International? 3 Great Tips for Finding Jobs in the Netherlands

Finding work in The Netherlands as an expat or international can be both exciting and challenging.The Netherlands is renowned for its work-life balance, diverse job opportunities, and a thriving international community. However, navigating the job market in a foreign country, particularly if you don’t speak the local language, can be quite a challenge. – by Lorena Flores



5 min



As an HR professional and international psychologist, I understand the unique struggles we face as internationals seeking employment in The Netherlands. The unknown can be daunting, especially when you’re striving to secure employment as quickly as possible. Rest assured, you’re not alone in this journey. My colleagues and I know the challenges this transition poses and the dedication you’re putting into finding the right opportunity. We encourage you to take a moment to acknowledge your perseverance and know that it’s okay to feel a bit apprehensive while looking for jobs in The Netherlands as an expat/international.

Allow me to share three valuable tips that will help you in your job search.

1 Research before you start

Narrow down your job search

Begin by deciding which field you want to explore for job opportunities. It’s crucial to focus on the areas that align with your interests and expertise. Applying for too many different jobs can be overwhelming and may dilute your efforts. By narrowing your search, you can target specific industries or sectors that suit your skills and qualifications.

Ask yourself, “What am I searching for, and what are my long-term aspirations?” By doing this, you can discover the right work path and identify which roles align with your interests. Also, consider making a checklist of your must-haves for a job – those things that are non-negotiable and matter most to you. Just make sure these are practical and feasible given your current situation.

In essence, your goal is to identify roles and companies that not only interest you but also make sense in terms of your skills and background. Remember to take into account other personal factors like salary, work hours, daily commute, and company culture. This approach will help you avoid the stress-driven “apply everywhere” spree and allow you to follow a more thoughtful strategy to your job search.

Research the job requirements

Before you jump into applying for any role, take some time to research the specific job requirements, relevant courses, and qualifications needed. Pay close attention to whether Dutch language proficiency is a common requirement in your chosen field. Understanding the market expectations and necessary qualifications will help you tailor your application and increase your chances of success. You can do this by searching on LinkedIn using key words for the positions you are interested in or connecting with people in similar roles to ask about their experience and job requirements.

2 Don’t underestimate the power of networking

Follow influential organizations

Identify prominent organizations in your field of interest and follow them on professional platforms like LinkedIn. By staying updated on their activities and job openings, you can gain valuable insights into the industry and potentially discover suitable opportunities. Larger organizations often have more international work environments and may be more open to offering jobs for English speakers in The Netherlands.

Network strategically

Networking plays a vital role in the Dutch job market. Connect with professionals working in your desired positions or companies and reach out to them for informal meetings or coffee chats. Building meaningful connections can provide valuable information, introduce you to potential opportunities, or lead to referrals within your industry.

Embrace the Initial Awkwardness

Even if it seems a bit out of your comfort zone to initiate conversations with people you don’t know, keep your end goal in mind – which is ultimately landing a job in The Netherlands. Reaching out to individuals via platforms like LinkedIn or Internations, or even participating in networking events and joining groups geared towards your country or expat community, can provide an excellent foundation for building your network.

3 Keep trying and take your chances

Don’t hesitate to apply

Even if you come across a vacancy that seems like a good fit, but you don’t meet all the requirements or don’t speak Dutch, don’t be discouraged. If you genuinely believe you can excel in the role, consider applying anyway. Tailor your application to showcase your relevant skills and experiences, highlighting how you can contribute to the organization. Sometimes, employers are willing to consider candidates who demonstrate potential and the ability to learn quickly even if they don’t fill all of the requirements. This was actually the case for my current position, where the vacancy was initially intended for a Dutch-speaking psychologist.

Start learning Dutch

If you plan to stay in The Netherlands for an extended period, learning Dutch can significantly enhance your job possibilities. Even a basic understanding of the language showcases your commitment to integrating into the local culture and can be an asset to potential employers. Luckily you have a variety of options when it comes to language schools and resources to get started with learning Dutch. Whether you prefer user-friendly apps like Duolingo, language cafes for interactive practice (also a great place for networking!), private (online) lessons or more comprehensive institutions like fit4taal,, and TU Delft, there’s a range of choices available for different budgets.

In conclusion

Finding a job in The Netherlands as an international professional may seem like a challenging task, but with the right strategies and perseverance, you can reach your desired goal. Remember, it’s essential to be proactive, stay informed about the job market trends, and leverage networking opportunities to maximize your chances of success. Embrace the multicultural and inclusive work environment that The Netherlands offers, and you’ll be on your way to securing a fulfilling career in this vibrant country.

Reach out

Feeling a bit stuck? We get it. Based on our experience, just a few sessions with a dedicated job coach can work wonders. You don’t have to go through this journey alone, sometimes getting support from an external person or discussing it with close friends or family can help you gain new perspectives and ensure that you continue pursuing your job goal.

You can find more information about our services on these pages: Job & career services for internationals and Cultural adaptation support/psychological coaching. And don’t hesitate to reach out for a free introductory call.

Lorena Flores Organizational psychologist and coach