8 december 2020

Get a job in The Netherlands in 3 easy steps

get a job in The Netherlands

Do you want to get a job in The Netherlands? Of course, you do! Who wouldn’t want to bike along canals all day, have a stroopwafel with their coffee and celebrate both Kingsday and Sinterklaas? The good news is, if you’re an EU citizen, you can set up shop in Holland just as easy as any Dutchman. The bad news: stuff is pretty expensive here, so it’s best to look for a job as soon as you can. Don’t know how to go about jobhunting in The Netherlands? At Sollicitatiedokter, we’ve got you covered!

Step 1: Find an opening

When looking for a job in The Netherlands, the first thing you’ll want to do is find a job opening. Even though most Dutch job seekers end up finding a gig through their own network, there are still plenty of opportunities to go around on job boards like Indeed or Nationale Vacaturebank.

If you don’t yet have an elaborate professional network in The Netherlands, the job boards are where you want to start your hunt for work. Not bound to a specific geographical location within Holland? Just punch ‘English speaking’ into the search bar of your preferred job board and see what comes up. International workers are always in high demand in The Netherlands and odds are you’ll find at least a couple of openings that will take your fancy.

Not finding what you’re looking for? You might want to try your luck with Vacaturezoeker2020. This platform finds up to eight times as many job openings than your traditional job boards. It also includes tons of other cool features that will help you find a job opening that suits you.

Step 2: Apply to the job you want

Have your eyes set on a job opening that seems right for you? Don’t hesitate, smash that apply button right away!

Upload a resume that will make it easy for your recruiter to find out why you’re the best fit for the job. Consider using bold headers to indicate where you’ve listed your work experience and where your recruiter can find your degrees. As in most other places in the world, Dutch recruiters like their resumes to be not longer than two pages. Want to add a nice extra touch? Adjust the colour scheme of your resume to the colours of the company’s logo that you’re applying to.

When it comes to your cover letter, there’s one thing you need to know about us Dutch: we’re a direct people. When applying to a job, don’t waste your time on niceties. Don’t dilly-dally around about how you hope your cover letter finds the reader well either. Instead, just cut straight to the chase. Explain where you found the job opening, tell your recruiter what you will contribute to your new company and talk about your work experiences in the past, and how they’ve made you the skilled worker you are today.

Note that recruiters in The Netherlands generally appreciate it when you give them a call before you send out your application. Especially when applying to a job that doesn’t outright ask for foreign expats, it’s probably a good idea to give your recruiter a ring before sending in your resume. During your phone call, you can take away (some of) the liability of foreignness that is attached to you as a candidate.

Don’t bother with having your resume and cover letter translated, by the way. We guarantee your recruiter will understand English just fine.

Get a job in The Netherlands

Step 3: Job interview

Were you invited to a job interview? Well done, your dream to work and live in The Netherlands is close to becoming a reality. 

Want to get a job in The Netherlands? Make sure you arrive early to your interview! Interviewees that are even a couple of minutes late without a good reason won’t stand a chance in our punctual society.

Make sure you come prepared too. Going out for a job interview is a nerve-wracking experience in any case, doing so in a foreign country will probably add even more anxiety to the occasion. Fortunately, if you prepare well, you’ll notice your nerves will settle down nicely. Check out these tips and tricks for a well-prepared job interview. If you don’t yet have the Dutch to make sense of it all, Google Translate is your best friend.

Extra tip 1: culture fit

One thing that recruiters in The Netherlands are always on the hunt for is a candidate who can explain how they will fit within the company’s culture. You might find you have a hard time making a good case for yourself in the aspect, since you’re still struggling to find your bearing within Dutch culture, let alone your new company’s one.

There are however ways to use the culture that you come from to your advantage. Think about it: employers and recruiters dream of creating diverse teams where everyone brings a unique way of looking at things to the office. You represent that diversity for them. For example: are you one of our neighbours to the east? Talk about how your precision German craftsmanship will trump the zesjescultuur your Dutch competition brings to the table.

Are you coming in from the south of Europe? Let your Dutch recruiter know you don’t subscribe to the stereotype of a lazy southerner. Instead, you’ll bring way more passion and dedication to the office than their typical Dutch employee.

get a job in The Netherlands

Extra tip 2: tell your recruiter about your plan

Marjolein Lokenberg is a freelance recruiter at Cariero, she currently works for an Amsterdam based start-up in the IT sector. The candidates that she’s looking for aren’t required to speak Dutch, so she receives resumes and cover letters from all over the world.

“Hiring someone who doesn’t live here just yet is never an issue for me, especially when they’re coming from the EU”, she tells Sollicitatiedokter. “People that come in from abroad add diverse points of views to a team, so they can be a huge asset. There is, however, an important piece of advice I want to give to foreigners who apply to a job in The Netherlands: Tell me about your plan.”

“Let’s say you still live in Italy at the moment but you want to get a job in The Netherlands. It’ll help me a lot if you’re cover letter includes a paragraph on how you think you’d be able to settle here. Did you fall in love with a beautiful Dutchie and are you now looking to move in with them? Make sure your recruiter knows about it! Seriously, you might even want to include it in your LinkedIn summary. Recruiters are worried foreign workers won’t be able to ground in The Netherlands. Let them know why you will!”

“To summarise: my most important tip is to communicate transparently with your recruiter about your intentions. So, clearly list on your resume where you currently live but add that you’re happy to relocate to The Netherlands if given the opportunity. It’ll help convincing your recruiter to hire you.”

Good luck on finding your new job in The Netherlands!

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