Applying for job in the Netherlands

Travel Forums Europe Applying for job in the Netherlands

1. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

I'm applying for a job in the Netherlands and would appreciate some advice on cover letters and resumes, Dutch-style. What is the normal acceptable length and style for the documents?


2. Posted by jaxstar (Full Member 74 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

its pretty ahrd to get a job in the netherlands if youre not already a resident... as they have to prove that youre a better candidate than any other EU ppl n that theyve had the job advertised for 6 weeks... its pretty hard! as for the CVs and cover letters im not sure but im sure they would appreiciate you to get to the point n not babble n have it be really long...

3. Posted by ReinierNL (Inactive 207 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I concur with the previous post that finding a job is very hard in the Netherlands if you're not Dutch and if you don't have any connections that can recommend you. The job market in the Netherlands is very competitive. Besides, be prepared for a massive culture shock! Here's my concise guide to job hunting in the Netherlands: A lot of job titles are in English, but expect the job description, the job interview and the job itself to be in Dutch. Active knowledge of English is not essential even if the job description explicitly state so (employers simply take it for granted that you speak English).
When applying for a job in the Netherlands, you should always send a covering letter accompanied by a curriculum vitae. You can send them to one person, but expect them to be read by different persons who will assess your qualities separately. Applying for a job by e-mail is accepted and commonly done. Type-written CLs and CVs are the way to go and hand-written CLs and CVs are not common anymore. It's even not advisable unless you have a very clear and nice-looking hand-writing. CLs and CVs should be written on A4-size paper only! When sending your CL and CV by physical mail, ensure you use good-quality paper and use a printer that does not stain. It is accepted that you fold the paper once, but not more than that.
The corporate culture in the Netherlands is very professional, pragmatic and large companies are internationally oriented. There is a strong emphasis on team-work in Dutch companies and consequently employers are looking for good team-working skills in your CL and CV. The typical Dutch CL and CV reflects the national corporate culture, hence keep your CL and CV short and -very important- use a style that is to the point, realistic and professional! Only mention topics that are relevant to the job. A maximum of two sides A4-paper for your CL and ditto for your CV are accepted. The guide provided on this website is good, but not clear on some details. The chronological CV is most commonly used with topics in reverse chronological order. Topics include (1) personal details (full name + titles, address, country, telephone + country code, e-mail, d.o.b., nationality, no marital status, no parental information, no passport-size photo needed), (2) career objective not needed, (3) relevant work experience, (4) education and training, (5) other skills (languages spoken + proficiency, computers, driving license only if appropriate, etc), (6) hobbies and interests, and (7) references if any. References are taken very seriously if from an impartial person (no relatives!). If your gender is not apparant from your given name, simply add Mr/Ms/Mrs to your name. Spelling errors are definitely not accepted and cause your CL and CV to be binned. Punctuation for salutations and titles is common, although not mandatory in English. When applying in English, it doesn't matter if you write in American English, British English, Australian English, etc., since the vast majority of the Dutch do not know the difference. This website may also come in handy. It's in English, but written from a Dutch point of view by people who are only familiar with the Dutch labour market.
Good luck!

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5503 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I have absolutely no idea how useful they are, if there's any other companies which do the same, etc (all I really know about them is that they have effective marketing and a very memorable name) - but I've often seen the Undutchables recruitment company looking for international people looking for a job in the Netherlands. They appear to specialize in finding people the kind of (office) jobs for which knowledge of the Dutch language is not an absolute requirement.
At the very least, their pages on how to write a CV and such should be helpful (although the information Reinier gave already covers pretty much all of it).

5. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Thanks a million guys! I'm looking at an international organisation where the boss is Dutch. Crossing my fingers!!!

6. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

the undutchables website cant really help you unless you have a working permit or are dutch whos fluent in english. if youre coming here on a whim i would HIIIIIIIGHLY suggest you have a backup plan or be prepared to wait a long time.. i know a girl who has been here as an aupair for 3 years looking for a job. 3 years..........