How to create the perfect CV: 10 amazing tips

Perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect CV, but companies and recruitment agencies alike have certain expectations when receiving a CV. As recruiters, we’ve seen thousands of CV’s throughout our experience. From rather plain layouts and two-liners to board games and flower power themes; when we think we’ve seen them all there’s always a new one that catches our eye, whether it’s good or bad.

perfect CV
Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels

1. Do a lot of Research

Research is key to being able to create a perfect CV for an opportunity. Indeed, rules are different from one country to another so it is incredibly important to always check if your CV corresponds to what is expected. For example, in France, a CV should never be more than one page and in the UK you must never add a photo or you will never be considered. Always make sure that your CV meets the guidelines of the country you wish to work in.

Research does not stop at the country’s culture but also concerns industries. Recruiters do not expect the same type of CV coming from a Finance major or a marketing one. Finance CVs tend to be very strict, black and white only and extremely simple whereas a marketing CV has to showcase the applicant’s creativity, their capacity to match colours or think of nice designs.

The last thing you could research before starting the creation of your CV is the CVs of employees who have been hired by the company you want to apply to. Sometimes, employees, have them posted on their LinkedIn profiles. Doing so will help you see what kind of candidate they are looking for and the presentation they expect. Try to reproduce how they present their job experience for example so you can have a perfect CV for their company specifically.

2. Make sure you share all the right information

Ensure that you have all the necessary information written down on your CV. You want to make sure that you facilitate the work of the recruiter to ensure that your profile goes to the next step. Avoid as much as possible forgetting important details that require the recruiter to contact you. Your CV is your only way to “prove yourself” at the beginning of the process make sure it is pristine. Make sure you hand in the perfect CV right away. The way you present your CV, write it and fill it showcases your personality, your sense of organization and your way of thinking.

The information to not forget is the following:

  • The town you live in, it does not have to be the exact address
  • Education
  • Language proficiency following the CEFR Framework
  • Work Permit and its validity duration
  • Ways to contact you
  • Description of the task you had

Information you should never add:

  • BSN
  • Bank account
  • ID Card number
  • Passport number

3. Use the right categories

The idea is for the recruiter to be able to see everything you are and have done in seconds. To have a perfect CV, we would advise you to divide it into two columns. The first one should be organized in the following way :

  1. A short motivational paragraph
  2. Education
  3. Language proficiency
  4. Interests

In the second column, you should have:

  1. Professional experience
  2. Skills

4. Use a template to simplify the creation of your CV

If you are having trouble creating a CV by yourself, you can use CV templates to ensure having a perfect CV. Many websites offer templates for free the most well-known are the following: canva, novoresume, goodCV, …

Just be careful as often templates come with bar graphs, star rating systems, etc for skills and language proficiency. We highly suggest you avoid them as they aren’t appreciated by recruiters.

Your language skills should only be represented by the official European language proficiency system, the CEFR Framework.

As for your competencies, you should only write them if you master them 100% so it doesn’t make sense to present them through ratings or Graphs. You take the risk of getting asked rather uncomfortable questions such as “Why are your communication skills at 60%? What are the missing 40% ?”

5. Do not forget to mention your languages

If you are applying through Abroad Experience International recruitment agency, it means that you have special language skills. It is very important to mention them along with your level of proficiency in every one of them. Indeed, our clients choose us especially to find skilled multilingual job seekers, it is therefore important that your idioms are noticeable in one glance.

6. Use the right job experience presentation

When it comes to presenting your job experiences they are rules that must be followed and are true internationally. They are mandatory if you wish to have a perfect CV.

Your work experiences should always be presented from the most recent to the oldest (anti-chronologically). It is important that the recruiter is able to see as quickly as possible if your last experience corresponds to the job you occupied.

You cannot only write your job title and the company, you have to precise your main missions through bullet points. Job titles are not always linked to specific missions so it is important to give an overview of what you actually did. For example, Project Manager can have a thousand meanings so it is important to be precise about the mission you actually had. Not describing your missions may result in your CV being rejected.

Another important piece of information to share is the dates and duration of each of your job so your recruiter may see your loyalty to brands as well as how experienced you actually are.

7. Personalize your CV to the company you are applying for

We do realize that it is not always realistic to do so when you are searching for a job. You usually are applying to a lot of different jobs but if one happens to particularly catch your eye do not hesitate to go the extra mile. Designing a perfect CV for them will definitely increase your chance of being selected.

It can be as simple as changing your CV colours to match the brand’s to a creative wink to their products. For example, implementing little lego icons if you apply for the Lego company.

8. Use the job Keywords available on LinkedIn

A great tip we can give you to design your perfect CV, is to check the skills wanted by companies on LinkedIn, they are quite easy to find. If you see skills that you do have, do not hesitate to add them to your CV so it corresponds to what they are looking for.

Step 1: go on a job offer you are interested in

Step 2: Click on “skills

Perfect CV

Step 3: A list of skills will appear

perfect CV

Step 4: Add all the skills you have to your profile thanks to the add buttons.

9. Write a good motivational paragraph

Usually named profile and objectives, it is used to give the recruiter a quick overview of what you are looking for and your background.

Do not write a long text it should be 3 to 4 sentences max. Use it to share your latest accomplishment, the opportunity you wish for and your main qualities.

EX: “Having obtained my diploma in Banking Finance Engineering at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, I am looking for a job in equity. With a background in Banking, I am precise, efficient and organized.”

10. Perfect CV tips specific to the Netherlands

Finally, if you are looking for rules specific to the Netherlands they aren’t any in terms of format, picture or categories. But make sure it matches the Dutch culture. Your CV should be:

  • Direct: As you may have noticed by now Dutch people do not beat around the bush, they want the information exactly as they are. You do not need to sugarcoat any of them. Just be honest and truthful.
  • Simple: You do not need to create an intricate CV presentation. Just make sure that it looks organized, readable and that categories are easily identifiable.
  • No exaggerating: Having a perfect CV does not mean that you have to be Hercules. It is incredibly important that you do not lie on your CV. When you will be interviewed, anything you have written is something you can be asked about. Everything you write should be linked to an example of something you have actually done. For example here, the title of manager goes to a person who led a team so avoid that title if you did not, write that you were a coordinator instead.

Abroad Experience International Recruitment wishes you the best of luck to create your perfect CV, do not hesitate to send it to us!

Do not forget to follow us on social media to be updated on new blogs, free guides and job openings: InstagramLinkedIn, and Facebook!

Perfect CV

Recruitment agency: The 7 great benefits

Abroad Experience International Recruitment is a recruitment agency. When you are looking for a job, the number of information you have to go through can be extremely overwhelming so sometimes it is nice to receive a little help, which is exactly why we are here! We aim to support you throughout your job search journey!

recruitment agency

What is a recruitment agency?

Using a Recruitment Agency has become a popular form of finding a job or an employee over the last few years but what does a recruitment Agency do exactly?

A recruitment agency is a company dedicated to the recruitment of candidates for other companies. They are in charge of finding perfect profiles for brands who prefer to outsource their recruitment as well as helping job seekers find their future job. They are an essential link between the client and the candidate.

Before sending a candidate to a company, the recruitment agency first checks their CV to verify if it matches the role they are trying to fill. If the profile does meet the requirements necessary for the job then the recruiter will invite the candidate for an Intake interview. During this interview, the recruiter will try to understand better the personality, motivation and professionalism of the candidate. If the profile checks all the company boxes, the recruiter will ask the candidate if they accept that they send their application to their client.

The recruitment agency’s role does not end there, they will then ensure both parties’ communication until the contract is signed or the candidate is rejected. Recruitment agencies have a real support role.

What is Abroad experience expertise?

Abroad experience recruitment agency is specialised in the recruitment of multilingual job seekers for companies that have their headquarters or some offices in the Netherlands. We usually look for people speaking European languages: French, German, Spanish, Dutch… Note that most of the time Dutch is not required in our job offers.

We support you completely from the application process until the contract signature. Once we receive your application, we will check if we have a vacancy that matches your ambition. The moment we find a position that corresponds to what you are looking for, we will contact you to arrange an interview. If we believe that you are perfect for the role then we will ask you if you agree with us sharing your profile. We will also help with your CV if necessary. For example, if we think that some information is missing, or if it needs a presentation change we will let you know to ensure that your application fits the best what the company is expecting.

After sending your CV we will be waiting for feedback from the company. If the company is interested in your profile and extends an interview invitation we will invite you for a preparation call. This a call during which we prepare you for the company and their recruitment process in general. We make sure that you know all the necessary information about them and that you have all the elements necessary to answer their questions.

Finally, we will keep you updated throughout the whole process, discuss with our client on your behalf and tell you as soon as we know that got an offer!

recruitment agency

Advantages of using a recruitment agency

  1. Having free help from experts in the recruitment industry.
  2. Receive advice from a recruiter that knows perfectly the company you are applying to
  3. Receive tips concerning your CV
  4. Receiving support while applying for jobs
  5. Increase your chances of having a role rapidly
  6. Avoid worrying about negotiations
  7. Find a company that matches your personality

Abroad Experience International Recruitment wishes you the best of luck with your job search!

Do not forget to follow us on social media to be updated on new blogs, free guides and job openings: InstagramLinkedIn, and Facebook!

Recruitment agency

What is an intake interview? How to easily succeed in this 1st step in the recruitment process?

an intake interview
Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA production

Are you looking for a job and wish to learn more about recruitment processes within recruitment agencies? You have come to the right place! Let’s start at the beginning and focus on the intake interview: the expectations, the format, and the goals.

Intake interview: Definition

An intake interview is quite short, the goal for the recruiter is to quickly grasp what your motivations are for the role, get a better understanding of your experiences and finally know more about your personality. Usually, it lasts between 15 and 30 minutes during which you get a presentation of the brand, a more thorough job description and get asked general questions.

The format

The intake interview is the next step after you applied for a new role. It commonly represents your first interaction with your recruiter, who will have previously emailed you to plan this interview. The usual structure of an intake interview is the following :

  • Presentation of the interviewer
  • Presentation of the brand
  • Presentation of yourself
  • Presentation of the job
  • Questions about you, your experiences and the vacancy.

At the end of the intake interview, the recruiter knows whether or not you fit the role as well as if you will thrive within the company culture.

The expectations

It is important that you keep in mind that the recruiter will be evaluating you on different criteria during this interview: communication skills, behaviour, personality, and capacity to present your experience in accordance with the opportunity… As you may have guessed by now, even if it is short it is not an interview to go unprepared for, they are questions that you can and should have an answer ready for.

  • Can you present yourself? If there is one question you should have a prepared speech for, it is this one. It will be asked throughout the whole interview process. Unfortunately, candidates tend to lose themselves in the question and go back and forth when remembering details they forgot to mention. In order to avoid that, the most efficient way to answer is the funnel method. The funnel method consists in starting with general information about yourself and ending your answer with specific information. The perfect way to answer would be to first quickly present the values and qualities that define you best, your educational background and less significant experiences that are still worth mentioning and to end with the most interesting work experience. By interesting, we mean the one that is closest to the job you applied to or gave you the most important skills for the new role. This last part shows the recruiter that you did your research, know how to present yourself efficiently as well as started to picture yourself occupying the role.
  • What kind of job you are interested in? Here the recruiter is trying to see two things: if you understood the job description and if you match other roles they have available.
  • What is your understanding of the job description? There, it is important for you to be able to provide your own explanation of the job description and not just read back to the recruiter the job offer you found online. This is an opportunity as well for you to align the position’s mission you are applying for with experiences you’ve had previously.
  • What is your ideal work situation? What kind of companies do you see yourself in? Here the recruiter wants to see what kind of work environment you are hoping for, how you view your colleagues as well as how you act as one.
  • Why do you think you are a good fit? This is an alternative question to the one mentioned before. Here the recruiter expects you to demonstrate your knowledge of the position as well as your ability to match your skills to the position’s requirements. Do not forget to justify everything you state to the recruiter. For example, don’t just say “I am extremely creative”, but “I am extremely creative as you can see with my job experience in 2020 where I got the opportunity to rebrand my brand’s social media completely and rose up to the challenge”.
  • Why are you looking for a job? Why did you leave? Here the recruiter is trying to figure out how it went with your previous company. Did you get fired? What was missing from your previous job? Make sure that the answer you give is not negative towards your previous employer. Indeed, it gives the recruiter an idea of how you would speak about their brand if you happen to leave at some point. Answer honestly and stay neutral.
  • What kind of person are you? How would your friends describe you? This question allows the recruiter to perceive whether or not you fit into the company’s environment as well as the team you would be working with. It is important to be yourself as it is important that you end up in a company in which you feel comfortable.
  • Why the Netherlands? When do you plan on moving? If you are an expat that hasn’t moved to the Netherlands yet (housing guide) make sure you have a precise answer to that question. Indeed, the recruiter won’t present you to their clients if they feel that your plan to move here is not serious. To answer correctly to this question make sure to mention, the date you plan on moving, where you think about living, if you already have been to the Netherlands, and if you know someone already living here…
  • What languages do you speak? As we are a recruitment agency specialised in the recruitment of multilingual job seekers, it is important for us that you are able to share your language proficiency with the CEFR levels so we can show an accurate representation of your skills to our client.
  • What is your salary expectation? It is important for you to prepare that question and justify the salary you aim for. Make sure to study the market, look up the salary given to similar positions.

Last advice

the intake interview may seem quite daunting after seeing all the different questions you need to be able to prepare but do not worry it is quite simple. Once you have your answer prepared you can succeed in any intake interviews that may come your way.

  • Be yourself: an intake interview is not only for us but for you to evaluate whether are not the position and company are made for you.
  • Be honest: never say something you do not actually think in order to “fit in” there is no point as you wouldn’t be happy if you end up in a company that does not match your personality.
  • Always justify your answers: give examples of situations you encountered during your previous work experiences.
  • Always prepare questions: it is an easy way to demonstrate your motivation and preparation. It is also a great way for you to know more about the job and your future company.

Abroad Experience International Recruitment wishes you the best of luck for your next intake interview!

Do not forget to follow us on social media to be updated on new blogs, free guides and job openings: InstagramLinkedIn, and Facebook!

The 9 best practices to find housing in the Netherlands

The best practices to find housing in the Netherlands in 2023
Canals in Amsterdam, picture by Adrien Olichon

As you may have noticed by now finding housing in the Netherlands is a little tricky. Indeed, they are more people looking for accommodations than available rentals. This is why we want to share with you the best tips to get your future home in the Netherlands.

Where to look for accommodations?

The best way to find housing in the Netherlands is to go through the most recognized rental websites: Funda and Pararius. On these platforms, real estate agencies have to pay to be able to advertise to home seekers. This system is made to discourage fake advertisements and ensure a qualitative selection of apartments. The agencies that have the highest rate of response on these two platforms are the following: Ben Housing, Interhouse, Perfectrent

Best Practices when searching for housing in the Netherlands :

  • Be an early bird: New listings are usually posted around 7:30 am, make sure to prepare an alarm to be the first to react to the new apartments.
  • Prepare a personalized message: When you find a listing you like, click on “Plan a viewing”. Then you will see a box that allows you to write a message. It is important to maximize your chances that you use that box to present yourself as well as your situation.
  • Call agencies: Do not hesitate to call agencies, it might allow you to squeeze into a visit you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
  • Don’t be too picky: Do not close any doors by only focusing on furnished apartments, the market for housing in the Netherlands is already hard enough as it is.
  • Be reactive: If you are selected for a visit reply as soon as you get an answer from the agent.
  • Ask for updates: Agencies are extremely busy and might forget about you so if you are waiting for an answer do not hesitate to contact them by mail or by phone.
  • Prepare questions: Make sure that you study well the advertisement and write down every question that may come to your mind before the visit. Agents are usually hard to reach as they spend their days showing houses, the visit will be the only moment you will get their full attention.
  • Prepare your documents: Have all your documents prepared in a housing in the Netherlands file in a pdf format as some agencies ask to see them before allowing you to visit the apartment.
  • Pay attention to the renting condition: There are three types of rentals that you will encounter: Furnished, Carpet and curtains and Uncarpeted. Pay attention to these criteria because uncarpeted means an apartment without flooring and painted walls. It is due to the fact that Dutch people usually rent for a long time period and like to be able to decorate everything by themselves. Yes, they leave with their floor when they move out.

Red Flags to avoid when looking for housing in the Netherlands :

  • You should not have any additional fees to pay before renting.
  • They are no fees to subscribe to the town hall.
  • Do not accept signing a rent contract without visiting at least online.
  • Check the online presence of your agency
  • Never trust an agent directly transferring you to someone else before even visiting especially if it is supposedly a landlord.
  • Ask if you can register with the council at the rental address, if not it is a scam.

For more detailed information download our free Housing in the Netherlands guide as it will give you all the information that is absolutely necessary to find your future home. Such as all the documents you need to prepare, what to write to your agent, the questions to ask agents during visits…

Abroad Experience International Recruitment wishes you the best of luck in your home search!

Do not forget to follow us on social media to be updated on new blogs, guides and job openings: Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook!

housing in the Netherlands