Are you living abroad and looking for a career challenge in Switzerland? There are many job opportunities for expats, but also a number of aspects that are unique to Switzerland. Starting with obtaining a work permit, searching for a job and being successful in job interviews.
Here are some tips to make your search easier.
The first steps
The first question is: Are you eligible to work in Switzerland? You can find out about all aspects of employment law in Switzerland here.
Then, before embarking on the search for a new job, it is necessary to answer various questions, such as:
- What kind of job are you looking for?
- In which region - French- or German-speaking Switzerland, or Ticino?
- Do you speak the language of the region in question?
- Do you have the required qualifications for the job you are looking for?
- And so on.
There are many websites that provide you with indicators and statistics on the Swiss labour market, such as the 2018 labour market indicator, developed by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.
This report gives detailed information about working in Switzerland, working hours, vacancies and other key information about the Swiss labour market.
We recommend you conduct your initial searches online. Most companies publish their job offers through their own websites as well as on specialised websites. If you already know the company you want to work for, check their website first.
Do not neglect other media, such as job postings in newspapers, professional social networking sites, recruitment agencies and others.
Professional social networking sites
Have you created a profile onand/or(for German-speaking Switzerland)? These two social networking sites allow you to highlight your skills, experiences and strengths as well as to search for job offers.
LinkedIn and Xing have millions of users and also provide access to job offers via the ‘jobs’ feature as well as information about a particular company's sector of activity.
All you have to do is carry out a simple search on the platform by entering the name of the company (e.g. Crédit Agricole) and/or the role (e.g. Head of Marketing) and/or the region where you are looking for a job.
Some companies offer the option of applying directly via professional social networking sites, sometimes just with a single click thanks to the ‘Easy Apply’ feature.
The most popular newspapers in Switzerland that publish job offers are the following:
|French-speaking Switzerland||German-speaking Switzerland|
Another way of looking for a job is registering with recruitment agencies. An agency will assist you in your job search. Such agencies will register your profile in their database and may contact you to assess your career path to date. You do not have to pay any fees.
However, this approach does not guarantee that you will find a job, as the agencies have a large number of candidates and only contact you if you are among the best candidates for a specific role.
There is a high number of reputable recruitment agencies in Switzerland.
Click for a comprehensive list.
You have carried out a search and may have found a suitable position. The next step is to apply for the role in question.
Before starting, however, it is vital to ensure that you have a high-quality, up-to-date CV (curriculum vitae). A CV should be no more than one or two pages long and must include the following:
- Contact details
- Photo (not mandatory, but recommended)
- Professional experience
- Soft skills
- Interests (optional)
Your CV must be perfect - it is akin to a business card. It is the first impression you will leave on the Human Resources department. It is essential to highlight your main achievements in relation to the position. A CV is read in a matter of seconds.
A cover letter and copies of diploma and work certificates should be included with the application form.
Many tips on the various aspects of the application form as well as examples of CVs and cover letters are available on the success-and-career.ch website.
Applying for a job
Usually, applications are submitted electronically via the company's website, on recruitment platforms, via social networks or (less and less) by post. It depends on the position and the sector concerned.
When submitting your application, it is important to ensure that it is complete, see details under ‘Application form’.
If an employer is interested in your application, you will be invited to attend a job interview.