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A Short Guide: Finding A Job in The Netherlands, How Difficult Can It Be?

You are ready to pack your bags? We’ve all been to that place when we feel the urge to change something in our professional (and private) life. The number of people that decide to go to another country looking for a job is constantly growing, and The Netherlands is one of the most popular European destinations for migrants. A high living standard and flexible multicultural working environment are very appealing for many job seekers from all around the globe. So, what it takes to get a job here? I tried to summarize the most important facts for those who are considering working and living in The Netherlands in the future.

1. The most important thing – a residence permit. If you are not the EU citizen and you want to stay longer than (usual) 90 days, the Dutch government has different residence permits issued, depending on the job type. The bad news is that, almost always, you need first to sign a contract with the Dutch employer (or international company that is based in The Netherlands), or to already have a job here to be able to get or extend your residence permit. In that case, either you or your company applies for you. The exceptions are people who have graduated, obtained a Ph.D. or performed scientific research and wish to find a job or start their own company, they can apply for residence permit “orientation year highly educated persons”.

2. The industries with a shortage of skilled employees. At the moment, high tech companies, hospitals, and schools are having a hard time filling their vacancies. Young graduates with the right technical, medical, or ICT skills are also in high demand. Knowledge of the Dutch language and culture is of great importance for most employees, especially if working with people, like in primary or secondary education or in healthcare. For some other shortage occupations, especially ICT and technical jobs, Dutch language skills are less essential, especially if migrants know the English language. There is also a shortage of people who work in agriculture and in construction, and for these jobs, the level of education is not crucial. Also, if you are a skilled carpenter, plumber, car mechanic or automotive technician, then there is a big probability you’ll find a job more easily.

3. A job search process. If you are not hired by one of many international organizations, you will, like most people taking up employment in the Netherlands, have to obtain a work permit before you start. Don’t be discouraged, recruitment nowadays uses different contemporary solutions, so you don’t have to be physically present for your job interview or to sign your contract. However, you will need to maximize your chances of standing out in the sea of other, equally qualified candidates for the job you want. In my experience, your resume, your cover letter, your professional LinkedIn profile, and generally, your entire online presence has to be flawless. Luckily, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to achieve this, but you have to be practical and proactive to accept the help when you realize you need it.

I worked with many executives, IT engineers, oil and gas technology experts, CBRN specialists, medical professionals, administrative officers and professors, and helped them in different aspects of their careers. I can help you too to strategize your professional path and find your dream job. All you have to do is to make the first step and get started!

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