Tag Archives: Swiss
Badi Tiefenbrunnen

Temperatures are at summer highs, soccer champions are keeping us glued to our T.V.s, and before you know it, we will have reached the Swiss Recruiting Summer Slump. 

From Mid July to Mid August, Switzerland seems to fall asleep. This year might be different; we cannot tell yet, how recruiting will evolve over the summer. However, I am still expecting to start the “summer schedule” very soon.

Decision-makers aren’t around to take interviews and your chances of finding a job over the summer holidays usually are lower than in the more active times. If you haven’t signed a contract by now, I bet you won’t sign one within the next four weeks. Yes, I will invite you to a Cheeseburger if you prove me wrong.

With the start of international and Swiss school holidays, you notice fewer people in the trains and motivation to work is generally a bit lower than usual. This is the time to take overtime compensation, go home at decent hours, and get out of the country for a while. It’s also time to jump into a lake near you every evening after work.

That being said, even if there is a recruiting dip during summer, that doesn’t mean that there are no interesting opportunities. In fact, contract-to-hire positions are abundant during that season, and many job-seekers decided to take the summer off, which is a considerable advantage if you keep job hunting. Moreover, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office published a press release on 27 May 2021 concluding that despite the first quarter of 2021 being the fourth quarter in a row to see employment fall, it revealed some signs of improvement (4000 more vacancies than in the 1st quarter of 2020 and an employment outlook indicator showing an upward trend of +2,6%).

We observed a rise in job postings over the last three weeks and because of the pandemic, I am expecting a slight delay in the “Sommerloch” (Summer Dip) this year. As you know we share job postings with a low number of applicants in our Facebook Groups. As a client, you can join this group: The Global People Club. In case you are a reader but not a client yet please join here and refer to this post: 

That is good news, but on top of that, many predict a new phenomenon, coined the “Great Resignation” by Anthony Klotz, that might help you find a new job in the next few months: due to the major shifts in the labor market landscape since the start of the pandemic, an important proportion of workers will want to change jobs. That will, in turn, create thousands of job openings. Now is the time to jump at the opportunity: Work on your brand, nurture your network and in between, take the time to take care of yourself!

If you are looking for a job right now, you probably feel that you are late to the game. The most common reaction I see from clients is to stop all efforts over the summer. This would be counter-productive. You could still use this time for your job search by following these six important steps for finding a job in Switzerland (and maybe elsewhere too.) We also want to encourage you to plan your time so you can still spend more time outside. Starting this week, we recommend you work on a special “Summer Schedule” from 7 AM to 1 PM, and then you can spend the rest of the day in the “Badi” of your choice, reading, listening to podcasts, and enjoying life.

Aperol Sprizz in the Sun

1) Start your Summer Schedule with a Beauty Ritual

Before you get your headshot taken, plan time to pamper yourself during the summer. Georgina Axis runs an English-speaking day spa in Zurich. The Pure Beauty Spa team is highly professional, and the products are all amazing. It’s the perfect way to start your “summer schedule*.” You will get 20% off your first facial when you mention “Angie Weinberger” in your booking.

2) Have Your Headshot Taken

You might also want to revisit why a personal brand is essential and how it links to your seven work principles. If you are looking for a photographer, we recommend Carmen Sirboiu, owner of Carmen.Photo. All our members and clients are eligible for a unique discount for a Premium LinkedIn and Personal Branding photo session with Carmen. If you use the code ‘’Global People,’’ you will get the session (value 190 CHF) at the Special Price of 99 CHF. 

3) Build More Professional Relationships Outside of the House

Summer is an excellent time to build new relationships and catch up with your current contacts. Most busy people might feel less pressure than usual. Encourage them to enjoy the nice weather and spend time outside. Why don’t you take them for ice cream in the sunshine after work? Why don’t you request an early morning walk by the lake combined with a cold coffee? Or you could offer to take over their recycling runs as you have enough time on your hands at the moment for half an hour of them sharing career tips with you. A personalized request is key here.

4) Develop a Weekly Practice for Meeting Your Contacts

Set yourself a weekly practice for meeting at least one contact. Ask them if they can introduce you to three more professional contacts in your field. If you are hesitant, you probably have not written down your networking purpose yet. Write down your networking purpose, send it to me, and add a weekly practice to your RockMeApp.

5) Enjoy the Holiday With Your Family

Summer is also the best time to be away from Switzerland if you are looking for a job. You will probably not miss much, and in emergencies, companies could also interview you by video call in your holiday home. I would advise that you charge your batteries and get out of the city for a minimum of two weeks. Your children and partner/spouse will probably love it that you have time for them.

Travel Later6) Practice German and Prepare for an Exam

You have now been in Switzerland long enough to have at least started with German lessons. Ensure that you have one exam in your pocket and the certificate in your application file. While the summer is a great time to enjoy your time off, it also has rainy days. Join Heike Reinhart for a trial class and work on your German.

Join the next HireMeExpress Program

Commit yourself to a schedule by working with us. The next HireMeExpress group program after the summer break is open for sale from 13 July 2021 and will close on 22 July 2021. The program will start with the first group session on 27 August 2021 and we will release Module 1 on 20 August 2021. Wishing you a lovely summer time and see you back at the end of August.

Kind regards

Angie & Team

PS: Individual coaching sessions can be booked all through July. Just make sure you reserve them as soon as possible and ideally in the mornings. 

 

References:

Coffey, Patty. In Forbes, 28 May 2021, „7 Reasons To Keep Up Your Job Search This Summer.” Retrieved 25 May 2021, from

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/05/28/7-reasons-to-keep-up-your-job-search-this-summer/?sh=f5a426b1b176

Federal Office of Statistics, 27 May 2021, „Employment barometer in the 1st quarter 2021, Employment in Switzerland fell in 1st quarter 2021 for the fourth consecutive time – but outlook is positive.” Retrieved 25 June 2021, from 

https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/industry-services/businesses-employment.assetdetail.17344107.html

Kelly, Jack, in Forbes, 26 May 2021, „How to Attract the Attention of Recruiters as We Head Into the ‘Great Resignation’ and People Look to Switch Jobs.” Retrieved 25 June 2021, from

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2021/05/26/how-to-attract-the-attention-of-recruiters-as-we-head-into-the-great-resignation-and-people-look-to-switch-jobs/?sh=3779c45e389a

Attention through Roses

 

How to get Swiss recruiter’s attention through well-written cover letters and organized testimonials.

Getting a Swiss recruiter’s attention is almost like asking her out on a date. 

When you write a cover letter you want the other person to like you and find you attractive enough to read your resumé. The cover letter is your appetizer and the resumé is your main course. If you get to the interview stage then that’s like having the dessert on the first date. And after three interviews you might get kissed. I mean you might get the job offer you are longing for.

Don’t spoil the Swiss recruiter’s appetite by presenting the main course in the cover letter.

Imagine you are on your first date and your counterpart tells you for half an hour how great he or she is. Rather boring right? You zoom out of the conversation and wish to run away. Same is true if a recruiter reads your whole resumé already in the cover letter.

What could you do to make the conversation more interesting?

Cover letter writing is an art. With modern technology, applicants often do not see a need to write a cover letter these days but in my own opinion, it is the most artistic part of a good application. Emphatically,  in Switzerland, IT’S A MUST.

Many recruiters want to read it. They would like to see you made an effort to get that interview. I receive a number of cover letters and most of them sound like they were copied from a textbook. Nobody gets excited reading some sort of ‘copy and paste’ write-ups that are void of personal touch.  Only the more personal ones gain my attention. They have to be personal, crisp and show me who you are.

Here are rules for fresh cover letters:

  • Use the correct name of the recruiter instead of Sir or Madam. Take out time to research the recruiter’s name. This portrays you as serious. Make sure you also spell names of references correctly. Be respectful and address recruiters formally.
  • Make the letter appealing and nice looking by using one font only and adhering to normal letter writing style in the country you are applying to.
  • Speak about the needs of the other party before you speak about your needs. This is so important because the prospective job is about what you can bring to the table.
  • Find a personal connection between either you and the company or you and the recruiter. Maybe you use one of their products or you associate positive feelings with the brand because of a personal story.
  • If you copy and paste (which is not a good idea in general), please check that you did not use the wrong company name or contact person. It helps to read the letter out loud.
  • Use active language and full sentences. When I say active language I ask you to use more verbs than nouns, avoid passive constructs and keep sentences short.
  • If you are not an English native speaker check your translation and let a native speaker review your grammar. Most recruiters get pissed off identifying grammatical errors in cover letters.
  • Be brief and stick to a maximum of one page. Five paragraphs are sufficient.
  • Add your contact data in the last paragraph especially your phone number and email ID. Make sure your email sounds respectable and the name is memorable. Email addresses like ‘nancysexy@gmail.com’ are not acceptable.
  • Avoid slang and casual writing style. You are a professional so behave like one! Even if you are from Generation Y or Game, remember that this is a letter and not a chat. The person you want to date might be the age of your parents.
  • A lot of applications still do not get that this is the whole purpose of the cover letter. I also recommend brainstorming exercises to my clients on why they want to work in the role and the company before they start writing a fresh letter. (You can read all about it in “The Global Career Workbook” or you can join our HireMeExpress program.)

Send convincing testimonials

In Switzerland and Germany work certificates, references and testimonials are usually summarized with the word “Zeugnisse“. They are required for any job application. Some employers only request them once you are offered a job, others want to see them when you send your initial application. When a job advertisement asks you to hand in your “complete documentation” or “dossier”, then you should include all your work certificates, references, and testimonials

Helpful types of work certificates, references, and testimonials

1) Work certificates and confirmations 

Show proof from all your previous employment. Here we expect to see a qualitative element in them explaining what you do well and how you performed in your job. If you apply from abroad, request a three liner from your previous employer confirming the times you have worked for them and a contact person who will give a reference. If you only have names of referees make sure they expect to be called by the potential employer.

2) Certificates of language certifications and seminars

Our assumption is that the more additional training you have undertaken, the better you are at your job. Even if the certification is a bit older it is worthwhile adding it to your file. Make sure all foreign language certifications are translated into English.

3) University and high school diplomas

Usually, the last diploma and transcript are required. If your marks do not translate into German try to give an explanation on a separate sheet. Please note that even Switzerland and Germany have completely opposite grading systems so it is always good to explain (1.3 in Germany is excellent, in Switzerland, it is a fail).

4) Client testimonials and performance reviews

If you have a chance and it is not against any confidentiality agreements you can add client testimonials and even your performance reviews in your file. It is often more credible to hear words of praise of others than your own. You can ask your former clients and managers to edit and sign a draft that you send to them so they know exactly what you would like them to confirm about you. To make it easy for the recruiter I would advise you sort the testimonials in chronological order and give an overview on a cover page too. Scan all docs in one pdf and make sure that the file size is not more than 2MB as a lot of recruiting platforms won’t accept bigger files. If you do not have all your documents together yet mention on the cover page when you will hand them in.

HireMeExpress – From desperate to confident as a Minority Expat Partner. 

HireMeExpress is the online course that will get you from desperate to carving out an income and feeling at home in your new country.

Sign up here to find out everything you need to know in order to land a job in Switzerland or another market you are not familiar with. We will send you our 19 Fresh Resume Checkpoints and further material such as videos. In case you have any questions you can email us via angela@globalpeopletransitions.com.