Amsterdam is a year-round touristic destination and the capital of one of the top economies of Europe, an ideal destination to find a job. Depending on your field of expertise there will be more or less demand but work in Amsterdam is something guaranteed.
Yes, it is easy to find a job in Amsterdam. Anyone who wants to work will be able to get a job, of course, with some knowledge of English. In general, getting a job is something fast, yet it is not always the case since it depends on what field you want to find a job.
If you don’t speak Dutch, you need to consider that your job doesn’t have to require this language, but luckily Amsterdam is a very international city. If we consider this and the fact that 99% of the Dutch population speaks English perfectly well, you won’t have to worry about the language.
How to Find a Job in Amsterdam
Either if you are a professional of your field or just someone in need of a job, there will be something for you. According to Trading Economics and other economic sources, the Netherlands is on the top 10 worldwide and on the top 3 at a European level of lower unemployment. Last year it has a total of 77.70 % of the working population.
Figures aside, I can confirm it with facts: coming to the Netherlands after living in Spain, the job offers situation was a shock. Seeing little poster on every shop I would enter asking for people to apply for any position and so many people asking to get someone with a flexible student schedule blew my mind. If you want to work, there will be a chance for you.
If you want to find a job, here are some of the tips I have learned throughout the years and what I have observed it works for most people:
Yes, walking around the city is also a great option. As I was saying before, it surprised me both in Amsterdam and Utrecht the number of advertisements for jobs that were in the actual stores. You can just go walk around your favourite area of the city of just the city center, close to the shopping area, and there will be something for you. I remember that even at the Italian Institute of Language in Amsterdam they had a board with job offers when I used to go there to study Italian.
I have personally been contacted by several Dutch recruiters asking me if I would be interested in certain positions in Amsterdam. Having a proper LinkedIn account is something relevant, of course, you have to make sure your location is Amsterdam so that you are found on all the researches around the area, and that your expertise and anything that would be relevant is explained. If they want you they will contact you, but making an effort is always a good idea.
If you are at school or if you are taking a Dutch course and you have a professor and classmates, your neighbour or anyone. Amsterdam is all in all a small city, so if someone is looking for a new employee, I am sure his friends will know about it. My first job I got asking a friend who posted that they needed someone to join the place he worked at. He put me in contact with his bosses and I was chosen!
Undutchables is a Dutch recruiting agency who look for professional profiles from other countries to improve the working environment in Dutch companies or to fulfil the needs of language experience Dutch workers can not do. Checking their website with your language preferences and your profile as well as entering their newsletter will be very helpful to get a job.
The first time I went to one was at the NH Hotel in Amsterdam on a Saturday. Undutchables and other companies who work helping expats get a job in the Netherlands, organise these fairs on the weekends every now and then to bring companies who work with professionals who are interested in international profiles. In these events, they not only give you the chance to talk to the recruiters of different companies and their HR people but also offer talks about tips of how to make of you a better or more suitable candidate for those companies. It is a great way to get to know companies that later on you can contact online or just networking.
Just Go and Ask
If you like a restaurant, cafe, bar, shop or any store in general, just walk in with your CV or ask them if there would be any chance they have any position available. It is very common in Amsterdam and it is also relatively effective. I got a friend of mine a job this way, askin a waiter at my favourite restaurant when I was about to get the check if there was any position available. And guess what? There was and he got the job.
Make sure you always make a priority the fact that you speak another language. This is key and can help you big time to stand up from others. When doing any online search, even on Google, always include your mother tongue, that is also the way others will offer the position.
Requirements: What you Need to Get a Job
if you are working in the Netherlands, there are 99% chances that would be legally made with a contract. In order to get a contract, you need certain documents any company will ask you to have. If you already have the job, you have made the interview and it went well and they want you, this is what you will have to get ready to show them:
- English: this is a must. If you are able to read this article, that is more than enough. Dutch people speak pretty good English and in order to communicate, you have to be able to speak English. Believe it or not, it is both a blessing or a curse, for learning Dutch is not really helpful, for getting a job, very much!
- Dutch?: Luckily, for most jobs, you are not required to speak Dutch. A lot of international companies offer to their employees once they already work for then for a while, the opportunity to enrol at a free Dutch course while working for them. In general, Amsterdam has a lot of jobs relative to tourism and that means almost none speaks Dutch.
- Valid ID: the same document you used to enter the country would do. Like any European country, you will need a special visa permit from your homeland to work here if you don’t belong to the European Union. You have to make sure you have all this sorted out before signing a working agreement.
- Address: in order to get a bank account or a social security number, you will need a valid address to register. Registration is always the first step to be able to work in the Netherlands since you only can sign a contract with a bank account and a social security number. Not all the rental places allow you to register and that is something you need to ask before-hand and make sure you are allowed to.
- Bank Account: if you are going to receive a pay-chek in the Netherlands, you are going to be asked to have a Dutch bank account. Once you are registered and with a valid ID this is a very easy operation.
- Social Security Number: this is a very important number that represents you in the Netherlands. This number is known by Dutch as “Sofi” number. You get one as soon as you register and that is your access to a job in the Netherlands, to apply for a Health Insurance and any Government Benefits, among other things.
- Extra Languages: this is always a plus! Most recruiting agencies and a lot of touristic business in Amsterdam will be glad that you are able to speak more languages. The highest demand is on French and German speakers due to the big trading and proximities with the neighbour countries of France and Germany. If you are an expert in your language there will also be other job offers such as an important position for international companies who need representatives who speak their language. It is all about searching.
- Health Insurance: this is something none is going to ask you yet something very important to keep in mind. The health insurance system in the Netherlands is private. Once you apply for a job you are expected to be insured. The cheapest insurance is around 100 euros per month and you can ask for some economic help if you cannot afford it right away (Zorgtoeslag) but you need to have it or you will be fined for a high amount of money if you start working without being insured.