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How to find a job in the Netherlands

Different culture – different way of finding a job. So here are some important tips on how to prepare for a career pursue in the Netherlands.

Ok, so you have arrived in the Netherlands, you have put your clothes in your new closet and it’s time for the infamous “job hunt“.

How to find a job opportunity

There are three ways that you can find a job in the Netherlands:

  1. The first is to apply through employment and recruitment agencies like the Undutchables, Octagon Professionals, Progressive, Ambitious People and much more. These agencies can bring you in contact with the job opportunity that you want and fits your skills, but they also provide useful guidelines and offer advise.
  2. Another option is to apply directly at a company through their website or via Linkedin.
  3. And the third option is to apply to relevant job sites such as: www.expatica.comwww.togetherabroad.nlwww.indeed.nl, www.randstad.nl, www.jobinamsterdam.com

How to prepare a good CV for a Dutch company

Your CV is the very first impression that the employer or the agency will have of you. That’s why a good CV is important for getting an interview. But remember that in the Netherlands it is not usual to include a photograph of yourself with your CV. Also your nationality and date of birth are appreciated, but not obligatory in this country.

How to dress to impress

If you are used to going to job interviews with a very strict and official dress code and make up, here you have to forget about it. The Dutch definitely do not tend to overdress. If you are a man, a suit will do just fine. For a woman, a jacket and skirt or neat pants are OK too. Some companies, are also asking you to be as casual as you want, depending on your role e.g. a creative director. But of course that doesn’t mean you will be wearing your tracksuit and sneakers. The Dutch in general do not like exaggeration, so don’t overdo it with your make up, jewellery or perfume.

The Dutch introduction

In love and war, aka the job interview, it’s all about the first physical impression. In order to make a good one, make sure that you have made your research for the company, prepare good questions and smile! Not the silly_glued_to_my_face smile, but the natural one that shows that you are relaxed (even if you are burning inside), happy to have this opportunity, sure of yourself, but also well-mannered.

As you will have heard before, in the Netherlands people are less touchy than the southern cultures, so during the interview avoid body contact such as kissing on the cheeks. So the first contact is the handshake. What you need to pay attention is to have a firm, confident handshake, eye contact and a smile while introducing yourself.

During the interview

The Dutch in general seem to be very confident. Probably because they are honest and direct and know they can share their opinions since they are children. That’s why you have to have answers ready to any question in an interview with a Dutch company. Don’t be overconfident though. Moderation is something that Dutch value a lot. So be honest, open and confident about what you can do and what you can’t do.

Teamwork is very important in the Netherlands. Make sure you have prepared some good examples of your teamwork skills. Also, remember that in the Netherlands, education, experience and attitude are all important, so during the interview pay the same attention to all three. Taking initiative is very important in the Netherlands. That is why you are expected to bring your own solutions and ideas, no matter what position you have in a team or company. You have to emphasize on this and also prove it by asking a lot of questions during or at the end of the interview. Relevant questions of course 🙂

Now, what happens after your first interview with a company in the Netherlands is hopefully a second one. So make sure that you have followed the basic rules and studied the Dutch culture well, and the rest will sooner or later come. But if that doesn’t happen from the beginning, don’t lose hope. Be patient, well organized and prepared, and your working life will go where you want it to go. Success!
P.S. Read more about the Expat Life, Career and Education on our website.