Dutch Language Blog

How to write a Dutch Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Resume Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Dutch Language

In the last post, I gave you some vocabulary to get you started with on your Dutch CV and cover letter.  I’ll be using a lot of that vocabulary in the example CV below, so if you missed it, take a moment to review it.

A Dutch curriculum vitae is a lot like the culture: direct and to the point.  When comparing my American CV to my Dutch CV, the Dutch CV looks almost naked.  Then again, my American CV looks over-the-top enthusiastic and self-promoting, almost exaggerated. So it’s just a matter of perspective and what works.  In the Dutch work environment, direct, straightforward and to-the-point seem to work best.

When writing your CV, the first section should include your name, contact information, birthday, languages you speak fluently enough to use in a work environment, nationality, and optionally your work permit status.

The following sections can be organized to your liking.  Always lead with your best foot forward, so if you have a great education and only a small amount of work experience, list your education first.  If you have fantastic work experience, but it’s 10 years later and your education seems irrelevant now, list your work experience first.  If you have training and certification you want to highlight, list it first.  And so on.  There are no real clear and fast rules for this, you just have to find what works for you.  Just make sure your sections are clearly labeled so the information is easy to scan and read quickly.

For the structure, I like using bullet points in place of sentences and paragraphs.  This keeps me from becoming too long-winded (which I am prone to do!) and further makes everything clear and easy to find and understand.  Unless you are someone working in the creative arts, your CV is not the place to be too creative.  The time to highlight your achievements, say something special about yourself, or explain why you are just plain awesome will come when you write your cover letter.  For now, focus on writing a CV that you can use for any number of positions you want so you don’t have to rewrite it over and over. You will use your cover letter to tailor the focus for the reader.

In the example CV below, I’ve started with some contact information, followed by education, work experience, research papers and courses and certifications and finally, ended with something I want to highlight that I did that falls into none of those groups.  Of course, this is just an example CV, my own personal CV looks slightly different, and yours will too.  Don’t be afraid to play around a little bit.

Naam: Sarah Transparent Language
Adres: Waar ik woon in Nederland
Telefoon: Waar je me kan opbellen
Email: Waar je me een emailtje kan sturen
Geboren: 18 juni 1982
Nationaliteit: Verenigde Staten
Talen: Nederlands, Engels als moedertaal
Werk Vergunning: Arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist

OPLEIDINGEN (education)

July 2008: Master of Arts in filosofie van het recht van de XYZ Universiteit

May 2004: Bachelor met Cum Laude in sociaal/persoonlijkheid psychologie van de ABC College

May 2000: Anywhere USA High School

WERKERVARING (work experience)

2010 Team Leider/Editor/Schrijver, Transparent Language, Nashua, NH

  • Schrijf artikelen over Nederlandse taal en cultuur voor een taal software bedrijf
  • Geef leiding aan het Nederlandse team
  • Redigeer artikelen van andere schrijvers in het Nederlandse team

2009-PRESENT Eigen Web Design Bedrijf: XYZ Bedrijf, Amsterdam

  • Ondernemer van mijn eigen web design bedrijf

(If you are in IT, this is a great place to put your alphabet soup: XHTML, C++, Perl, Java, WordPress developer, etc.)

2007-2008 Graduate Assistant, XYZ University, Naam van de Afdeling, Anywhere, USA

  • Assistent/adviseur van het hoofd van de afdeling
  • Adviseur van studenten in de universiteit juridische procedure
  • Juridische medewerker
  • Onderzoek naar jurispridentie
  • Lid van de Code of Conduct Triennial Review commissie als vertegenwoordiger van de afdeling
  • Adviseur over de nieuwe richtlijnen voor studenten in het volgende jaar



2007-2008: Master’s thesis: The Relationship Between the Public Institute of Higher Education and the Student: Philosophical Issues Raised by Current Alcohol Consumption Policies. Ik deed een intensief literatuuronderzoek en analyse, een vergelijkingsanalyse van drie filosofische perspectieven en een analyse van het huidige alcohol gebruiksbeleid in een universiteitsomgeving.

2005: Mederecensent van de Association of Psychological Science’s rise-UP programma.

2003-2004: Honors Research Project in Social Psychology: Evaluations of Alcohol Consumption on a College Campus as a Function of Age, Gender and Alcohol Consumption Level. Ik ontving een onderzoeksbeurs van de Undergraduate Research Grant Program. Door dit onderzoek ben ik Cum Laude afgestudeerd.

Cursus en Certificaten:

2010: Nederlands als Tweede Taal Programma II geslaagd, zie http://ib-groep.nl

2009-2010: Cursus Nederlands bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam


1999-2000: Ik werkte als onderwijzer in de Spaanse taal op een lagere school. Ik startte het vreemde taal programma van deze school. Dit was een stage project van mijn middelbare school. Dit was mijn eigen idee en initiatief.

Once you have a good CV prepared, it’s time to write a cover letter for the specific job you are applying for.  In the next post, I’ll give you some pointers and an example of how to write a good cover letter.

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  1. Patty:

    Thank you, this was very informative. There are a variety of different “recommended” dutch resume templates but this seems most straight forward. Do you recommend to list university coursework on the resume? I have heard this is important.