Finding a job
With some of the best universities in the Netherlands, the Maastricht Region attracts students from all over the world which result in great opportunities for highly educated graduates. The Orientation Year permit, providing an opening to the labour market for non-European Union (EU) graduates, is a great instrument in helping to fulfil the aim of the Government of the Netherlands to attract and retain international talent.
Adapt CV/resume to Dutch standards
- Open with an “elevator pitch”, a short paragraph that generally explains one's skills and goals, and why one would be a productive and beneficial person to have on a team or within a company or project;
- International employers and educational institutions may not be familiar to employers in the Netherlands, so don’t abbreviate and be sure that the relevance of work experience/education is clear in regards to the position being applied for;
- It is important to state things like language abilities (CEFR levels), relevant social activities, citizenship and residency status.
Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen – UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) created werk.nl to assist both local and international residents in their search for work. More detailed information on tailoring a CV/resume to standards expected in the Netherlands can be found there.
Online job sites and professional social networks can search for vacancies, register professional details and keep up to date with prospective employers. There are several websites in the Netherlands that collect job advertisements from different companies and publish them in 1 place. Examples of the many types of website that can give an overview of vacancies in the Maastricht Region LimburgVac, CarriereInLimburg and BanenrijkLimburg. Please note: these websites are in Dutch.
TogetherAbroad is a website aimed at multi-lingual candidates.
HoiTalent is one of the largest job portals for international talent in the Netherlands. Providing free job and event information, professional career coaching, advice and tips.
LinkedIn is a business social network and is utilised by many professionals in the Netherlands and across Europe. It is an effective way of making new contacts and keeping in touch with colleagues all over the world via the online platform and mobile app. It offers industry specific information as well as access to training courses and conferences.
Xing.com is a business social network that is often used in Germany and is suitable for professionals who are mainly active in German-speaking countries. The site is good for professional service providers, executives and for those wishing to position themselves as experts. LinkedIn is however gaining popularity in Germany and becoming more prevalent as a business networking tool.
Recruitment agencies/head hunters
International CVs/resumes often do not match the standard website search tools and typical employer qualification expectations in the Netherlands. Contacting recruitment agencies and head hunters is an effective way to ensure individual skills and expertise are efficiently communicated to prospective employers. Especially where highly educated persons are looking for the next challenge, a regular local recruitment agency may not have the equivalent positions on their books. Specialist agencies can then be consulted, here are a few examples:
Equipe specializes in (direct) search and recruitment and selection of professionals for permanent and interim positions from senior middle management to management level and supervisory positions.
StepStone aims to deliver the highest quality of service to all of their clients, ranging from small local players to big global corporations across all industry sectors.
- Match Solutions, make the right match between employer and employee; and
- HR Solutions, the right HR support for employer and employee.
Approba is an HR Business Partner, specialised in recruitment and HR services and support for recruitment, transfer and departure cases. Most of their clients are companies and institutions present in the (petro)chemical industry and high-tech manufacturing industry in Western Europe.
Limbourg & Partners is specialised in recruitment, selection, and mediation of highly educated professionals for both permanent and temporary positions. As an independent mediator, they predominantly focus on recruitment consultancy, with their main aim being to advise and guide their clients.
Networking is highly valued in the Maastricht Region. Discussions regarding business and prospective employment are often carried out over a coffee or at a networking event. Join expat community meet-ups, online forums, business fairs and social events to broaden professional networks and increase the prospects of a new position.
Expat Centre Maastricht Region holds frequent networking events as well as social events such as Let’s Catch Up providing unique moments for meeting prospective employers and/or colleagues and our team can assist in making informal introductions.
In the Maastricht Region, it is not uncommon to apply for a job when there are currently no vacancies posted for a specific position. When sending an open application, find a contact person at that company, e.g. the company recruiter or someone from the human resources department and can ask for a particular person to address the letter to. Company websites often provide a generic email address to send open applications to.
Letter of motivation
Employers in the Netherlands usually request a motivatiebrief (motivation letter) to accompany a CV/resume when applying for a position. This letter should:
- detail the work experience, educational background and professional qualities that are relevant to the position as described;
- make clear the reason why the applicant want to work at this specific company;
- point out any extracurricular activities, hobbies and interests;
- be no longer than one A4 page
Before starting a job in the Netherlands, it can be interesting to gain more insight into the Dutch work culture. Welcome-to-NL listed all the striking elements about the Dutch workplace culture in this article.