Finding a job online in the Netherlands has never been easier or quicker – indeed, that’s how the vast majority of us go about it now. But it can still feel like an exercise in skill and persistence, especially for expats. Let’s make it a breeze with some pro tips.
Quine Brown, Marketing Assistant at Undutchables Recruitment Agency, which specialises in international candidates, gives her tips on how to find a job online in the Netherlands, and how to promote your personal ‘brand’ online.
“Start by building an online profile which showcases your portfolio and skills,” she explains. “This should complement, rather than replace, your CV, and will be an excellent resource for employers and recruitment agents to find you,” she adds.
Undutchables Recruitment Agency
Undutchables is a recruitment agency for expats. Operating across the Netherlands (with branches in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Eindhoven), Undutchables helps everyone from first-jobbers to experienced executives progress their careers when moving to the Netherlands.
Build your brand
If you plan to find a job online in the Netherlands, knock your online profile into shape. The internet job pool has many fish. A snazzy online profile makes you a bigger fish.
“An online profile gives your personal brand a competitive edge. It could be a polished, up-to-date LinkedIn profile, your own website or blog, or even a video resume – all go down well with employers and recruitment agencies,” says Brown.
A great portfolio showcases your capabilities (work examples or client testimonials, for example), is easy to navigate, and easy to find. Include keywords in the pages that you would expect (or want!) people to use to find you.
The old adage ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ still rings true, even in the digital age – and that includes online job hunting. Online networking is effective because you can connect quickly and get your message across by, for example, participating in professional online forums or discussion groups (for example the Amsterdam Expat or Expats in the Hague Facebook pages), where you can seek advice on jobs.
LinkedIn is now the ‘go to’ resource for many professional job seekers and networkers. On this platform, you can connect very effectively with Dutch companies – and with HR personnel who post jobs.
Brown also suggests using social media to reach out to companies, even if they aren’t advertising jobs.
“If a company is hosting an event advertised on social media, attend. Equip yourself with knowledge about the company to make a good impression. You never know what might turn up, or who you’ll meet,” she says.
She says the usual rules of engagement apply when engaging with companies via social media.
“Assume that a prospective employer will, for example, check out your Facebook and other platforms. Keep it as professional as you can.”
Use the internet to do your research on the company, too. Don’t just look through the rose-tinted spectacles of the glossy corporate website, its polished testimonials and idealistic mission statements. Go through news (the good, the bad and the ugly!) about the company, or delve into sites like Glassdoor to find out what it’s really like to work there, from the people that do.
Online job hunting: does it feel too much like hard work?
You might get lucky, but while hammering search engines may feel as natural as breathing for many, online job hunting is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. Landing the gig is arduous – application forms, tailored cover letters, motivation letters. And filters. Lots of filters.
If you’re finding Google Translate is your best friend during the job search, then you might be on the wrong track. You should find sites that have English (or other) language pages if you’re a non-Dutch speaker looking for a job online in the Netherlands.
Signing up to a specialist recruitment agency is another good strategy, says Brown.
“Only a relatively small percentage of jobs are actually advertised online,” she says. “A recruitment agency will know those that aren’t.”
Finally, should we be worried about data privacy?
“Don’t leave too much personal information on your social media. If you’re dealing with a reputable company – or recruitment agency – you can be confident that your details are safe, and that information will only be passed on with your consent,” she explains.
Where to find jobs online in the Netherlands
There are many resources out there to find a job online in the Netherlands. Popular databases include:
- Expatica Jobs – English-language and multilingual jobs in sales, IT and other industries.
- LinkedIn – the tried, tested and trusted portal for targeted job searches, and a good shop window for candidates to promote their credentials.
- ExpatJobs – a Europe-wide site.
- European Employment Services (EURES) is the European Commission’s job mobility portal for EU, EEA and Swiss job seekers.
- Stepstone – Part of a global network.
- Top Language Jobs – English-language and multilingual jobs.
- Careerjet – employment search engine which identifies job listings from both large and specialist recruitment sites, Dutch only.
- AngelList – specialising in jobs with start-ups.
- Honeypot – tech-focused job platform in Europe.
- Werk.nl – the Netherlands public employment service with a network of partner sites and employment agencies and an online database of more than 125,000 vacancies. Caters mainly to Dutch speakers.
- Nationale Vacaturebank – general vacancies, Dutch only.
- Jouw ICT Vacature – for ICT vacancies, Dutch only.
- Intermediair – mostly Dutch positions.
- Monsterboard.nl – part of a global network, Dutch only.
- Indeed.nl – part of a global network, Dutch only.
- Glassdoor – part of a global network, Dutch only.
Looking for manual labour jobs in the Netherlands
As one of the EU’s strongest economies, and offering an enviable quality of life, the Netherlands is a magnet for seasonal, temporary, semi- and unskilled workers. Many of the main job sites in the Netherlands post openings for manual labour jobs, as well as Careerstructure for listings in English.
Retail Choice is handy for shop workers and service industry jobs, while for individuals looking to secure work in the Netherlands’ buoyant hospitality and catering industry, HotelCareer includes job postings for full time, management as well as seasonal and part-time work. Caterer.com is similar, or you could try Hospitalityonline.com for a wide range of job options for expats.
If picking strawberries under the warm Dutch summer sun is more your thing, Seasonalwork.nl lists jobs for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals looking to work in the agriculture sector in the Netherlands. Check out also the relevant page on the Immigration and Naturalisation Service website, which offers information on the formalities and regulations of working in the Netherlands for seasonal workers.