For anyone looking for a job in Flanders, VDAB is almost a must — but sometimes, it’s just hard figuring out where to start. Luckily, Padma looked it all up to give you a head start in the process.
Let’s face it — job searching is not an easy task. The process can be daunting, with a lack of a positive response from the employer, rejection emails, and interviews that lead nowhere. Some job searches are more frustrating than others, especially the ones that you encounter when moving to a new country.
Taking a few days off to settle down after moving to Ghent in April 2022, I started looking for a job on a hot Monday afternoon. Want to know what to do before you even start your process? Read my newbie’s guide to jumpstarting your job search in Flanders.
Having no knowledge about where to start, like any other new job seeker, I started applying for relevant jobs through Linkedin and Indeed. I spent an average of 4–6 hours per week on these sites to search and apply for relevant jobs — but in vain. I never got even a single call back. It was really frustrating and overwhelming. That’s when I came across the 6 ways to optimise your job search as a newcomer in Flanders article by my co-volunteer Zhanna at Co-Searching and came to know about VDAB, the Flemish employment agency that helps job seekers find a job in Flanders.
I quickly started exploring the platform, and it was confusing for me at first. It took a long time to navigate through the website and learn about the various services VDAB offers. In this article, I will help you learn more about VDAB and how you can contact them — information which I wish I could have found when I started my job search in Flanders.
What is VDAB?
VDAB (NL: Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding, EN: Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training) is a Flemish government service that helps jobseekers in Flanders to find a job. VDAB has a shared database of vacancies and portfolios of job seekers. The website is in Dutch, but one can use Google translate and browse through the website easily. Want to know more about VDAB? Click here.
How can VDAB help me?
You are living in Belgium and have the right to work? If yes is the answer, then VDAB can help you in the following three ways:
- To find a job:Are you a job seeker who is looking for a job or a working professional who wants to switch jobs? Browse through the current job openings here and find a relevant job. If you understand Dutch, you can also publish your CV here for employers to access it and contact you. Additionally, if you are looking for:
- Assistance in reviewing or drafting your CV click here
- A coach to help you prepare for your job interview, click here
- Inspiration to draft your CV from scratch, click here
2. Trainings: Looking to learn Dutch or brush up on your skills? VDAB offers many training programs that you can consider. Explore all the training courses offered by VDAB here.
3. Orientation: Not sure what job would be best suited for your skills? Well, visit the orientate page on the VDAB site to guide you and help you with where to start.
How can I register with VDAB?
The easiest and simplest way to get in touch with VDAB is to pick up your phone and call them on 0800 30 700. You can also register yourself online at vdab.be. Please note: you will need your resident permit to register online.
I have registered with VDAB. Now what?
Once you have successfully registered with VDAB, you’ll get a call from them to understand your preferences and chart out the necessary steps to help you find suitable work. A coach would be assigned to you who would not only go over your CV but also try to map your competencies, background, and the right diploma eligible for the job. The idea is not only to provide you with a professional coach free of charge but, depending upon your situation and needs, a personal coach, supporter, information provider, translator, sparring partner, and buddy.
So, now that you know all the steps and the key benefits of registering with VDAB, what are you waiting for? Go and register with VDAB today! Looking for further assistance in writing better cover letters or optimizing your LinkedIn profile? Co-Searching can help you too. Co-Searching regularly organizes free workshops in Dutch and English. You can keep track of the upcoming workshops here.