As a student or recent graduate, there are many reasons for wanting to work in the Netherlands - its laid-back culture, its buzzing cities, and its international workforce are just a few. Don’t be fooled by its size - the small country offers a variety of job opportunities in almost any field!
Where to find jobs as a graduate in the Netherlands
Cities & industries: The Netherlands is well-located at the very heart of Western Europe. The country’s business-friendly regulation have brought many multinational companies into the Netherlands.
The capital Amsterdam is not only home to one of the world’s oldest stock exchanges, but also to a prospering service sector with a lot of banks, consulting firms, service agencies, and startups.
Rotterdam plays a key role in international supply chain and logistics, as its port is to date the biggest in Europe.
The third largest Dutch city, The Hague, not only houses the country’s parliament and government, but also The International Court of Justice and The International Criminal Court, which has brought about its byname: legal capital of the world.
Our Top Tips
- A common form of internships offered in the Netherlands is a so-called “afstudeerstage”, where an internship is often combined with a bachelor or master thesis. Typically, this lasts from 6 to 9 months. Watch out: As an intern, you are required by law to be enrolled as a student somewhere, either at a Dutch university or a university in another country.
- The Netherlands ranks highly on the Global Innovation Index, which can be witnessed its impressive startup scene - so check out the startups in Amsterdam during your job search!
Preparing your Dutch CV and cover letter
Our Top Tips
Your cover letter should follow the layout of a formal business letter, and it is typed on an A4 page format. The style of a Dutch cover letter is easy and honest. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show your enthusiasm for the position, but you must definitely not overdo it.
Your CV should fit on 1 page (2 at the maximum). Dutch employers highly appreciate leisure activities, so don’t hold back with stating your hobbies and extracurriculars. If you lack relevant experience, here is the place where you can include voluntary work, training courses or summer jobs in order to support your case.
Getting in touch with employers in the Netherlands
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Language: English is a commonly understood and spoken language in the Netherlands as working life is shaped by the many multinational companies and international institutions based there. So, as a candidate, you may not be required to speak fluent Dutch. Still, it makes a good impression if you know some basics in the Dutch language - even if it’s just how to say hello (“goedendag”) and thank you (“dankjewel”).
The job interview: Hierarchies in Dutch companies are often quite flat, so be prepared to contribute to the interview with your own questions that you may have regarding the internship or talk about your or your interviewers weekend. But don’t be fooled by the informal way of the Dutch: an interviewee should not be dressed too informally and being on time for the interview is very (very!) important.
Working and living in the Netherlands
Our Top Tips
- For finding visa information: The Netherlands and You
- For finding housing: Portals such as Easy Kamer, Kamernet or dedicated Facebook groups
- For starting another university education: Study in Holland
- For understanding how many times you have to kiss someone on the cheek when greeting them: Invading Holland Blog
P.S.: Do you have other countries on your wishlist for work life? Let us know!