Jobs in Amsterdam: How to find work in Amsterdam
Looking for jobs in Amsterdam? This complete Amsterdam jobs guide explains everything you need to work in Amsterdam and find English-speaking jobs in Amsterdam and expat jobs in Amsterdam.
If you're looking specifically at jobs in Amsterdam, foreigners will find no shortage of English-speaking jobs in Amsterdam and expat jobs in Amsterdam. In this multicultural Dutch capital city, where English is the main business language, it is not always necessary to speak Dutch to find work in Amsterdam. Learning Dutch, however, can greatly improve your chances of landing one of the many Amsterdam jobs, which focus particularly on positions for highly-skilled migrants. After checking our comprehensive guide to finding jobs in the Netherlands, here are extra some tips tailored to those looking for jobs in Amsterdam.
This guide to jobs in Amsterdam covers:
- Jobs in Amsterdam and international companies
- Who can work in Amsterdam?
- Where to find jobs in Amsterdam
- English-speaking jobs in Amsterdam
- Expat jobs in Amsterdam
- Preparing your Dutch CV and interview tips
There are numberous employment opportunities and jobs in Amsterdam for international jobseekers. Amsterdam is the financial and business centre of the Netherlands and is home to more than 2,700 international companies, accounting for some 15 percent of overall jobs in Amsterdam.
International companies are increasingly attracted to Amsterdam, not least for favourable corporate tax conditions and a multicultural workforce. In 2015 a record 140 international companies establisted offices in Amsterdam, including 42 new international headquarters, with the majority of companies coming from the United States (34 percent), Asia (26 percent) and United Kingdom (11 percent) and mostly focused in the IT and tech, business and finance, marketing and sales and creative sectors. In total, some 6,000 jobs in Amsterdam will be created.
There are numerous major employers across a wide range of sectors: law, accountancy, banking, tax, design, environmental, digital technology, scientific, and logistics. Additionally, with the Port of Amsterdam and Schipol airport (the third largest cargo airport in the world), Amsterdam is considered as one of the main gateways to the rest of Europe and the world.
Many expats work in Amsterdam in the financial and business districts. The Zuidas (‘the financial mile’) has more than 700 different companies including Boston Consulting, Accenture, ING Group, Google, Rabobank, ABN Amro, Aegon, Delta Lloyd and Akzo Nobel, with Bijlmer offering another cluster of financial companies. Areas around the Amsterdam arena and Amstel railway station are also popular business locations, with large numbers of people employed in the Rembrandt tower and in Philips headquarters.
Several international companies have their regional headquarters in or near Amsterdam offering numerous expat jobs in Amsterdam, including Cisco Systems, Nike, Adidas, Tesla Motors and Advise Technologies, while TomTom, Booking.com and KPMG have their global headquarters in Amsterdam. Other international companies offering jobs in Amsterdam include Royal Dutch Shell, Netflix, Red Bull, IKEA, Heineken, , ASM International, Shuttershock, GoPro, wework, LG, LinkedIn, Uber and Liberty Global.
Amsterdam is also consolidating its position as a start-up capital aided by the efforts of StartupDelta, a network created for entrepreneurs to improve access to talent and funding opportunities, which is also a growing source of international projects and jobs in Amsterdam. In 2015 Amsterdam was ranked for the first time among the top 20 global startup ecosystems in a survey by Compass, and the fifth most important startup hub in Europe.
Dutch work permits and Dutch residency visas are closely linked and in some cases you will need to find work in Amsterdam before you can apply for any Dutch visa or permit. Conditions apply depending on your nationality:
- Citizens from the European Economic Area (EEA – European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland are free to live and work in the Netherlands (although citizens of newer member Croatia will need a work permit for their first year). Read more in our guide for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals moving to the Netherlands.
- Non-EU nationals typically need to apply for a Dutch residence permit or obtain a Dutch work permit before they can start work in the Netherlands.
- Highly-skilled migrants typically do not need a Dutch work permit but may need to apply for a Dutch visa to enter or live in the Netherlands.
- Certain family members moving to join a relative in the Netherlands may not need a Dutch work permit if their relative can also work freely in the Netherlands.
The Public Employment Service in the Netherlands, UWV WERKbedrijf, offers a range of jobs in Amsterdam and across the Netherlands. There are branches all over Amsterdam where you can find both permanent and temporary work in Amsterdam, as well as get advice and information to boost your job-hunting efforts. You can also browse their list of vacancies Amsterdam jobs online (in Dutch).
Expatica jobs lists multilingual jobs in Amsterdam for English speakers, and in other Dutch cities as well, in a range of industries including sales, marketing, IT jobs in Amsterdam, education, retail and more.
Recruitment agencies (uitzendbureaus)
Dutch companies commonly use recruitment agencies to publish both temporary and permanent jobs, and some recruitment agencies are dedicated to offering English-speaking jobs in Amsterdam and expat jobs in Amsterdam.
- Adam's Multilingual Recruitment
- Ardekay IT Recruitment
- Blue Lynx Employment
- Darwin Recruitment
- Hays Specialist Recruitment
- Madison Parker
- Michael Page International
- Top Language Jobs
- Octagon Professionals
- Page Personnel
- Rave recruitment
- Unique Multilingual Services
Jobs in newspapers
Dutch-language newspapers tend to advertise only certain jobs in Amsterdam, for example, IT jobs in Amsterdam, but these are often senior positions within international companies. You can read Dutch newspapers for free at the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA or the Amsterdam Public library) or at the University of Amsterdam.
You can check online at the following sites:
Join a professional or business association
Seek out others with similar professional or business interests and attend events in Amsterdam. You can find many business networking groups and clubs in the Netherlands. Some Dutch jobs are filled by word-of-mouth, so business contacts can play an important role in finding work in Amsterdam.
- Amsterdam American Business Club – AABC is a professional networking club organising regular informal events around the city.
- JCI Amsterdam International – Junior Chamber International, a US association for young professionals 18–40.
- PWN Amsterdam and Connecting Women are both networking associations for professional women.
- Women’s Business Initiative – workshops, seminars and networking for women.
- French chamber of commerce – contacts and recruitment of French-speaking staff, based in Amsterdam.
Get in touch with like-minded people through online meet-up groups that arrange events in the city. There are hundreds of meet-up groups mainly based in and around Amsterdam that could prove useful when looking for work in Amsterdam. Here are just a few:
- Appsterdam – for app makers.
- Freelance Fridays – creative, new media fashion, freelancers.
- Global BDN – Global Business Development Network for entrepreneurs.
- Hackers and Founders – techie start-ups.
- Online Tuesday – for those involved in marketing.
Teaching in Amsterdam
There isn’t a great demand for teaching English in Amsterdam because many Dutch people already speak well but there are opportunities for teaching advanced and business English, often to the many foreigners working here, and also for teachers of other languages. Teaching qualifications are not always required – Berlitz, for example, offers initial as well on-going training and support. Read more about teaching abroad and teaching in the Netherlands.
Expatica’s annual International Job Fair offers expat jobs in Amsterdam and English-speaking jobs in Amsterdam. The fair connects expats with prospective employers from a wide range of industries, including face-to-face meetings with multilingual recruiters and workshops to help you apply for Dutch jobs. The 2017 fairs, organised by Expatica in conjunction with IANAT, will be held in Amsterdam at the World Trade Centre in May and October.
Amsterdam’s Expatcenter, which is an initiative of the Dutch immigration office (IND), offers help and advice to highly skilled migrants and scientific researchers looking for expat jobs in Amsterdam and around the Netherlands. Located in the World Trade Centre in Amsterdam Zuid, you can get information on a range of work-related topics including looking for work in Amsterdam, immigration procedures and Dutch employment law.
Take the lead
Find out which companies in your particular field are based in Amsterdam and write a speculative application. This is perfectly acceptable in the Netherlands and can be a direct way to find work in Amsterdam. You can find a list of sponsor companies that have permission to hire highly-skilled migrants or check the Yellow Pages. Read our advice on putting together a Dutch-style CV and covering letter.
For more information to help your job search, read our comprehensive guide to finding jobs in the Netherlands for more online job sites, tips on job-hunting across the whole country and information on the Dutch employment market, work permits and Dutch business culture.
Once you’ve found work in Amsterdam, we offer specialised advice on how to write a Dutch-style CV and cover letter and interview questions and tips, so you know what to expect (and how to behave) in a job interview to meet the expectations of your potential Dutch employer.
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Don't miss “i am not a tourist” Job Fair for Internationals on 20 May 2017 at WTC, Amsterdam.