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Job hunting in Belgium

How to find the right job



National and local newspapers and magazines in Belgium carry job ads; they are often concentrated in the Saturday editions. The Internet is increasingly popular for companies and candidates alike.

In Belgium, around 65 per cent of jobs advertised in newspapers are aimed at Flemish speakers. The major daily newspapers are Le Soir, De Standaard, Het Laatste Nieuws and De Gazet van Antwerpen. There are specialised industry publications that carry employment advertising. Industry publications from the UK, Germany and other countries may carry ads for positions in Belgium and other areas, particularly those requiring specialised skills.

International newspapers and magazines that sometimes carry advertising for executive positions in Belgium include the Financial Times (Wednesday and Thursday for the UK edition, Friday for the international edition), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in the huge Saturday jobs section), the Wall Street Journal (for business managers), the Economist (economic professions, university teaching and administrative positions as well as executive posts in international organisations and many EU postings), the International Herald Tribune, and occasionally even the London Sunday newspapers.

Internet

Most of the newspapers and publications mentioned above are available on the Internet and the appointments advertisements are available for searching or browsing. Some employment agencies and ‘headhunters’ maintain websites where they post positions available or solicit CVs from potential candidates. There’s also a growing range of international recruitment websites you can visit; if you register, you’ll be notified of jobs meeting your requirements. Sites to visit if you’re looking for work in Belgium include:

Many of the international organisations located in Belgium and the agencies of the European Union list current job openings on their websites. These website postings often give much more detailed information about available jobs than advertisements in the press and it may be possible to apply for these jobs using the agency website. Don’t forget also to check the websites of the national employment agencies.

Recruitment Agencies & Employment Offices

Apply to international recruitment agencies acting for Belgian companies or offices recruiting executives and key personnel as well as to recruitment agencies in Belgium. Also contact the government employment services in the country where you wish to work, or use your own government’s EURES-affiliated employment service.

Current Employer

One frequently overlooked source of overseas jobs is your current employer. This will apply mainly if you work for an international company or at least an organisation with one or more offices in Belgium. It’s far easier for your current employer to justify the transfer of someone to the Brussels office who’s already familiar with the company’s policies and procedures than to hire a foreigner in Belgium. This can be particularly useful if you need a work permit. Make sure your personnel department knows of your interest in working overseas, especially if you already speak and read one or more foreign languages. Mention your interest to any Belgium contacts you have within your own company who might be willing to mention your name to fill a local vacancy.

Unsolicited Job Applications

Apply directly to British, American and other international companies with offices or subsidiaries in Belgium. Send written inquiries to Belgian companies and follow up by phone when you’re in the country and available for an interview. If you have friends in the area, it may help to have them introduce you or present your CV to their employer, as personal contacts and references are considered important.


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