Dutch CV Tips for Job Applications in the Netherlands

Consider tailoring your resume and interview questions to the Dutch job market if you're seeking work in the Netherlands. This article provides information on how to write a Dutch CV and letter for a job application, plus interview tips and questions to prepare.

Dutch CV Tips for Job Applications in the Netherlands

Consider tailoring your resume and interview questions to the Dutch job market if you're seeking work in the Netherlands. Even though English is the dominant business language in the Netherlands, applying for jobs is not the same as applying at home. Making a Dutch CV and learning about Dutch business culture before applying for employment in the Netherlands will significantly improve your chances of getting hired there.

You should present yourself and all your abilities, credentials, and experience as expected by Dutch companies while drafting your Dutch CV, applying for jobs in the country, or getting ready for an interview. Knowing which traits are highly regarded in the Netherlands will help you decide which abilities to emphasize or interview questions to prepare. If you know what you do outside of work is highly valued in the Netherlands, you won't be startled when an interviewer asks about your personal life.

How to Write a Dutch CV

If your resume isn't written in the same manner as a Dutch CV, it might not be appropriate in the Netherlands. Your Dutch CV should be concise and to the point, usually one page for an entry-level position and no more than two pages overall. Because Dutch employers place high importance on work-life balance, you should devote space on your resume to your extracurricular and recreational pursuits.

Dutch CV structure tips

  • A Dutch CV begins with your personal information, including your gender, unless it is clear from your name. Your full name, date of birth, and other relevant contact information should be included. It's also OK to mention your marital status, citizenship, and relevant military responsibilities.
  • Next, list your employment history in reverse chronological order, including any part-time or volunteer positions (i.e., the most recent first). Include a list of your duties and responsibilities and any other skills or experiences you brought to each employer, together with your name, address, and position.
  • Then list your education and credentials in chronological order or highest level first.
  • Give specifics about your extracurricular activities, such as hobbies or community service, as Dutch employers are particularly interested in those that demonstrate commitment and initiative. However, try to keep your extracurricular activities relevant to your Dutch CV. Examples include mentioning that you are a board member, volunteer, sports coach, or player.
  • Suppose they are relevant to the position, such as IT abilities, fluency in a language, or knowledge of a particular program or piece of equipment. In that case, your skills and competencies can be listed on your Dutch CV.
  • List some of your interests or hobbies if there is room.
  • On your Dutch CV, you can list brief references; some Dutch companies will check, so double-check the information.

Dutch CV Tips

Here are the dos and don'ts for writing a Dutch CV.

  • Your Dutch CV should be truthful and concise; in the Netherlands, short, simple words and bullet points are recommended.
  • Since honesty and directness are highly regarded in the Netherlands, your CV should not be embellished or exaggerated.
  • Always type your Dutch resume and utilize simple, practical layouts and typefaces.
  • Your Dutch resume shouldn't be more than two A4 pages.
  • Unless specifically requested, avoid including a photo.
  • If you don't have much work experience, don't feel the need to exaggerate; instead, concentrate on schoolwork, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or other part-time or seasonal jobs where you can show that you have the necessary skills.

How to Write a Dutch Cover Letter

Dutch companies value motivations; therefore, explaining why you're applying for the position or what draws you to the organization is critical. In reality, a Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs study discovered that a candidate's motivation was one of the primary factors influencing a job offer in the Netherlands.

The facts and data on your Dutch CV should therefore be kept, and you should utilize your cover letter to explain:

  • How did you discover the position? Why are you applying? Demonstrating your reasons for applying for the job and accepting the new role is crucial;
  • aspirations or goals you want to achieve;
  • You should explain why you are the best candidate for the position and what credentials or expertise support this.

On the left side of the page, you should start by listing your name, address, postal code, city, phone number, and email before adding the recipient's name and address. The recipient's address, the date, and the subject can then be listed.

However, your cover letter should still be brief:

  • It should be a short, formal letter, no more than one page, A4.
  • It ought to be written in a formal business letter format.
  • Avoid being overly creative or fancy with your explanations while remaining straightforward and excited about the job.
  • Do not attach copies of your resume or employer references unless requested.
  • When speaking Dutch, you must use the formal "u" throughout your communication.
  • Be direct and communicate your desire for an interview and meeting with them in the final sentence.

Job Application Tips

You should check to see if the company communicates in Dutch before you prepare your job application; if it isn't clear from the job posting or website, you may need to do some research. Your cover letter and resume should be written in Dutch for positions in Dutch-speaking companies. If you're unsure, it's recommended to ask a fluent Dutch speaker to proofread your application to avoid having it rejected. Even if your interviewer shifts to English, speaking any Dutch you know will still be appreciated. To brush up, there are various language schools in the Netherlands.

It is OK to write your CV and cover letter in English if the company has an English-speaking office, and you will probably interview in English as well. However, writing your letter and CV in Dutch is always preferred.

Job Application Process in the Netherlands

A Dutch company often acknowledges a job application within a week. It is appropriate to inquire about the status of your job application if two weeks have passed and you have not heard anything.

Job Interviews in the Netherlands

There are some additional considerations to keep in mind when attending a job interview in the Netherlands, in addition to the standard advice on how to make a good impression: research the company, avoid using the words "yes" or "no," relate your experience to the position you're applying for, and, of course, never criticize a current or former employer. Fortunately, you shouldn't have to worry about speaking Dutch because most Dutch HR professionals are fluent in English.

Face-to-face interviews

  • Find out the interviewer's full name and title before the interview, and make sure you can pronounce it.
  • Even though Dutch people typically wear casual clothing, they dress formally.
  • Punctuality is crucial in the Netherlands, so arrive on time.
  • Make copies of your resume, academic transcripts, and employment references.
  • Wait till you're invited before sitting.
  • Expect to be questioned about your character, motivation (display excitement for the position and the organization, but don't go overboard), strengths, flaws, and education and knowledge of the company.
  • Though not to the extent of glaring each other out, direct eye contact is customary in the Netherlands. Look your interviewer in the eye.
  • If a question is unclear to you, ask for clarification.
  • Don't oversell your abilities or boast about your accomplishments because the
  • Dutch prioritize equality; in other cultures, these behaviors can be interpreted as confidence.
  • However, be humorous also; being personable and pleasant to work with is a plus.
  • Prepare a list of inquiries to make after the interview.

Online interviews

The interview may be conducted online if you apply from outside the Netherlands. Not to worry. Treat it like any other face-to-face interview, which means you should be well-prepared and appropriately attired (for example, follow the interview suggestions above).

Other interview tips to consider are:

  • Make sure your face is nicely lit, and the background seems professional.
  • Consider sticking a photo next to your computer's camera as a visual reminder to maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Practice beforehand with a friend.
  • Be authentic so that your individuality still shines through.

Interview Tips in the Netherlands

Always be prepared while writing your job application. These interview guidelines indicate what Dutch companies seek, so you should concentrate on these areas while preparing for your interview and your CV. In this manner, you can lessen the possibility of being confronted with an impasse.

  • You may be asked questions regarding your prior employment and employer, so it's crucial to review the key statistics and data from the place you worked (and, of course, to avoid critical remarks).
  • Have a short list of questions you want to ask the interviewer because inquiries in the Netherlands are about input and feedback from both of you. After the interview, it is typical to ask up to three questions.
  • Questions concerning your personal life, such as your age, marital status, number of kids, pets, childcare arrangements, interests, and hobbies, or information about your spouse, may be asked of you. In the Netherlands, the family is significant and of interest.
  • During a first interview, avoid bringing up income or benefits. If your desired pay is brought up, it is believed that you are already aware of the range and any conditions if they are listed in the job posting. You shouldn't go into much detail in such situations.
  • It occasionally seems like your speaker has finished their phrase when they haven't because Dutch is an inflected language. To avoid accidentally interrupting, it is helpful to allow brief pauses at the end of sentences.

Although some interview questions in the Netherlands may seem intimate, direct, or personal, their purpose isn't always to elicit an unfavorable or surprising answer. Even though specific interview questions seem more concerned with social or personal issues, you should still consider how or why those questions are relevant to the position. It's possible that specific questions won't transfer well into English, so consider what the interviewer is trying to get to before responding.