Top tips when applying

As an international, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking for a job. To give you a head start, we’ve compiled this handy guide of top tips for applying for a job in the Netherlands as a non-Dutch speaker. Once you’ve updated your CV, it’s time to begin your search! Finding a job in the Netherlands for internationals is relatively easy, particularly in The Hague, as there are a variety of jobs for non-Dutch speakers.

First Steps

In addition to checking vacancies, consider writing open applications. In the Netherlands, it’s perfectly acceptable and often welcome to send a speculative application to a company or organisation you’re interested in working for. Many companies will have an “open application” tab on their recruitment page where you can begin the process. The thought behind this is that if you have skills the company thinks will be useful, a position will be found for you.

Talk Yourself Up

Though many companies and organisations will post their vacancies externally, they will still often hire within their own network. Brush up on those networking skills (and remember that many Dutch people have a fondness for directness). If you know someone who works somewhere you like, don’t be afraid to mention you are looking. You could also say you would like to learn more about the company or organisation. 

It’s also important to focus on what you have to offer. Many Dutch employers value individual or unique skills. Highlight any languages you can speak – this will emphasise your ability to communicate with different groups of people. If you have experience not directly related to what you’re applying for, but still think it could be relevant, mention it.

Volunteering, Traineeships, and Internships 

If you’ve recently graduated and don’t have a lot of work experience, check out whether the company or organisation you’re interested in has any volunteer positions or traineeships to start with. A traineeship is a fixed-term work-and-learn trajectory, while many companies also have a support staff of volunteers. 

Still in school? If your course has an internship element, take it! Lots of people in the Netherlands use their in-study internship as a steppingstone into employment after graduation. It’s also useful to stop by your university’s career centre as they are likely to have a good network of connections.

Following these tips will help you in your job search. Wondering where to look? This guide will help you with the best links on where to find a job. If you’ve decided to become your own boss, we’ve also got you covered with this handy resource on how to start working as a freelancer.