How to Find a Job During a Pandemic

Real-life tips and tricks to help job seekers in The Netherlands

During this uncertain period, many of us are finding ourselves hunting far and wide to find a job. It’s a sad situation for many of us but it doesn’t have to be a helpless one. There is and always will be hope. But for right now, I want to offer some of my personal experience with job hunting during a pandemic and hand you some tips and tricks I have learnt along the way. Find Job Pandemic

First a word about me; my name is Minh. I am a proud Vietnamese. I studied in the Netherlands for my Bachelors and Masters degree. After my studies, I landed a role as a Management Trainee and then as Product Manager at VodafoneZiggo, so I know a thing or two about job hunting, particularly as a foreigner in the Netherlands. 

Attend Virtual Career Days

If you have a shiny CV with some experience under your belt, by all means, apply via LinkedIn with the easy apply button or drop your CV off in the company career page. But if you are a recent university graduate or you don’t have the specific experience a recruitment manager is looking for, don’t waste your time applying through the company website. I recommend attending online career events. 

Below are some career events to sign up for:

· https://www.traineeshipplaza.nl/
· https://inhousedagen.nl/inhousedag
· https://magnet.me/en-GB/discover/results?query=In-house%20day%20
· https://www.meetup.com/
· https://www.eventbrite.com/d/netherlands–amsterdam/job-fair/

Ask for Referrals

If you know which company you would like to work for, find a couple of employees with something in common with you on LinkedIn. Contact them and ask for advice or referrals.

During my study, I wanted to work for Google, Philips and Dell. So, I searched for employees there who are alumni of my university and reached out to them on LinkedIn. Not everyone I reached out to replied, of course. However, I got one person from each company to reply to me.

This is the message I sent them. It was something like this:

Hi [name]. I saw you are an alumni from [school]. I would love to chat with you about your experience at [company] and ask for some advice on how to get in, as I am interested in a position there. Can you please add me? Thank you

Once they replied, I would do a pitch about myself and the position I am interested in. Then I started asking them questions such as:

  • What is your role?
  • How do you like your role? Company? Company culture?
  • Do you have any advice for me?

If they would be available for Skype, I would Skype them instead of just chatting. I did this with Google and the person was super nice about it. I didn’t get an interview via her but later on via a friend but the chat with her helped me prepare a lot.

Start Doing Pro-Bono Work

I got a job as a trainee because I did a usability test of the Vodafone App for free and sent it to an in-house recruiter. I once got a recruiter at Microsoft to call me because I did the same for their operating system (I didn’t get an official interview because I don’t speak Dutch). But I landed a job as Product Manager at VodafoneZiggo because I wrote a blog, which got the attention of a director there back in the day. Last but not least, I wrote a pro-bono product strategy, technical and operational implementation plan and they were so spot-on, I landed the role of Global Product Manager during the pandemic.

My point being, people don’t know what you can do unless you show them. If they don’t read what you wrote, that company is probably not a great fit for you anyway and for yourself, if you are not willing to go above and beyond, then maybe you are not serious enough about the job in the first place.

Reach Out to Recruiters

Honestly, I never had any luck with external recruiters, but it worked wonder for some of my friends. Maybe external recruiters can help you too. Below are some websites a friend shared with me:

Find Job Pandemic
Find Job Pandemic

Bonus

Here is a list I put together of companies in the Netherlands that don’t require you to speak Dutch. If you decide to apply via their website, write a cover letter.

Find Job Pandemic

Final Thoughts

Finding a job is difficult and gosh, it can feel downright impossible during the pandemic. I know. This is the second time I’m doing this during the pandemic. I’m either crazy or borderline stupid, I don’t know which; but it is what is it. I accept it and move on.

If you have had bad luck for almost a year now. I’m sorry. I would say, allow yourself some time to grieve. Sit on the couch, eat ice-cream, binge on Netflix for a week or two. You deserve a reset. Once you are done, reset your mind to a positive mindset, try mindfulness or workout and in parallel work hard on applying again. Try out my tips, and I hope you will find something during these crazy times. Good Luck.

Connect with our guest writer: 

Minh’s Medium: https://bit.ly/2GGvScz

Minh’s LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/34S2WpI

Find Job Pandemic, Find Job Pandemic, Find job pandemic

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