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What is the average duration of a Job Search in the Netherlands?

The thing you would like to know but hardly anyone asks me until I raise it myself is this one: What is the average duration of a job search in the Netherlands?  What I notice is that we often look for quick fixes without knowing about common practices or standards. This is why I want to shed some light on this topic for you.

You want to know what to be prepared for and avoid disappointment or frustration along the way. In this post, I will show a few examples of the average duration of a job search in the Netherlands and provide 5 tips for laying the foundation for your best job search ever.

So, tell me what is the average duration of a job search?

In short: the average duration for an Expat residing in the Netherlands is 9 months up to 1 year. Yes, I know you don’t want to hear this, it is a long time, right?

Now, I am not the kind of person who believes standards apply to everyone, so let’s bring in some nuances to these answers.

The duration of a job search depends on your occupation, your local area, your expertise and how they fit the current supply on the labour market. If Dutch is required in your area of expertise, your job search is going to be prolonged with the time it takes to build in your language skills.

  • If you make use of a highly skilled migrant visa, this might influence the length of your job search – not all companies can meet up with the demands of the VISA.
  • If you are a software engineer – an occupation in high demand currently – your job search probably takes less than the 9 months mentioned above.

Recently I conducted a Facebook live session deep-diving into this topic, so head over to the Group How to find a job in the Netherlands to find out more.

Why do I want to know about the average duration of a job search in the Netherlands?

Knowing about the average duration of a job search in your specific situation prevents you from disappointments and frustrations along the way. It also is your input to create a job search strategy that helps you to influence and beat the average. More about this in the tips and reminders section down below.

I meet a lot of people actively applying that ask me:

I am only receiving kind thank you notes or no answer, what am I doing wrong?”

What I notice is that they started applying the techniques they learned and applied in their home country without doing proper research on the expectations in the Dutch labour market. Or they did extensive research via the internet on applying techniques (usually applicable to the US or UK market and that’s not really the Dutch way….), ATS systems (and how to beat them), resume building and so on. OR they tend to forget about other factors like age, educational level, and more importantly, they forget about the (transferable) skills and capabilities they have to offer.

Statistics show within the Netherlands employers currently experience a shortage of staff in multiple areas of expertise, the last month the unemployment rates are dropping, 4,5% compared to last month and 20,7% compared to June 2020.

There is always the possibility to schedule a 60-minute introductory call to learn more about the average duration of a job search for you specifically. Don’t hesitate to check my schedule over here and plan your call today. 

Tips and Reminders to influence the average duration of your job search

Job Searching is a project on its own, it deserves your full attention. Within the current job market employers are stilling willing to wait until the right candidate comes along. They don’t look for quick fixes. Here are 5 reminders/tips to influence the average duration of a job search.

1. Treat your job search like you would treat a project at work.
I believe a quick win is to implement a job search plan and a proper job search strategy. To approach it strategically. I notice we tend to conduct job search activities erratic, irregular, which has a huge negative impact on the outcomes. If you never spend time doing what is necessary, a project never ends right?

2. Plan dedicated time in your calendar to spend on your job search.
This means you want to incorporate your job search into your weekly and daily habits. At least, if you want to influence the average duration of your job search. If you currently hold a job, you want to set aside some time to invest in your job search. If you are currently active applying you want to implement healthy and effective job search habits to stay sane and happy (It doesn’t work to spend 8 hours a day on your job search)

3. Every job search starts with a bit of introspection.
In your life, you spend a lot of time at work. You and your employer deserve a happy and satisfied YOU. This makes looking back and forward on your tasks and responsibilities an important part of your job search preparation. So before you start setting up a resume and before you start applying actively, incorporate some time within your project plan to define your Spinach and Kryptonite.

The Job search preparation section within the membership Catalyse Your Job Search includes an introspection exercise to help you define your Spinach and Kryptonite. It already helped lots of my clients to build a resume that attracts attention. Read more about the perks and benefits of the Catalyse your job search membership over here.

4. Know where to find what you are after.
Nobody can do anything and everything, this means you want to know about the job description and employers that fit your profile. This is a matter of defining your target market, to use some marketing terms. Your profile doesn’t fit anything and everything, the more you know what companies and areas to target, the easier it will be to get there.

5. Consistency is King if you wish to influence the duration of your job search.
Now, I am not only referring to the consistency in your activities, but also to the consistency you show on your resume, in the cover letter, your LinkedIn profile and the job interview. So, head over to your resume, your cover letter and LinkedIn profile and check it on consistency. Think like the recruiter and take a look at your application kit through the recruiters’ eyes: Would you invite you for an interview?

Wrap up and takeaways

The key takeaway while reading this blog might be the fact that you can influence the duration of your job search by treating this as a project. That you can influence the duration of your job search by creating clarity about the things you are after and translate this onto a resume that attracts the recruiters’ attention. If you struggle with this, the free eBook: What’s your added value is a wonderful tool to get started. It’s available for you on


Want to get started with decreasing the duration of your job search?

Often we are looking for quick fixes to get rid of the career rut. This made me wonder: “How come we take the time to eat healthy to plan a small thing like preparing a meal but hardly (want) to take time to think about the next step in our career?”

I don’t know – but what I do know is this:

There is no need to procrastinate any longer, and I would love to help you get your job search activities on track. This is why I organise the Let’s get your job search on track Challenge, to support you to lay the foundations for your most successful job search ever. Grab all information about this event on the special event page over here. I look forward to meeting you and hearing your story.

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