Top 5 Things You Should Know When Looking for a Job in the Netherlands

Houses in the Netherlands, Working in the Netherlands

Are you an expat considering a move to the Netherlands for work? Or have you recently moved to the charming land of tulips and windmills in search of new career opportunities? Wondering what you need to know? Look no further! In this blog post, we will cover five essential aspects that every expat should know when embarking on a job hunt in the Netherlands. From cultural nuances to practical tips, we have got you covered.

#1 The Dutch Work Culture:

The Dutch work culture is renowned for its efficiency and open communication. Understanding and adapting to these values can significantly impact your job search and workplace success. The Dutch are direct in their communication, preferring honesty and transparency over ambiguity. Be prepared for candid feedback and avoid beating around the bush in your professional interactions.

Moreover, punctuality is highly esteemed in Dutch work settings. Arriving on time for interviews and meetings is a sign of respect and professionalism. Additionally, the Dutch are passionate about achieving a work-life balance, which means you’ll likely enjoy flexible work hours and generous vacation days. Embracing these values will help you integrate seamlessly into the Dutch work environment.

#2 Networking is Key:

While online job portals are an essential resource for job seekers, networking plays a crucial role in finding opportunities in the Netherlands. The Dutch job market values personal connections and recommendations. Attend industry events, seminars, and workshops to meet potential employers and colleagues. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for expanding your professional network and showcasing your skills.

Don’t hesitate to join expat groups and attend social gatherings to meet people from diverse backgrounds. Expanding your social circle not only provides job opportunities but also helps you adjust to the new environment.

#3 Resumes and Cover Letters:

When applying for a job in the Netherlands, ensure that your resume and cover letter are tailored to the Dutch market. Highlight your relevant skills and experience concisely, and keep the format clean and professional. Remember to include a professional photograph, as it is common practice in Dutch recruitment.

Furthermore, the Dutch value authenticity and modesty. Avoid excessive self-promotion and stick to facts when describing your achievements. Demonstrate your ability to contribute to the company’s goals and emphasise your team-player mentality. The polder model is still alive and well in the Netherlands so teamwork and compromise are both important. A well-crafted application that aligns with Dutch cultural norms will increase your chances of landing an interview.

#4 Embrace the Dutch Language:

One of the most vital aspects of integrating into Dutch society and thriving in the job market is learning the Dutch language. Although English is widely spoken and understood, especially in urban areas and the business world, having at least a basic understanding of Dutch will go a long way. Not only will it help you navigate daily life, but it will also demonstrate your commitment to adapting to the local culture.

Enrolling in a Dutch language course can be a game-changer. Besides language proficiency, it offers you the opportunity to meet other expats and build a network of like-minded individuals. Embrace the challenge of learning Dutch, and you’ll find that it opens doors to more job prospects and enriches your experience in the Netherlands.

#5 Qualifications and Permits:

Before embarking on your job search, ensure that your qualifications are recognised in the Netherlands. Some professions may require additional certifications or qualifications to meet local standards. Research and contact relevant authorities to validate your educational background and professional qualifications.

If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need to obtain a work permit to legally work in the Netherlands. Your potential employer will play a significant role in assisting you with this process, so it’s crucial to discuss the matter during the application process.

Finding a job in the Netherlands


Moving to the Netherlands for work can be an exciting and rewarding experience for expats. By familiarising yourself with the local work culture, actively networking, tailoring your application approach, learning the Dutch language and obtaining the necessary qualifications and permits, you will be well-prepared to tackle the Dutch job market with confidence. Try to adapt and embrace the Dutch way of life, and you’ll find that your transition to life in the Netherlands will be smoother and more fulfilling, both professionally and personally. Here you will find one of the websites with interesting job vacancies for internationals. Good luck on your job search adventure!