Work Placements Step by Step

Interview About Applying for a Placement Abroad

Nannette Ripmeester, director and founder of Expertise in Labour Mobility, publisher of the ‘Looking for work in…’-series – Rotterdam. Website:


Could you describe the organization Expertise in Labour Mobility?

Expertise in Labour Mobility can be described as ‘a consultancy business specializing in research, information and training in the area of mobility on the international labour market.’ Our strength is advising both individuals and organizations about their activities on the international labour market.


We organize workshops, publish a series of career guides, and help organizations establish their foreign mobility policy. This combination between working with large international organizations and helping young people establish their first steps on the international labour market has proven to be a great cross-pollination.


What are the most important tips for applying for a job or placement abroad?

Be aware of cultural differences. You may find it perfectly normal to fold your CV in half and put it in an envelope, but a German employer will consider this messy. In Germany, you never fold a CV, but put it in an application folder (Bewerbungsmappe) together with all other supplementary information and send it in one large envelope to the employer. So no folding, and add the correct postage when applying for a job in Germany. This is just one of many important tips!


Are foreign organizations willing to accept interns from the Netherlands?

I cannot answer that for all situations, but if you have a good reason to go abroad and you can present this to the placement provider in such a way that is advantageous for them, I do think they will be open to accepting interns from the Netherland. Warm weather is not a good reason, however! And of course a placement abroad is great for your CV!

How can you prepare for a placement abroad?

Enquire about the opportunities of the placement, the organization and the country and inform them about the advantages of employing an intern from another country.


What should you do? And what should you definitely not do?

You should know your own strengths and weaknesses, as they constitute your significance for the organization. Be sure not to underestimate the competition from the country where you want to do the placement – that would not be prudent towards the placement provider and an overestimation of your own chances.


The results of the MotivationMonitor for HR-professionals – a survey commissioned by Nobiles Media – shows employers consider a placement abroad of less importance than they used to. HR-professionals value ambition, eagerness to learn and flexibility.


Do you agree with this?

Ambition, eagerness to learn and flexibility are all skills you can demonstrate in a placement abroad. These are indeed qualities employers are looking for, but how do you demonstrate ambition? For example, by highlighting that you got the placement, in spite of the difficulties in getting a placement abroad.


For more information about Expertise in Labour Mobility: