How to find English-speaking jobs in the Netherlands?
Employers in the Netherlands would like their staff to speak several languages in addition to Dutch. Germany is our most important trading partner, but knowledge of German is less in demand. Proficiency in the English language is increasingly expected and the Dutch labor market seems to be 'anglicizing' as a result. This is shown by an analysis of a big job site. This company analyzed the extent to which employers mention language requirements in job postings over the past two years. Are you curious to know the results? English is becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands. People who speak German or French are actually less popular than before.
The number of vacancies where employers state that speaking several languages is a requirement has increased by six percent compared to two years ago. The demand for German-speaking employees has decreased by eighteen percent in the past two years. For people who speak the French language, the decrease is eighteen percent. English-speaking staff is more popular, with an increase of six percent. The labor market seems to be becoming bilingual and anglicizing. A decrease is visible in all languages except for Dutch and English. In addition, Dutch is still the most common in absolute numbers, but English is getting closer.
In other words, if you are an expat, you have more options to get an English-speaking job in the Netherlands nowadays. You can increase your chances by using the tips mentioned below!
Update your CV
Tailor your resume or CV to highlight relevant skills and experiences. Emphasize your proficiency in English and any other languages you speak. Consider using a Europass format, which is commonly used in Europe. We also advise you to take a look at professional CV examples. You can use these documents as inspiration to improve your own CV. Don’t forget to update its design as well!
Learn basic Dutch
Although English fluency is essential, learning some basic Dutch can be advantageous, especially for customer-facing roles. Consider taking Dutch language classes or using language learning apps to improve your language skills. You don’t have to become a Dutch expert, but by just being able to speak this language a bit, you will have more chance at getting certain jobs in the Netherlands.
Research the job market
Familiarize yourself with the Dutch job market as well, including industries that frequently hire English speakers. Popular sectors include IT, finance, logistics, tourism, and international organizations. By doing some research, you will learn what the requirements usually are. You can also use this information to perfect your CV based on the English-speaking job you would like the most.
Network as much as possible
Networking is essential if you want to find English-speaking jobs in the Netherlands. Join professional networking sites like LinkedIn and connect with professionals in your field. Participate in industry-specific events, job fairs, and meetups to expand your network and gain insights into the job market. You will get to know a lot of people this way!
Update your LinkedIn profile
You may not be in the mood to update your LinkedIn profile at all. However, summer is a good time to take a new profile picture. You will generally look more rested and healthy. So take advantage of that! Take a critical look at your LinkedIn profile and update it where necessary. While you are on it, make sure you also let LinkedIn know that you are open to opportunities. This way, an English-speaking job might find you instead of you having to find it!
Make your social media accounts private
Speaking of social media, make sure all your personal profiles, such as on Instagram or Facebook, are set to private. If you do want to leave them in public, take a few minutes to go through everything and clean it up. Take a critical look at what could look bad when an HR manager or recruiter sees or reads it. This way, you prevent that when you start actively looking for a job, you miss out on opportunities due to an inappropriate post or photo.
Ask others for recommendations
Everyone wants to get recommendations on LinkedIn. It can help you enormously in your future career. Because let's face it: you can still talk enthusiastically about how good you are at something, but if someone else writes something about it, then that is much more credible. Many employers use LinkedIn to find candidates for work, check your achievements and who recommends you. However, you don't get those recommendations overnight and it is useful to request them well in advance so that when you actually start applying, there are already a few.
Make a draft for your motivation letter
Let's say you've looked at several job openings, and although you're not ready to apply yet, you're already starting to get ideas on how to write your cover letter. Nice! Jot those ideas down in a Word document, in your phone's notes app, or on a piece of paper. For example, you can think of things like:
- What are the two to three most important skills that appear in the requirements for the jobs you are interested in? And what story could you tell to illustrate these skills?
- Which roles have you played best match the profiles of these vacancies?
- What achievements in previous roles or in your current role are you most proud of?
- What attracts you to these jobs or companies? (Answering this could lead to a great opening line.)
Write down everything on your mind, even if it feels crazy. If nothing comes to mind now, put it aside and look at it again a day later. When you eventually actually write your full cover letter, these notes can help you get it done faster.