As an EU citizen and a student, working in the Netherlands while you’re studying here can be very beneficial. Working provides you with a bit of income, and can allow you to apply for study financing, since it is a requirement that you must work for at least 32 hours a month in order to qualify. However, finding a job in the Dutch market without speaking Dutch can be difficult, especially if you have little work experience.
Note: As an EU/EEA citizen, you’re free to work in the Dutch labour market just the same as a Dutch citizen. This is with the exception of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens however, who still require a work permit to work in the Netherlands. The work permit must be applied for by your employer. For more information, see the Nuffic ‘working while studying’ page.
For further information about working in general, see the 'working after your studies' Nuffic page and check out the Nuffic ‘Immigration procedures for foreign nationals seeking work in the Netherlands’ factsheet.
There are recruitment sites which are useful, but generally require experience in a field and are more geared towards full-time or regular part-time positions. These include the following sites:
For foreign students that speak Dutch, Randstad is a Netherlands-wide recruitment office that looks for available positions for you. Some universities have a Randstad office on campus. More info available at randstad.nl.
For foreign students that do not speak Dutch, Undutchables is a recruitment agency which offers employment opportunities in a number of internationally-oriented companies. There are a number of offices throughout the Netherlands. For more information, visit undutchables.nl. Note: Undutchables works by appointment so call the office you’re going to ahead of time to schedule a time slot.
There are also multiple vacancy sites which you can look at and apply through. Some good ones to check out are the employment pages of englishlanguagejobs.com, eurojobs.com, expatica.com, expatjobs.eu, expatriates.com, and justlanded.com to name a few. There are a number of good sites for internships as well. eurobrussels.com is one of these, while academictransfer.com and careeredu.eu provide students of higher education with opportunities to transition into a related career. For more information about internships, visit the Nuffic ‘Internships’ page. If you’re looking for something more flexible, check out your local grocery stores or some of the bigger chains in the downtown area of your city that won’t require you to speak Dutch, as well as the tourist shops and restaurants in the tourist areas - these employ lots of international people as they match the clientele. And of course, don’t forget to check out studenttutors.nl for the perfect student job!
Europass.nl will help you set up your CV so that it is presentable and appropriate for the European (Dutch) labour market. It is an initiative of the European Commission and helps you to show your “skills and competencies clearly and unambiguously”. It is not uncommon to include a passport photo as part of your CV. This may seem strange to you, but can be very helpful to make your CV memorable, especially in service jobs.
As a citizen of Romania or Bulgaria, and also of most non-EU countries (with the exception of Canada, New Zealand, and Australia whose citizens can apply for a working holiday visa), you are required to have a work permit in order to legally work in the Netherlands. The application process is done by your employer, with information and documents that you will need to provide. You must have legal residence before your employer can apply for you however, which means that you must have an approved MVV residence permit (for countries this applies to). An MVV residence permit is an entry visa which acts as a temporary residence permit. It allows you to enter into the Netherlands and gives you a chance to apply for a more stable and secure residence permit.
Once you have a job offer, your employer will apply for your work permit for you. However, you cannot start working until after this has been approved, otherwise your employer could receive a large fine.
You may be able to apply for a search year or 'zoekjaar' once you graduate if you’d like to stay in the Netherlands to work as a highly skilled migrant. Be aware that the application fee for this costs around €600. However, this application does allow you to have free access to the Dutch labour market after working here legally for a year. You must also change your ‘purpose of stay’ (pdf download) via the application form from the IND office.
These guides are never finished.
Want to help?