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. Here is a listing of some of the main ones:
|Undutchables||Westeinde 20, 1017 ZP Amsterdam||+31(0)20 623 1300|
|Adams Recruitment||Kingsfordweg 151, 1043 GR Amsterdam||+31(0)20 580 0340|
|Projob||Van Baerlestraat 63-65, 1071 AR Amsterdam||+31(0)20 573 8383|
|Abroad Experience||Van Asch van Wijckstraat 4G, 3811 LP Amersfoort||+31(0)33 479 3095|
|Blue Lynx||F. Hendriklaan 85B, 2582 BV|
|+31(0)70 311 7822|
|Kelly Services||Neptunusstraat 37, 2132 JA Hoofddorp||+31(0)23 711 1182|
|Michael Page||WTC (A), Strawinskylaan 421, 1077 XX Amsterdam||+31(0)20 578 9444|
|Unique Multilingual||P.J. Oudweg 61, 1314CK Almere||+31(0)36 529 9000|
You will note that some have branches in the Amsterdam area. Since not all of them have a walk-in policy, it is recommended that you first send them your CV and 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. The recruiter will make an assessment of your skills and experience and try to match you with a suitable position.
2. Expat Job Boards
Another good way to find a job is to check out the expat job boards such as IAmExpat, Indeed, 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.
Jobs in the Netherlands require a Dutch bank account
Mobile bank bunq can be opened in 5 minutes with just ID and a European address (no ‘BSN’ tax number needed). It offers a free 30 day trial and a raft of features including multiple IBANs and sub-accounts, instant notifications and no forex fees on payments.
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, Facebook 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.
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 – these can also be filled by local Dutch applicants who generally have good grasp of English too. You may have to consider lowering your requirements.
The advice is to be persistent and bear in mind that once you are employed by a company in an entry level position it is then easier to make your way up than it is as an outside applicant.
Good luck in finding a job in Amsterdam!
Also see Salaries in Amsterdam, Netherlands
This article was originally published in 2008. Last updated 14 March 2022.