Looking for a job in Amsterdam? Find work in the Dutch capital by reading our guide to finding work in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is one of the most popular places for expats moving to the Netherlands. If you’re looking for work in the Dutch capital, you’ll also find no shortage of English-speaking jobs. In fact, with English an increasingly common business language in the city, it’s not always necessary to speak Dutch to find work.
That said, learning Dutch can greatly improve your chances of landing a job in Amsterdam, particularly in certain industries. To help you out on your job-hunting journey, this guide covers the following issues:
- 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
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There are numerous employment opportunities and jobs in Amsterdam for international jobseekers. Amsterdam is the financial and business center of the Netherlands and is home to more than 2,700 international companies, accounting for some 15% of overall jobs in Amsterdam. In 2018 alone, 153 foreign companies opened up offices in the city, and this number is likely to increase even more in the wake of Brexit.
There are also plenty of major employers attracted to Amsterdam across a wide range of sectors. This includes law, accountancy, finance, and technology. Additionally, with the Port of Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport (the third-largest cargo airport in the world), Amsterdam is considered one of the main gateways to the rest of Europe.
Popular business districts in Amsterdam
Many expats work in Amsterdam in the financial and business districts. The Zuidas (the financial mile) has more than 700 different companies including:
International companies based in Amsterdam
Several international companies have their regional or global headquarters in or near Amsterdam. There are many companies offering jobs to expats in Amsterdam, such as:
- Tesla Motors
- Royal Dutch Shell
- Red Bull
Start-ups in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is also consolidating its position as Europe’s start-up capital. This has been aided by initiatives such as Techleap. This non-profit is the successor to StartupDelta and helps new businesses to access capital, talent, as well as other forms of local support.
As a matter of fact, Amsterdam was ranked the 9th best city in the world for start-ups in 2019.
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. However, 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. Read even 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 relatives can also work freely in the Netherlands.
The Public Employment Service in the Netherlands (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemers Verzekeringen – UWV) offers a range of jobs in Amsterdam as well as 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).
For many expats, the first port of call when it comes to finding a job in Amsterdam is checking out local job websites. Not only might they help you find your next dream job, but they’ll also give you a good idea of the local job market conditions.
There are a number of job sites listing openings in Amsterdam and across the Netherlands and in many sectors popular with expats. These job sites include the following:
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.
- 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
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 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 also 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 organizing regular informal events around the city.
- JCI Amsterdam International – Junior Chamber International, a US association for young professionals 18–40.
- Connecting Women is a networking association 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. There are many, such as:
- 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.
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 as well as workshops to help you apply for Dutch jobs.
The 2020 fair will take place at the Beurs van Berlage on Sunday 4 October.
IN Amsterdam, formerly known as the Amsterdam Expatcenter, is an initiative of the Dutch immigration office (IND). It offers advice to highly-skilled migrants and scientific researchers looking for expat careers in Amsterdam as well as around the Netherlands.
Located in the World Trade Center in Amsterdam Zuid, you can get even more information on a range of work-related topics including looking for work in Amsterdam, immigration procedures, as well as 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, in fact, be a direct way to find work in Amsterdam.
You can also find a list of sponsor companies that have permission to hire highly-skilled migrants or check the Yellow Pages. You can read even more advice on putting together a Dutch-style CV and cover letter.