Survival Guide: Finding a job in the Netherlands

19 June 2013 – Being an international student in the Netherlands requires a lot of arranging which can lead to frustrations. EM provides tips and tricks to ease your stay in the Netherlands. This week in our Survival Guide: tips on how to find a job in the Netherlands.

Whether you are looking for post-graduation employment or for a part-time job on the side, finding a job in the Netherlands may turn out to be difficult without fluency in Dutch. Indeed, the International Student Barometer (ISB), the world’s largest annual survey of international student satisfaction, revealed that international students generally perceive a lack of job opportunities in the Netherlands and have a hard time finding employment. However, EM found some ways to actually get a job.

Revise your CV

Before starting the job hunt, make sure that your CV is up-to-date, clear, and concise. Here are some tips to consider:

1.    Adapt your CV to the job you are trying to get. Place emphasis on strengths and experiences relevant to the position.

2.    Be positive. Emphasize your strengths and skills rather than you weaknesses.

3.    Make sure that there are no gaps in dates. 

4.    Be honest. Do not lie on your CV.

5.    Proofread. Check for grammatical errors and typos. Ask a friend to look over your CV.

6.    Use a clear structure and layout.

Manage your online presence

Companies are increasingly recruiting and checking their candidates online. Increase your chances by managing your online presence:

1.    Find out what your online presence currently looks like: Google yourself. Do you find anything that is inappropriate, embarrassing, or incorrect? If so, clean it up – delete any unflattering information and inappropriate comments or photos, and adjust your privacy settings to restrict access.

2.    Create a digital CV, providing information about your education, experiences, and skills. There are several platforms that can be used to create a digital resume, including for instance LinkedIn or Xing.


The professional social networking site may help you build your business network, locate jobs, or be found by employers.

Create a LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile is your online CV – it is what you use to connect to others and based on which employers will find you. Make it as detailed as possible, including education, employment, experiences, and skills. Make use of LinkedIn’s dynamic nature: add recommendations, portfolios, and the like. Also consider adding a photo.

Build your network

Connect to other LinkedIn members. The more connections you have, the higher the chance to stumble upon career opportunities.


Provide keywords that describe your job titles, qualifications, experiences, and skills. That way, you increase the chance of being found by employers looking for candidates with similar experiences and qualifications.

Job search

Search the job section of LinkedIn to locate vacancies. You can search by keyword, company, position, and location or conduct an advanced search.

Globejob Nederlands

Globejob Nederlands is dedicated to supporting expats in the Netherlands in finding employment. “All the English jobs in Nederland,” reads the company’s slogan. Globejob Nederlands has an extensive CV database and a broad network among expats and businesses, and thus the means to match job seekers and employers. You can use Globejob Nederlands to your advantage in two ways:

1.    Send your CV to Globejob Nederlands to become part of their CV database and to increase your chances of landing a job.

2.    Check out the company’s Facebook page on a regular basis. A vacancy in the Netherlands is posted every day.

Tip: Also check websites like UnDutchables or CareersinHolland, which are specialized in job vacancies for internationals.

EUR careers advice

EUR offers careers advice to support students in their job hunt, providing services ranging from personal appointments with a career adviser to courses and workshops.

Personal appointment

Do you need help with a self-assessment or your application letter and CV? Or do you need advice on how to access and navigate the labor market, or on salary negotiations? If so, students can schedule an appointment with the career adviser to discuss their personal characteristics, talents, desires and expectations.

Courses and workshops

Do you need support with your application letter and CV, or your interview preparations? Careers advice offers the following two courses in English:

1.    How do I write a successful application letter and CV?

2.    How do I prepare for a job interview? 

Note: The goal of careers advice is to provide you with the skills needed to locate and land a job. It does, however, not provide employment or recruitment services.

Tip: Check with your study advisor if they can provide extra information, RSM for example has its own Career Advice and Student Job Board with internships, traineeships and other jobs.


Check Sin-Online on a regular basis to not miss possible messages related to vacancies, post-graduation employment, or part-time jobs. 

Ace the interview

Once you have been invited to a job interview, it is important to prepare. But how?

Rehearse interview questions and answers

Brainstorm some questions you might be asked and think about you answers. Also be prepared for common questions, such as ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’ or ‘What are your expectations for the job?’

Research the company

Find out as much about the company as possible. The interviewer will likely test your knowledge about the company to see how serious you are about the position. Make sure that you have the answers up your sleeve.

Rehearse to an audience

Ask a friend or a relative to act as the interviewer. This will help you to sell yourself effectively and to express yourself articulately.

Create an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a quick and to-the-point summary about yourself: who are you, what do you do, why do you want the job, and why are you the best person for the job?  NL

Read the other Survival Guides here.