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Cover letter

Cover letter

A cover letter aims at convincing your prospective employer that you are suitable for the available position.

Purpose of a cover letter

In order to answer why an employer should hire you, try to demonstrate:

  • Why your goals are aligned with the company’s ones. e.g. "As a "green" consumer, I am totally aligned with your goals and policies."
  • Why you derive satisfaction from the specific role. e.g. "I regard it as a great opportunity to develop my strengths."
  • How you fit to the culture of the company. e.g. "Working for an international company is ideal for me since..."
  • How you can contribute to the company’s targets. e.g. "I truly believe I can add to the overall company growth by expanding the existing market share."

A cover letter should:

  • Reveal experiences and aspects of your personality that you cannot communicate through your CV. e.g. "Website development is more than a hobby for me as..."
  • Express motivation for the job you apply for . e.g. "Working for a market leader is important for me because..."
  • Link your skills and qualifications with the job requirements. e.g. "This position requires open-mined people and my background clearly reveals that..."
  • Present yourself as someone willing to take responsibilities / initiatives. e.g. "… and I look forward to participating in new projects."

Numerous sample motivation / cover letters can be found here .

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How to Write a Dutch Cover Letter Posted by sarah on May 19, 2010 in Dutch Language

In my previous posts I gave you vocabulary for writing a CV , and information on how to write a Dutch CV .  The last step you need to know is how to write a cover letter.  The cover letter is possibly even more important than the CV itself, so take your time and think through what you want to say.  You will generally want to tailor your cover letter to the position you are applying for: this is not a one size fits all situation.

Like I said about the Dutch CV, the cover letter is also rather direct and I try to avoid using a lot of overly-enthusiastic American-style language.  But this does not in any way mean that you shouldn’t express your enthusiasm for the position you are applying for.  What it does mean is that the way you go about doing that will be a little different.  I’ll be the first to admit that my own style does seep in at the corners, with things like “heel enthousiast” but as long as you don’t overdo it, it should be okay.

The format for the cover letter will be very similar to the format for writing a formal letter (in case you missed it, we have a post about formal letter writing ).  Remember that this is a formal letter, so you will be using the formal “u” in addressing your potential future employer if you refer to them directly.

You will want to keep your cover letter short and to the point.  Ideally it should be no longer than one page.  It is not necessary to go into detail about all of your work experience and education in the cover letter: this is what your CV is for!  But you should pick out details that are important for the particular position you are applying for.

In the first paragraph, state what position you are applying for, and where you saw the advertisement.  This is a great place to show that you are enthusiastic about the position.

In the second and/or third paragraph, outline the education, work experience and personal qualities you think highlight you as the best candidate for the position.  If the job candidate description focused on someone who takes responsibility and has leadership qualities, you will want to mention that you have those qualities, preferably with examples.

In the closing paragraph, express your interest in an interview and that you look forward to speaking with “them”.  Don’t be shy, don’t be wishy-washy, just write it as though you assume they will want to have a chat with you.

In the example cover letter below, I am applying for a position as an onderzoeker at the Gemeente Amsterdam.  In the first paragraph, I express my interest in the position and state that my education and work experience make me a good candidate for the position.  In the original job description, they were looking for someone with education in either law, policy or something “relevant” (whatever that means, right?).  This office does a lot of mediation, which I found out with just a few minutes of research into what they do, and I happen to have work experience as a mediator and mediation trainer.  Therefore I chose to highlight my education and mediation experience in the second paragraph, as well as a few other things I thought were relevant to the position.  In the last paragraph, I explain that I have always had an interest in working at the Gemeente Amsterdam, something I did to reach that goal (learn Dutch), why I want the position (I want to better my community) and finally that I am very enthusiastic to begin a career with them.

Keep in mind, this is just one of a million ways of writing a cover letter, and this one has been tailored to fit one particular job.  This example follows the standard conventions of writing a cover letter.  If you work in the arts, entertainment or cultural industries, you will be following an entirely different set of rules, and you will want to be far more creative than this type of form letter will allow.

Sarah Transparent Language My Address Postal Code Amsterdam phone number email address

Gemeentelijke Afdeling Postbus XXXX Postal Code Amsterdam

Amsterdam, 24 mei 2010

Betreft: sollicitatie voor onderzoeker bij de Gemeentelijke Afdeling

Geachte meneer/mevrouw,

Graag solliciteer ik naar de baan van onderzoeker bij de Gemeentelijke Afdeling. Toen ik de advertentie op uw website las, was ik onmiddelijk geinteresseerd. Zowel mi jn opleiding als mijn interesses maken me een goede kandidaat voor deze functie.

Ik heb een veelzijdige opleiding gevolgd in sociale psychologie en filosofie van het recht. Ik heb ervaring als juridische en beleids medewerker bij de juridische dienst van de XYZ Universiteit. In deze positie beoordeelde ik bezwaarschriften over zaken van de gedragscode comm issie van de universiteit en werkte ik als case manager van studenten in dit systeem. Ook deed ik onderzoek naar jurisprudentie en d e wet om de beslissingen hiervan te gebruiken als ondersteuning bij vergelijkbare universitieszaken. Als vertegenwoordiger van deze dienst fungeerde ik als adviseur over de nieuwe richtlijnen voor studenten in het volgende jaar. Tenslotte was ik ook de assistent en adviseur van het hoofd van de afdeling. Vanwege mijn werkervaring als mediator en mediation trainer werk ik goed samen met mensen aan creatieve oplossingen voor problemen.

Sinds ik naar Amsterdam ben verhuisd is het mijn doel om bij de Gemeente Amsterdam te werken. Hiervoor heb ik de cursus Nederlands als tweede taal bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam gevolgd. Ik wil verder werken in een beleidsfunctie waar ik kan bijdragen aan het verbeteren van mijn gemeenschap. Ik ben heel enthousiast om een loopban bij de Gemeentelijke Afdeling te beginnen.

Graag licht ik mijn brief en CV in een persoonlijk gesprek aan u toe.

Met vriendelijke groet,

Sarah Transparent Language

cover letter format netherlands

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Pin it

Resume Cover Letter Samples:

Hey, what a fantastic article. Thank you for the extra knowledge i got in reading your article today. 🙂 🙂

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@Resume Cover Letter Samples Thanks! Hope it helps you write your resume in Dutch.

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It’s a nice guide. Shame there are a couple of spelling and grammatical errors in the example letter. Although I doubt the people at ‘Gemeente Amsterdam’ will recognize them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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This is very useful. Thanx a lot. Its 2012 and such an article is and will remain helpful to a lot of people.

' src=

Jammer van de spellingsfouten in de Nederlandse brief..

Sorry, valt eigenlijk wel mee. 🙂 Goede uitleg verder.

' src=

Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

' src=

Thank you so much! Your explanations are clear and straightforward. Appreciate it!

' src=

Amber hina:

It’s a nice guide. Shame there are a couple of spelling and grammatical errors in the example letter. Although I doubt the people at ‘Gemeente Amsterdam’ will recognize them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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ACCESS NL > Dual careers in the Netherlands > Working in the Netherlands > Finding a job in the Netherlands > What kind of CV and cover letter is customary to support job applications in the Netherlands?

Finding a job in the Netherlands


I will be relocating to the Netherlands or I am new to the Netherlands and have yet to find work. I don’t speak Dutch and would be happy to receive any advice from you with regards to employment possibilities and opportunities in the Netherlands.

Many international companies, non-commercial organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and affiliates of the United Nations and the European Union use English as the main working language. Also, certain jobs need languages such as French and German. Learning some Dutch would no doubt increase your opportunities, but there are many jobs for which no Dutch is required.

Where can I find information about international jobs in the Netherlands?

Here are the most useful methods of job hunting:

Via uitzendbureaus (employment or job agencies)

Some agencies employ people and send them temporarily to employers, though you can also get other types of contracts depending on the employer. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using this channel. On one hand, an agency can give you inside information about an employer as well as helping you prepare for an interview. On the other hand, an agency is one step further away from the employer. It’s up to the agency to propose and promote you for the job, which is why it’s important to make a good impression on them as well. Treat them the same as you would a potential employer, including dressing professionally.

Choose agencies representing your area of work and especially those dealing with international organisations if you do not speak Dutch. Some Dutch employment agencies may not consider you as a candidate if your CV is in English. To avoid being turned away with a standard response, look for job opportunities having descriptions which are in English. If Dutch is a requirement for the position and you can manage the language, then you should send the cover letter and CV in Dutch. In both cases, have your cover letter and CV checked for spelling and grammar errors as that is one of the first things a recruiter will look at.

Some agencies specialise in jobs for non-Dutch speakers. You can either forward your CV to the job agency or apply for their advertised vacancies. Both can be done via their websites; however, it is a good idea to give them a call to introduce yourself and stand out as a potential candidate. For a comprehensive list of recruitment agencies, contact the ACCESS Helpdesk here . If you are looking for a recruiter or headhunter for your next career step, then refer to the werving- en selectiebureaus (recruitment agencies). You can find all agencies available in the Netherlands on: allewervingenselectiebureaus.nl.

Many agencies require an MBO (vocational education) or HBO (professional higher education) diploma to apply for vacancies. If you are looking for part-time work as a student, job boards such as Monsterboard.nl may be more helpful.

Via networking

In the Netherlands, establishing a network of contacts is invaluable. This can happen anywhere (e.g. in sports clubs, your children’s school, interest groups and clubs). Be ready for the question: What do you do? Spend time on perfecting your profile and practising your ‘pitch’ but remember to keep it simple and natural.

Attending multilingual job fairs can be helpful. Some of the organisations/employers participating in these fairs may have positions for English-speaking job seekers, and the added networking opportunities may provide valuable information.

Via LinkedIn

LinkedIn is widely-used in the Netherlands so make sure your profile is up to date,  including that you live in the Netherlands. Ensure your profile and experience are consistent with your CV and include a professional photo. Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly reviewing profiles and placing job advertisements there. You can also join groups, take part in discussions, and use LinkedIn for your job research. Sign up for job alerts by filling in key words and areas of work interest, and you will be notified of jobs matching your requirements.

Via the internet and job boards

There are internet platforms with available job opportunities especially for internationals. You can upload your CV and sign-up for job alerts on various job boards such as: Togetherabroad.nl, https://www.iamexpat.nl/career, https://www.dutchnews.nl/jobsinholland / , https://www.expatica.com/nl/working/.

Open application

If you have identified particular organisations which interest you, seek a connection in your network (LinkedIn can be a good start). This can lead you to an introduction to someone working there. Simultaneously, you could also consider an open application, and if possible, deliver it in person. This method is more effective in small- to medium- sized companies.

Career optimisation

ACCESS career coaches and trainers offer courses/workshops about professional skills development, cultural awareness and global mobility. You can email them directly if you would like details about how they can help you.

What is the Europass CV?

The Europass CV is understood in every European country and it pays particular attention to your skills and competences. You can create a Europass CV on europa.eu/europass/en

Will I be paid during my internship?

Dutch employers are not legally obliged to pay you for your internship, though many give some kind of compensation, such as travel expenses. Others may be more generous and pay you a small amount. Be aware that you will have to pay taxes on anything you earn from an internship.

It is important that your CV is clear, comprehensive and written on one page or two pages maximum, as it will give a valuable first impression of you, your skills and the experience that you have to offer. Companies are flooded with CVs and scan through the CVs, so make sure your CV markets you in the best possible light.

In the Netherlands, a cover letter accompanying an application is often known as a motivation letter. Its purpose is to introduce yourself to the company, clarify why you are interested in the role and the organisation, and how your skills and experience would benefit their organisation. A motivation letter usually has the following structure:

  • Your reason for applying
  • Explanation why you believe that you are the right candidate for the job and what attracts you to the company
  • Concluding sentence stating that you look forward to meeting them to explain in detail what you have outlined in the letter

Tailoring your motivation letter as well as the CV to the role you’re applying for will increase your chances of success. Don’t forget, in the Netherlands a catchy application/motivation letter, both content and design wise, is sometimes more important than impressive grades.

What steps should I take to prepare myself for my interview?

Here are some useful tips to prepare for an interview. Some may be obvious, and some may be different from how you would prepare yourself in your own country:

  • Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer’s full name and correct pronunciation, and his/her title.
  • Research the company, products/services, growth and potential growth in the future.
  • Refresh your memory on the facts and figures of your present employer and former employers.
  • Prepare the questions you will ask; the interview is about input and feedback from both you and the interviewer.
  • Arrive on time – this is very important in the Netherlands.
  • While the Dutch may appear to be very informal in their dress and appearance, it is still recommended to dress professionally when attending an interview.
  • Don’t forget the importance of a firm handshake and eye contact when meeting your interviewer(s).
  • It may help you to prepare yourself by knowing about the person(s) who will be interviewing you, so look them up on LinkedIn.

In the job interview, the emphasis is on your motivation. You may be asked questions such as why you chose that particular company or to name your skills and strengths, but also mention some of your less strong points and skills you do not possess. Give examples that demonstrate your skills and strengths (these are called competency-based questions) and also be prepared to answer questions about personal matters like hobbies and social engagement.

You will usually be interviewed by one or two people. Applicants often have to attend two or even three interviews. At the end of the interview, it is common for you to ask some questions.

Can I get some support and advice in looking for a job in the Netherlands?

If you are actively looking for a job but unsure about how to proceed, thinking about the next step in your career, considering returning to work after a career break, or looking for a change of career, you may find support useful.

There are several professionals and companies offering career counselling or coaching for expats looking for work.  ACCESS has several trainers who can provide you with job hunting support.

Where can I find more answers to questions I may have once I find a job?

Additional information on working in the Netherlands can be found on the government website: https://www.werk.nl/werkzoekenden/eu/ . Here you will find comprehensive information about who may work in the Netherlands, searching and applying for jobs, contracts, qualifications and credential evaluation, and the Europass CV.

Where can I find job openings for students?

If you are a student and looking for a job, the following websites can be useful:

  • www.isic.nl/en/student-life/finding-a-student-job-in-the-netherlands/
  • www.stepstone.nl/en/
  • graduateland.com/s/part-time-jobs/netherlands
  • collegelife.nl/jobs/

Your university may have an overview of job openings for students in the area of your studies. If you have done an internship, you can also ask if that organisation has anything for you.

Aside from the websites listed above, the general tips in this section for finding a job can be useful for students too.

If I want to apply for a job, would I need a work permit as a student?

If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you are free to work without restrictions.

Highly educated persons scheme

‘The orientation year for highly educated persons’applies to all recently graduated students in the Netherlands from non-EU countries. The residence permit orientation year for highly educated persons can be submitted within three years after completing the studies or after obtaining the PhD. The scheme gives those graduated in the Netherlands the opportunity to first return to their country of origin after having completed their studies, and to then come back to the Netherlands. A work permit is not needed, which means that if you hold a residence permit for the orientation year for higher educated persons you are allowed to work in the Netherlands without any restrictions. More information is available on the IND’s website .

Work permit application

Should you need a work permit to work while studying, your employer needs to apply for it at www.uwv.nl/werkgevers .

Exception for internships

If you are studying at a Dutch host institution and you need to do an internship as part of your study programme, you do not need a work permit. Your host institution and your employer do need to sign an internship agreement. Please note that this exception does not apply for exchange students. For more information click here .

How can I find an internship?

If you are looking for an internship many Universities have a database of internship options.

Study In Holland: https://www.studyinholland.nl/dutch-education/doing-an-internship  will point out to you what to pay attention to when contemplating looking for internships in the Netherlands as part of your study programme.

The following links are a selection of websites offering internships in the Netherlands:

  • https://www.indeed.nl/Internship-vacatures
  • https://graduateland.com/s/internships/netherlands
  • https://www.togetherabroad.nl/internships.html
  • https://www.iagora.com/work/en/jobs-and-internships/for-english-speakers
  • https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/international-intern-jobs-utrecht
  • https://stageplaza.nl/ : click on “ik zoek een stageplek” and write “English” in the ‘ zoekfilter’ to the right
  • https://stage.nl/ : you can type ” English” in “trefwoord”/ Keyword box.

Please note that if you decide to accept a paid internship and currently have a student health insurance, you must take out a new, ordinary Dutch health insurance.”

What is the difference between an internship and a traineeship?

A traineeship is a paid job for those who recently graduated, while an internship is part of a study.

An internship ( stage ) is usually a mandatory part of the education that focuses on learning. It is a work placement or practical training arrangement that allows the student to gain practical work experience in the field of one’s study in a company. Internship is typically shorter-term work (3 months to a year) experience for students. Internships are usually not paid, but can be remunerated modestly. Because an internship is a learning goal, this allowance is not regarded as a salary. A traineeship in the Netherlands is typically a starter’s position for graduates with a normal salary. Essentially you get paid to learn. A traineeship is a paid (entry level) position in a company/ organisation for a graduate who aims to develop professional skills etc. It is a job.

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cover letter format netherlands


  • Cover Letter

The Netherlands Cover Letter Writing Guide

Crafting the perfect Netherlands cover letter is pivotal.

But here’s the thing—

Most job seekers stumble, unsure of the right tone, content, or even length for the Dutch market. Is it the pressure to make that first impression count? Or is there a worry about cultural nuances being lost in translation?

To decode the essence of a standout Netherlands cover letter, we delved into insights from hiring managers and seasoned professionals in the Dutch job landscape.

Read on to uncover the golden nuggets we’ve gleaned.

Do Employers Actually Read Cover Letters in the Netherlands?

You’ve worked hard and perfected your CV.

What’s next?

You’re probably wondering if you even need a cover letter?

To answer this question, we consulted an expert.

Expert tips:

Do employers actually read cover letters in the Netherlands? The answer is both yes and no.

As a recruiter, I quickly skim through the cover letter at first. However, if a candidate catches my interest and I consider them for a phone interview, I take the time to read it in detail. The reason? I want to compare the motivation expressed in the letter with what they convey during our conversation.

It’s beneficial if your cover letter is concise, ideally no more than one page. Make sure it’s tailored to the specific job and company – avoid using generic templates. While keeping it personal, it’s essential to strike a balance; being overly humorous or quirky might not always come off well. Aim for a professional tone.

Though I don’t always find cover letters necessary, they can sometimes be invaluable. For instance, if a candidate’s resume doesn’t exactly align with the job requirements, their cover letter can shed light on why they believe they’re a good fit. After all, a resume can’t tell the whole story.

Top 14 Tips for Crafting a Standout Cover Letter in the Netherlands

  • Research the Company: Before you start writing, research the company thoroughly. Understand its values, culture, and any recent developments. This knowledge will help you tailor your letter and demonstrate genuine interest.
  • Address the Hiring Manager: Begin your cover letter with a personalized greeting. If possible, address the specific hiring manager or recruiter by name, avoiding generic salutations like “To Whom It May Concern.”
  • Purpose and Relevance: In the opening paragraph, clearly state your motivation for applying to the specific job. Highlight how your background and skills align with the job requirements. If your background doesn’t perfectly fit the job, explain why you think you could be a match.
  • Highlight Relevant Experience: In the body of the letter, focus on experiences and achievements most relevant to the position. Use specific examples to showcase how you’ve added value in previous roles.
  • Personalization and Enthusiasm: Mention specific details about the company, such as their products or mission, to show that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested. Convey your enthusiasm for the job authentically, emphasizing your genuine interest in the position and the company.
  • Professional Tone and Language Proficiency: Maintain a professional tone throughout the letter. If you’re not a native Dutch speaker but are applying for a position in the Netherlands, mention your language proficiency levels. Ensure your cover letter is free of grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Be aware of and respect cultural norms and expectations in the Netherlands. Dutch business culture values directness, so be straightforward in your communication.
  • Concluding Remarks: Conclude your letter with a strong closing statement, expressing your eagerness to discuss further in an interview. Provide clear contact information.
  • Length and Format: Keep the cover letter concise, ideally to a maximum of one page. Ensure consistency in formatting and avoid overly decorative fonts or graphics.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Instead of sending out numerous applications with minimal effort, focus on sending fewer, high-quality applications. A well-crafted cover letter can significantly increase your chances of securing an interview.
  • Follow Application Instructions: Adhere to any specific guidelines or instructions provided in the job listing, such as including certain keywords or answering particular questions.
  • Avoid Generic Content: Ensure that your cover letter is tailored for each job and company you apply to. Avoid using generic or copy-pasted content.
  • Feedback and Proofreading: Consider having someone proofread your cover letter for you. Feedback can help identify areas of improvement and ensure clarity and coherence.
  • Consistency with Interview: Ensure that the motivation you mention in the cover letter aligns with what you would convey during an interview. Some recruiters compare the two to check for consistency.

Structure of a Netherlands Cover Letter

  • Salutation: Begin with a formal greeting, ideally addressing the hiring manager by name.
  • Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself and express the reason for your application.
  • Body: Elucidate your qualifications, experiences, and how they align with the job role.
  • Conclusion: Reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and suggest a follow-up.
  • Formal closing: End with a professional sign-off, followed by your name.

Netherlands Cover Letter Template

Sample netherlands cover letter.

sample Netherlands cover letter

Formatting and Font

  • Font Choice: Stick to professional fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri.
  • Font Size: Maintain a font size between 10 to 12 points for readability.
  • Margins: Keep margins around one inch on all sides.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Using a generic or non-specific salutation.
  • Failing to tailor the letter for each job.
  • Including irrelevant information.
  • Forgetting to proofread for grammar and spelling errors.

Addressing Gaps or Unusual Circumstances

  • Be Honest: If there are gaps in your resume, address them directly but briefly.
  • Highlight Learning: Emphasize any skills or knowledge you gained during any hiatus.

Netherlands Cultural Nuances and Expectations in Cover Letters

  • Directness: The Dutch value directness, so be clear and straightforward.
  • Professional Tone: Even if applying for a casual role, maintain a professional tone.
  • Local Qualifications: If you have foreign qualifications, equate them to Dutch standards.

If you found this article interesting, you might enjoy these too:

  • Austria Cover Letter Writing Guide
  • Hungary Cover Letter Writing Guide
  • Mexico Cover Letter Writing Guide
  • Greece Cover Letter Writing Guide
  • Romania Cover Letter Writing Guide

How long should my Netherlands cover letter be?

Aim for a single page.

Should I address the hiring manager by their first name?

If you know the manager’s name, it’s appropriate to use their full name in the salutation.

Do I need to write my cover letter in Dutch or English?

While many companies in the Netherlands are comfortable with English, especially in larger cities and international firms, it’s advisable to write in Dutch if the job advertisement is in Dutch. When in doubt, contact the company’s HR department.

Should I include a photo in my Netherlands cover letter?

Unlike some other countries, including a photo is not a common practice in the Netherlands unless specifically requested. Focus on your skills and qualifications instead.

How should I address gender or titles in my cover letter?

Dutch culture values equality and directness. It’s usually safe to address someone by their first name if you know it. If you’re unsure about gender or titles, a neutral greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager” can be used.

Is it appropriate to follow up after submitting my cover letter and CV?

Yes, if you haven’t received a response within a week or two, it’s acceptable to send a polite follow-up email to inquire about the status of your application.

Do Dutch companies prioritize cover letters over CVs or vice versa?

Both are important. While the CV provides a summary of your qualifications, the cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain how your experience aligns with the company’s needs. Ensure both documents are well-prepared.

Are there any specific cultural taboos I should avoid mentioning in my cover letter?

The Netherlands is known for its open-mindedness and tolerance. However, it’s always a good practice to focus on professional qualifications and avoid mentioning personal details like age, marital status, or religious beliefs unless they’re directly relevant to the job.

With these key insights and tips in hand, you’re poised to draft a Netherlands cover letter that will truly resonate with Dutch employers. Always tailor your content to match the specific job and company, accentuate your pertinent expertise, and be thorough in proofreading for any discrepancies. Here’s to your pursuit of professional endeavors in the Dutch job landscape!

Alison Adams

Alison Adams, a Philly native and proud University of Pennsylvania alum, is your go-to Career Expert with a laid-back approach. She’s been in the job seeker’s shoes and knows how to navigate the wild world of work. Alison’s all about sharing practical tips and tricks with a personal touch, making her a favorite for those looking to level up their careers.

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Cover letter example | stand out from the crowd, download sollicitatiebrief.

Cover letter example

In this article, we provide you with some practical tips to write an excellent cover letter. 

  • What is the importance of a cover letter?  
  • How to write a job application letter? 
  • General guidelines 

Cover letter example 

The importance of writing a cover letter .

Not all candidates will make the effort to write a tailored and personalised cover letter. So, if you do, it’s more likely that you will catch the attention of the reader.  A cover letter, combined with a resume, is often the first thing an employer sees. To leave the best possible impression, it’s important that your motivation letter is tailored and well build. 

Here you can download a cover letter example  

While a resume mainly shows your skills and work experiences, in a cover letter you have the chance to show yourself as a person. This increases your chance of reaching your goal: being invited to a job interview. 

Employers use your letter to gain insight into: 

Your personality and ambitions 

Your communication skills , your creativity .

Use your cover letter to describe experiences and qualities that you don’t explicitly mention on your resume. Indicate who you are as a person and what you think is important. By clearly describing your personality traits, you create an image of why you’d be a good fit for the organisation. 

Think about personal experiences, like that trip around the world or perhaps you took care of family when you were little. These experiences have shaped you into the person you are today. Although these experiences don’t fall under training, education or work experience, they might certainly be of added value. They have contributed to your personal development and could very well be relevant to the role you’re applying for. 

Employers today also often look for employees with ambition. Perhaps you do not have the right diplomas, but comes your interest from your private sphere, or you’d love to grow into the position. Your cover is perfect stage to exhibit this passion. 

Many positions require strong communication skills, both written and oral. Demonstrate these skills with a structured letter, void of any language and spelling errors. This way, you make a professional impression and you show that you have the required communication skills. 

In addition, the cover letter is a excellent opportunity to stand out. Let your creativity run wild here; this is your chance to shine a light on what makes you unique and why an employer should choose you. An inspiring cover letter attracts the attention of employers and shows that you are motivated - a quality frequently sought-after by employers. 

Some organisations can ask to share your motation in an innovative way, for example by means of video or audio recording. Before writing a traditional letter, do some research about the best way to present your motivation. 

How to write a motivation letter? 

A cover letter comes in many shapes, and there is therefor no single perfect cover letter example. Increase the chance of being invited by making your letter easy to read, with a consistent and clear structure. Consider the following order in your motivation letter: 

The vacancy you’re applying for 

Which part of the position appeals to you , which part of the organisation appeals to you .

  • Why you are the perfect candidate for the position 

Indicate that you’d like to meet for an interview 

  • What exactly does the organisation do? 
  • In which market does the organisation operate? 
  • What are the organisation’s challenges in the market? 

Why are you the perfect candidate for the position 

  • What makes me unique? 
  • What do I add to the organisation? 
  • Why should the employer choose me? 

General job application letter guidelines 

  • Use no more than one A4 for your letter 
  • Choose a clear and professional font 

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cover letter format netherlands

How to write a Cover letter in the Netherlands

Writing a Cover letter in the Netherlands The cover letter in the Netherlands is not necessarily an integral part of your job application in Holland. You can use the passage ‘Personal profile’ in your CV/ Resume to reflect your experience and objectives. If the companies requires a cover/ motivation letter it should refer to your present and future plans, showing your prospective employers what you want to do now and what you will do for them in the future.  A cover letter Its goal is to introduce the CV/ Resume, to bring to attention aspects of your activity that can help your application and are not listed or not presented in the proper light in the CV/ Resume. In short, its goal is to answer the recruitment's question: "Why should I hire this person?". A cover letter in the Netherlands should contain:

  • Brief self introduction
  • Short description of education, skills and other relevant info
  • Closing indicating your contact details
  • Use key words in your cover letter! Finally, your Cover letter needs to look professional. Double check all your grammar and spellings to make sure they’re correct and ensure that your letter looks good. When employers have so many cover letters to read, one that simply looks nicer than the rest could be what it takes to get you noticed. For assistance with your Cover letter in the Netherlands contact Together Abroad, [email protected]


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Together Abroad provided expert advice on personal branding including developing a top-notch, market-aware CV, highly tailored job applications, and approach strategies with potential employers in the Netherlands. Furthermore, I found them be highly knowledgeable in key related fields such as recruitment strategy, immigration law, contracts, labor agreements, and (un)employment benefits. I would recommend Together Abroad to anyone who needs professional help with transitioning to a new career. A. Aboufirass | Structural Engeer

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How to write a motivation letter for the dutch job market.

Tags: CV , motivation letter

Categories: career & jobs

Searching for a job is a full-time, well, job. For expats, our entire lives often depend on our careers, so the uncertainty of unemployment can cause major stress. The most important part of assembling your applications and getting hired quickly is writing a dynamic motivation letter. No matter how far along you are in your career, our tips will upgrade your motivation letter for the Dutch job market .

What is a Motivation Letter?

A motivation letter, also called a cover letter, is a personalized letter that accompanies your CV. If a CV reflects your statistics, your motivation letter is your biography. This is the crucial opportunity for your future employer to get to know you and your voice. A good enough motivation letter can even get you a job at a company that’s not hiring.

dutch motivation letter who needs one

Who Needs a Motivation Letter?

No matter how qualified you are or how entry-level the position is, consider motivation letters required. Entry-level jobs receive the most applicants, so you will need something to set yourself apart. Without a motivation letter, even if you are over-qualified, employers could assume you are not serious about the role. Many managers, as a rule, will not read a CV that comes without a motivation letter.

dutch motivation letter changing careers

Changing Careers

If you are looking to shift careers, your motivation letter is key. Pitch how your background makes you a uniquely qualified candidate. In this case, don’t focus on your past employment experience. Highlight your transferable technical skills.

cover letter format netherlands

What the Dutch Specifically Value in Motivation Letters

The Netherlands has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU with the education level of workers steadily rising. Your motivation letter is critical in this competitive job market. The Dutch are direct, so don’t waste time with ambiguity. Instead of writing, “I am proficient in social media,” use action words. For example, “I produced videos for an Instagram series promoting social justice.”

This directness should extend to your language as well. Steer clear of flowery expressions by avoiding terms like “super pumped!” or “overjoyed!” Even though written with sincerity, the Dutch can misinterpret these statements as condescending.

As an expat, though, you do have a secret weapon. Being from somewhere else makes you memorable. Always include where you are from in your opening paragraph. You can also briefly mention how long you have lived in the Netherlands and what brought you here. In a sea of similar applicants, you want to show them who you are. Companies will value your outside perspective to diversify their team.

cover letter format netherlands

How to Make Yourself Stand Out

Customizing the layout of your CV impresses employers, so carry whatever format you use onto your motivation letter. For corporations, you could use a sleek design to make your application neat and chic. If the role is more creative, it may be smart to apply unique color schemes and patterns.

Including a quick personal anecdote will also help you stick out in an employer’s mind. For example, “My experience waiting tables at my family’s restaurant growing up is the reason why I am cool under pressure when bartending today.” Finally, be sure to address your genuine interest in the position. Make it clear why their values align with yours.

cover letter format netherlands

Common Mistakes

Do not blast the same generic CV to every business with a vacancy. Take your time on a handful of thoughtful applications. Tailoring is essential. Do your homework on every role you apply to. Using particular language or flair with one company might be just the thing that gets you an interview. Whereas with another, it may be frowned upon. For instance, a financial firm is likely to expect that you write pointedly and focus on your qualifications. An easy-going letter could cost you an interview. A family looking for an au pair, on the other, may need to sense your personality through the letter. A degree of casualness could be necessary here, as they might be thrown off by intense formality.

Keep in mind that there is a fine line between upselling and downplaying your abilities. Do not, for instance, say that you have experience with Photoshop when you have never used it. Instead, focus on the qualities that you are confident in.

The tone of your motivation letter should always be polite but do not be overly gracious. Finally, proofread the letter three times and then run it past a friend. Typos are disqualifiers for many employers.

dutch motivation letter keywords

Unfortunately, large companies do not have the infrastructure to read every application they receive. Oftentimes, CVs and motivation letters are screened by systems programmed to identify certain keywords. If you don’t include these magic words, your motivation letter may never make it onto the screen of the hiring manager. A quick google search on the best keywords to use when applying to your industry will yield you the answers you need. Include as many of the keywords as possible not only in your CV but in your motivation letter as well.

cover letter format netherlands

How to Format a Motivation Letter

Include your phone number and email on both the CV and the motivation letter. You want to make yourself as accessible as possible.

Be smart about whom you address the letter to. Do your detective work on Linkedin or the company’s website to see who may be reviewing applications. Address the letter directly to them. If that is not possible to discern, avoid stale openers like “to whom it may concern”. This indicates that you may be pasting the same motivation letter into every application.

Make your first sentence strong. This may be the only part that actually gets read before the reader start to skim. Pick one or two requirements on their vacancy to address. Keep in mind that anything longer than one page is too long, though there is no such thing as too short. Four or five sentences can make an impact with the right keywords.

If you want to get really technical, construct your letter with readability in mind. Keep your sentences to 20 words each. Paragraphs should be no longer than six sentences. Scan your letter for passive voice and then make adjustments. This takes time and precision. Services like The Career Spark can work with you to produce the best motivation letters tailored for any job you apply to. This is also a good option for those who are not used to marketing themselves. Below is an example motivation letter from The Career Spark :

Dear Ms. Janssen,

I have a solid 9+ years of project management experience, and I am responding to your recent posting for an Event Manager on LinkedIn.

I have experience in successfully developing, planning, coordinating, and supervising projects from start to finish. My abilities to work within given resources, timeframes, and budgets whilst maintaining high standards will be valuable for your organization. With my excellent communication skills, I am able to engage and involve all stakeholders and get the job done on time.

I would particularly welcome the chance to work for your organization as we share much of the same values: offering innovative and sustainable solutions for the customers.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my potential contribution to your team. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely, Penny Muscat

cover letter format netherlands

Be Yourself

Taking the time to craft individual motivation letters means that you are a thoughtful and dedicated candidate. Remember that when you make your pitch and confidently apply to your new position. You are the only one with your unique background and experience. So, whether you try it on your own or collaborate with a recruitment service, you have everything you need to get the job!

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Writing a cover letter

The cover letter is a major part of any job application. It is a common tool used to select candidates for a position, as well as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the employer(s). A cover letter is intended to supplement the content of your CV, not repeat it.

It demonstrates your motivation and suitability for a given position. Above all, you want to make the reader eager to talk with you in person. To that end, keep things short and sweet and make sure you bridge the gap between what you want and what the employer is looking for.

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Important components, putting your motivation into words, style and register, areas for attention.

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Attending a workshop

The ‘Writing a cover letter’ workshop will teach you what constitutes a good cover letter and how to convince a potential employer of your qualities. For this and our other sessions, please look at the Events page .

You can also have a careers adviser review your cover letter. To do this, schedule an appointment with the Student Careers Centre.

Netherlands Resume Formats, Templates, and Writing Tips

Applying for a job in the Netherlands? This Netherlands resume guide has the templates, tips, examples, & format requirements needed to write the perfect resume.

If you want to land a job in the Netherlands, you need to learn how to write a Netherlands resume. It’s important to make sure your resume has all the right personal details, the right structure, and the right sections.

Whether you are already living in the Netherlands, or you plan to find employment there in the future, you need to write a resume that will land you an interview. This article will address:

  • Netherlands resume formats and how to select the right one for you
  • Netherlands resume requirements
  • How to write a Netherlands resume
  • Netherlands resume tips
  • Netherlands resume FAQs

Before getting started, you may want to try out VisualCV’s resume-building platform: the best way to build a Netherlands resume.

create a resume

Netherlands Resume Requirements

While writing a clear and compelling resume is important, first you need to include all the right basic information that Dutch employers expect.

When writing your Netherlands resume, be sure to include your:

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Home address

It is also recommended to include:

  • Date of birth

Optionally, you may include:

  • Nationality
  • Marital status
  • Military obligations

In the body of the resume, your resume should include these sections:

  • Work experience
  • Extracurriculars

Netherlands Resume Tips and FAQs

Writing a Netherlands resume can be tough, especially if you’re writing one for the first time. For this reason, we have collected this list of Netherlands resume tips and FAQs to help you get started. These questions will help you write a great resume that lands you a career in the Netherlands.

What is the right format for a Netherlands resume?

There are three potential formats you can use when writing a Netherlands resume: Reverse-chronological, Functional, and Combination.

Reverse Chronological Netherlands Resume Format Example

The reverse-chronological resume lists past jobs in reverse-chronological order, beginning with your most recent position at the top of the resume and working backwards. In a reverse-chronological resume, your Work Experience section is the largest and most detailed part of the resume. Your skills and education are secondary.

This is the most common Netherlands resume format, and the one most job-seekers should use. This format provides the best timeline of your career, and gives employers the information they want in the order they expect it.

Netherlands Resume: Reverse-Chronological

Functional Netherlands Resume Format Example

A functional resume focuses on skills instead of work experience. In a functional resume, you include a large Skills section, with descriptions and examples for each skill area, above the Work Experience section. The Work Experience section is shorter and less detailed, and jobs are ordered by relevance rather than chronology.

Functional resumes are rare. If you want to write a resume that highlights skills instead of work experience, we recommend a combination resume.

Combination Netherlands Resume Format Example

A combination resume format combines aspects of the reverse-chronological and functional resume formats. In a combination resume, skills are emphasized over work history, but previous roles in the Work Experience section are still listed in reverse-chronological order. This allows you to draw attention to your skill set, but maintains a clear career timeline so employers can easily understand which jobs were most recent.

Netherlands Resume: Combination Format

Choosing a resume format

The resume format you choose for your Netherlands resume will depend on your career and the job you are applying to.

If you have had a typical career, with the bulk of your previous jobs belonging to the same industry, each one leading logically to the next, a reverse-chronological resume is the best choice. This is the most common resume format, and the one most employers expect.

If you have had an untraditional career, with lots of career changes or gaps, you may want to try a combination resume format. This way, you can make sure all of your skills are on display right at the top of your resume, and hiring managers won’t have to wade through your past jobs to see what your abilities are.

When in doubt, however, the reverse-chronological resume is the way to go.

What is the right Netherlands resume length?

Your Netherlands resume should be one or two pages long, using A4 paper.

If you can fit all of your qualifications on one page, then one page is the best option. If you have too many qualifications to fit on one page, two pages is acceptable, but one page is the ideal length for a Netherlands resume.

Do not write a resume longer than two pages.

What personal information should you include in your Netherlands resume?

At or near the top of your Netherlands resume, you must include your full name, full home address, email address, and phone number.

Optionally, you can also include your photo, nationality, and marital status.

Should you add a photo to your Netherlands resume?

Yes, photos are common on Netherlands resumes. They are not mandatory, but some employers expect them. The job posting may specify whether a picture is required.

Should you list marital status on a Netherlands resume?

Including your marital status on your Netherlands resume is optional. You can include it if you feel it will help your application, but it is not required information.

Should you list your nationality on your Netherlands resume?

Listing your nationality on your Netherlands resume is optional. You can list your nationality if you feel it is relevant, or if you feel it will help your application, but it is not mandatory.

Should you say “resume” or “CV” in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, it is more common to use the phrase “CV”, or curriculum vitae, to refer to a resume. However, the CV follows a typical resume format.

What fonts should you use in a Netherlands resume?

For a Netherlands resume, it is best to stick to a plain, readable font. Simple fonts might include Open Sans, PT Serif, or Assistant.

Can you lie on your Netherlands resume?

No. You must not lie on your Netherlands resume. Lies and exaggerations can easily be found out. Even something as simple as giving the wrong date on a previous job can be confirmed with a phone call. It is never worth it to lie on your resume.

How do you write a good Netherlands resume?

While there are always ways to improve, these steps will help you write a great Netherlands resume:

  • Select the right resume format based on your experience and skills.
  • Pick a resume template that supports all the right resume sections.
  • Add your full name and contact information, and link out to Linkedin or relevant portfolio.
  • Write a short summary of two to four lines.
  • List previous jobs in a Work Experience section.
  • Customize your skills to suit the job description.
  • Display your education.

How to write a Netherlands Resume

With those tips in mind, you can begin writing an effective Netherlands resume. Use these sections when writing your resume:

Netherlands Resume Summary

Your Summary section is an opportunity for you to provide reasons to keep reading your application, right at the top of the page.

Your summary is your elevator pitch to Dutch employers. It is where you can list some key skills, qualifications, and achievements that demonstrate your value as an employee. These might include career successes, examples of relevant skills, or any awards or achievements.

Your summary should be no longer than a few sentences or bullet points. This is just the hook that grabs readers and ensures they want to read more.

Netherlands Resume Summary

Netherlands Resume Summary Format

"[Job title] with [number of years] experience [top 2-3 competencies] across [industries]. Achieved [top achievement]. Expert at [skill/tool], [skill/tool], and [skill/tool]."

Netherlands Resume Work Experience

The Work Experience section is the most important part of a Netherlands resume. It is the largest section, where you can outline skills, tasks, and achievements from previous positions.

List past positions in reverse-chronological order, beginning with your current or most recent position. For each past job, use a bulleted list to write a job description showcasing your responsibilities and achievements. Dutch employers value concise communication, so try to keep each bullet to one line.

The key to writing great work experience is focusing on achievements rather than responsibilities. It’s important not to boast, as the Dutch prefer straightforward communication and honesty, but that doesn’t mean your Netherlands resume has to be boring. Listing some key accomplishments alongside your duties is a great way to demonstrate your success in previous roles.

Another way to show success is to provide quantifiable achievements. Experience that can be measured shows that you keep track of your performance and use data to build your skill set. Quantifiable details of your past roles can include sales numbers, customer support scores, budgets managed, and more. Hard numbers are concrete examples of your abilities that look great on a resume.

Lastly, make sure to use active language when writing your Netherlands resume. Again, don’t embellish, but be creative with word choice when writing descriptions for past roles. Words like “spearheaded”, “demonstrated”, and “mentored” all sound more impressive than “was responsible for”.

Work Experience Format for a Netherlands Resume

[Job title] [Company name, City, Province] [Date started] - [Date ended]

[Bullet 1] [Quick summary of role and responsibilities] [Bullet 2] [Key skill, experience, or achievement] [Bullet 3] [Key skill, experience, or achievement] [Bullet 4] [Key skill, experience, or achievement]

Netherlands resume: work experience

Netherlands Resume Education

Your Education section is less important than your work experience, but it is still important. This section is where you can list your most important degrees or certificates.

List degrees in reverse-chronological order, with your most recent at the top. For each item, be sure to include the:

  • Degree name
  • School name
  • Graduation month

In most cases, a larger description of each degree is not needed. However, if you are a student or recent graduate, you may need to add details of your education in order to fill out your resume. If this is the case, you can include information about your GPA, relevant classwork, relevant projects, or even relevant extracurriculars.

Netherlands resume education section

Netherlands Resume Skills

A Skills section is a great opportunity to efficiently display your most impressive and most relevant skills. It is a distinct section where you can provide a curated selection of the competencies that will make you a great choice for the job. The Skills section isn’t mandatory, but a great Skills section can be what lands you the interview.

If you are writing a reverse-chronological resume, your Skills section can be relatively short. Simply list skills in a bulleted list. Make sure the most relevant skills are at the top of the list where they can be seen.

If you are writing a combination or skills-based resume, you can make each skill a heading and provide examples or explanations of each skill in a bulleted list underneath. This will make your skills section much longer, and allow you to go into more detail. If you are writing a skills-based resume, you may want to position your Skills section above your Work Experience section.

At VisualCV, you can even add a strength rating to each skill for some visual flair.

Netherlands Resume Skills

Netherland Resume Extracurriculars

If you belong to any groups or clubs outside of work, you may want to include them in an Extracurriculars of Interests section. Dutch employers appreciate workers who are involved in their community and have interests outside of work.

However, it’s important to make sure anything you include in this section is appropriate and impressive. Try to keep it to activities that demonstrate initiative and leadership, such as belonging to a sports team, volunteering at a local organization, or holding a leadership role in a professional club.

Other sections

While the sections above are enough for most people to write a great Netherlands resume, there may be other sections that will assist your job search. Additional resume sections might include:

  • Publications : If you have published any research papers or articles, a Publications section may be useful.
  • Portfolio : Either linking out to a Portfolio or listing titles and descriptions of key projects can be an asset in certain industries.
  • Memberships : If you belong to any professional organizations or impressive clubs, you may want to include this in your resume.
  • Volunteering Experience : Volunteering experience can show not only that you have professional experience, you are willing to donate your time to a cause you believe in.
  • Certifications : If a particular license or certificate does not quite fit into your Education section, like a forklift license or a management certificate, you may want to include a separate section for your certifications.

Netherlands Resume Template

Netherlands Resume Template

Copyright © 2024 VisualCV


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The Netherlands Visa Cover Letter in 2024 [Sample Included]

What is the role of the cover letter.

A cover letter, also known as a motivational letter, for a Netherlands visa application, acts as a concise summary of your travel intentions. It bridges the gap between the bureaucratic forms and the human story behind them. More than just a formality, it provides a snapshot of:

  • The purpose of your trip.
  • Your planned itinerary.
  • The length of your stay.
  • Any personal or business contacts you intend to visit.
  • Your accommodations.
  • Your promise to abide by the visa conditions, i.e., returning to your home country before the visa expires.

How to write a cover letter for Netherlands visa?

While there isn’t a strict template, a good Netherlands visa cover letter should follow a logical structure:

Header and Formalities : Start on a professional note. Your name, contact information, and the date should be at the top right. On the opposite side, the details of the Consulate or Embassy should be present, including their address.

Formal Greeting : Always ensure you address the consulate formally, ideally using “Dear Sir/Madam.”

Introduction : Dive straight to the point. State your name, your passport details, and the exact visa category you’re seeking. This sets the tone and context for the rest of the letter.

Narrative Body :

  • Purpose : Be concise and specific. Whether you’re sightseeing, attending a business conference, or catching up with old friends, make it clear.
  • Journey Details : A snapshot of your travel plans, including cities you might visit, can be beneficial.
  • Stay Arrangements : Elaborate on your accommodation. If staying with a friend or family, mention their name, relation, and address.
  • Financial Arrangements : Clearly outline how you plan to finance your trip, ensuring the consulate of your financial stability.

Concluding Paragraph: Reiterate your intention to return to your home country after your visit and thank the consulate/embassy for considering your application.

Signature: Your name and signature to close the letter.

4 Tips for an Effective Cover Letter

  • Be Concise : Your cover letter should be no more than a page. Get straight to the point, avoiding unnecessary embellishments.
  • Personal Touch : While it should remain formal, it doesn’t hurt to add a touch of personality, especially if you’re describing your reasons for visiting.
  • Honesty is Key : Be truthful. The consulate will verify the information you provide, and discrepancies can lead to visa denials.
  • Proofread : Any mistakes can be seen as carelessness and might impact the credibility of your application. Ensure it’s well-written and error-free.

What Documents Should I Attach?

A well-drafted cover letter is essential, but the accompanying documents reinforce your claims.

  • Proof of Accommodation : This can be hotel bookings, friend’s invitations, or rental agreements.
  • Financial Proofs : Bank statements, payslips, or financial guarantee letters to prove you can sustain your stay.
  • Travel Itinerary : Flight tickets or reservations that match the travel dates mentioned in your cover letter.

Cover Letters for Different Visa Types: How To Tailor Your Approach

Each visa type has its unique nuances, and so should your cover letter. Tailoring your cover letter to the specific visa you’re applying for can enhance clarity and demonstrate thoroughness.

  • Student Visas : Focus on your academic objectives in the Netherlands, the institution you’re attending, and your plans post-study.
  • Work Visas : Highlight your professional qualifications, the Dutch company hiring you, and the role’s significance.
  • Family Reunion Visas : Emphasize familial connections in the Netherlands, the purpose of reunion, and duration of stay.

What Are The Roles of Travel Agencies?

Many applicants utilize travel agencies to simplify their visa application process.

  • Drafting Assistance : Some agencies offer services to help draft or refine your cover letter, ensuring it aligns with requirements.
  • Endorsements : Travel agencies can sometimes provide an endorsement or an accompanying letter, which can bolster your application, especially for tourism visas.
  • Package Deals : Some agencies offer visa application packages, which include cover letter assistance, document checks, and even interview preparation.

Netherlands Cover Letter Digital Submissions and E-visas

In the age of technology, the Netherlands has made strides in streamlining its visa application process. As of 2024, while the traditional paper-based submission remains an option, many applicants are opting for digital submissions.

  • E-visa Platforms : The Netherlands provides a secure e-visa platform where applicants can submit their cover letters and accompanying documents. Ensure your cover letter is in an acceptable digital format, usually a PDF.
  • Digital Signatures : With digital submissions, some platforms might allow or require digital signatures. Ensure you understand the criteria for these to be recognized.
  • Safety First : Always use official platforms when submitting your cover letter and other visa documents online to protect your personal information.

How long should my Netherlands visa cover letter be?

  • Your Netherlands visa cover letter should typically be one page long.
  • Aim for clarity and conciseness, focusing on the key points: the purpose of your visit, your itinerary, your employment status, and your ties to your home country.
  • Avoid unnecessary details that don’t directly support your visa application.

Is it mandatory to get my cover letter notarized?

  • Notarization of a visa cover letter for the Netherlands is generally not required.
  • Focus on providing accurate and truthful information in your cover letter. Misrepresentation can lead to visa denial.
  • Always check the latest guidelines from the Netherlands embassy or consulate, as requirements can change.

Netherlands Visa Sample Cover Letter

Dear Sir/Madam,

Subject: Application for Schengen Tourist Visa for the Netherlands

I am writing to submit my application for a Schengen Tourist Visa in order to visit the Netherlands from [starting date of your trip] to [ending date of your trip]. My main purpose for this trip is to explore the rich history, vibrant culture, and scenic beauty of the Netherlands.

My name is [Your Full Name], holding passport number [Your Passport Number]. I am employed as [Your Job Title] at [Your Company’s Name] since [Date of Joining], and I have enclosed my employment letter and recent payslips as proof of my stable employment in [Your Home Country].

During my stay, I intend to visit iconic landmarks such as the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and take canal tours in Amsterdam. Additionally, I plan to explore cities like Rotterdam and Utrecht, and enjoy the famous tulip fields in Keukenhof. My detailed itinerary, including all the places I plan to visit and activities I intend to partake in, is attached for your perusal.

I have booked my accommodation at [Hotel Name, Address], and the reservation proof is enclosed. My entire trip will be self-sponsored, and to substantiate my financial capacity to support my stay and expenses in the Netherlands, I have attached my recent bank statements, tax returns, and payslips.

After my visit, I am committed to returning to [Your Home Country] as I have my family, job, and other responsibilities here. I assure you that I will respect all the terms and conditions of the Schengen visa and will leave the Schengen area before the expiry of my visa.

Please find the following documents to support my visa application:

  • Visa application form, duly filled and signed.
  • Passport-sized photos.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Detailed travel itinerary.
  • Proof of employment.
  • Bank statements, tax returns, and financial proofs.
  • Flight reservation.

I kindly request you to consider my application favorably and grant me the opportunity to explore the beautiful country of the Netherlands. I am deeply grateful for your time and consideration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can i use the same cover letter for multiple schengen countries.

No, it’s crucial to tailor your cover letter to the specific country you’re applying to. Each country might have unique nuances or requirements, and a generic letter can seem inattentive.

Can I submit a handwritten cover letter?

While most visa centers prefer typed letters for clarity, handwritten letters aren’t usually rejected, provided they are legible and professionally presented.

I'm visiting multiple Schengen countries, including the Netherlands. To whom should I address my cover letter?

Address your cover letter to the consulate of the country that is your main destination or where you will be spending the most time. If the Netherlands is your primary destination, then address the Dutch consulate or embassy.

Do I need to mention my previous Schengen visa rejections in the cover letter?

Yes, it’s advisable to be transparent. If you’ve had previous rejections, briefly explain the reasons and, if possible, how the circumstances have changed since.

How soon should I submit my visa application and cover letter before my intended travel date?

Ideally, you should submit your visa application at least 15 days before your intended travel date, but not earlier than 6 months before the trip.

Is it necessary to have a travel insurance policy before drafting the cover letter?

While you might not need it during the drafting stage, you will require travel insurance when submitting your visa application. Mentioning it in your cover letter can demonstrate preparedness.

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What Does a Good Cover Letter Look Like?

A cover letter is your opportunity to express your personality a little. In a CV, there is no space to introduce yourself on a personal and detailed level. 

This is the function of the cover letter . In many ways, it is an outdated and obsolete entity. Nonetheless, more often than not, it is necessary for a job application. The original function of a cover letter dates back to when we used to send CVs in the post. Back then, looking for a job wasn’t as easy as pinging across an email with an attached CV.

The role of the cover letter (so named because of its original role as the cover page of a posted CV) was to explain exactly why you were sending a CV. It also specified which position you were interested in, as a big company would likely have several available vacancies at one time.

Why should I write a cover letter if I've already got my CV?

Whether you think it necessary or not, the recruitment world is one where everyone is on their best behaviour, and formalities, obsolete as you may think, are often the difference between two strong candidates. 

If the competition is playing by the rules, you’d be very brave to go against the grain. This first step is to make sure your CV is looking on point , and then get started on that cover letter!

Your cover letter is your opportunity to make your application look more distinctive to the company. In short, it provides  some context to your CV and explains why you are applying. It should not - I repeat,  not - be a copy of your CV.

Your cover letter should only enhance your application,   not summarise what you've already provided in the application. By the time recruiters get around to reading your cover letter, they will likely have already read through your CV.

They want to find out more about you and hear your voice through the cover letter. This is the first real impression of who you are that you will be giving them.

What should a professional cover letter look like? 

We have put together an infographic of some basic cover letter tips to help you visualise them better. 

It is important to note that sending a generic, impersonal cover letter is counterproductive. The whole point of the cover letter is to explain what you can bring to the company in the specific role you are applying for. 

infographic what should a good cover letter look like

How long should cover letters be?

So, we’ve already established that a cover letter  is a good idea. But the question that so many candidates struggle with is: How long should my cover letter be?

The common worry is making it too short and thus making your cover letter look like not enough effort has been put into writing it. 

Our biggest piece of advice? Avoid lengthy, boring text at all costs. Stats show that recruiters prefer a half-page cover letter to a full one . There’s nothing like a big chunk of unbroken text to put off potential employers.

You may put them off even reading it altogether if it looks like too much time and effort to read. Cover letters should be easy to read and to the point - it’s all about getting the balance right.

What should a good cover letter include?

Remember that your cover letter is not your CV. This is your chance to introduce yourself as a person, convey why you want to work in this position, and precisely why you are the perfect candidate. 

Tell them why you like the company

Too many candidates feel that the cover letter is simply a further opportunity to big themselves up. Tell the company what appeals to you about them and the position.

Also, providing some specific details about the company will prove that you are aware of who you are dealing with and what you are applying to.

This will make your cover letter more specific to the position. No one wants to feel like they are reading a generic letter that has likely been sent to plenty of other companies to apply for completely different jobs.

THEN tell them what you offer

Simply telling them what your skills are isn’t enough. You need to apply your skills to the company. In other words, tell them why you will be an asset to their company,  and what you would do to help the business grow if you got the position. What do you bring to the table?

Using measurable skills and stats is a great idea to give the recruiter a concrete example of just how valuable you would be to the company.

It's highly unlikely that when you tell the employer that:  "I was the best employee in my former company",  they'll take your word for it. You need some solid facts to back it up.

For example, using website traffic, sales or conversions would be the perfect way to show off what you've achieved in previous positions.

Express how much you want the position

Getting the balance between seeming desperate and seeming too carefree is tough. Use phrases like, " The prospect of performing in this role genuinely excites me".  

Highlight how this role would help you grow professionally and develop in an area you're truly passionate about.

Show warmth

People want to work with nice people. Therefore, you should maintain a professional but kind tone throughout the cover letter. Your cover letter should show your voice, and give an idea of who you are as a person - something your CV can't do. 

Whilst remaining formal, try and find a way to show your personality in it.

Make sure that...

It's easy to read.

Make your cover letter look appealing by writing short, concise paragraphs and using a font that's friendly to the eye. Ensure that your sentences aren't too long or convoluted - your application is likely to be one of many, and recruiters don't want to spend half an hour reading it. 

You check it through!!

Something as simple as a silly misspelling could cost you an interview. Taking a couple of minutes to double-check will always be worth your while. Having lots of little mistakes in your cover letter will show carelessness, and employers won't believe you are very serious about your application.

Any gaps in your CV are explained

Taking time out to travel, get back into education, or look after kids are all very normal reasons for gaps in your CV. However, not explaining lengthy gaps in your career can be concerning to employers if they're not explained!

CVs aren't really the place to explain these gaps. Instead, put them in your cover letter where you can explain what you've learnt from these experiences and why they'll add to your strengths  as a candidate.

It's personalised

Yes, we've already said this a million times, but it can't be stressed enough - cover letters are meant to explain why you would benefit the specific company you are applying to. If you send a generic cover letter, it will be blindingly obvious to the employer. Make sure you show you care about this application and that you want this job.

Should I use cover letter templates?

We advise against using a cover letter template. You will probably find many of those online, where all you need to do is change a couple of details to personalise it a little. In our experience, recruiters can smell a default cover letter from a mile away - they probably even the most popular templates memorised by heart. 

Think about it: a cover letter is your only opportunity to express yourself and let the recruiter get to know you better before the interview. It's only natural it will work to your benefit if you write it yourself - using your own words and style, and letting your personality seep through. 

The same applies to using cover letter writing services. They are really helpful when it comes to providing advice for a cover letter you have already written, but avoid hiring them to write it for you. Nobody - even professional writers - know you as well as you do, so the only person who knows what your cover letter should include is you!

Below, you can find   a cover letter example created by the ELJ team, in cooperation with our former HR Manager, Mónica. Don't approach it as a template, but rather a professional example that you can draw inspiration from when writing your own!

infographic example cover letter template

Now that you have read these essential hints, you surely know what a professional cover letter should look like, so go ahead and start working on your first draft. Come back to these tips once you are done writing your perfect cover letter and look over the content to ensure all key elements are present. 

Feeling inspired? Visit our blog for more career advice! How can you be sure the information we provide is top-notch? We are a group of professionals working with recruiters, career coaches, and HR specialists from all over the world! 

Trust our experience and let us help you find a new job in Europe !

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University College Utrecht

Cv and motivation letter, writing a cv.

A professional and well-written CV is often the first and therefore essential part of the application procedure. Your CV is the first piece of information that the University you’re applying to is receiving, so you need to make sure that you leave a good first impression. Keep in mind that an application officer will pay attention to a wide range of aspects and that he will be most capable about drawing conclusions himself whether you are fit for the program you’re applying for.

Your CV can stand out amongst all other applications not only through your past experiences and education, but also through a clear structure and apprehensive layout. Your CV should reflect your positive qualities as much as possible and your accomplishments listed on your CV should speak for themselves; you do not need to draw conclusions about what they say about you.

  • Divide your CV into sections, such as education and qualifications, work experience, extra-curricular activities and interests, additional information, skills and referees.
  • In each section, put the most recent information first, and work backwards.
  • Start with the most relevant section first. In the case of a Masters application, this will be your education. Briefly list the relevant courses you have taken and their grades (if they’re good!). Also list relevant projects, extended essays, or dissertations.
  • Describe what you have done, not what you think it says about you. Provide the necessary information for the reader to draw his/her own conclusions.
  • Be concise: limit your CV to 2 pages, preferably 1 page.
  • Make sure the layout is very clear and easy to skim over. Make use of headings, bullet points and spacing.

Universities have varying demands with regards to the content of your CV. Where American universities often find your extracurricular activities very important, British universities tend to focus on a sufficiently high GPA. Try to find information on the website of the University to which you’re applying to; see whether they have indications about what they would like to see on your CV. If you have made a CV, you can always have the Student Life Officer or Career Development Officer look over it for you.

Motivation letter/cover letter

Your CV is always accompanied by a motivation or cover letter. This letter should quite simply be the guide to your motivation and a description of the development of your interests and competences that have encouraged you to choose this specific Master’s. It should also include an overview of what you intend to learn and what how this program fits into your broader future plans. A motivation letter is perhaps the most important part of the application; it provides you with an opportunity to stand out between all other applications. Do not be afraid to ask friends, teachers or tutors to proofread your motivation letter before you send it in.

  • Your statement of purpose should be a coherent essay, with a clear structure and beginning, middle and end.
  • You should make it as short as possible while still hitting the important points. Remember, the committee has to read a lot of these: short and sweet is important!
  • Change a vague and floppy sounding formulation like "I am not completely sure what I want to do after obtaining my graduate degree. However, I am very interested in doing research" to something like "After obtaining my graduate degree, I am interested in working in a research environment."
  • Address the specific content of your academic interests. Adding meaningful discussion of content earlier would make a big difference in the impact of your statement.
  • Your essay should be in formal academic English, even though it is a personal statement. Your writing ability will be judged on the quality of the essay. Be sure to use informal, colloquial language sparingly.
  • Specify what you are applying for and say how you learned of the opportunity and why you are doing this one specifically.
  • At the end suggest having an interview, these usually increase your chances since personal contact is just better.
  • Avoid making the same point several time; comes across as shallow, boring.
  • Avoid expressions like 'I think', and 'in my opinion', 'I am convinced'. These are wordy and make you sound less confident. Avoid intensifiers like "very" and vague words such as "interesting". The most deadly combination of all is 'very interesting'. Show the depth of your academic interests by explaining them.

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Application tips

Eight tips for successful applications.

Applying for a job or internship can be nerve-wracking. After all, nobody applies for positions they don't want! The following practical tips will help you maximise your chances of a career at PwC. The chances are that at least one will be useful.

Use your CV to clearly distinguish yourself from other students

Naturally, as a student, your CV will predominantly consist of information about your education rather than an extensive list of employers. We therefore especially want to hear what you do outside your studies, what part-time jobs and volunteer work you have done and whether you are active in any associations. And don't forget to mention your hobbies! This information helps to paint a more complete picture of who you are and what you can do before we meet you in the flesh.

Carefully check the spelling and grammar of your e-mail and CV

First impressions are extremely important. We're sure you'd never do something like this, but we sometimes receive applications that are full of spelling mistakes and bad grammar. If you've been known to misspell things now and again, then be sure to pay extra attention to this aspect or ask someone else to read through your application first.

The recruiters are here to help!

PwC's recruiters are always available if you have any questions about the procedure, what the job entails or general tips. Call or e-mail them if you are unclear about anything.

Do your homework on PwC

Make sure you have a definitive answer to the question Why do you want to work for PwC? , as this question plays a major role in the interviews. These interviews are a way for both sides to make acquaintance, so mutual interest in each other ensures a good start. If you'd like to know more about us, then you can attend one of the recruitment activities or contact us for other possibilities.

Contact a PwC professional in your network

Explore your own network to see if you know anybody who works for PwC: the chances are greater than you might think. Ask your family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances if they know anybody. If they do, then it's a great way to learn more about a particular position and what it's like to work for PwC.

Make a clear choice

Apply for a position that you are truly interested in. That's a much better strategy than simultaneously applying to five different jobs. And be sure to clarify in your cover letter why you think this vacancy/internship is right for you.

Dress smartly

Wear something that would give you confidence in a professional environment. We do not expect you to buy a new suit for your interview: you'll have plenty of time to expand your wardrobe once the application process is complete!

Ask questions

Consider in advance what you would like to know about us. After all, we'll be asking a lot about you! Make sure you ask for all the information you wish to know, e.g. by writing down all of the questions and learning them in advance.

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How to write a Netherlands resume properly

Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith

Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Career Expert

May 12, 2022 ❘

🕐 4 min read

If you are looking for a job abroad, the Netherlands may be one of the top countries in your desired list of countries to work. The Netherlands is a country where not only you but many people like to work.

This is due to the economic stability of the country, the work-life balance, higher salaries and wages, etc. However, getting a job in the Netherlands is not easy due to the higher competition in the job market.

If you want to get a job opportunity in the Netherlands, there are several things you can do.

  • Applying directly to vacancies in Dutch companies.
  • Getting a job through a staffing agency.

Both of these methods can be used to get job opportunities in the Netherlands, but if you want to land a job and succeed in your job hunt, it is essential that you have a resume tailored to suit that country.

In this article we hope to discuss how to write a concise and clear resume for the dutch market.

Let’s dive in.

Essential sections of a resume for the Netherlands jobs

There are five main sections you should include in a good resume. Let’s see what are they and how to write them properly.

  • Contact information section
  • Work experience

01. Contact information

Include your first and last name, as well as your phone number, email address, LinkedIn profile, and/or website or portfolio.

A large amount of data is now protected as a result of GDPR. Therefore, information such as your gender, date of birth, or nationality are not required to include on your resume when applying for a job in the Netherlands.

Many people also include their BSN number, which is the Dutch social security number. We advise you not to include that in your resume.

The best way to organize your contact information is to place it next to your resume photograph.

When applying for a job in the Netherlands, we recommend that you include a photo in your resume. However, make certain that your photograph is professional.

See this guide to learn how to add a photo to your resume .

02. Summary

The summary is a vital section of your resume. This should include a thorough overview of your career and relevant experience.

It’s like a brief introduction of who you are as a professional, what you’re looking for, what you have to offer, and why you’d be a great fit for the specific position.

You may be sending your resume to several different companies, and you may not feel like creating a resume for each and every job. But keep in mind that you should tailor your resume for each job.

You should include the general words to your summary that match the requirements and responsibilities of the role. You can pick the resume keywords from the job advertisement.

So that you can outsmart the applicant tracking systems and get into the shortlist.

There are several words that recruiters encounter frequently in resume summaries such as  motivated, enthusiastic, creative, etc. But these words does not make you stand out and unique. So better to stay away from these resume buzzwords when creating your resume.

03. Work experience

This is the most important section of any resume. This section should be organized in reverse chronological order, with your most recent experience at the top.

The best way to ensure that you have all of the information for your experience is to include the name of the company which you work, the job title you hold, the dates you worked there, and then 3-5 sentences explaining your accomplishments.

You can add resume action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point to make your accomplishments more valuable.

04. Education

Here also you should include your most recent educational qualification at the top. Similarly to how we list work experience, we should include the name of the school you attended, the name of the degree you received, and the years you worked there.

Aside from these details, you could include your thesis or any extracurricular activities you participated in during your academic career.

Your soft and hard skills would be an excellent addition to your Netherlands resume. Soft skills are usually aspects of your personality that you are naturally good at and that make you who you are. Here are some soft skill examples to include in your resume.

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Multitasking
  • Analytical thinking

Hard skills are those that you have gained through previous or current experience. People must undergo training and dedicate more time to developing these skills. Below are some examples of hard skills.

  • Programming languages: Java, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML
  • Bookkeeping
  • Copywriting

So include both of these skills in your resume, especially if they are required for the position you’ve applied for.

In what language should you write the resume?

First, visit the company website to find out which language is used on the homepage. The majority of the time, English is used.

If the company has an English-speaking office, you may write your resume in English, and you will almost certainly conduct the interview in English as well.

But if you have applied for Dutch-speaking office, it’s better to write your resume in Dutch. It’s worth asking a native Dutch speaker to check whether there are any errors or not in your resume, so that your application doesn’t get rejected.

The Netherlands resume tips

  • Use bullet points and short, simple sentences in your Dutch resume.
  • Avoid embellishing or exaggerating your Dutch resume because honesty and directness are highly valued in the Netherlands.
  • Always use clear resume fonts and a simple design to create your resume.
  • Your resume for the Netherlands should not be longer than two pages.
  • If you lack relevant experience, focus on academic projects, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or other part-time or seasonal jobs where you can demonstrate relevant skills.


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