An excellent quality of life, a low unemployment rate and high salaries are the main reasons that attract many people to look for work in Switzerland. But in order to have chances when looking for a job, you need to write a resume that meets the standards that apply in Switzerland. In this article I will explain how to write a resume for Switzerland.
The Swiss curriculum is very similar to the French one, but it focuses even more on the applicant’s skills and abilities and is much less descriptive than the German one. The Swiss resume must be concise and straight to the point. When describing your goals, avoid the first person singular. The golden rule in Switzerland is to remain modest, and excessive use of the pronoun IO can be perceived as a synonym for egocentricity and arrogance.
Regardless of the canton in which you wish to apply, (Italian, German or French), do not forget to include a cover letter and any letters of reference with your resume.
It is important that you always write your curriculum in the language of the Swiss company to which you are applying, (French, Italian or German) and that you write it according to the outline model that is most widely used because it makes it easier for the recruiter to browse through the resume.
As far as length is concerned, it is recommended to keep to a maximum of two pages; more is not advisable unless you are an internationally recognized professional and the experience mentioned is relevant to the position sought.
All your personal details, including your work permit in Switzerland, your driver’s license and possibly your photo, should be at the beginning. It is customary to write a title in the resume and include your most important skills right under the title. Anything related to languages, computer skills, and hobbies should be entered last. Also note that the resume does not need to be signed in Switzerland.
Although photography is not mandatory in Switzerland, it is strongly recommended to attach it. This is because it gives your application a face and makes it easier for the recruiter to remember you.
Your first and last name must, of course, appear on your resume. In Switzerland, it is mandatory to indicate your nationality. However, stating your family situation and age is not mandatory. Do not forget to include your phone number and email address.
If you have a place of residence in Switzerland, write it down. This gives more credibility to your application, and it would also be advisable to indicate that you are willing to relocate if the job requires it.
Regardless of whether you are Italian, Spanish or Mexican, you will need a work permit to work in Switzerland. You must include it in your personal data, if you have it, you must indicate what type of permit you have. Remember that citizens of the European Union have the right to stay in Switzerland for three months for tourist purposes or to look for work. Non-EU citizens, on the other hand, are subject to much more restrictive measures.
For Swiss recruiters, the applicant’s expertize are the most important thing. This information should be given directly under the title. Highlight your expertize according to your professional profile. Please do not confuse your expertize with the tasks you have performed during your professional life, nor with your educational qualifications. Expertize are the skills you possess.
Work experience, on the other hand, is the work you have done. List them in descending chronological order (starting with the most recent job) and mention each job:
- the job filled
- the kind of work done
- the employer
- the size of the company
- the industry of the company
- the duration of the work
Switzerland is known as the land of diligence, where nothing is left to chance and holes in your resume without explanation are not tolerated. Do not leave any doubts in your resume and do not play with dates. If you have been unemployed for a few months, write that down instead of leaving an unexplained gap that will make employers feel insecure. If you took a year off, briefly explain what you did during that time and how that experience helped you in your career. Whatever the reason for those periods of unemployment, learn to present them in a positive light.
In many countries around the world, educational qualifications play a fundamental role, but in Switzerland, employers are much less interested in your diplomas and much more interested in your skills. Explain clearly what your education consists of if it was not obtained in Switzerland, because sometimes a recruiter does not know what it is. To check the equivalence of your diplomas, you can contact SERI.
Your interests and hobbies, even if it is not mandatory to mention them, can arouse the interest of those who read your resume, especially if you also practice them, but do not overdo it. In Switzerland, what counts most are your professional skills and work experience.
If you want more information about working in Switzerland, I recommend the article: How to work in Switzerland