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How do the Dutch apply for a job?

How can I find work in the Netherlands? What does a Dutch job application procedure entail? How do I write a letter of application and a cv in line with Dutch standards? What does an employment contract look like? Read more.

CV or resume
Cover letter
Diploma evaluation
Job interview

CV or resume

Changing your CV or resume to the Dutch model would be a good way to start the job search. The lay-out of a Dutch CV is as follows:

  • Personal details:
    Name, address, phone number, e-mail address. Also, mention date of birth, marital status, nationality and whether you have a driving licence.
  • Education:
    List your credentials in reversed chronological order. Mention names and locations of your schools, major(s) and degree(s) obtained. If relevant, also mention awards and honours, extracurricular activities demonstrating skills or leadership traits, and additional courses, internships, or specialized training courses.
  • Work experience:
    List in reversed chronological order. Mention names of companies you have worked for, dates of employment, job title, responsibilities, achievements, and reasons for leaving. Be sure to specify whether your employment was full-time, temporary, or part-time.
  • Other skills and experiences:
    Including languages spoken (quite important), computer expertise,  professional affiliations, military and/or volunteer experience, and personal interests. References may either be listed, or noted as "provided on request."

Cover letter

A one-page cover letter should accompany your resume. It should be in A4 format, and typed unless handwritten is requested. This letter must mention the position that you are applying for and must briefly describe why you are qualified for the job. Unless explicitly requested in the job advertisement there is no need to enclose diplomas, letters of reference, or a photo.

Note that the Dutch culture is not one of boasting too much. While your CV should list of your achievements, it is not wise to be too "colourful" in your cover letter. Being seen as a show-off will count against you. More information on how to write a good CV is available from the following websites:

Diploma evaluation

If your employer wishes to see your academic credentials, you might want to obtain a diploma evaluation. This compares your foreign diploma to Dutch standards. A diploma evaluation may be obtained from the Information Centre for Credential Evaluation.

Job interview

Make sure you do some desk research. You need to know something about the company and be able to ask questions to reflect that. Review your own qualifications for the position, and have a clear idea of what you would like to achieve in the job. If you need to give or to ask for further information, feel free to call the contact person. Dress conservatively and don't be late.

In the Netherlands, people are quite direct in their way of speaking, so be prepared for very frank and sometimes personal questions. The interviewer will want to know what you think you can do for the company. Asking questions is encouraged, but do not interrupt or try to lead the discussion.

You need to impress your interviewers with your qualifications and experience, and with your interest in the position. This last part is where your knowledge of the company comes in handy. In responding to questions, remember that they are looking for someone who can act independently, and work as part of a team. Be respectful, open and confident, but not aggressive or boastful. If in doubt always err on the side of professionalism and modesty.

You may have several interviews with your potential colleagues. When these are completed, there will be an evaluation and, if luck goes your way, a last meeting to discuss the terms of employment.

Source: EP-Nuffic,

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See also
  1. Incoming Researchers
    1. Daily life
  2. Job vacancies
    1. Job vacancies
Other ways of finding research positions

Visit European Euraxess website
with research jobdatabase 
and option to post your cv
watch introduction film.


Visit Jobsection on ResearchGATE.

Visit Doctor of Business Administration Compass

Use your network. Do not underestimate the power of networking for finding the right research position for you.