For members


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.

People sit at a table during a job interview
Looking for work in Switzerland? Here's what you need to know. Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

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.

Do your research when looking for work

It is important to do your research when looking for work. Photo by Van Tay Media on Unsplash

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. 

Read also: Top tips for learning Swiss German from those who have

The other main generic Swiss job boards are:

There are plenty of specialist platforms as well: is a Tech Jobs Marketplace for IT and Digital Marketing jobs is a recruitment website for law professionals is for highly-qualified professionals

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For members


How to save money by changing your Swiss health policy

Switzerland’s compulsory health insurance is notoriously expensive, but you can lower the cost of premiums substantially by changing your company or coverage.

How to save money by changing your Swiss health policy

The cost of health insurance premiums usually represents at least 7 percent of a typical household budget.

An adult spends nearly 4,600 francs a year on average on the mandatory basic coverage (KVG / LaMal) alone – covering only medical care, not dental. If any extra policies are taken out, the cost is even higher.

Not only that, but premiums have been rising practically each year, and look set to go up again in 2023, possibly by as much as 10 percent — the sharpest hike in 20 years.

READ MORE: Why Swiss health premiums are set to rise — and what you can do about it

Even though these costs are high and climbing, many people keep the same health insurance for years.

However, significant savings — to the tune of thousands of francs a year — could be made simply by switching carriers or plans, from the more expensive to the cheapest ones, according to a new study by the cost comparison site Comparis.

How much and where

The amount of the savings varies depending on policyholder’s place of residence, because rates are determined by cantons.

However, Comparis calculated that over a 10-year period, people living in Zurich could have saved 33,396 francs in premium costs and for those living in Bern this amount is 30,064.

Lausanne residents could cut their costs by 36,494 francs over 10 years, 31, 032 in Geneva, and 33,490 in Basel-City.

“With the strong premium increases expected this fall, the savings potential is even greater,” said Felix Schneuwly, health insurance expert at Comparis.

So how can you save money? Here are some of the ways:

Increase your deductible

In Switzerland, the deductible (franchise) ranges from 300 to 2,500 francs – this represents the medical costs that you have to pay out of your own pocket before your health insurance kicks in.

As with most types of insurance, the lower your deductible, the higher your premiums, and vice-versa.

If you are young, healthy, and are not on any long-term medication then you can save substantially with the highest franchise.

Keep in mind, however, that if you choose the highest deductible and end up having an accident or falling sick and needing medical care, you will have to pay a greater proportion of the costs.

Switch to a less expensive plan.

The standard model for healthcare in Switzerland is that you can consult any medic that you want, and you do not need a referral to see a specialist.

However, there are some types of health insurance plans that have cheaper premiums, but impose certain limits on your access to non-emergency medical care.

For instance:

Health maintenance organisation (HMO)

Under this model, policyholders are required to consult a particular HMO practice. Two disadvantages of this alternative is a limited choice of doctors and you also need a referral to see a specialist.

However, the benefit is a premium reduction of up to 25 percent compared to the conventional insurance.

Family doctor model

Your family doctor, a general practitioner, will be designated by your insurance company and will be in charge of all your non-emergency medical treatment.

He or she will refer you to a specialist if necessary. 

If you opt for this option, you could save 20 percent on your insurance.

READ MORE: Five tips for getting cheaper health insurance in Switzerland

The Telmed alternative

If you choose this option, you have to call a telephone service and get a referral to a doctor or hospital.

This does not apply to medical emergencies and there are other exceptions, such as eye exams and annual gynaecological check-ups.

Total savings could range between 15 and 20 percent. 

Cancelling or changing your policy

If you want to cancel your current insurance policy and take up a cheaper one , you have to do so by registered letter before November 30th.

By then, you will know what your premiums will be in 2023 because your carrier must notify you of the new rates by October 31st.