Finding a job is a challenging undertaking. But no worries, we’ve got you covered, here are 8 tips for recent grads and current students on how to get a job in the Netherlands.

Finding a job is a huge undertaking for anyone! Whether you’re looking to get a bit of spending money or searching for a more permanent position, this undertaking gets exponentially more challenging when you’re in a foreign country! Never fear, though, we’ve got you covered with our 8 tips on how to get a job in the Netherlands.

Note: This post is geared mostly towards recent grads, current students and young professionals, as this is the sphere in which this author can provide the most relevant info!

1Use the teachers you connect with with

The first thing I can recommend is to ask the teachers that you bond with to help you find a job in the Netherlands. I found my first job in the Netherlands after speaking with a teacher after class. I expressed some interest in doing social media management, and he recommended me to a coworker of his. One thing leads to another, and I’ve got the job!

Teachers that you’ve got some rapport with are one of the most valuable connections you can make: they’ve got contacts in the field that you are probably trying to get into, and they’re keen to help out! If you don’t have teachers, you bond with or are not a student or recent grad, replace a teacher with field expert or mentor.

Mentor and Teacher

2Connect in your field

Some of us aren’t in school, though, and therefore don’t have teachers who we can reach out to. Despite this, one of the things you CAN do is connect with people working in the field you’re interested in. A great way to do this is to attend meetups in the field you’re interested in. While in-person meetups are definitely not a good idea right now, there are many different platforms hosting virtual meetups for a variety of fields.

One good way to do this is through Meetup.com, choose a topic that you’re interested in, and sign up for a Meetup. These events will allow you to meet people involved in your field and some of them may even have an open position at their organization! Even if they don’t, you’ll get a better understanding of the field and might meet some people you can create a passion project with.

3Get on social media and ask for leads

This is a tip for anyone, but especially if you’ve got a bit of experience in the field you’re looking to find a job in: posting on LinkedIn can be a great way to alert your network of your job search. So many people are reluctant to do this, whether because they think it’s attention-seeking or just think it wouldn’t be useful. However, LinkedIn is widely used in the Netherlands, and you should definitely create a profile if you’re not using the platform already. Besides, many people forget that LinkedIn and similar tools are just that – tools – for you to use!

Write up a nice post about your prior experience, what you’re looking for, and ask people if they know about a position or know someone who might know more. People within your network will assuredly reach out. Even if they don’t have a job for you, they might know someone who does, and at the very least, it’ll make people aware that you’re looking. This kind of post can also attract the attention of recruiters who might be able to place you at a position as well.

Read more about recruiters in our post on job agencies in the netherlands.

4Recruitment agencies

Speaking on recruiters, recruitment agencies can be a good way to find a job in the Netherlands as well. Working with job agencies, in the Netherlands, is far more common as it is in other countries (in Europe) and next to Dutch employment agencies like Randstad, Manpower and Unique there are some agencies that are geared towards internationals living in the Netherlands.

Undutchables is probably the most popular job agency for internationals. With them and many others you can select your field, your preferred language, and they’ll contact you when they’ve got a potential opportunity for you. This kind of strategy is most effective when you’ve got some in-field experience, and even better if you speak multiple languages! You’ll have quite a competitive advantage and recruitment agencies work best when you’ve got some work under your belt.

One individual consulted for this article had good experiences using a recruitment agency: within 3 weeks he went from jobless to employed. He said it really helped that he had experience in the field, and that the agency was excited to hear that he was multilingual. So calling all professionals asking themselves on how to get a job in the Netherlands – you’ve got a good chance finding a position by using a recruitment agency, give it a shot!

5Join local Facebook groups

If you’re looking for a quick placement or just need to get some spending money, join the Facebook groups about the area in which you’re living. These groups often have posts from members who are promoting open positions at a variety of organization types. These jobs are typically service, retail, and entry-level, so they’re the perfect place to find a job that can help you pay the bills and live a bit more comfortably.

And who knows where one job can lead! One person consulted for this article found a server job through a Facebook group at a local restaurant, which led to a job in the tech industry through a coworker! These Facebook groups are a great place to get a job fast as response times are typically quicker than through traditional job boards, and the jobs offered are more eclectic and flexible than what you’ll find through, say, LinkedIn.

6Don’t neglect job portals

Despite the flexibility and diversity found through more informal platforms like Facebook, job portals are an invaluable tool for finding a job in the Netherlands, especially if you’re looking for a specific type of position in a particular field. One valuable tool is to search by ‘Language Requirements’, a filter offered by pretty much every job portal. It’ll save you a lot of time writing cover letters and filling out applications only to realize Dutch is a requirement at the company. Beyond that, job portals can give you specific updates about a type of job listing.

Hot tip: filter by ‘filter since last seen’ to only see jobs you haven’t encountered yet. This helps you only to see the fresh listings. We also really recommend setting up a daily email with job listings from different portals; this not only keeps you up to date but is also a daily reminder to apply!

7Learn Dutch

The Netherlands is incredibly international, especially in large cities, and tons of jobs only require English. Even though you’re probably not waiting for this but, there’s no replacement for learning Dutch. Not only does it make you a more competitive candidate, but it really helps once you’ve actually got your job.

One person consulted for this article told us that she felt “a bit disconnected” from her coworkers:

They’re all really nice, but I feel a bit out of the loop, they chat with me in English, but whenever we’re a big group, they switch to Dutch. I totally get it, but it sucks sometimes.

Learning Dutch will help you to bond with your coworkers and will help you to solidify yourself within the environment of your new company. This bonding might not seem super essential to some, but in the Netherlands, it’s often a part of the culture.

8Work Hard – Party Hard

Once you’ve got that job locked down, it’s essential to understand the culture of the company you’ll be at. Of course, it is varied from company to company, but many Dutch companies – especially start-ups and younger companies – have a ‘Work Hard – Party Hard’ mentality. You will probably have Friday events with drinks and activities at your organization (maybe not right now due to COVID.)

Of course you don’t have to join, but according to many, it’s really a rewarding experience. One person told us:

It really helps to go to the Friday events, ever since I started going I feel so much more at home at work.

So once you get that job you’re searching for, we really think it’s important to make an effort to connect with your coworkers! It will make work feel more comfortable, and you might make some friends in the process.

With that said, of course do what you feel most comfortable with.

We hope these tips were helpful to you, and wish you the most luck with finding a job in the Netherlands.

The biggest thing you can do is to put yourself out there!

Let people know you’re searching, lean on your network for support, and meet people in the field you want to work in!

We are all so lucky to live in such a great country, and the working culture is oftentimes very rewarding. Let us know if you have any tips of your own or how your experience with the job hunt in The Netherlands is.

Written by Alec Stewart | Published on 7 December 2020 | Category: Work