Finding a job in the Netherlands— the ultimate guide

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The Netherlands is a very popular destination for expats, for good reason! The Netherlands is a diverse and tolerant country and offers a high standard of living as well as many growing industries! However, moving to a new country and trying to find a job can be daunting. We have compiled an overview with everything you need to know in order to find a job and start your journey in the Netherlands!

You need an EU work permit

Are you from the EU, the EEA (including Switzerland) or do you hold a valid EU work permit? If not, you need to obtain one of the many visas the Netherlands offers in order to live and work here. The orientation year visais intended primarily for young graduates. Holders of this visa have the right to live and work in the Netherlands without restrictions, for a period of 12 months. However, there are certain conditions on who can apply for it. If you are lucky, you might find an employer that is willing to offer you sponsorship!

Find sources below on the visas you may obtain in order to work in the Netherlands:

Orientation Year Visa

Visa for highly skilled migrants

Single Permit Visa

EU blue card

Self-employed person visa

Where to search for a job in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a very competitive country for business and offers many job opportunities. Different international companies from various sectors and industries have their offices in the Netherlands, which means that the company language in big companies is usually English. Familiarise yourself with the Dutch labour market and once you have assessed your skills and know what you want to do, there are a number of ways for you to look for and find the perfect job for you:

Job boards

Currently, the biggest job board on the Dutch labour market is Indeed. LinkedIn and the nationale vacanturebank are also popular websites where new jobs are constantly being uploaded. But there are a number of other platforms for job seekers to find a new opportunity, many that also cater to specific sectors such as education or IT.

A recruitment agency

Finding a job via a recruitment agency is a safe and efficient way to find a suitable job for you. Once you have applied for a job or uploaded your profile on a recruitment website, a recruiter will assess your skills and match you with the employer that is looking for your exact skill set.

Utilize your network

Maybe you are already connected with someone on Facebook or LinkedIn that is seeking your exact abilities. Activate your network and let people know that you are actively looking for a new opportunity. Update your social media with a recent professional photo, your most relevant skills and your track record to make it appealing for potential employers.

Applying for a job

Now that you have found a job you would like to apply for, it is time to convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the role. The application process can be intimidating at first, especially when you have never applied for a job outside your home country. In some application processes, you will be required to provide a motivational letter. A motivational letter should not be a copy of your CV. You should use this space to further elaborate on why you want to work for the company and how they could benefit from hiring you. Do not fret from emphasizing your transferable skills, that might not be applicable to the opening at first sight and consider prepping your application to be more appealing to application tracking systems.

What to consider during an interview

Once you have successfully applied for a job and are invited to interviews, there are many things to keep in mind. Please ensure that you are prepared, by being knowledgeable about the company, the position you are applying for and some industry trends. You might also want to have questions for the hiring manager.

Should you have made it to the negotiation stage, be aware of the industry-standard salary and know what you have to look for in a Dutch work contract, below is a small checklist of what to clarify before signing a contract:

  • The length of your contract and whether it includes a probation period.

  • The amount of your base salary (monthly or annually), is it with the holiday allowance and will you receive any additional bonus?

  • The number of holiday and ADV days.

  • Will you have a day off on public holidays?

  • Will you receive a travel reimbursement?

  • Check the non-competition clause.

  • Additional benefits such as a pension scheme and a supplement to your health contribution.

I have a job...what now?

Congratulations! You have the necessary requirements to work and live in the Netherlands and your journey is about to begin! However, if you are not already located in the Netherlands, there are a few more things to be aware of before your move, such as acquiring a BSN (citizen service number) first thing when you arrive, finding accommodation and taking out health insurance.

The Netherlands is home to many expats from all over the world, you can always turn to big expat groups for any questions you might have regarding your move to the Netherlands, or to just make some new connections. Big cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht or The Hague have very well organised expat groups for you to join.

(Facebook Groups)

Expat Republic Amsterdam

Expats in The Hague (Den Haag)

Expats Utrecht

With all of this information, you should be equipped to start your journey and make your way into the Netherlands.

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