Advice While Searching for a Job * Search tips

Together Abroad18-01-2017 6:14 PM
It is time for you to look for a job, and the process – hours of searching, reading descriptions, having your hopes up then just not meeting the requirements, tailoring your CV, sending out emails – is daunting. While the prospect of landing your first job, switching to your dream job, or just landing something to pay all those bills may be exciting, for many, the search is tiring and sometimes even disappointing. So what should we do when the odds are stacked against us?

Have a Conversation with Yourself

As strange as it sounds, I find talking to myself helpful when about to embark on a task that feels futile. The reason is that I need to be frank with myself – this is going to be tough, it will take time, I will face some disappointments… Note that I say it ‘feels’ futile because it is just a feeling, it is not impossible to find a job; much less one that I would appreciate doing. So the pep talk is to set my mind on the long haul ahead. There are times when fate deals a royal flush and you just land that job you want in no...
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Together Abroad08-01-2017 11:06 PM
As I start onthe second half of an MBA program in the Netherlands, I cannot help but take a midpoint evaluation of my decision to take a break from the employment world and become a student once again. I started this program, partly because I wanted to experience studying in another country and partly because I wanted to better my chances of securing my dream job. For any expat wanting to further their education, the debate will usually be, will this opportunity help me get the job I want?

In a country like the Netherlands, where a high level of education is almost expected, competition is steep. The wonderful thing about an MBA is that it gives you the option to be flexible in this competitive market. You attain skills and knowledge, not only in the field you are in or want to be in, but others as well. Although my background is in Sales and Marketing, I have had classes covering finance, human resources, and statistics. While I do not plan on going into a high-level finance position any time soon, the fact that I have that base knowledge of IPOs and M&As can only be helpful in my...
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Together abroad08-01-2017 10:49 PM
Have you thought about where you would like to be in five years’ time? Have you thought about which sort of industry you would like to work in, or even what your daily work schedule should look like? Setting goals helps to frame these questions in such a way that they become manageable. They provide both a focus and a direction, which allows you to take control of the uncertainty and set a benchmark to see if you are accomplishing the things that you want to achieve. This has many benefits in life, not least when it comes to career success. So what can you do to make sure your career ambitions become more achievable?

Of course, saying that you want to set a goal is not the whole story. You need to know how to set them. It is important to considerexactly what you want to achieve, and whether you are willing to put in the time and effort to accomplish the goal. When it comes to your career, there are some important steps that can prevent failure and the problems that come with it.

Randall Hansen, of Quintessential Careers, outlines some first steps to creating a career vision...
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Together Abroad04-01-2017 11:06 PM
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a small country with a a population of around 17 million people. They started out as worldwide maritime traders in the 16th century, and today they are still significant players in the global economy.As an open economy, the Netherlands is susceptible to international developments and is based on consensus. It has a long tradition of negotiation, which lives on in the close and regular contacts between trade unions, employers’ organisations and the government.

Dutch people are hard workers and they take pride in doing a good job for their employers while also supporting their colleagues. They have a more formal attitude to work and when viewed by outsiders,this can come across asa need to follow the rules strictly, but the Dutch just want to do the things the proper way. This is closely related to the valuation of honesty, respect and personal responsibility. Punctuality is taken seriously, so being late for a meeting could be perceived as not considering the business at hand as serious.

Dutch people communicate in a direct manner. In a business meeting they may ask very open questions, but their approach is designed to get the job done and to...
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Together Abroad28-12-2016 3:53 PM
The chance of a successful interview is often decided during the first impression and lastsfor about 10 seconds. This also appliesto the CV and the cover letter. The first impression is often all it takes for an employer to continue with or drop a candidate’s application.Basically, a candidate can have three first impressions that can increase or diminish the chances of landing the job.

The CV

The first impression for a CV doesnot always last ten seconds. A CV can already be rejected before the document is fully opened. Yes, this is harsh and may sound even unfair. However, when confronted with tens of CVs, the first impression becomes an important factor. For me, CVs with poor layout end up at the rejection pile without much further ado. Especially, when the personal details take up almost half a page to make the resume look more extensive.

The first of the ten seconds lasts longer when the personal details are distilled to the necessities: name, phone number, LinkedIn and or personal website. (Address can be mentioned elsewhere in the footer of the document, for example.)I like reading a personal description, but I find it more important to see relevant job descriptions....
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Together Abroad12-12-2016 10:01 AM
Maybe you were raised in the “follow your dream” philosophy, only to find out that your dream does not quite pay the mortgage. We are often too young when we are choosing our studies, which largely determine our career opportunities.You might feel like if you had to make the call again, it would be a very different one. So you decide to make a horizontal career leap.

Lock the Target

Maybe you figure it out on your own or together with a career coach. In any case, finding a career path that fits your personality, ambitions and is overall a smart choice for you can be a challenge. Do your due diligence. Find out what exactly would a new career mean in terms of job duties and opportunities, potential salary, education and skills needed, how long would it take to get there, etc. But the trick is, once you have made your (informed!) decision, stick with it.

Get the Credentials

You will likely find that in order to get a job in a new industry, you will need some sort of training or education.Look at the credentials of people who are working at the position you want – do they...
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Together Abroad28-11-2016 11:07 AM
If you have obtained your diploma in humanities, but are somewhat disheartened by its value on the current job market, you might eventually arrive to the radical decision of making a horizontal career leap to seek employment in sciences or engineering. While this makes economical sense, you will soon realise that in order to pursue such a career, you must first pursue the education.

When we are talking about a radical career change (like from a language teacher to a software engineer), some short crash course into the field will often not suffice, and you will find yourself browsing bachelor programmes before you know it. However, when you are an expat, things tend to get more complicated (subtext: longer and more expensive), so you better do your research before you make your final decision.

High School All Over Again

In order to enrol at a Dutch research university or a university of applied sciences (hogeschool), you should be a HAVO or VWO graduate.Effectively, this means that you have to produce a recognised equivalent of a high school diploma with a particular set of subjects. This set will differ per study programme you want to pursue in the higher education, but...
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Together Abroad21-11-2016 11:25 AM
The best place would be the website of the company itself, but that makes the search rather complicated. Job boards are a useful medium to simplify a job search. There are, however, countless job boards claiming to have the best vacancies, just for you. Signing up to each single one, is not only a time consuming activity, but will not result in receiving more unique vacancies. You will be swamped in e-mails offering the same jobs and going through them is not only a tedious task, but also a discouraging one.

The most effective way to find suitable vacancies depends on the kind of job you are looking for. Certain industries have their own job boards. For example, meesterbaan.nl focuses on teaching jobs in primary, secondary and higher education;whereas juridischevacaturebank.nl focuses on legal jobs. Most industries have their own job boards; a simple Internet search will give you the most important hits.

Besides the industry specialised job boards, there are more generic job boards like monsterboard.nl, intermediair.nl and nationalevacaturebank.nl. On these boards you can often find information about writing cover letters, drafting CVs etc. Intermediair.nl,for example, also offers a digital magazine, with articles, tips and experiences about job hunting.

To...
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Together Abroad25-10-2016 10:01 PM
So you have made it through school. Now the question is, how to turn that diploma into a paycheck? It is a cold and unforgiving world out there for the crisp graduate. Perhaps even more so if you also happen to be an expat. However, with the right attitude and proactive approach, you can find just the thing you are looking for.

First step would be to analyse yourself. Make sure you know what you are good at, what you enjoy doing, what your weak points are, and – of course – what do you want in your (professional) life. This will give you an indication about the kind of job you should be looking for.

Even though traditional channels like job boards, job sites and Google searches may seem out-dated, there is a reason why people still use them. They are verified means of finding – and getting – a job. So sign up with a recruitment agency, browse job boards regularly, and apply for the positions you want. It is also important that you tailor your application for each and every different position.

In the meantime, make yourself more employable by volunteering or getting a free online qualification....
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Together Abroad24-10-2016 10:17 AM
If you are an expat who has obtained their education abroad, you may know all too well how painfully unimpressed by foreign credentials Dutch employers can be. Your safest bet is to have your foreign diploma recognised by Nuffic and hope for the best. However, if you wish to abandon your expat ways for good and seek employment at a full-blooded Dutch company, you might have to help your luck by getting some sort of qualification here in the Netherlands.

Let us start with the most obvious item – the language. As you have probably found out, there are many different Dutch courses out there, costing you various amounts of time, money and effort. From my own experience, cheaper does not necessarily mean less effective. What it often does mean though, is professionally unrecognised. While many Dutch employers do not care whether you own an official language certificate or not – as long as you can actually communicate in Dutch – other institutions may care very much. If you decide to study at virtually any Dutch school, or apply for permanent residence or Dutch citizenship, you will be required to pass your NT2 exam, which is in its structure, difficulty...
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It has been a long journey since I arrived in The Netherlands, and I want to thank you for being available to receive me, believing in my profile and thank you for all your support, and I express my wish to keep our contact. I followed all your guidelines and recommendations, and I succeeded! Thank you for your best attention, let's keep in touch

Helder Costa

I would like to thank you for your great job to make my CV presentable and truly reflecting my knowledge and experience.
With your highly professional advices and support I felt more confident and eventually I got a job.


Tanya Pelser

Thank you to both yourself and Irina for a great workshop this morning, it was refreshing to hear some really basic ideas for the Dutch employment search which I'm sure will help start everyone off on a new career path! I will definitely be using the services of Together Abroad and one of my first actions is to revise my CV and submit this for a review.

James Stopford