There is a large English expat community and to a great extent the demand is met by people from this already present population. Often these are English speaking partners of Dutch nationals. There is also a network of qualified and experienced local teachers with an excellent command of English. For this reason, little recruitment is done outside the country. Learning from a native speaker is still quite highly prized but you will also need good academic credentials. Most native speakers work as freelance teachers in private language schools, then supplementing their income with private lessons. A background in business or commerce is also a great benefit as it is business English that is in greatest demand.
Dutch employers will normally want to see you before offering you a job. This obviously favours the teacher who is prepared to travel and apply for jobs in person. If arriving on spec, try the gouden gids (meaning ‘golden pages’) but more often referred to as the gele gids (yellow pages) where language schools are listed under Taleninstituut. The British Council office (see Useful Contacts) may also hold a list of English language schools. Speculative applications are the norm here so a professional CV and covering letter to schools or institutes will have more chance of success.
Initially, for the reasons stated above, it is likely that you will have to survive on part time hours from a variety of schools. It is rare to be offered a full time contract and most teachers survive on long term freelance work with more than 1 school. If applying to teach business English, be aware that employers generally favour commercial experience over academic credentials alone. At interview, ‘dress for business’ and ensure your CV highlights any contact, however minimal, with the commercial world. You might find the guide to writing your CV on our site quite helpful here.
European Union residents just need their EU papers to enter. British and Irish nationals are able to work in Holland without too much difficulty. The Netherlands is also one of the easier EU countries for travellers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to enter and possibly find teaching work. You should apply for a tax number (sofi nummer) from the tax service (Belastingdienst). EU citizens seeking a sofi-nummer should only be required to show a passport, residence permit identification card (or proof of registration with the foreign police) and proof of registration with the population registrar in your local municipality.
Other nationalities from outside the EU will find the whole process more difficult and bureaucratic. However a degree and TESOL Certificate should enhance your job prospects.
Our course recommendations for finding work in the Netherlands are:
We suggest one of these courses for this country: