When someone is looking for a job in Switzerland, they usually send their resume to as many companies as possible. I recommend that you take your time, especially if you are a foreigner applying for a job in Switzerland for the first time. To be successful in your search, you need information, organization and a certain amount of luck.
Know the country
Searching for information is essential because customs, traditions and laws may be quite different in Switzerland than in your country. Therefore, before you start your search, you should find out about the following:
- What is the situation in your industry in Switzerland?
- What are the customs and laws in the canton where you want to work?
- To which companies you want to send your application
If you know these points, you will know how to proceed and you will be able to write your cover letter in full knowledge of the facts, because it is, together with your CV, one of the most important keys to find a job in Switzerland.
All the information about the job market in Switzerland can be easily found on the Internet if you do an accurate and specific search. Remember that what works to one canton does not necessarily apply to another; the differences can be very large from one canton to another, even for the same type of work. Job offers and salary levels in Geneva differ from those in Zurich, and those in Lausanne differ from those in Lugano.
The importance of the curriculum for finding a job in Switzerland
In order to find a job, it is important to have a good Swiss-focused CV.
The resume is an important tool, but even an excellent resume alone does not guarantee that you will find a job in Switzerland, but a poorly written resume is guaranteed to lead to failure. It therefore goes without saying that both the resume and the cover letter must be impeccably written and adapted to the Swiss market.
Adapting your resume and cover letter to Swiss standards is crucial for recruiters to consider your application.
The Swiss labor market
Before you begin your search, it is essential to know whether or not your job is being sought in Switzerland. This will help you estimate how long it will take to find a job and how much competition there is.
In general, Swiss companies are mainly looking for qualified employees in various technical fields. For example, in IT there is a great demand, but not all profiles are in demand. Another scarce professional group is healthcare personnel. Doctors and nurses have excellent chances of being hired, provided they speak the local language.
There are also some professions that the Swiss generally do not practice, and I am referring mainly to the construction and hospitality industries. Therefore, employers are forced to resort to the foreign labor market.
Looking for a job in Switzerland: the work permit
In order to work in Switzerland, foreigners need a Swiss work permit (permit B, C, G, L). This work permit is issued by the cantonal authorities and entitles you to engage in gainful employment. There are two ways to obtain this permit:
Citizens of the European Union can obtain a work permit if they can present a signed employment contract or a work commitment.
For non-EU citizens, it is much more difficult to obtain a work permit, because when looking for personnel, companies first turn to the Swiss labor market, then to European countries and finally to non-EU countries. It is therefore obvious that a non-EU citizen must have considerable skills and abilities that cannot be found at the national or European level in order to get a job in Switzerland.
Job search in Switzerland – how to find a job
There are two ways to find work in Switzerland:
- research on the Internet, visiting all the websites with job offers
- through your network of acquaintances and contacts, which is probably the most efficient way, but at the same time the most difficult if you are a foreigner and do not live in Switzerland. The only option is the social networks, LinkedIn, primarily
Lookink for a job in Switzerland – Tips
Finally, I would like to give you some tips that might be useful to you in your job search:
- Always maintain a modest and humble attitude. People who tend to put on airs are not particularly appreciated; what counts here is the ability to work in a team and the strength of the group.
- Always be honest and clear in what you say and write. Be careful not to lie on your resume about previous jobs, positions, language skills, etc., unless you want to walk away from your dream of working in Switzerland
- Be realistic. The job search in Switzerland usually takes many months (between 6 months and a year). If you do not get clear results after dozens of applications, it may be due to several factors, e.g. a CV and a cover letter that do not meet the requirements, a highly competitive job market in your industry, etc.