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Old 10.03.2011, 13:27
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How long to wait for responses to job applications?

Hello

I am new to the board (but have been lurking for a while!) and am currently looking for jobs in Zurich. I have applied for several jobs with large multi national firms and have heard nothing back (except a couple of confirmation emails).

How long would you normally expect to have to wait for a response from firms in Switzerland? I know that in the firm I currently work for (in the UK) it can take a while for applications to pass through the system, but I'm not really sure whether it will be a case of days, weeks or months!

I have relevant experience for all of the roles, which have all specified fluency in English (with no mention of German or French etc).

Thanks in advance for any help

Louisa
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Old 10.03.2011, 13:38
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

It's a buyer's market right now. Most advertisers don't even bother to acknowledge applications, much less send out proper regrets.

In my experience, if no one has called/emailed in a week, forget about it and move on. I don't remember any positive responses that took more than 3-4 days in fact. The form regrets sometimes came in so late I couldn't even remember applying to those companies...

good luck
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Old 10.03.2011, 13:57
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

Thanks Dino!

That's disappointing, but it's good to know where I stand.

It's frustrating as I know that I have lots of relevant experience. I'm guessing that it's something to do with the way I'm presenting everything (and also no doubt the volume of applicants!). I browsed the thread about CVs so I think I have included all the relevant info, but did not include my certificates etc so maybe my applications were just binned for that reason.

I will maybe speak to a recruitment consultant as they will hopefully be able to tell me exactly what is needed and can often do some of the CV waving on applicants' behalf (at least they do in the UK....!). I've definitely seen a thread with info in it so I will have a dig about and see which are the best agents to speak to for financial/consultancy roles (at the moment I am in financial advisory so it really straddles the 2 sectors).

Thanks again for the prompt response
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Old 10.03.2011, 13:58
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

Sometimes it helps if you call to check that they have received your application and at the same time re-iterate why you are so enthusiastic and keen to get that position. This also shows you are committed and sets you apart from lazy mail-drop applicants who use a stanadard CV and cover letter to apply for 100 jobs at the same time without really caring who replies and who doesn't. It has worked for me.
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Old 10.03.2011, 14:04
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

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It's a buyer's market right now. Most advertisers don't even bother to acknowledge applications, much less send out proper regrets.

In my experience, if no one has called/emailed in a week, forget about it and move on. I don't remember any positive responses that took more than 3-4 days in fact. The form regrets sometimes came in so late I couldn't even remember applying to those companies.
I agree with all that completely! If they haven't telephoned within 2 working days you might want to keep on looking and writing.

www.jobs.ch

You might want to scan all your certificates, achieved since you were 15 years old. Put them in one .PDF document, to save the person opening maybe 8 documents, the most recent at the top. Very important are the work references, explaining what you have been doing technically, your relationships with your boss, colleagues and subordinates.

It ain't easy, good luck!
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Old 10.03.2011, 14:06
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

Fantastic - such simple advice but for some reason I just hadn't even thought of it!

I will have a dig for some phone numbers and call today or tomorrow.

At this (v early!) stage of my job hunt I have been really selective about the jobs I'm applying for, so these applications have all been for roles I'm really interested in and with companies that I respect.

Louisa
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Old 10.03.2011, 14:10
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

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I Very important are the work references, explaining what you have been doing technically, your relationships with your boss, colleagues and subordinates.
Thanks Ittigen.

I have not pulled together references at all yet. Again - I guess it works differently in the UK where references are only provided on request. I'm not sure whether it's appropriate to ask for references from people in my current team, but one of my bosses is quite a good friend so I will maybe see if he can provide something. In addition to this I can also get a reference from my former boss (in a different team) who has now left the firm.

Either way...I should probably stop browsing this forum and get back to work now or who knows what those references will say....
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Old 10.03.2011, 15:51
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

If you are applying to a multinational company, I wouldn't supply references until asked.
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Old 15.03.2011, 19:05
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

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In my experience, if no one has called/emailed in a week, forget about it and move on.
good luck
I'm in a similar situation to you, Louisa. I've been waiting for a couple of weeks now and had no reply from the company. So I guess it looks like they don't want me...

The strange thing is, that I didn't even apply for a job officially. I sent them an enquiry about the European Energy Market, and ways to improve my chances of getting a job with them, and they replied by saying, among other things, that a job had just come up that may be of interest to me, and they would consider my application along with any others. So I thought I had a good chance.
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Old 15.03.2011, 19:47
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

Hi Louisa,

good luck with the job hunting! I've been in the same situation (actually got a job today!) and my experience is that the Swiss take longer time to answer. I was at my last interview almost two weeks ago and now they bothered to reply and tell me I gotten the job today?! I had ruled it out, since they took a week to answer my last e-mail... What I'm saying is: don't give up, it's just a bit slower than you're used to!
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Old 15.03.2011, 20:19
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

It will highly vary from company to company. I've had some calling me back a month or more after my application or a first interview and giving me the job at the end.

Big international companies were often the worst in response time and communication. If in doubt, give them a call: the worst that can happen is that you've shown some motivation for the position. Always call within 10 days of your application as well, just to make sure your CV is not in the SPAM folder and is on top of the list.

Don't hold your hopes too high when going through recruitment agencies, I haven't seen many worth it. The one that found my current job is of course the exception

Good luck!

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If you are applying to a multinational company, I wouldn't supply references until asked.
Ah, funny that, I would do just the opposite. Just wondering, is there any reason not to?
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Old 19.03.2011, 21:20
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

Thanks for all the new responses.

Emma - it's heartening to know that I'm not alone. And many many congrats on the new job

I will let you know how I get on. Still haven't heard anything back from the external firms, but have heard from someone about a potential internal role which sounds really interesting so I'll concentrate on that for now. If that doesn't work out I'll up the game properly with the other jobs.

It really is fantastic to have this forum - it's such a great resource having the ability to learn from other people's experience I'll be sure to do the same if I ever manage to make the move
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Old 19.03.2011, 22:12
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

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Sometimes it helps if you call to check that they have received your application and at the same time re-iterate why you are so enthusiastic and keen to get that position. This also shows you are committed and sets you apart from lazy mail-drop applicants who use a stanadard CV and cover letter to apply for 100 jobs at the same time without really caring who replies and who doesn't. It has worked for me.

I have received many applications and interviewed a number of candidates over the years, and yes, a phone call to follow up a few days after sending your application definitely helps to get your CV read a second time and puts you in a more positive light. Certificates are important here. Some will bin CV's without certificates. However, in other instances, if a company is really interested even if you have not sent them with your initial application, they will contact you and ask for them.

All the best with your search.
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Old 28.03.2011, 19:42
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

maybe my experience will help someone...had my final interview 2+ weeks ago, got promised they will call after 5 days for even if it is negative- obviously they didn't call at all on the day. called the next day- can't reach the person. sent an email- finally get a reply that they still haven't made the decision yet. received a phone call 1+week ago, to be told 'they have not made the decision yet but will make it this week'.finally received a positive answer today.

overall i do find the decision procedure is x2 or even x3 longer than UK for example.
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Old 28.03.2011, 20:51
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

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If you are applying to a multinational company, I wouldn't supply references until asked.
Please understand you should send photocopies of company references and certificates from previous jobs. If you do not include these, no Swiss recruiter is going to lift a finger on the strength of your CV which was written by you!
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Old 28.03.2011, 20:56
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Re: How long to wait for responses to job applications?

Depends on the company and who you are dealing with. Swiss companies I have found to take weeks and weeks for the process to go through, sometimes even months. US firms I have dealt with are relatively quick. It just depends and there is no rule. Keep persevering.
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