Some useful links
Togetherabroad: Job board for internationals
HigherEd: internships, trainee positions, and graduate positions.
JobTeaser: Career platform including jobs and internships, recruitment events, company videos and career advice
Improving your networking skills
By Dr. Stephanie K. Jones, Phd
Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior
You’ve finally gained your hard-earned degree and have decided to stay on in the Netherlands for a year under the “Highly-Skilled Knowledge Migrants” scheme and look for a job. Or, you’ve decided to go back home to work. Or, you don’t mind where you go as long as the job is interesting, challenging and fairly well-paid. You’ve tried applying for jobs in the conventional way – responding to advertisements in newspapers and on company websites, and through recruitment agencies. So far, nothing very exciting is happening. What to do next?
During my career I’ve changed jobs many times. Even though I applied for jobs through advertisements and sometimes got interviews, this was never how I actually landed a job. I joined MSM through attending a conference in Dubai. I approached an exhibition stand promoting Kuwait Maastricht Business School, and met senior people from this school and from MSM.
Here are networking tips #1and #2: go to conferences and exhibitions and approach people, and be open to the idea of joining an organization “through the back door”. You might have to work for a supplier or branch organization for a few years, but then you can gain the chance to work for the employer of your choice.
I remember gaining another job by finding out the name of a senior manager and making a direct approach through the girlfriend of a friend (tip #3). It’s always better to have a warm, personal contact than a cold one. Cold approaches can work, though – but it depends on timing (tip #4). If your CV hits the spot at the right time, you can get lucky – but this depends on researching the needs of the organization and tailoring your CV accordingly. What is happening politically, economically and socially which might make this organization want you?
Otherwise you simply have to know lots of useful people. Tip #5 – belong to a professional group. This could be your local Rotary and/or other charitable networking groups for business people. Or you could a join a Chamber of Commerce. If you are in the Netherlands but you don’t speak Dutch? There are American and international groups. Offer to give a talk. Don’t know about anything? You do! How about your MBA thesis topic? Or how about presenting an introduction to doing business in your country? Many of these organizations are short of speakers. And you should be able to do a good job and make an interesting talk, after all those cases and presentations on the MBA program!
No good at public speaking? Then you could write an article (tip #6). Put your phone number and email address at the bottom. Find a newspaper or magazine and flick through the first few pages to locate the “masthead” – the listing of editorial staff. Phone them up and say what you would like to write about. Or send in a Letter to the Editor. It works just as well for on-line publications. You can send your article to contacts to remind them about you, and readers will follow up, often in unexpected ways.
Tip #7 – find out the name of a top manager, get a recommendation and set up a short meeting – 15-20 minutes. Nearly everyone can spare this much time. And don’t be groveling and begging for a job – just simply ask for advice. Say what you have done so far and that you’re open-minded about your next career move. He (or she) is a successful executive – what would this person do in your situation? Invite this admired executive to share with you the details of his or her most important career moves. You can learn interesting insights and most senior people LOVE telling younger, aspiring people how they made it to the top. In the process they may well think that you are a person of ambition, taste and judgment and invite you to join their organization!
Tips to improve your Curriculum Vitae
The Curriculum Vitae is the tool to communicate your professional career, your strengths and achievements, and to boost your opportunities in the labor market. To present a clear Curriculum Vitae or Resume is essential to give a good impression on the employer, and it is useful when you want to have a record of your own experience and to think about your next step in your professional live.
The CV must provide a systematic and neatly arranged information about you, your achievements and the type of professional and person you are. Here, there are some tips that can be useful in the redaction and improvement of your CV:
- The information must be clear. It is important to register the years and specific data clearly.
- It is always better to give a personal email address, so you know it will be in use for long time.
- Additional data like religion, civil status, number of children, name and data from family members is not relevant. Only if you consider that it is important for a specific job you want to apply to, it is possible to give that information also.
- It is not necessary to put your picture.
- The information about education and work experience must be registered in chronological order, starting from the most recent experience to the last one.
- Long and exhaustive CVs are not appreciated (more than 4 pages).
- Therefore it may be not possible to register all the courses and trainings, and also all the jobs you already had. It is necessary then to choose the most relevant experiences in your career and to present these in a good way. This information may vary depending on the reader you are intending to reach, and according to issues you think could be more relevant in each case.
- It is important to be clear and brief in your descriptions, especially regarding your main activities and responsibilities at work. That can be done using bullets and short but direct sentences expressing actions, for example: Organizing, Coordinating, Evaluating…
- You don’t have to be modest. It is important to express your achievements and that you are a good professional, but it is also not convenient to “brag”.
- The social and organizational skills and competences are important, because they can give additional information that might not be visible in your experience record. Social skills can be for example: mediating skills, intercultural communicator, and ability to improvise. Some examples of organizational skills can be: ability to work independently, and also in teams, experience in organizing trainings and seminars. The social and organizational skills can also be written giving information about the activity you performed that gave you the opportunity to learn that skill.
The Curriculum Vitae is the most important document in your search for a new job, or simply in the opportunity for a good employer to find you,