Five insider tips to find a job in Switzerland
For foreigners, job seeking in Switzerland can seem overwhelming – but according to experts the best place to start is with a positive mindset and a hunger for local knowledge.
The Local spoke to Geneva-based expert Emilie Since from TieTalent about the best approach to job hunting as a newcomer to the Swiss job market.
Here, Since offers readers her top tips and a list of useful resources about where to begin when job hunting in Switzerland.
1. Be sure to know everything about work permits
According to Since, the first thing that you need to do before embarking on a job search is to learn more about work permits and their limitations.
“You need to search for information about the conditions to obtain a Swiss work permit. If you have citizenship from a country in the European Union or the European Free trade Association, the road will be easier. Be aware that there is a quota policy for other nationalities imposed by the government,” says Since.
You can find out more information about work permits in The Local's essential guide to Swiss work permits.
2. Update your CV and apply for jobs
Once your CV is up to scratch, Since advises learning more about the local industry you wish to apply for and then searching online for jobs.
Read also: How to write the perfect Swiss CV
There are several job boards in Switzerland where you can find thousands of jobs on offers.
The Local's jobs board can be found here. Several other sites are available and are listed at the end of this article.
“Another option would be to send your CV to recruiters, there are plenty in Switzerland – generalist or specialist. And make sure that your LinkedIn profile is updated and contains all the keywords linked to the position that you are looking for,” says Since.
3. Be positive and network, network, network!
Research suggests that when people feel happy, they tend to feel confident, optimistic and energetic and others find them likeable and sociable – all great traits to have when trying to secure a job.
Since says networking is essential when you are looking for a job, especially in Switzerland, which is a small country.
“Prepare a list of all the events that happen in your field. You can have a look on Meetup, where the events can be found by using filters. You can also go to events organised by Glocals, a strong network created for expats in Switzerland.
“Don’t hesitate to spread the word to your own network in Switzerland that you’re looking for a new opportunity,” says Since.
4. Got an interview? Here are some important tips.
If you are secure a job interview in Switzerland it is important to be on time.
“As you might know, punctuality is very important in Switzerland. If you are two minutes late, you will already be disregarded so be sure to arrive earlier,” says Since.
“Apply the rule 15:5 (Be 15 minutes earlier to the interview so you can wait around the building, and five minutes before the interview you can enter and wait at the reception.).”
Since recommends asking about the dress code if you’re in doubt.
“Three values that are often described as being valued in Swiss working culture are precision, perfectionism, and humility. Keep those in mind during your interview,” she says.
And Since’s top tip? Send an email after your interview to thank the human resources manager and reaffirm your enthusiasm for the position.
5. Learn German, French or Italian
Language learning is often seen as the most difficult skill to attain for foreigners living in Switzerland, but it is important for job seekers to at least show a strong desire to learn an official language and take action to do so.
“It will be easier if you know one of Switzerland’s official language German, French and Italian depending on the region where you would like to work. In the case where you are looking for a job in an international company, proficiency in English is often sufficient,” says Since.
The other main generic Swiss job boards are:
There are plenty of specialist platforms as well:
http://tietalent.com is a Tech Jobs Marketplace for IT and Digital Marketing jobs
http://www.lawjobs.ch is a recruitment website for law professionals
https://www.experteer.ch is for highly-qualified professionals