How to write a Dutch CV

European CV/résumés are often written in a similar style but getting it perfect for the market you are applying for is the key. As for the letter of motivation, although many people speak English, it is recommended to write your application in Dutch even if the position does not require it. It should be a typed letter, preferably 1 page and in A4 format. Dutch employers really favour a concise, direct and professional style. For layout, begin your letter stating your reasons for applying. The bulk of the content should state what attracts you about the company and your work experience/qualities. On a final note- it is always good to mention that you would like to be considered for an interview at their convenience. Your letter of motivation is you on paper so sell yourself! Although English is widely accepted as a universal business language, be prepared to draft your CV/résumé and/or letter of motivation in Dutch as well.

For a style guide to writing a great Dutch CV, see below:

Length: 1-2 pages maximum

Format: A4 European standard

Layout: Contact information: name, address, phone, email, fax

  • Personal details: date of birth, gender, marital status, nationality
  • Education: names of schools/colleges/universities/work placements,
    awards and honours (do not mention grades or results)
  • Work experience in reverse chronological order – start with the most recent work experience first: dates, companies, titles, duties
  • Languages: level of fluency (spoken/written)
  • Computer skills: proficiency in software packages, internet etc.
  • Hobbies: (highly valued in the Dutch marketplace so take time in listing relevant activities)

Once complete, scan, scan and scan again for errors as typos will go against you. So if you are now ready to go out into the working world, send your CV either by email as a MS word attachment (widely accepted) and by conventional mail as back up. Good luck!