Tips & Tricks for Getting an Internship in the Netherlands
Newsflash: landing an internship position in Holland is not rocket science, people! There are numerous global and start-up companies in the Netherlands which offers large variety of choices for you! In this post, I will be sharing some tips and trick for getting an internship in the Netherlands. So, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy!
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”, so said Confucius, so said I. I have a profound reason why I put the quote in the first place; I want to remind you, even though you are eagerly searching for an internship, making sure that the position fulfills your career expectation(s) is also pivotal. Some people might think that getting whatever position is fine as long as they get a job. Well, from my perspective, internship is the first milestone in your professional portfolio. It builds yourself with little to big experiences you might or might not realize. Therefore, I want you to repeat this mantra to yourself when you browse/decide to accept a traineeship job: do not settle for less (while still keeping your feet on the ground, of course).
- Know and brand yourself well
Know your strengths, weaknesses, uniqueness, and profile. Be honest with yourself, because companies are not looking for a perfect person! Having flaws is normal as a human being, and that’s the beauty of the authenticity of every individual. That’s what makes team-work beautiful; because it integrates people. So never ever sugar-coat your CV or cover letter. Because if you do so, and they offer you a job because they expect you to do something that you actually can’t, you will trouble yourself and it can lead to bad impression. So, my advice is to think of the balance between your strengths and weaknesses. But it does not stop there, you also have to find ways to improve your weaknesses. If you show that you are willing to develop, those companies might also see potential in you.
Just to put it in total bluntness, you have to sell yourself well. Dutch people are very well-known for their directness (you can see the characteristic of Dutch people here). I’m not saying that there’s a hard rules that you need to follow to make your CV. Again, every companies have their own style and preferences. Yet, in general, your CV shouldn’t be more than one or two pages long. It should be concise and shows your focus. It is also good to make it pops up and differ from the others with your special touch. It shouldn’t be too dull, but not too crowded as well. Again, it depends on the company, position you apply to, and many more aspects! If you want to know more tips & trick about writing a resume, comment in this post!
- Where to find job vacancies?
If you haven’t had any network nor work experience before, there are some websites that you can use to browse for vacancies. LinkedIn, Hoitalent.nl, monsterjob.com, your school’s personal career page, etc. Or, you can also use the conventional way: go to the company’s career page in their website and search for the job offers.
- Be active, start early!
You might experience a different adventure when searching for a job than your peers. Some people apply for 2 positions, some 30. My advice, is to send your resume and tailor-made cover letter to as many companies as possible. The reason why is because companies take time to answer, and it is even possible that you don’t get any reply at all from some of them. It is completely normal, do not feel disappointed or think that there’s anything wrong with you. NO. It’s just how it works in the working life. Therefore, the sayings ‘the earliest bird gets the best worm’ applies here. I tend to start applying for a position at least 4 to 5 months before the deadline, so I have time to find inspiration to customize my cover letter and search for vacancies.
- Build your network
Haven’t had any job before? Don’t worry. This is one of the perks of searching a job (be it an internship/post-graduate/graduation thesis project) in Holland (you can read about how does it feel like being a part of Dutch workplace in this link). There are several events held for public where employer have stands and workshops and you can bring your CV there! One of the best recent examples of it is the NL4Talent event, which was attended by the King of the Netherlands himself! Interested in knowing more? You can check it out here.
So, have you had any internship experience in Holland before? Comment down below because I believe all of us would love to hear your story! And for those of you who are trying to find an internship right now, let me know if you wish to know more about how to prepare for a job interview, writing your CV to meet the Dutch companies expectations, or anything else related to internship-searching process! I wish you all the best and leave your comments if you wish to read more about this topic!