Jobs in Amsterdam for Erasmus students

Outlined: The 5 most important job related issues

After my last blog I received an overwhelming number of responses about one subject: finding a job in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. For many people it is one of the most frustrating things about living here – it is extremely hard to find one. Even highly educated people struggle to find a suitable employer and a job in which they can contribute to and be part of the Dutch society.

And this counts even more for people who are not in Holland yet but are looking for an opportunity to come and live here. Even though the Central Bureau for statistics has indicated that by 2020 the Netherlands will have a shortage of 300.000 employees, employers are still hesitant to hire new staff from abroad.

Erasmus Amsterdam we want to help you get a job!

jobs in Amsterdam

1. Who is allowed to work in Holland?

One of the reasons for employers to have this hesitancy is the fact that the Dutch government is fairly strict on which companies are allowed to hire staff from abroad. Companies have to be registered referents and before they are allowed to hire staff from further away they need to prove that they have been looking for staff within the European Economic Area.

A list of companies with the status registered referents can be found at

If you come from a European Union (EU) country you have the right to live and work in the Netherlands but if you are from further afield you will have to adhere to the Dutch visa process and obtain a work permit.

You may also be interested in our post «Working with the Dutch – an explanation for professional expats«

2. How do I find a Job in Holland?

Coming from abroad you do have a language disadvantage but on the other side you have the advantage of an in-depth knowledge of your home country and its culture. Scroll through the list and find companies who do business with the country you come from.

In addition jobs are usually not only given to people because they are experienced in their field but also because they fit well. Apply for a job at a company you think you can fit with. Thus a company sees that you’re enthusiastic and appreciates that you’re not applying to everyone.

3. Where do I find a Job in Amsterdam?

First of all make sure that you adapt your CV to meet Dutch norms. For more information:


Applying for a job speculatively is very common in Holland. If you have found a company that suits you, don’t hesitate to email their recruiting department and outline your request.


There are lots of job search sites on the Internet. You can actively search for jobs by setting the search criteria. You can also register and leave your CV in job. Also, most companies have a website where you can search their current vacancies.

Private employment agencies

Private employment agencies (uitzendbureaus) are professionals in finding you a suitable job. There are also local agencies that specialize in a particular industry sector (such as seasonal vacancies) or which are dedicated to helping people who do not speak Dutch.

Recruitment agencies

There are also quite a few recruitment agencies that are specialized in finding jobs for people who are international professionals.


According to some research 80 percent of job seekers find work through a network and this is usually the easiest way to find a job. Ask your friends and acquaintances to keep you informed about job opportunities in their company. Sometimes people may even put a good word in for you with their employer. Since the Dutch take personal recommendations very seriously it may be a relatively easy way to get in.


jobs in Amsterdam for students

4. Do I need to speak Dutch?

Even when you want to work for a multinational company you may still have to work with Dutch customers as well. In those cases an employer wants the job applicant to be able to speak Dutch. To have a bigger chance of actually getting a job in Amsterdam it is advisable to have a reasonable knowledge of the Dutch language. In addition it also shows that you are planning to stay in the Netherlands for a long time.

5. What can I do if I don’t find a job straight away?

Job coaching

If you are looking for a new job in Amsterdam or you want to change careers and want to maximize your opportunities you might want to consider a workshop or coaching sessions.

Volunteer work

Volunteer work might be a start to a real job and at least it helps boosting your CV. Thus you will also get more confidence in speaking Dutch. There are many options available. This is a good place to start:

After reading this I am sure you have lots more to add! Please put your thoughts, experiences and questions in the comment field below reply to others.  Other people may benefit from your experience as much as you may be able to benefit from other peoples experience!

And please share this article by clicking the one or more share buttons below. It may benefit others to find out they are not the only ones struggling with the finding a job in the Netherlands!

We hope you find a job in Amsterdam very soon!