Finding a job in the Netherlands
I will be relocating to the Netherlands or I am new to the Netherlands and have yet to find work. I don’t speak Dutch and would be happy to receive any advice from you with regards to employment possibilities and opportunities in the Netherlands.
Where can I find information about international jobs in the Netherlands?
Here are the most useful methods of job hunting:
Via uitzendbureaus (employment or job agencies)
Some agencies employ people and send them temporarily to employers, though you can also get other types of contracts depending on the employer. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using this channel. On one hand, an agency can give you inside information about an employer as well as helping you prepare for an interview. On the other hand, an agency is one step further away from the employer. It’s up to the agency to propose and promote you for the job, which is why it’s important to make a good impression on them as well. Treat them the same as you would a potential employer, including dressing professionally.
Choose agencies representing your area of work and especially those dealing with international organisations if you do not speak Dutch. Some Dutch employment agencies may not consider you as a candidate if your CV is in English. To avoid being turned away with a standard response, look for job opportunities having descriptions which are in English. If Dutch is a requirement for the position and you can manage the language, then you should send the cover letter and CV in Dutch. In both cases, have your cover letter and CV checked for spelling and grammar errors as that is one of the first things a recruiter will look at.
Some agencies specialise in jobs for non-Dutch speakers. You can either forward your CV to the job agency or apply for their advertised vacancies. Both can be done via their websites; however, it is a good idea to give them a call to introduce yourself and stand out as a potential candidate. For a comprehensive list of recruitment agencies, contact the ACCESS Helpdesk here. If you are looking for a recruiter or headhunter for your next career step, then refer to the werving- en selectiebureaus (recruitment agencies). You can find all agencies available in the Netherlands on: Alle Werving En Selectiebureaus.nl.
Many agencies require an MBO (vocational education) or HBO (professional higher education) diploma to apply for vacancies. If you are looking for part-time work as a student, job boards such as Monsterboard.nl may be more helpful.
In the Netherlands, establishing a network of contacts is invaluable. This can happen anywhere (e.g. in sports clubs, your children’s school, interest groups and clubs). Be ready for the question: What do you do? Spend time on perfecting your profile and practising your ‘pitch’ but remember to keep it simple and natural.
Attending multilingual job fairs can be helpful. Some of the organisations/employers participating in these fairs may have positions for English-speaking job seekers, and the added networking opportunities may provide valuable information.
LinkedIn is widely-used in the Netherlands so make sure your profile is up to date, including that you live in the Netherlands. Ensure your profile and experience are consistent with your CV and include a professional photo. Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly reviewing profiles and placing job advertisements there. You can also join groups, take part in discussions, and use LinkedIn for your job research. Sign up for job alerts by filling in key words and areas of work interest, and you will be notified of jobs matching your requirements.
Via the internet and job boards
There are internet platforms with available job opportunities especially for internationals. You can upload your CV and sign-up for job alerts on various job boards such as: Togetherabroad.nl, https://www.iamexpat.nl/career, https://www.dutchnews.nl/jobsinholland/, https://www.expatica.com/nl/working/.
If you have identified particular organisations which interest you, seek a connection in your network (LinkedIn can be a good start). This can lead you to an introduction to someone working there. Simultaneously, you could also consider an open application, and if possible, deliver it in person. This method is more effective in small- to medium- sized companies.
ACCESS career coaches and trainers offer courses/workshops about professional skills development, cultural awareness and global mobility. You can email them directly if you would like details about how they can help you.