Expat zone
Posted on: Jul 23, 2016

How to write a correct CV and cover letter


This post is also available in Greek

One of the key mistakes that everyone does, when they decide to leave Greece to seek a job position in Netherlands is the lack of information about the job opportunities here.

In the Netherlands, the job demand is at its peak especially from people who don’t speak Dutch. Therefore, it’s almost certain, if you don’t speak Dutch, that the CV you sent to all the companies and you anxiously waiting for a reply, won’t even get to be read from the HR department.

Most people tend to settle in, look first for a place to stay and open a bank account, before start looking for a job. This is not wise. Start looking for a job immediately. You should be focused and well organized and always be prepared with all the appropriate documents. Have with you multiple copies of your CV and a PDF copy of it as well.

The Dutch are very accurate in what they request on the job descriptions and they will highly appreciate it if you’re honest and straightforward about everything on your CV. Even if you find a job that can provide you a full contract, they will examine everything on your CV several times before you get hired. So, don’t except to get hired at the same day!

How important is a well written cover letter

If you truly want your CV to be read, then you’ll need to have a kickass cover letter. That’s what they will read first when they’ll open your e-mail and depending on how well written is, then they will proceed on your CV.

Just imagine that you want to get hired on a job in one of the most competitive job markets in Europe where thousands of people like you, fight for the same job!

So, think smart and write a paragraph, analyzing all your talents and reasons why you should be get hired. Always keep in mind that the cover letter is written in first person and be extremely cautious with your English as well. If you don’t feel creative, you can always search the Internet for similar cover letters.

How to set a proper CV

Even though you haven’t set a proper CV before, it is not so hard to achieve it. You can always set it on Google doc (you have to create a gmail), an online application, which is similar to Word so you can have access on your CV anytime you want since it is also saved as PDF.

What should a CV include

Your name at the top

Date of birth, Nationality, Address, Phone number, Email, Linkedin profile

Skills, Languages, Social Skills


Year (example: from 12/10/2013 - 12/10/2014)
Degree (example: Univercity of Amsterdam)
What did you study there (example: Computer Science, Developing etc)

Work Experience

Year (example: from 12/10/2013 - 12/10/2014)
Position (example: Receptionist)
What were your duties there (example: Dealing with bookings by phone, email)

Useful tips

There are 3 important things you should already have in order to start looking for a job, a well-written cover letter, a CV printed and electronically and a Linkedin profile. Linkedin is very popular in Netherlands and the majority of the job hunters are keeping in track of the profiles daily. You should always keep it your Linkedin profile updated and always check the daily announcements.

Go Simple. Don’t fill up your CV with unnecessary information just because it will look big and long.

Try avoiding fancy titles like Customer Assurance Specialist. There are few cases where humour will be appreciated.

You can always dig the web and take a look at similar CV’s for job descriptions like yours.

Before you send a CV to a company, make sure you do your research first. Find everything you can about the company.

You can create profiles in all the big websites with job ads like Monsterboard (www.monsterboard.nl). You can also visit recruitment agencies that provide specific jobs such as a cook http://www.werkenineenhotel.nl/en/, www.sterrenzoekensterren.nl.

Alternatively, you can search online about the company you want to work for and send them a CV if there’s a position open.

Good luck!

Mike Klianis

Designer, marketer & a social media karate kid (No 4). When she grows up, she wants to feed the world with Greek food & Frappe. Admires the yellow angry bird because it strikes its targets with power and precision.