Targeting English Speaking Jobs in Amsterdam
It’s no secret that Amsterdam is popular with international companies. Skilled expats, great location, and a stable economy. Add to that an attractive tax system and a high level of English, and Amsterdam is easily one of the best cities in Europe to do business.
But what does this all mean for you, an English speaking job-seeker?
Well, if you’re one of the many expats in Amsterdam actively looking for a job, you’re probably familiar with LinkedIn. In a typical week, there can be over 5.000 jobs posted in Amsterdam alone! But if you’ve been looking for a while, you know it’s not exactly a simple process for expats. I’m sure many of you have been there… you’re feeling motivated, open up LinkedIn, ad though you’re not fluent in Dutch,you start scanning excitedly. Surely, there must be some English speaking jobs. After all, Amsterdam is a haven for expats, with low unemployment and tons of opportunities. Then it happens, the ideal position pops up! So naturally, you open the job description, and you’re in luck – it’s written in perfect English! This could be the one. Then, after several minutes of fantasizing about your future job, you see it. Somewhere down at the bottom, after the lengthy descriptions of the company, the fresh-fruit-at-lunch perks, the awesome work culture, the responsibilities, requirements, qualifications, education, etc., you see it… “excellent verbal and written communication, in English AND DUTCH.”
Sure, it can be frustrating. But it’s definitely possible to find jobs for expats in Amsterdam, without fluent Dutch. This is especially true if you speak other European languages in addition to English. And though speaking Dutch could potentially open more doors for you, mastering a new language doesn’t happen overnight. Plus, English is still the language of international business. Add to that the demand for local languages to serve European markets, and the chances for expats just got better.
Get Smart with Your Application Process – 3 Tips for English Speaking Expats
This may sound obvious, but the first tip for expats looking for English speaking jobs in Amsterdam is to read the requirements carefully. Filtering out jobs that require fluent Dutch will save you both time and frustration. Indeed.nl, for example, has an advanced search feature that lets you specify which words you want to omit from the search. Use this option to see results in English, and by extension, find more openings that target English speakers. Also, think about the type of work you are applying for. Most client-facing roles that deal with local customers and suppliers will ask for Dutch. After all, it’s imperative to speak the same language as your clients. Human Resources and Finance can also require Dutch, even if the company’s working language is English. Since these departments work with local applicants and Dutch laws, speaking English is not enough. On the other hand, it’s less likely that Dutch will be needed for jobs serving global markets, where fluency in English is a must.
The second tip is not to limit yourself to just one method. Unsolicited applications can be an effective tool since many jobs are not advertised externally. It’s OK to be direct with the type of position you want, but be sure to explain why you’re interested in the company and show you’ve done some research. Networking can be especially useful for expats in Amsterdam, as quality references and teamwork are highly valued in Dutch culture.
Lastly, you may want to look at Startups in Amsterdam. The teams tend to be international, and lots of expats have successfully found English speaking jobs this way. Remember, not all startups will have a big recruiting budget or use the typical job boards, so try reaching out to them directly. You can also search on Meetup to find start-up-related events in Amsterdam and networking events for expats.
Your Essential Guide to Jobs for Expats in Amsterdam
Finding the right career opportunities and getting noticed in a competitive market is tough. To help you target jobs for expats in Amsterdam, we’ve made a list of 65 popular companies currently hiring English speakers (plus other European languages). Download the spreadsheet to find out which international companies are looking for expats in Amsterdam right now!