Article provided by Expatcenter Partner, Projob

Spouses and partners need some extra care too

As a partner or a spouse, it sometimes can feel a bit lonely or more difficult to find your way in Dutch social circles or the labour market. Remember that you are not the first to be in this situation, and of course, you are not alone. Many spouses have successfully settled into new lives in new countries, and there are specialised agencies that can severely minimise your effort and improve your chances of success. Projob offers several workshops including Spouse/partner care: How to apply the Dutch way and Cultural Awareness: how to survive the Netherlands. 

How to apply for jobs the Dutch way

Each country has its own rules and conventions for job applications. If the Dutch labour market is new to you, we can show you the ropes. For you to succeed you must be aware of what kind of person you are, your skills and talents and above all, what you really would like to do. Learning how to best prepare yourself for the Dutch labour market and how to find a job in The Netherlands is a better experience when you can do it together with people who face the same challenges as you. As a group, we can practise how to present yourself effectively during interviews, networking events and on social media.

Tips for creating a curriculum vitae that is acceptable in the Netherlands

Characteristics of a good CV:

  • Consists of a maximum of two A4 sheets.
  • Is reverse-chronological (your most recent work experience/education at the top).
  • Must give a clear picture of you within two minutes of reading.
  • Is aimed at the work that you would like to do.
  • Contains no spelling errors.
  • Is the first impression someone gets of you in the job application process.
  • Is often read before the accompanying application letter.
  • Is honest and personal.

Frequently made mistakes in a CV:

  • Mistakes in spelling and grammar.
  • Too short, limited descriptions of experience and education.
  • Use of coloured paper and a conspicuous letter type.
  • Contains gaps or periods that are not mentioned.
  • Irrelevant information: for example, mentioning jobs that were too long ago and not applicable to what you want to do. 
  • Obscurity: for instance about gender, mother country, age.
  • Fibs and half truths.

What more do you need to know?

Of course there are more dos and don’ts than these for CVs in the Netherlands. Know your own strengths and weaknesses. Where and how should you look for the job that suits you best? What does a good motivation letter look like? Which social media platforms and job boards are best to use? Finding a job and starting to earn your own income may drastically change your life!

Tip: Ask the HR department of the company your husband or wife works for to inform you about possibilities and networks. They may even have a budget for career coaching or studying opportunities.

Cultural Awareness: How to survive the Netherlands

As partner or spouse of an expat in the Netherlands it is also great to get to know more about the Dutch culture. Our cultural awareness workshop addresses various topics from a Dutch perspective such as time, family life, holidays, appearances, greeting and visiting the Dutch and cultural hotspots.

Did you know?

Orange carrots were bred in the Netherlands in the 16th century in honour of the House of Orange. Previously they were white, yellow, black, purple or red

Last but not least, we always advise that the best way to integrate is to socialize with locals. Take the time to chat with neighbours, parents at your children’s school and other friendly faces to get to know how they live.

Find more tips on settling in to life in the Netherlands