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Old 24.03.2016, 01:48
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Frustration in job hunting

Well, i have been reading threads here for quite a while. It seems the swiss job market is getting tougher and tougher.

Let me share a bit about my story.

In my case, i am a fresh postdoc and working on sort of engineering kind industrial projects. I did my phd from lausanne but my french is really bad. And now l am living in zurich. I am learning german very hard and now reaches B1 level. But i do find that my german speaking skill is bad, so i am taking private german course twice per week and improve my language skill. My wife comes from berlin and she helps me a lot in learning langauge as well.

I have been actively looking for jobs since last April. Till now I have applied about 60 applications but only one phone interview and one on site. I have a good CV with a swiss award, good references and 3 years industrial working experience in a big international company. To me, i see there are 3 difficulties:

1) permit. Although i have a non EUFA pass, i have married with EU person and got an EUFA permit B.

2) language. most of companies job ads are in german. This is why i try to improve my german, especially oral part. Now I can make conversion in german during project meeting.

3) position - job content. My professional is material engineeing, which is board and widely applied to various felds. I have done also a lot of works in different fields. Therefore i thought my profile could fit into more opening positions although i may not have very direct working experience on that specified task. And as a PHD i always think the self learning ability has been trained well and company should consider the potential that such a candidate is able to bring.

However, it seems i got wrong. Although, i am trying to solve these problems i forsee, the rejection by autoreplies from the companies or even no replies just keep knocking on my head. I try to ask the reasons why i got rejected. Most of HR just donot respond on my enquiry. This bothers me quite a lot. The more nothering is that i can not get some feedback in order to reposition myself or find problems to solve.

I have strong feeling that i get rejected is just simply because i have a non EUFA pass, because some HR even doesnot have any clue on my permit B status, which actually allows me to work without any sposorship. My CV are threw out of windows without reaching to hiring manager.

I know it is a very negative thought. And somehow it makes me very frustrated. Sometimes i just wanna write down my nationality as swiss in my cv and to see how they respond to my job application.

It is like that my career development somehow got stucked and it is very vague to see how it goes forward.

Well, i think the only thing i can do is just keeping trying.

Thanks a lot to you, reading so far and reach this point. I just wish every job hunter on this board will find his her dream position in switzerland, which is a country cannot live without our talented foreigners.

Have a nice evening.
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Old 24.03.2016, 02:28
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

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I have strong feeling that i get rejected is just simply because i have a non EUFA pass, because some HR even doesnot have any clue on my permit B status, which actually allows me to work without any sposorship. My CV are threw out of windows without reaching to hiring manager.
How is HR going to ever know that you have a B permit if you don't put it LOUD AND CLEAR on the CV?

Good luck, don't give up!
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Old 24.03.2016, 07:35
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

Reading through your post, I can understand your frustration. You have concentrated your efforts up till now in the area of your education.
It sounds as though you are well qualified, so don't give up.
Perhaps, as has been suggested, there are things you can do to improve your cv. Certainly it is not a good idea to 'pester' HR into giving a reason regarding a rejection. Just accept it and move on.
Also, in your area of training, are there websites on which you could register your cv ?
Positive thinking (projecting a good outcome) is crucial during the interview process. Which means that going into one with a slightly defensive attitude won't help.
I wish you all the best and hope you'll come back and post when you find your 'dream job'.
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Old 24.03.2016, 08:09
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

You should indicate your permit status and B1 German at the very top of the CV!!

Look up how to write a Swiss style CV and make sure yours conforms to it.
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Old 24.03.2016, 08:16
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

In the field of mechanical engineering, metalworking "manufacturing" many jobs are dismantled or will be reduced further this year. I do find Projects in Germany now, in case you search somthin in that part it make sence to check the German border Region. Wages are there bad, but not so bad that you can not go to work there. In my experience, they do pay already because one comes from Switzerland 30% more.
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Old 24.03.2016, 08:47
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

Have you had a Swiss engineering professional review your CV and cover letter(s)?

I ask because this paragraph jumped out as a red flag, and I wonder if you are presenting your potential within other areas in your field in the best light:


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3) position - job content. My professional is material engineeing, which is board and widely applied to various felds. I have done also a lot of works in different fields. Therefore i thought my profile could fit into more opening positions although i may not have very direct working experience on that specified task. And as a PHD i always think the self learning ability has been trained well and company should consider the potential that such a candidate is able to bring.
.
Bearing in mind that I am only going by what you have written here, but the bit I have bolded reads to me as if you are leaving it up to the company to extrapolate from your academic credentials to ability in areas you do not have direct experience.

This is a very common mistake, I used to see it all the time back in my corporate days. "I have a PhD" tells me, the hiring manager, very little. But "My studies in (area) developed (skills) bringing (insert added value ) to (role you are applying for). My experience in (other area) relates to this role in the following ways (add explanation)."

Rule One: Never leave it to the CV reader to connect the dots, do that yourself in your cover letter and tailor your CV to the specific job application.

Again, I am only going on the wording of your post, perhaps your Cv better reflects your potential than what you have written here. But do have a colleague in the field, perhaps a professor, or even a professional recruiter for the field, review how you have presented your experience and credentials, and review how you have tailored the presentation for the specific job.

Wishing you all the best with your search...
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Old 24.03.2016, 08:54
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

I have to agree with others. Make it crystal clear that you have a B permit! If you're not doing that then yes, your CV is likely being thrown straight out of consideration because of the non-EU hiring criteria.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

If there are plenty of Swiss/EU nationals with similar qualifications/experience you're not even going to be considered. You complain that HR probably aren't considering you - well why should they if they think you don't have the right to work here without them having to go to the time and expense of getting a permit on your behalf? They're not mindreaders so make sure to tell them what they need to know - you have a B permit so hiring you won't be an expensive, time consuming operation for them.

I would also look at upping your application rate. You may think 60 is a lot, but if you were on unemployment here you'd be expected to apply for a minimum of 10 jobs a month - 120 since last April.

If I do a job search on www.jobs.ch in Electronics/Engineering/Watches for German part of Switzerland, employee, I get 283 possibilities. Now they may not all fit your abilities, but that's a lot of jobs.
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Old 24.03.2016, 10:05
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

@all

As for permit B, I did highlight it at very beginning of my CV. I did not further clarify it in my cover letter, maybe this can be improved.

well, thank you very much for all your kind responds and encouragement. I will take them with me and continue to fight for my journey in my job hunting!
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Old 24.03.2016, 10:13
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

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@all

As for permit B, I did highlight it at very beginning of my CV. I did not further clarify it in my cover letter, maybe this can be improved.

well, thank you very much for all your kind responds and encouragement. I will take them with me and continue to fight for my journey in my job hunting!
it might be better to mention only your residence permit and not your nationality.
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Old 24.03.2016, 11:30
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

B permit by itself does not necessarily mean the company can hire you. You might as well have a B permit that is dependant on the company you are currently working (I know you are not working right now) and does not allow you to change jobs.
I'd write on the very beginning of the CV:

Married, has valid Swiss working permit

Good luck!
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Old 24.03.2016, 11:44
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

In addition to all the great suggestions provided, make sure that your CV doesn't have any language typos, be it in French, English or German; so, have a native speaker (of the language used in your CV) look over your application to correct and eliminate any mistakes.
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Old 24.03.2016, 12:27
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

@meloncollie

thanks for your insightful advice. I totally agree with you that writing "i have a phd" does not mean anything. Mostly what I have done is to study a bit the job poster and investigate a bit about company, mostly through wiki and their official website. (actually i learn a lot of companies by this way, which extends my views about the swiss industry in some fields.)

For CV, i mostly keep it same with only modifications at the skill part. In the skill part, i try to write some keywords, which are shown in the job poster.

I had some talks with HR or recruiters. It seems like the keywords must be identical between my CV and the job post, otherwise they would say it is not matched. For example, I used some CAD software such as Solidwork. In the job post, they look for people who can use CAD but prefer ProE. Both have very similar functionalities, each other has unique features though. I tried to convince my CAD skills although i am using different software but can catch up very quickly as they are basically same. However, the HR did not believe me.

At the end, i found the core of job hunting is how you can convince the people. But i just do not know why my tailored CV or cover letter or I can not convince them.

well, it is a very interesting learning curve other than a technical problem. I am trying to improve myself in this field.

As the other fellow said, being positive wins over eventually!

Cheers
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Old 24.03.2016, 13:33
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

Try here
http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/#78
Aerospace Engineering is all conducted in English and we have a materials Dept.
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Old 24.03.2016, 14:23
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

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...For CV, i mostly keep it same with only modifications at the skill part. In the skill part, i try to write some keywords, which are shown in the job poster.

I had some talks with HR or recruiters. It seems like the keywords must be identical between my CV and the job post, otherwise they would say it is not matched...

i just do not know why my tailored CV or cover letter or I can not convince them...
It's not clear from your posts just how much tailoring you do, but it probably wouldn't hurt to focus on that a bit more. Remember your CV needs to convince HR and/or the hiring manager why you are the best candidate for the job as opposed to someone else. Competition is fierce right now, so it's not good enough to be a good candidate, you need to be the best!

You say you're researching the companies before you apply. That's good! Mention something about the company in your cover letter, and how it fits with you/your qualifications. It's true some places don't even bother to read the cover letter, but many will give a quick scan to see if it's full of bog-standard text or if there's something that stands out.

With respect to the permit, just writing "B permit" on the CV might not be enough. Way back when I started job-hunting, a friend suggested I put a full sentence near the beginning of my cover letter to make it crystal clear the employer doesn't need to do anything special. In your case it might read something along the lines of "I am married to an EU citizen and hold a 5-year B permit with full working privileges".

Yes, keywords are annoying. A lot of firms use software that scans your CV. If you haven't mentioned certain magic words, your CV can hit the virtual bin before any human ever has a chance to look at it.

Lastly, as mentioned by others, do another check of your CV and cover letters for typos and errors. Your post here is chock full of them, which is fine for an internet forum, but if you're communicating with a potential employer they can make the difference between getting an interview or not.

Chin up, and good luck!
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Old 24.03.2016, 14:35
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

A good cover letter (to a lesser extent) and a smashing CV and documentation for any job can make or break a job, regardless of the language barrier.

Over the past few years, I've not only written many an application myself, but also translated CVs and cover letters for EF members. I also do layouts of CVs as Swiss CVs and CVs in general can be quite peculiar.

If you want me to, I can have a look at your stuff and then we can maybe improve something?

As for the job market. It's kind of hard-ish at the moment. It's been way worse about five years ago, but I will give you that: It can be tough.
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Old 24.03.2016, 22:45
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

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A good cover letter (to a lesser extent)
Noone is reading a cover letter these days(200 plus CV's per Job)...
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Old 24.03.2016, 22:47
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

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Noone is reading a cover letter these days(200 plus CV's per Job)...
I donīt but it still is very common in Switzerland though
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Old 24.03.2016, 23:57
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

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Well, i have been reading threads here for quite a while. It seems the swiss job market is getting tougher and tougher.
I graduated with a materials engineering degree just before the economic collapse in 2008. I applied to hundreds of jobs, mostly in the US since that's where I lived. Got a handful of phone interviews and a few onsites. In the end, a job was offered to me from abroad as well as a government agency. So, I took the one abroad because it was in private industry and the area I wanted to be in.

So I can relate with your situation. I can tell you that being just out of university, even with a postdoc, makes you an entry level most likely. However, these days the PhD is a requirement for entry level at most companies, e.g. pharma, med device, aerospace.

It's not clear what your interest is, but you may be encouraged to know that industry has a lot of opportunities for technical people. In the area of Zurich, there are materials and machine manufacturers, perhaps based just over the border if not in CH. However you are specialized and can't always be assured to have a great opportunity in your field of expertise local to where you live. that's the deal with having a niche.

Don't give up hope. Be patient. There was a lot of good advice so far to ensure your CV is appropriate for the local market. I'd also suggest to make sure you have a one-liner objective statement about what you want so it's clear to the employer there's a good match. Also, be sure your experience section focuses on accomplishments and not simply responsibilities...e.g. what did you really do in the positions you've had.

Feel free to send me a PM and we can chat some more.

All the best!
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Old 25.03.2016, 00:16
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

Just my tuppence worth....

Write a 1- or 2-page CV with these key points very close to the top of page 1:

* professional head-shot photograph (unless you have a radio face)
* clearly write the following "Swiss work permit status: unrestricted B-permit (married to German national)"
* name, age, residence location, nationality, availability to start new role (assume "immediate" as you currently are unemployed)
* German (B1), English (......), list any other relevant local languages and standards in brackets

Enclose clear scans/photocopies of all your school, college, university, and language certificates plus any reference letters from previous employers if you have any.

Write a 1-page, aesthetically pleasing, perfectly-worded covering letter - trust me they count more than you think when applying to permanent jobs directly to a company (not a recruitment agency). Make sure to answer the following:

* Why you want the job
* Why you think you can do the job
* Why you think the company should hire you over other people
* Why you want to work for xyz company in xyz location

Apply for 5 jobs EVERY day (5 per week is nothing).

Don't apply for jobs that you haven't done before. This is just wasting your time and the recruiter's. In fact I recommend lowering your expectations a little bit to get some experience here and get your foot on the ladder. I took a few steps back when I first came here but after a year things improved hugely.

Make 100% sure there are no typos on your CV or covering letter (please don't take offence but the English in your posts above is very poor so I strongly suggest you get someone to check your CV if it's written in English).

Another tip is to look on LinkedIn/Xing, find someone doing the same job as you would like to have, then copy/paste the bits that apply to you and re-word them slightly before putting them on your CV. Repeat for all jobs you have had before - look on LinkedIn for someone doing your previous job, copy/paste/re-word slightly, and hey-presto you've got a great CV.

Make sure your CV isn't all over the place. By that I mean have lots of white space, don't cram too much in (less is more), and focus on the key points relevant to each job. You say your experience is broad but this is actually a big no-no for many recruiters. Twist each job title/experience (without lying) so that it reads like it's relevant to whatever you're applying to.

Wow this post ended up much longer than I expected. Been in recruitment for years so I could go on forever but I'll stop now.

Good luck
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Old 25.03.2016, 00:22
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Re: Frustration in job hunting

Some good points, but

Enclose clear scans/photocopies of all your school certificates

With a PhD?

Apply for 5 jobs EVERY day (5 per week is nothing).

Looked at the job market lately?

Don't apply for jobs that you haven't done before. This is just wasting your time and the recruiter's.

That would be pretty awkward then.

Another tip is to look on LinkedIn/Xing, find someone doing the same job as you would like to have, then copy/paste the bits that apply to you and re-word them slightly

You donīt think recruiters and HR people check exactly that sort of information on LinkedIn/Xing etc?


I think OP has had some good advice and now needs some luck (and patience). The job market has slowed down, at least my experience, but good people get hired.
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