What are the dos and don'ts of finding a job in the Netherlands?

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in the Netherlands? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in the Netherlands? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


I've posted this previously, but it's always worth hi-lighting; unless you have a skill that is in high-demand, to get a well-paid job anywhere, you really need 4 things to succeed:

  Do need relevant experience
  Do need relevant qualifications
  Do need to speak the local language
  Do need some luck

The more of those you have, the more chance you'll have of getting work.  My experience is that the last one is probably the most difficult; luck is a fickle thing.

The "dont's"; don't expect your destination country to be like where you came from, it almost certainly won't be, but there's nothing stopping you creating your own personal space that's a little bit like home.

Well, my personal experience for searching for a job in the Netherlands wasn't successful. My advice to you is to search for employers through contacting them directly either through submitting open application or solicited ones through their career section website. However, It is very common in the Netherlands that job seekers find jobs through recruitment agencies or career fair. You have to learn the Dutch language well because it's a great asset for an employer when you fluently speak the language. You have to understand the working rights and employment contract terms and conditions very well because some employers make use of your insufficient knowledge of work law being a foreigner there. You have to search hard for a job in the Netherlands and try to express and show your skills and expertise well in your application and during an interview.

My honest reply is some of both of the above , but the thing the dutch want is ;
Dutch at a professional level so in my case B2 anything below will get you only a head ache , some jobs take A2  the inburgering level but senior roles will not .
Also bear in mind we are up against it here as the nationalism gene is hire dutch first so we are always going to be down the line.
sorry but just my experience here over the last 4 months

One of the worse things in Holland are the job adds for other languages speakers. They made the applicant waste their time, many of them travelling to north or south of the country and at the end of the interview they say Dutch language is mandatory. They never make clear on the add Dutch speaking and writing is mandatory. I personally called two agencies and they laugh and smile saying "yes we do not mention it".  Several people have complained about it. Dutch employers expect all foreigners who arrive legally in the Netherlands speak Dutch very fluent as a native. I had seen people complaining about native partners or friends that instead of support them they say the foreigner do not speak properly, even studying for many years, they say they speak a broken dutch. It might be the worse country to find employment if do not speak the language as native wants to hear.
Fortunately during my five years in Holland I never need to seek employment within companies there.
Much easier to find a job in Denmark, Germany, Sweden and others because they will not criticise your dutch language understanding or proficiency.  By the way Belgium has a similar treatment.

The perfectly correct conclusion.

Hoi all jut an update on my situation and some venting to boot , so despite having had a couple of interviews as above i find myself packing boxes for a living for a while  , great for the ego though.
Despite having 2 degree and an nvq 7 equal to a masters and nearly finished a second mba and 25 years experience split between programme project management and real estate and construction here is a taste of dutch recruitment feed back .
1- your dutch has an accent its horrible
2- we only employ native speakers
3- you need B2 level to apply (e 5000) investment
4- we don't let staff commute that far
5- feed back ? if you don't like it here rot op near je iegen land

Thought it would make you laugh .
Anyway got more itnerviewing next week with a multinational firm that isn't that bothered with dutch but good luck
Ade uit

New topic