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Is there a shortage of jobs for internationals currently in the Netherlands?

It’s all over the Dutch News: “The Netherlands entered an employment crisis.” We currently have more job openings than registered unemployed people. But do Expats and Internationals also experience this shortage of staff?

Looking at the response to an article posted by I am Expat about this topic, I guess not. It sounds like Expats still experience difficulties in getting hired for (a proper) job. Besides this, they express the feeling the shortage of staff relates to specific areas of expertise. Partly true if you ask me. In the post, I shared in the Facebook Group on How to find a job in the Netherlands recently I’ve shared more in-depth insights into what’s going on in the job market currently.

The honest answer to the question

No, I don’t think there is a shortage of jobs for internationals currently in the Netherlands. Not yet. I do think the chances to get hired for a proper job in your area of expertise increased compared to last year and perhaps even the year before, but your chances depend on different factors.

Besides this, I believe as a country we could do more to support internationals to land a job by setting up specialized tracks to support people to integrate their knowledge and skills like Germany does for doctors.

Within the group How to find a job in the Netherlands I host regular live sessions sharing the latest information about the job market, expected shortages and chances for the future. I’ll be happy to grant you access and keep you up to date on the latest news.

Here are 4 tips on how to navigate your job search in times of shortage

I am sharing these tips because I do think the experienced shortage might be exactly the right time to take your chances and navigate your job search towards your desired job.

1. Know what is out there, know what you’re after

One of the main things I notice when speaking with clients and potential clients is that they have a lot to offer but don’t know how to market themselves right.

Nowadays employers expect you know what you are after, they expect you to know what is expected of you within your profession. The tasks and responsibilities of a job vary per country and region. Being a business innovation manager, an HR Manager or a Data Analyst in the Netherlands comes with different expectations on the employers end. Talking to someone active in the Netherlands within your area of expertise is of great value if you wish to boost your job search.

This also means you want to “link to experience” aka linking the job description (vacancy) to your resume and cover letter an important success factor. The course Resume and Cover Letter writing within the Career Connection Academy Membership explains in detail how to shape your resume towards expectations on the employers’ end. Btw, don’t underestimate the power of a cover letter, this is usually a dealmaker or dealbreaker.

 2. Highlight your skills

Employers hire skills – now is the time to make use of it. Recently several of my clients received job offers including language courses to improve their English and Dutch languages skills. This show Employers are ready to invest when they find the right match. This brings us back to point no 1. – know what is out there, know what you’re after.

Research among employers shows that these skills are the ones they are looking for, currently and in the coming five years:

  • customer focus
  • problem-solving ability
  • communication skills
  • working together
  • digital skills
  • adaptability

So besides expertise (knowledge), they want to experience you have the skill set they are looking for. Knowledge is something you can gain, the skillset is something you own and can showcase in your personal branding (resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter).

3. Network, network, network……

What remains is the fact that networking is one of the most important factors in conducting a successful job search. At the same time, most job seekers invest less time in this subject than scouting for vacancies.

Networking is one of the subjects often receiving the least attention compared to other job searching subjects. What would happen if you turn this around?

Since 75% of the job is landed by referrals, networking should always be on top of your job searching activities. Reaching out to recruiters doesn’t count as networking in my opinion, except if you want to get hired for a recruiter job. Drop me a line if you want to know why I believe this is the case ( I’ll be happy to explain more about this belief in one of my next blogs.

4. Now is the time to make a career change

For those how are experiencing a feeling of a career rut, now is THE time to make a career change. This might be just the right time to take a close look at the tasks, responsibilities and achievements you have set out for yourself for the coming years or evaluate if your current job is still satisfying you.

Like one of my clients mentioned recently: “Mariëlle, I never thought about this stuff. After my Master, I got hired at the company I am currently in, grew my responsibilities, grew into it, and never had to think about this.” Only to find out after 7 years it didn’t satisfy her anymore and with no idea on how and where to start pivoting her.

This is exactly why she came to me and we are now in the process of evaluating and finding out what matters to her to find a next opportunity that matches expertise, desires and wishes. But, as mentioned in tip no 2 employers are hiring skills. If you can tick the skill boxes, employers are willing to invest.

One side note on Pivoting your career. This fall I am kicking off with a free Masterclass Pivot Your Career where I will be helping you to identify the steps you can take to Pivot Your Career Successfully. Grab all information about this Masterclass over here.


I can imagine you still have one question left after reading this blog. This is THE most asked question: “How difficult is it currently to get hired in the Netherlands?

My answer to you: There is no fixed answer to this question, it varies on your background, profession, education level, age, expertise. I invite you to schedule an introductory coaching call to get this question answered for you specifically and find out instantly what I think should be your first step to land the job you desire soon.

Invest in your personal and professional development is never a bad idea, so before you move back into holiday mode, check out the scheduler below to schedule the introductory call. If you don’t do it now, then when?

Invest in your happiness, invest in yourself!

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