Getting started

How to find work in the Netherlands

Getting started

As in most places, there is more than one way to find a job in the Netherlands. Our advice is to try all possible job-seeking methods because the job market in Holland is very competitive.

The internet is a good starting point. Check the classifieds section in printed media. Use your personal contacts. Send out speculative applications, i.e. pro actively approaching or contacting a company that may not be advertising a job opening at that moment in time. Applying speculatively is very common in Holland. The more you do, the higher the chances are you’ll find a job. Dutch companies usually reply quite quickly to your application. If you haven’t received a reply within 3-4 weeks, do not hesitate to give them a call. Also, your CV should be in line with the Dutch standards.


Internet is the fastest and easiest tool for job hunting. Most companies post their current job openings on their website. There are lots of job search sites on the web.  

If you are actively seeking work, job search sites enable you to set up daily alerts. You will then be sent daily emails with jobs matching your search criteria. Three of the most popular job search engines are the Nationale Vacature Bank  (in Dutch), Intermediair  and Monsterboard.  Also you can register and leave your CV for employers to find in job databases.  

Personal contacts

This is usually the easiest way to find a job. You need to spread the word through your personal network that you are looking for a job and are open to suggestions. Sometimes people will even put a good word in for you with their employer. This can be very helpful as the Dutch take personal recommendations very seriously for job applications.


Buy the Dutch newspapers and look in their classifieds section. The Saturday editions of all the national newspapers such as Algemeen Dagblad, NRC Handelsblad, de Telegraaf, and de Volkskrant, are full of job offers. From Mondays to Fridays you can find the free newspaper Metro at bus and train stations. Metro publishes job ads as well.

Public employment service

The public employment service (UWV Werkbedrijf ) plays an important role in the Dutch labour market. UWV Werkbedrijf supports and assists job seekers in their search for work. They are located in different cities and the specialists offer information and advice to job seekers. The public employment service makes use of its extensive network of partner sites and (temporary) employment agencies. Most of the vacancies can be find in the online job database.

Private employment agencies

A really good source for jobs are the so called uitzendbureaus (employment agencies) and headhunters. They offer both long-term or temporary positions. Many companies use these agencies to find potential candidates. You can either send your CV to the agency or apply for one of the vacancies all via their website. If your CV matches the required criteria, the agency will contact you to make an appointment. Most of the time they are able to find you a suitable job, as long as you are flexible.

Further reading

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