Dutch CV Writing Guide

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, work in the Netherlands needs more than just the obvious the Dutch cover letter and the Dutch CV writing and translation – it requires methodical preparation. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you become interested in the Dutch jobs.

Do not underestimate the influence they can have on your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.

A CV is similar to a resume in that it provides more details about one’s professional qualifications, experience and education. However, the term "Curriculum Vitae" most often called CV, typically carries a different meaning depending on whether one distribute the CV within the US, Canada or internationally (external to the US or Canada) or is seeking a faculty, academic, research, clinical or scientific position.

You can turn your current resume into a Dutch CV. A CV is similar to a resume in that it outlines your professional qualifications and history, but it does so with more detail by adding to the resume the detailed descriptions of your educational and/or professional experiences and personal information that may include nationality, date of birth, marital status, etc.

Although the Dutch are good at languages, you have to send your application in Dutch unless otherwise requested. Stick to one language once chosen.

Prepare yourself - before writing your CV research the company you want to work for. Such information will help you to adapt your CV more effectively to each specific job and use of proper examples illustrating your achievements.

Write your Dutch CV in the third person singular. Tape it in chronological order on one, maximum two A4 format pages in a direct factual style, which only gives the facts and figures. Such a CV should be attached to your cover letter, as most employers expect it.

The aim of your Dutch CV should be to persuade recruiters to invite you for a job interview. Therefore, your CV is a marketing tool, which must be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it.

Begin your Dutch CV with "Personal Information". List contact information including name, address, phone / fax and e-mail. Also, state your date of birth, marital status and nationality. Often CVs are kept on file for lengthy periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number with the international access code and e-mail are most important.

Then under "Education", list your education by giving the names and locations of your schools, and your majors and degrees. Depending on their relevance, also mention awards and honors, extracurricular activities demonstrating skills or leadership traits, and additional courses, internships or specialized training.

“Work Experience” lists the companies for which you have worked, providing the dates of your employment, your titles, responsibilities, achievements and reasons for leaving. Be sure to specify whether your employment was full-time, temporary or part-time.

Make your Dutch CV more effective by providing examples to illustrate your achievements. Use power words and action verbs such as contributed, organized, demonstrated, trained, managed, developed, coordinated etc. Bullet point these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.

Particularly important are language and computer skills. Mention your native tongue and describe level of fluency for the other languages with reference to the spoken and written levels. Detail computer languages and programs in which you are proficient.

Then, if applicable, mention your professional affiliations, military and/or volunteer experience and hobbies. Dutch recruiters attach great importance to leisure activities and civic responsibilities. Therefore, make them to look as relevant for the job as possible.

References may be listed on your CV, separate page or noted that “References available on request”. It is best to avoid putting references on your CV unless you have been specifically asked to provide them. Employers usually ask for references when they actually need them. This is strong indication that an employer is interested in you.

Carefully consider what to leave out of your CV and exclude anything that might give prospective employers a chance to discriminate against you.

It is more common in the Netherlands to apply for a job through the Internet. However, you should be aware that an electronic CV does not look the same as a standard one. Dutch employers often scan CVs, so make your CV scannable by avoiding for example lines or italic fonts etc.


Check the spelling and grammar of your Dutch CV. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or other language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your CV, send it to a professional for assistance.

art_remember Dutch CVRemember that your Dutch CV must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have a difficulty with your CV writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use:

art_tip Dutch CV

We recommend that you send your CV together with a cover letter. If you have a difficulty with your cover letter writing use:

Other Dutch CV Info

If your Dutch cover letter and Dutch CV are ready, distribute them through the job search services to your prospective employers. When your Dutch job search have been successful apply for the Dutch visa with Dutch work permit, and start preparing for the Dutch job interview using  Dutch dress code.

Check the job interview tips do's and don'ts, and find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Dutch CV!

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