How to Find a Job

There are many ways to find a job in the Netherlands. Looking for a job starts with writing your CV according to the Dutch standards. Then it is important to find a place where you can promote send your CV. The possibilities include posting the CV on the Internet, sending it to headhunters and temp agencies, writing open application letters, and responding to adds in the newspapers. We will describe all possibilities below, but it is up to you which road you choose to take.

 

Portals & Intermediates

There are many Internet sites and agencies where you can post your CV, and where recruiters search for the right candidates. These parties also offer a huge amount of online vacancies, where you can apply online for the job of your choice. These jobsites are free for job seekers, but companies pay for their service. It is a very easy way to recommend yourself to thousands of employers. Find them by using the Yellow Pages. 

 

Newspapers

Newspapers are also popular amongst employers and job hunters. Jobs for higher educated people are published in national (Dutch) newspapers on Saturday (e.g. NRC, De Volkskrant, Trouw, Algemeen Dagblad) or in specialized weekly magazines, such as Intermediair. These newspapers are sold in most supermarkets and bookshops, and also have a website.

Applying for a job
European CVs/resumes are often written in a similar style, but the trick is to fine-tune it to your desired market. Many Dutch people speak English, but we recommend that you write your application in Dutch, unless it is mandatory to do this in English. Dutch employers favour a concise, direct and professional style. As to the layout, begin your letter by stating your reasons for applying for the position. The bulk of the content should state what attracts you to the company, how your work experience fits the job description, and what your added value could mean to the company. On a final note, it is always good to mention that you would like to present yourself at an interview at their convenience.


Advice:

  • Length: 1-2 pages maximum;
  • Format: A4 European standard;
  • Layout: Contact information, including name, address, phone, email, fax;

  • Personal details: date of birth, gender, marital status, nationality;
  • Education: names of schools/colleges/universities/work placements, awards and honours (do not mention grades or results);  

  • Work experience in reverse chronological order: start with the most recent work experience first (dates, companies, titles, duties); 

  • Languages: level of fluency (spoken/written); 
  • Computer skills: proficiency in software packages, Internet, etc.; 

  • Hobbies: highly valued in the Dutch marketplace, so list relevant activities, team sports (important subject!), participation in social networks, etc. but do not overdo it! 

 

Letter of motivation

It is not common to write an application letter by hand. Instead, most people/headhunters/agencies and recruiters use e-mail. When you would like to work for a specific company but they do not have a vacancy that suits your expertise, you can send them an open application in which you introduce yourself and ask for an interview. Your CV has to be good, and your letter and motivation have to be extremely good. Employers appreciate the attention they receive, and they will reciprocate with an invitation for a meeting. It is wise to address the letter to a specific person instead of a department. It is not necessary to include copies of diplomas, references or other official documents. They will be required and verified at a later stage of the application process. 

 

Job Interview

When you are invited for a job interview, make sure you are well prepared for the organization and specific vacancy you have applied for. In the Netherlands the candidate's motivation is one of the main selection criteria during these interviews, and it is very important to distinguish yourself from the other candidates. Make sure to show your enthusiasm and self-confidence. Bring copies of your curriculum vitae, diplomas, references and any other documents you consider useful. It is normal to ask some questions yourself at the end of the interview. Give thought to what you would like to ask in advance. 

 

Do NOT:

  • Put lies in your CV. 
  • Send in a CV without further clarification as to why you are interested in a particular job (see below 'letter of motivation').
  • Kill off the vital 'human element' by an over-scientific approach in your application. 

  • Rely only on your skills and knowledge but show your personality and character as well.
  • Make it clear right from the start that you are only interested in working part-time. This might be regarded as a lack of commitment.

  • Give your whole life story when asked 'Tell us something about yourself'.

  • Be unprepared for a particular job with a particular company at your interview.

  • Assume that people should accept you for who you are, even if you're wearing scruffy clothes.   

Cultural development programmes to support your career and integration 

Cultural development programmes for expat are designed to train expats and their families to quickly settle in and develop a new life in the Netherlands. Finding a job is not always that difficult, but making a life in a new country is often the hardest thing to do. There are several companies offering cultural awareness and cultural development trainings and programmes.

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