Switzerland…… Who wouldn’t want to have a job there?
Mountains, ski slopes, big lakes, fresh air and a stable economy.
The ideal place to work then?
It might be if you can get in. As with so many European countries you will either have to be a local with the right passport or be someone in high demand, for whom the country is willing to issue a work permit.
So, how can you go about getting a job in the land of Edelweiss and chocolate?
Newspapers & Magazines: You can find job offers ( Stellenmarkt – offres d’emploi) in the classified sections of daily newspapers (generally on Wednesdays and at the weekend), in weekly newspapers, monthly magazines (city magazines) and specialized trade magazines and journals. The best newspapers to check are Le Temps, 24heures and Tagesanzeiger and in the official Confederation’s vacancy bulletin.
Internet: Online recruitment websites ( Jobsbörsen – sites web d’emploi) such as Eurojobs are used by thousands of recruiters and companies to quickly find candidates. You can often set up alerts via RSS, so you’ll never miss that ideal job when you’re on holiday or on the road.
Employment agencies: Recruiters and employment agencies are important in the Swiss recruitment scene. Be aware though, many agencies will only work with Swiss candidates or foreigners with a B or C residence permit. A recruiter can not apply for a residence and work permit on your behalf; this can only be done by a prospective employer.
Career fairs: Another way to get the inside track in the Swiss job market is to visit a career fair. There are normally a whole range of employers, often from one specific industry sector. The Swiss are very well organised and often would like candidates to register in advance, so employers get to evaluate the CVs beforehand and can make interview appointments.
Speculative applications: If you want to work for a specific company, you could send a speculative application. Address this to the person responsible for recruitment or the head of the human resources department ( Personalabteilungsleite – Directeur de Ressources Humaines). If you have done your research you might get lucky and get invited straight away if there actually is a job you are suitable for. The Handelszeitung publishes a list of the top 2000 Swiss companies, which makes for a good start.
Chambers of Commerce: The old and trusted chambers of commerce are also a good way to research your local Swiss market. They often have vast amounts of data available online. And they once in a while receive requests from companies trying to fill a position with someone from a specific country. Some even have a database of open vacancies.
Whichever way you go about it, make sure you take the Swiss culture of being punctual seriously. If you say you are going to call on a certain day to follow up your letter of email, make sure you do. The person at the other end is most likely expecting your call. Failure to follow up on a promise will cost you dearly in that you might never get a second chance.