How to Find Work in the Netherlands as an International Graduate

Congratulations on your graduation! As a non-Dutch speaker, you might feel uncertain about finding work in the Netherlands. But fear not! With the right approach, determination and practical tips you can successfully navigate the job market and land your dream job in the Netherlands.

1. Look For International Companies in The Netherlands 

Job hunting in the Netherlands has a big advantage because in many companies English is widely used, especially in cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. It's helpful to learn some simple Dutch phrases, but it’s not a requirement when looking to land a job in The Netherlands. Large international companies in The Netherlands are for example, Unilever and Shell. 

2. Update Your CV and Cover Letter 

Your CV and cover letter are your marketing tools. Tailor them uniquely to each application and match them to the roles you’re applying for. In your CV and cover letter you highlight your skills, education, and relevant experiences. Keep your writing clear and to the point. The Dutch value directness and efficiency! 

3. Use Your Network 

Networking is key to finding job opportunities in the Netherlands. Reach out to your university's alumni network, attend career fairs and connect with professionals on LinkedIn. Joining student organizations, such as Integrand, industry-related groups and attending events can expand your network. Building relationships can lead to you being referred for jobs and receiving insider tips on available positions.

4. Job Search Platforms and Websites 

Use online job platforms and websites tailored for the Dutch job market. Some popular ones include LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Dutch-specific platforms like Monsterboard and Nationale Vacaturebank. Be proactive in your search by setting up job alerts, regularly checking for new postings, and following companies you're interested in.
5. Internships and Traineeships

Internships and traineeships are great opportunities to gain work experience in the Netherlands. Many companies offer these positions to recent graduates, providing valuable exposure to the local work culture and building professional connections. Search for internship programs through your university's career services, online job platforms and company websites. Remember, internships can often lead to full-time job offers.

Finding work in the Netherlands as a non-Dutch speaking graduate can be challenging, but definitely not impossible. With these tips you can increase your chances of securing a job and kick-starting your career in the Netherlands. Good luck!

This article is written by Anouk from Job in The Netherlands. After her studies in Social Psychology she specialized in recruitment. Now she helps others landing a job in The Netherlands.