Finding jobs after graduation in the Netherlands
Finding jobs after graduation in the Netherlands isn't easy, but with the right approach it's possible to find graduate jobs in the Netherlands.
After studying in the Netherlands, graduates can get a Dutch student permit to look for jobs after graduation for one year. To ensure you find ample jobs in the Netherlands within the year after graduation, there are certain tips to maximise your job search efforts.
Before looking for graduate jobs in the Netherlands, or Amsterdam graduate jobs, you should adapt your resume into a Dutch CV, practise interview questions and browse our extensive job guide of where you can find jobs after graduation in the Netherlands, or specifically in Amsterdam.
First step: self-analysis
When deciding what kind of jobs after graduation to look for, it can help to define your job-hunting by asking yourself the following questions:
- Who am I?
- What are my skills?
- What do I want?
Who am I?
What do you like doing, and what general qualities do you possess? If you are unsure, ways of figuring this out include the following:
- Make a list of 10 of your ‘good’ qualities and three of your weaknesses or qualities you do not like. If you find this difficult, you can ask family or friends to help you by giving feedback.
- Think about three situations in which you where successful and consider which qualities you made use of then.
- List your hobbies and think about which qualities you use in these hobbies.
- Answer the question ‘what excites me, when do I become enthusiastic?
What are my skills?
The question ‘What are my skills?’ can be answered by looking at the activities you have undertaken throughout your life. For example, you might have some experience working as an editor, meaning that you have skills in writing, communication and working in a team. Or you can think of your language skills as another ability, particularly if you're looking for Amsterdam graduate jobs. Write your skills down in order to get an overview.
If you can speak several languages it can certainly help your recruitment into graduate jobs in the Netherlands.
What do I want?
In order to answer ‘What do I want?’, reflect on questions such as:
- Which sector would I like to work (academic research, IT, government, industry, education, health care, business, ...)?
- In which country would I like to work?
- What kind of business culture suits me (informal or formal, ambitious, social, etc.)?
Keep in mind that the answer to ‘What do I want’ should not be contradictory to your answers to who you are and what your skills are; the three go together and should complement each other when hunting jobs after graduation. Your recruitment will be based on the logical link between your personality and what you are looking for.
Step two: Finding information
After the self-analysis, you will need several different types of information to see if it's legally possible to take on a graduate job. Besides information on companies and vacancies in your chosen field, you will need to find out things such as:
- What are the labour laws?
- How do I apply for a job?
- Do I need a work permit?
- What is the country's tax system like?
You can find detailed information on working in the Netherlands in Expatica's guide to Dutch permits for graduates in the Netherlands and Dutch residency regulations and Dutch work permits. You can also browse job-hunting books at the University of Amsterdam's documentation centre at Binnengasthuisstraat 9, for example, The Holland Handbookby Xpatmedia.
Step three: Finding jobs after graduation
Even though English is the business language in the Netherlands, for most jobs in the Netherlands learning Dutch is a requirement. If you do not speak Dutch, using your network will probably be the most efficient way of finding a job, although there are many resources available to find jobs in the Netherlands and jobs in Amsterdam.
You can also enlarge your network by contacting alumni of the University of Amsterdam who take part in the Arbeidsmarkt Alumni Netwerk (AAN). A description of their current jobs and professional backgrounds can be found at the documentation centre of the UvA, the Service and Information Centre, at Binnengasthuisstraat 9.
Other ways to find graduates jobs in the Netherlands:
- Search the internet (see a list of job websites)
- Check local newspapers for vacancies; you can often find newspapers in the library.
- Send a speculative letter in which you present yourself to the company you are interested in; it is important to explain what attracts you in the company and what you can offer them.
- Find other resources in our guide on where to find jobs in the Netherlands.
It is important to be aware of any cultural differences when applying for a job. For example, the requirements of a Dutch CV are not the same as those of a CV in England or the United States. It is always useful to ask people to read your motivation letter and CV before sending it, especially if it is in Dutch. This checking will help you get recruited for several jobs after graduation.
You can also search for jobs in the Netherlands using Expatica's job search. The follow job search websites can also be useful:
Employment and recruitment agencies
To find jobs after graduation, you can also consider the agency route; read about working with job agencies in the Netherlands. There are several employment and recruitment agencies in the Netherlands specifically focused on non-Dutch nationals, such as:
- Abroad Experience
- Adam’s Multilingual recruitment
- Adecco, call centre solutions
- Blue Lynx Employment
- English Language Jobs
- Kelly Services
- Projob International
- Undutchables Recruitment Agency
- Unique Multilingual Services
- See lists of recruitment companies and employment agencies.
Feedback and career counselling
The career counsellors of the UvA can give you feedback on your application letter and curriculum vitae. You can also contact them with other questions concerning career planning and finding a job.
UvA Service and Information Centre, firstname.lastname@example.org / Expatica
Find a job in the Netherlands using Expatica's job search.
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