Dutch Language Blog

Finding a job in Dutch Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in Dutch Vocabulary

One of the latest additions to the inburgeringsexamen is the section titled Oriëntatie Nederlandse Arbeidsmarkt or orientation about the Dutch workforce. This section is meant to familiarize migrants with the general workforce of the Netherlands with some research assignments. One of the biggest steps in integrating and feeling “at home” in the Netherlands is starting to work (at least for several of my migrant friends and myself).

But how do you even begin?

Vacature in the Netherlands (photograph by Esther Westerveld found in Flickr.com)

Finding a job varies per field so I will not get into specifics, but there are a good amount of vocabulary and phrases that can help you.

Vacature / Vacatures

The keyword when looking through a company’s website is vacatures or vacancies. Another common title for this section is werken bij….


This is a pretty obvious requirement of applying for a job. You must have a CV ready with your levensloop or trajectory of education and work experience. You can go very simple and use a standard Microsoft Word template or find a more visual template on different websites. Remember that you should catch the attention of the person going through 10 or 20 CVs. In your CV you should include the following:

  • personelijke gegevens- personal information such as full name, address, email, phone number
  • opleiding- education listing the most recent degree/level first
  • werkervaring- work experience listing the most recent job first; this section should include uitzendwerk (temporary work), vrijwilligerswerk (volunteer work), vakantiewerk (vacation/holiday jobs), bijbanen (small/side jobs) and stages (internships).
  • overige activiteiten en interesses- the activities and interests you include should be relevant to the job; make sure to include any languages you might speak and the level of each

The following video explains in more detail what your CV needs. Make note of the useful vocabulary in the video. These words certainly come back in interviews.



Together with your CV, you should include a motivation letter. Here you are highlighting the qualities that make you the ideal candidate for a particular job. Do some research about the company and job so that you can include this here. I have been hearing of people who prepare Prezi presentations or even videos to replace the traditional motivation letter. Whatever you choose, make sure you take your time and feel comfortable with it.

What advice can you give someone who is looking for a job in the Netherlands or Belgium?

Useful vocabulary

bedrijf– company
dienst– duty
functie– function or job title
taken– tasks or responsibilities
opleiding– education
gestopt– stopped
volledige naam– full name
volgorder– order or sequence

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!