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Guide to find a job in the Netherlands

Updated: Jun 27

Man that found job in the Netherlands as a barista

The Netherlands is widely sought after by expats for its appealing qualities. It is a diverse and inclusive country that provides a high quality of life and abundant opportunities in thriving industries. Nevertheless, relocating to a new country and embarking on a job search can feel overwhelming. To assist you in this process, we have prepared a comprehensive overview that covers everything you need to know about finding employment and commencing your journey in the Netherlands!

EU work permit

If you are not from the EU, the EEA (including Switzerland), or do not hold a valid EU work permit, it is necessary for you to acquire one of the various visas available in the Netherlands to reside and work legally. The orientation year visa is primarily designed for young graduates, granting them the freedom to live and work in the Netherlands without constraints for a duration of 12 months. However, specific eligibility criteria apply for this visa. Alternatively, if you are fortunate, you may encounter an employer willing to provide sponsorship.

Refer to the following sources for detailed information on the visas obtainable for employment in the Netherlands:

Where to search

The Netherlands boasts a highly competitive business environment with abundant job prospects. Numerous international companies across diverse sectors and industries have established their presence in the country, resulting in English often being the primary language within these larger organizations. To navigate the Dutch labor market effectively, it is essential to acquaint yourself with its dynamics. Once you have evaluated your skills and identified your career aspirations, there are several avenues to explore in your quest for the ideal job.

Job boards

When it comes to job hunting in the Netherlands, Indeed stands out as the largest job board on the market. LinkedIn and Nationale Vacaturebank are also widely used and reputable websites for job seekers. However, there are several other platforms available that cater to specific sectors, such as education or IT, offering additional opportunities for finding the perfect job. It is worth exploring these specialized platforms alongside the broader job boards to maximize your chances of discovering a new and exciting opportunity.

Recruitment Agency

Finding a job through a recruitment agency can indeed be a safe and efficient way to land a suitable position. When you apply for a job or create a profile on a recruitment website, a recruiter will evaluate your skills and qualifications, aiming to match you with an employer seeking your specific skill set. Recruitment agencies often have a deep understanding of the job market and industry requirements, which allows them to connect job seekers with relevant opportunities. Engaging with a recruitment agency can provide you with valuable support and guidance throughout the job search process, increasing your chances of finding the right job for you.

Apply for a job

Once you have identified a job you wish to apply for, it's essential to effectively communicate your suitability for the position to the hiring manager. The application process can be daunting, especially when applying for a job outside your home country. In some cases, you may be required to submit a motivational letter, which presents an opportunity to elaborate on why you are interested in working for the company and how your skills would benefit them. Additionally, optimizing your CV to align with the preferences of application tracking systems (ATS) is crucial.

When crafting your application materials, don't hesitate to highlight your transferable skills, even if they may not seem directly applicable to the job at first glance. By showcasing the value you can bring to the company, you can demonstrate your potential contribution. Furthermore, consider optimizing your application to make it more appealing to ATS, as many companies employ these systems to streamline the initial screening process.

By tailoring your application, emphasizing relevant skills, and adapting to ATS requirements, you can increase your chances of standing out and securing an interview for the desired position.


Once you have secured an interview, whether in person or through video, it's crucial to be well-prepared. Familiarize yourself with the company, the position you are applying for, and stay informed about industry trends. Additionally, it's beneficial to prepare questions to ask the hiring manager, demonstrating your interest and engagement.

If you progress to the negotiation stage, it's essential to have a good understanding of the industry-standard salary range and familiarize yourself with the key components of a Dutch work contract. Before signing the contract, consider the following points:

  • Contract length: Clarify the duration of your contract and whether it includes a probationary period.

  • Base salary: Discuss the amount of your base salary, whether it is paid monthly or annually, and inquire about the inclusion of the holiday allowance. Additionally, determine if there are any provisions for additional bonuses.

  • Holiday and ADV (Additional Days Off) entitlement: Understand the number of holiday and ADV days you are entitled to.

  • Public holidays: Inquire about whether you will have a day off on public holidays.

  • Travel reimbursement: Discuss the possibility of receiving a travel reimbursement for work-related travel expenses.

  • Non-competition clause: Review the non-competition clause in the contract, ensuring you understand its implications.

  • Additional benefits: Explore any additional benefits provided, such as a pension scheme and a supplement to your health insurance contribution.


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