Finding a job in a foreign country might be challenging, however in a city as international as Rotterdam, it is absolutely doable. This city has many major multinationals and smaller companies that are always looking for talented new professionals with multilingual capacities and international ambitions.
The internet is probably the most common avenue to start your job hunt. You can search, register your details and keep up to date with prospective employers. There are several websites that collect vacancies from different companies and publish them in one place. ‘Nationale Vacaturebank’, ‘Monsterboard’ and ‘Intermediair’ are examples of the many types of website that can give you an overview of vacancies in both Rotterdam and the surrounding area. Please note: these websites are set up in Dutch.
Venture Café Talent Portal
Venture Café is a non-profit organisation that aims to bring innovators and entrepreneurs together. The talent portal provides an overview of international career opportunities in the innovation sector, and can help connect you to prospective employers in the Rotterdam area.
College Life Work is a career platform for international talent. Foreign students & graduates can find non-Dutch part-time, internship and graduate positions in Rotterdam and other parts of the Netherlands. College Life’s team works closely with the HR teams at all companies listed on the website, which ensures that you always have direct contact with those individuals that make the final decision regarding your application.
Recruitment agencies in Rotterdam
You can also ask for the help of an intermediary, via a recruitment agency. These agencies are located all over the city and you can find them online as well. The following list is an overview of recruitment agencies in the Rotterdam area.
- Adams Recruitment
- Bilingual People
- Blue Lynx
- Unique Muliti Lingual
In the Netherlands, word-of-mouth recommendations and face-to-face meetings are highly appreciated. It is smart to join expat communities, business fairs and networking events (check if they’re in English first) to get to know people from the companies you would like to work at.
Employers appreciate it when you take initiative. In the Netherlands, it is not uncommon to apply for a job when there are currently no vacancies posted for a specific position. If you want to send an open application, it is smart to find a contact person at that company, e.g. the company recruiter or someone from the human resources department. You can ask this person if it is common to send your letter (it probably is) and you can ask for a particular person to address your letter to.
Application for a Dutch employer
If you are planning to send an application to a Dutch employer, there are some small unwritten rules that might differ from your country of origin. For example, it is advisable to start your letter with ‘Dear’. In most cases – although there are of course exceptions to this scenario – you should keep the style simple: not too formal, not too informal.
In most letters, it will be fine if you point out your work experience, educational background and professional qualities, as well as why you want to work at this specific company. It is much appreciated by Dutch employers if you point out any extramural activities, hobbies and interests. It is common to send a letter not longer than one A4 page and to add your CV. The most common approach is to send a PDF via email, not a physical letter via the post.
The best of luck with your job hunt! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Rotterdam Expat Centre. We are happy to give you any advice that could help make your job hunt as rewarding as you hoped.