How to stand out as an expat with Dutch talent recruiters?

When you want to work in the Netherlands as an expat, it can sometimes feel like you are 1-0 behind in an application procedure. Simply because you think that Dutch recruiters prefer to hire candidates who are familiar with the culture, language and working method. This does not have to be the case. In fact, many employers see expats as very valuable employees within their company. To take away that unpleasant feeling and to ensure that you really stand out during your application, we have listed a number of tips.

1. Provide a striking curriculum vitae

A resume is often the first thing a company or recruiter looks at. So make sure that it is well-organized and clear. In the blog ‘These are the trends in 2020 when it comes to a digital CV’ you will find useful tips to prepare a good digital CV.

2. Write a good motivation letter

In the Netherlands, it is customary to enclose both a CV and a motivation letter with an application. In this motivation it is important that you are original and attract attention. Make sure you have an original opening of your letter or a good subhead for your CV. Grab attention and make sure you trigger the reader of the letter to continue to read on. For example, write in your letter how you see yourself in the position or how you think you will fill the position. That is what a recruiter wants to know. Let them know who you are and how you distinguish yourself from others!

3. Get noticed with an original video

Video application is increasingly used to select suitable candidates. But even if it is not requested by the employer, it is a good idea to record a video and send it with your application. A video says more than a thousand words. Make a script beforehand. Think about how and what you want to say. But don't read it! Be yourself and practice until your story comes across naturally. Make sure the video is not too long, maximum 1.30 minutes. And again: try to be creative. Make sure you stand out and that it is not just a summary of your resume.

4. Be aware of frequently asked questions

After you have applied, you of course hope to be invited for an initial interview. It is also possible that a recruiter will call you first to discuss a number of things with you, so that he can make a pre-selection. Either way, questions will be asked in both cases. In the Netherlands there are a number of questions that are almost always addressed. Make sure you are aware of this so that you can prepare these frequently asked questions in advance.

5. Prepare yourself well for the interview

When you are allowed to come for an interview, there are, in addition to the frequently asked questions, a number of other things that you should pay attention to during the preparation. We also say 'good preparation is half the battle'. Therefore, here are a number of tips that you can use during your preparation for your interview.

  • Call them in advance to gather more information and possibly ask your questions that you would like answered before the interview.
  • Be aware of the recruitment code.
  • Arrive 10 minutes earlier.
  • Bring copies of your CV, motivation letter and possibly your diplomas and references.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Prepare and ask questions during (and at the end of) the interview.
  • Enjoy the interview!

Good luck with your application. Didn't get the job? That’s too bad, but don't give up! As an expat it is a good idea to register with a recruitment agency specifically aimed at expats. Then you know for sure that you are going to apply for a job at a company that more often employs expats and is used to work with them. They are therefore also aware of all relevant rules and matters that must be arranged and know better than anyone how valuable expats are within a Dutch company.

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