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Are you an expat looking for work in Holland? Dutch labour market expert Geert-Jan Waasdorp has you covered. When speaking to a wide variety of expats just like you during last month’s Virtual Job Fair, he shared the following 34 tips. We broke them down per category for your convenience. Rather listen than read? Click here to find Geert-Jan’s presentation.

Finding work in The Netherlands through LinkedIn

  1. Apply the ‘Open to work’ filter to your profile photo on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the second biggest source of new jobs in The Netherlands, this is where Dutch recruiters will look for you. By using the ‘Open to work’ profile photo filter, you show them you’re available.
  2. Since Dutch recruiters will most likely look for you on LinkedIn, it’s important you maintain a well-kept page. Add your skills to your personal summary in both Dutch, English, and if applicable, your native language. Why Dutch? Because Dutch recruiters might search for skills in their own language, even though they’d be happy to hire an English speaker like you.
  3. Expand your network on LinkedIn by connecting with people that work in your field.
  4. Pay for a premium profile on LinkedIn to use its many extra functions, for example easier access to recruiters in your field. As soon as you’ve found a job – you can cancel your subscription.
  5. Add extra information to your LinkedIn profile. Talk about what you’re looking for in a new job and your studies and summarize the skills you’ve gained in the last couple of years.
  6. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn. Not because much is happening within these groups – most of them are pretty dead – but being a group member shows interested recruiters that you’re involved in your profession.
  7. Make sure you add your contact details to an open access part of your profile. That way, recruiters that aren’t even in your network can easily get in touch with you.
  8. Use LinkedIn’s advanced search option. You can find plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to do that.

Geert-Jan Waasdorp

Finding work in The Netherlands through job boards

  1. The Dutch job market hasn’t been in this good of a place since the internet hype of the early 2000’s. There’s a record high of job postings with almost nobody looking for a new job. Use that by applying to work right now.
  2. Job board Indeed is still the number one channel through which people in The Netherlands find jobs. Use it.
  3. Looking for a job on Indeed? Then here’s a trick. Type an English key word you might find in any English language job posting into the search bar. For example: ‘apply’. As a result, all English language job postings will show up.
  4. If you use advanced search, you can also just add an ‘English vacancies only’ filter.
  5. Be mindful that Indeed will look for jobs in your current region when you leave the ‘where’ field blank. Want to explore job opportunities in other Dutch cities? Enter your preferred city in the ‘where’ field.
  6. Want to use a completely Dutch job board in your job hunt? nl is the third largest source for finding new jobs in Holland.
  7. Another interesting job board is nl. Randstad, by far the largest job agency in The Netherlands, owns that platform.
  8. nl, the job board the Dutch government runs, doesn’t get used much by recruiters. Job agencies however do use the platform plenty.
  9. The European government has a job board as well: Eures. Use it to find jobs for EU expats in The Netherlands.
  10. Another platform you can use includes Facebook: Dutch recruiters and companies love posting their vacancies on regular social media. Platforms such as Jobbird, Google for Jobs (use Boolean Logic and Advanced Search to find more results), Randstad and YoungCapital are in the top 10 of sources for jobs in The Netherlands as well.
  11. Don’t want to spend time browsing through all these different job boards? Subscribe to VacatureZoeker2021. This platform is a job vacancy aggregator: it has all the job postings the aforementioned job boards have. The bad news? You must spend some money to save time. A subscription to VacatureZoeker2021 sets you back €14,50 a month. Don’t get thrown off by all the Dutch words in the search menu. Just hover over to ‘taal’ (‘language’) and select ‘Engels’ (you guessed it, ‘English’). All English language job vacancies on the Dutch job market are now guaranteed to show up.

Finding work in The Netherlands through other sources

  1. As you can tell by tip #18, job agencies are important on the Dutch job market. You can find ones that operate within your niche on nl.
  2. Embassies and expat centres might know about job openings for people that speak your language too.
  3. Check out Expatica if you’re looking for practical information about working in The Netherlands.
  4. Check out Undutchables. They’re a job agency specializing in foreign talent. They do prefer candidates with some working experience, though.
  5. If you’re looking for a career in Academia, Research or Science in The Netherlands, nl is worth checking out. The website carries all the information you might need.

Prepare for your interview with a Dutch recruiter

  1. Have a job interview coming up? Read this article.
  2. Curious how your behaviour differs from that of Dutch people? Take the test here! This is a brilliant tool if you have a job interview coming up with a Dutch recruiter and don’t want to stand out too much.
  3. When you talk to a recruiter in The Netherlands, talk about your Dutch friends. This way, your recruiter knows you have a bit of a network here and are likely to stay. For the same reason, mention that you’re learning Dutch. That can easily be done through Duolingo.
  4. Use a Dutch CV template. CV’s look different in different parts of the world. Don’t confuse your recruiter too much and use one that’s common in The Netherlands. You’ll find some here.

Keep these things in mind when you’re applying in The Netherlands, too

  1. Be open about what type of visa you have and what type of visa you still might need. Employers and agencies are usually happy to sponsor your visa if they know about your needs up front. However, they don’t like having to do this type of research themselves. You’re expected to be proactive.
  2. Don’t apply for jobs below your level of education. Dutch recruiters will be quick to point out your lack of ambition if you do.
  3. Don’t send out open applications. Dutch recruiters don’t like them and tend to only hire for vacancies. It’s essentially a waste of time.
  4. Respect your own time. If an agency or employer wants you to come in from the other side of the country, make sure that journey is worth your while.
  5. Don’t be too eager. You’ll get taken advantage of if you are. You want to appear hesitant enough where a recruiter will try to rail you in with some extra money or better benefits. Remember: the market is currently on your side, not on theirs.
  6. If you didn’t call, you didn’t apply. That means you always need to ring a recruiter before you apply to their vacancy. During a phone conversation you’ll find out way more information than is available in the job posting. This extra information helps you decide if the job is indeed a good fit for you. If it’s not, the phone call will have saved you a lot of time. If it is, the phone call provided you with extra information that you can use to your advantage in your cover letter and your job interview.


Christina GilbertCEO title here

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