor of Applied Science i Agribusiness, ko te wā tuatahi o Duncan ki te arotau i tētahi umanga pāmu mā te mahi i tētahi tahuringa miraka kau. Na te kaupapa Duncan i whakahaere te tahuringa, a, ka haere tonu te whakahaere i te pāmu miraka kau mo te toru tau anō.

Mai i te hononga atu ki Perrin Ag i te tau 2011 ka mahi a Duncan me te whānui o ngā kiritaki tae atu ki ērā 'i waho o te kēti pāmu'. Mā tōna papamuri kaha i roto i te tātari pūtea penapena, te rautaki pakihi me te whakahaere kaupapa, kei te nui haere te mahi a Duncan me ngā kiritaki ki te tātari me te whakauru i ngā pūtea whenua me ngā pūtea rākau ki roto i ā rātou umanga pāmu.

“Ko te hāpai o ōku hoa me te arataki i a rātou me ngā kōpikopikonga huhua o te ao hou taku oranga ngakau. Kia tū rangatira ai rātou, he aha i tua atu!”

Lee Matheson

Tumuaki Whakahaere
Kaiwhakahaere Matua

B.Appl.Sc (Hons), FNZIPIM (Reg)

Nā tana whakapakeketanga i Pōneke i haere mai ai a Lee ki tana mahi nei. He Tāhū Paetahi Pūtaiao Otaota, ā, he mātanga hoki a Lee ki te tāhua mākete. Nā tana tūranga Pouwhakahaere e kore e kaha a Lee ki te puta ki ngā pāmu, heoi anō ki te puta atu ia ki waho, ka hākoakoa katoa ngā koko o tōna ngākau. He ahakoa kai te tari e mahi ana a Lee ināianei, kai konei tonu ia e kaha ana ki te tohutohu ki te arahi ki te tuku i ana matauranga rautaki a pāmu , ona whakaaro auaha, ana matauranga a Kāwanatanga, te mātai whakangao me te rangahau ohaoha ki ngā taringa pakiki.

A waho atu i a Perrin Ag, he tangata aroha ki te whakaako whutupōro, te mātakitaki i ana tokotoru e pakeke tupu ana me te ngaki māra tahi me tana hoa rangatira a Haidee.

“Kai reira kē te ihi o taku mahi, ko te whakarangatira i ngā tangata mahi tahi pēnei i a tatou me te whakaputanga o ngā apataki ki te ao marama i runga i ngā whakatutukitanga a wō rātou tumanako-ā-ngākau. Mēnā tatou e tāea ki te whakaakiaki i ngā tangata pāmū ki te hono ki wō rātou kiritaki, me te ū a ringa raupā nei ki te ara whakaputa, me te titiro whānui ki tā rātou pākihi , ka harikoa katoa ahau i te mōhiotanga he ao ki tua mō tēnei tūmomo mahi”.