Despite the economic climate, the Netherlands has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Europe with many opportunities for the right candidates. Here are a few tips for expats from a local recruitment expert on finding a job in Amsterdam or elsewhere in Holland…
“For internationals there are several ways to search for and find a suitable job.
1. International Recruitment Agencies – The best place to start are the recruitment agencies specialising in jobs for non-Dutch speakers:
Some of them have branches in Amsterdam and/or in the main cities in the Randstad area. Since not all of them have a walk-in policy, it is recommended that you first send off your CV – after which they will get back to you to make an appointment for an intake.
The best time to contact the agency is a few weeks before you move to the Netherlands, since the majority of vacancies on offer are for immediate start. By the same token, the first interview with the agency will offer you the opportunity to ask all the general questions you may have about working in the Netherlands.
2. Expat Job Boards – Another good way to find a job is to check out the expat job boards such as IAmExpat, NativeSpeakerJobs, TogetherAbroad etc. On such sites you can enter your search criteria and will see that a number of job descriptions are in English.
The reason is that quite a number of multinational companies have based themselves in the Netherlands and regularly recruit for their customer service contact centres or help desk positions. For these type of entry level jobs the more languages you speak the better. A number of Dutch universities and academic institutions also offer jobs open to internationals.
3. Network – Use your network to maximise your potential opportunities within the Dutch job market. If you already know people who work here, ask them if they can put your CV forward to their company. Some employers have a recommendation scheme, where the employee receives a bonus if they put forward a new applicant who subsequently gets hired.
Social media is used extensively in the Netherlands, so make sure to combine your face-to-face networking with your online activities on LinkedIn and Twitter.
If you don’t have a network yet, then there a number of websites such as Expatica, InterNations or Facebook groups where you can meet people who already living here and are happy to share their experiences. Or sign up for a sports team or other activity like yoga which can increase your network.
4. Volunteer – Try to be as creative as possible with your job search. If you are in the process of applying for a work permit for instance, check out if there are any possibilities in your area to do some volunteering work.
5. Consider entry level positions – If you are looking for mid-range positions, you may find these a little harder to get – they can also be filled by Dutch applicants who generally have good grasp of English too. The advice is to be persistent and bear in mind that once you have entered a company in an entry level position it is easier to make your way up than it is as an outside applicant.
Good luck in finding a suitable job!”