ABC of expat woman's life: G - Get employed

ABC of expat woman's life: G - Get employed

A few weeks ago I ran into a friend at an international job fair in Amsterdam. The tickets were sold out long before I arrived. It was extremely busy and as a result I had to queue for half an hour to get in. The good thing was that it gave me the inspiration (and time!) to create this article.

How to increase your chances of getting employed without losing time?

Non-advertised jobs

The truth is that many jobs in the Netherlands - just like in other countries - are not advertised. So, you should not consume all available time online. Job hunting on the web must be part of the overall strategy.

The job hunting pyramid (7 stages)


Firstly, you need to have a strategy. Without one it is difficult to keep focused on your main goal: getting the job you want.

The job search strategy should start by answering two simple questions:
 Do you know exactly what type of job you are looking for (base of the pyramid)?
› In which stage of job hunting are you stuck?

Answering the first question not only allows you to know what kind of job you are looking for, but also makes it easier for others (recruiters, hiring managers, your network etc.) to help you out.

The second question enables you to monitor and evaluate your job search process. Once you are aware, it becomes clear where you need to focus.

Action plan

The next step is to draft an action plan: how to search, who to contact, what to say etc. All actions need to be broken down into small steps, while it would be wise to pay special attention to the following parts of your plan:


Some have a talent for networking, others find it more difficult. In any case, I assure you that networking really works - sometimes in odd and unexpected ways, but it does.

Even if it does not seem that way in the beginning, trust me on this one and keep:
- reminding people that you are looking for a job every week.
- practicing your answers (what are your skills, what position you are interested in etc.)
- trying to be explicit on what the person you are having a conversation with can do for you. If you don’t, he / she might forget and / or never take any steps to help you.
- devoting time! Make networking an important part of your action plan and always think about where to go, what to say, how often etc.

 CV & Cover Letter

Both your CV and CL need to be up to date and tailor made. It is good to use a template as your basis, but recruiters and companies need to match the job requirements.

By customising your CV, you can show why you are the right candidate for the job and of course, that you are pro-active. Besides, with so may applications landing on the desk of the recruiters on a daily basis, you are significantly diminishing your chances of being invited if you don’t.

 Social Media

There are two things to keep in mind about social media:
- Social media can be extremely helpful when looking for a job. For example LinkedIn can be a great networking tool that allows you to connect you with the right people, find more info about your (future) manager, HR department etc.
- However, you have to keep in mind that both recruiters and companies are checking candidates through social media too. Apparently, keeping your profile(s) up to date and consistent with your CV is essential.

Also make sure that there are no "embarrassing" photos, facts or other pieces of information...

 Mind set

Last not least, (one of) the most important factor(s) in getting a job is a right, positive mindset. Even if a few months have passed and you feel somewhat demotivated, stay positive.

Tips to accelerate the procedure

Eventually you will find a job and staying positive will accelerate the overall procedure. Some tips:
- Divide your action plan into small, feasible steps. The goal is to find a job but achieving these small steps will increase your self-confidence and optimism.
- Design a reward system for yourself - that will increase your chances of completing actions that you might dread doing (e.g. calling a recruiter).

Good-luck and let me know when you have found the job you want!

Dorota Klop-Sowinska


Dorota Klop-Sowinska

Official Member of Forbes Coaches Council. I specialize in international career and expat coaching. I am the author of the book Career Jump! How to Successfully Change Your Professional Path...

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