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Old 05.04.2011, 22:00
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Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

Hello gang,

After having had a somewhat unpleasant interview today, I would like to know if I am doing anything wrong to attract the wrong salary or if I'm setting the bar way too high.

I have received 2 offers but neither fulfills my criteria -not just salary, but also working conditions/field.

I am shooting for a job in finance -omitting anything in accounting. I am trying hard to break into banking, but I keep hitting a wall -or maybe im trying too hard?

I have majored in finance, and gained experience working in accounting. ALL recruiters pressure me to accept something in accounting as it is easier to sell me on, but so far I have succeeded in resisting.

Is really impossible to switch to any other field unless you have had 5 yrs+ experience? and then how would you get hired without experience to build experience? chicken & the egg...

should I learn some programming languages? will it help? and if yes, which are the right ones?

Any suggestions? tips? ideas...or even silly comments?
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  #2  
Old 05.04.2011, 22:16
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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ALL recruiters pressure me to accept something in accounting as it is easier to sell me on, but so far I have succeeded in resisting.

Any suggestions? tips? ideas...or even silly comments?
So why not follow the professional advice? Maybe they do know more than the EF ? Maybe they have seen your weaknesses and are encouraging you to get more experience?
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Old 05.04.2011, 22:16
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

It's not a particularly Swiss thing. I've been dropped from consideration recently for what I consider to be trivial reasons but, lo, HR has The List in from of them and it matters not that the thing they drop you for is trivial or that you hit the rest of the requirements out of the park...they've decided to move onto other candidates. Yes, it's infuriating, the myopia of HR minions (sometimes, even the hiring manager themselves). No, there's nothing you can do about it. Just move on and decide that's not the place for you.
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Old 05.04.2011, 22:19
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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So why not follow the professional advice? Maybe they do know more than the EF ? Maybe they have seen your weaknesses and are encouraging you to get more experience?
I don't think it's just me being in a technical field but I have yet to meet a recruiter that knows what they're talking about. They're trying to get a commission, not set you up with the perfect career. That's your job. It might be easier to get him a career in accounting, but that's not what he wants to do right now.
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Old 05.04.2011, 22:23
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

HH usually tried to get you in the area you have experience of because it is easier to sell you out as a candidate and get their commission,they not interested in helping you to switch sector as they only care about the turnover and match ratio...as for HR,the application CV will first reach out to HR, and HR obviously will just try to do their job,match the job reuiqrement with the keyword in your CV, and those don't have the necessary experience or keyword might have a high chance to be filtered out, not matter how much the background might have impressed the hiring manager...unfortunately i haven't found out a good way to go around that either especially in finance area now it is the buyer's market...i am holding my fingers crossed and hope the market will improve and switch side soon..
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Old 06.04.2011, 01:01
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

Hi,

If you are committed to getting something in Finance, then I suggest that you take up something in accounting that is in the finance field. I know you say you do not want to do this but unless you have a strong case otherwise, it will be hard to break in and justify someone giving you a chance in a field that you do not have experience in at the level of seniority that you expect. The only other thing would be to start with the basics which means potentially sacrificing salary / titles.

I would highly recommend going the first route...go with what you know, get a job in the finance sector at the seniority level you have worked hard to achieve (even if it is in a field that you want to get out of). After you are there and you make it through probation, network and see what options there are within the company...once you are in, it is easier to move then to try to break in, especially here in CH, where most HR and Swiss managers needs to see alignment with education and past experiences to current role that you are applying for.

Good luck!
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Old 06.04.2011, 11:51
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

My wife is and I are experiencing the very same attitudes and behaviours from companies she's interviewed with.

My wife (true career aspirations aside) has a lot of experience, even Prince 2 qualified, in the PMO field of work. She's interviewed with one or two companies for roles in this field only to be pipped at the post - despite very positive feedback.

What's infuriating is that the more recent example gave feedback along the lines of "Yes, you're perfect for the job but we're a little worried about your ability to communicate with and understand our offshore colleagues".

Now, had they given the opportunity for this to be addressed at the interview then it may not be so bad and I may not be writing this response. But what really ticks me off is that they raise this point following the interview with little to no opportunity to respond to their concerns (this is through an agent).

While I'm having a wee rant, what we've also observed is a little awkwardness/hostility towards my wife seeking work - we can only imagine this has something to do with her being a Hungarian national and with a Hungarian name - I sincerely hope this is not the case. However, we are married, and as soon as people find out she has the B residence permit they soon change their tune.
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Old 06.04.2011, 12:43
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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While I'm having a wee rant, what we've also observed is a little awkwardness/hostility towards my wife seeking work - we can only imagine this has something to do with her being a Hungarian national and with a Hungarian name - I sincerely hope this is not the case. However, we are married, and as soon as people find out she has the B residence permit they soon change their tune.
I don't think the nationality has anything to do with your observation. Since the wave of refugees in 1956 Swiss have a sweet spot for Hungarians.
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Old 06.04.2011, 13:27
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

The best place to find a job in Finance/Bank field in Switzerland is Zurich. Here they are more used to foreing people that are looking for jobs in these fields, plus salaries for this work area are usually higher here in Zurich!
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Old 06.04.2011, 14:51
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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I don't think the nationality has anything to do with your observation. Since the wave of refugees in 1956 Swiss have a sweet spot for Hungarians.
Well I think you'd be surprised. I can think of one particular incident where a recruiter changed her tune as soon as she became aware of the B Permit, even asked if my wife would consider applying for the British Passport.
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Old 06.04.2011, 15:18
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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My wife is and I are experiencing the very same attitudes and behaviours from companies she's interviewed with.

My wife (true career aspirations aside) has a lot of experience, even Prince 2 qualified, in the PMO field of work. She's interviewed with one or two companies for roles in this field only to be pipped at the post - despite very positive feedback.

What's infuriating is that the more recent example gave feedback along the lines of "Yes, you're perfect for the job but we're a little worried about your ability to communicate with and understand our offshore colleagues".

Now, had they given the opportunity for this to be addressed at the interview then it may not be so bad and I may not be writing this response. But what really ticks me off is that they raise this point following the interview with little to no opportunity to respond to their concerns (this is through an agent).

While I'm having a wee rant, what we've also observed is a little awkwardness/hostility towards my wife seeking work - we can only imagine this has something to do with her being a Hungarian national and with a Hungarian name - I sincerely hope this is not the case. However, we are married, and as soon as people find out she has the B residence permit they soon change their tune.

It has nothing to do with her being Hungarian. It has a lot to do with her being a woman.

The Swiss male managers absolutely hate to have more qualified women show them up. Lived it, learned it, experienced it.
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Old 06.04.2011, 16:01
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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It has nothing to do with her being Hungarian. It has a lot to do with her being a woman.

The Swiss male managers absolutely hate to have more qualified women show them up. Lived it, learned it, experienced it.
Crikey... So how does one get around this tricky obstacle? We've tried the malarky of dumbing down the CV before but that yielded no success.
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Old 06.04.2011, 16:36
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

Jason,

You will need to narrow down your search to international companies who have a vested interested in promoting Diversity and Inclusion. Nobody else really cares about this in CH other then the big ones because their reputation depends on it.

In Switzerland you will have reduce your expectations and develop a thick skin because there are stereotypes and biases that you just cannot shake. It could because of your origin, sex, age, higher education or even just based on your name but sadly no one will say this out loud. For instance I know for a fact that if you apply for a position and one of the other candidates comes from a very old family like eg: Vor Nax then they will automatically considered before you.

You will just have to be persistent and focus your energy on nailing it. In time you'll start picking up the subtle tell tale signs of this behaviour during an interview or from the company profile in general so that you know if you 'Should or Shouldn't' apply for a position there.

To the OP - This is another genuine problem in CH. I have seen a lot of people who have graduated from Law Schools and Business Schools etc.. and not considered for jobs because they do not have experience. It feels sometime like no one wants to invest into a new graduate to build their career and also bring HOT NEW BLOOD into their mix. But then again I have also seen that the same candidates have done a lot of intership type jobs for the first few years to build their resume and then get in. Alternatively, a few people I know have taken an opportunity to get their foot in the door and then try to make their way into their area of interest. Perhaps you should consider picking a fairly large company which has accounting and banking. Then you use your accounting back ground to get into the company and work your way into the area you want to get into. Again persistence and presevarance are key.

Thanks

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Crikey... So how does one get around this tricky obstacle? We've tried the malarky of dumbing down the CV before but that yielded no success.
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Old 06.04.2011, 16:46
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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So why not follow the professional advice? Maybe they do know more than the EF ? Maybe they have seen your weaknesses and are encouraging you to get more experience?
Erm, no. That's not advice, it's sales. A agency wants to close a deal and get paid. It is the easiest to sell the op at what he has experience at - ideally for a slightly lowish salary... don't ever expect a headhunter to give you advice on changing your career...
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Old 06.04.2011, 16:49
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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In Switzerland you will have reduce your expectations and develop a thick skin because there are stereotypes and biases that you just cannot shake. It could because of your origin, sex, age, higher education or even just based on your name but sadly no one will say this out loud. For instance I know for a fact that if you apply for a position and one of the other candidates comes from a very old family like eg: Vor Nax then they will automatically considered before you.
Yes, I have been thinking along those lines for a little while now. It's nice to have someone - to some extent - validate my theories.

As you said, I think it'll be a case of perseveradew
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Old 06.04.2011, 16:49
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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In Switzerland you will have reduce your expectations and develop a thick skin because there are stereotypes and biases that you just cannot shake. It could because of your origin, sex, age, higher education or even just based on your name but sadly no one will say this out loud. For instance I know for a fact that if you apply for a position and one of the other candidates comes from a very old family like eg: Vor Nax then they will automatically considered before you.
Yes, I have been thinking along those lines for a little while now. It's nice to have someone - to some extent - validate my theories.

As you said, I think it'll be a case of perseverance and staying active and networking whilst seeking employment.

Thanks for all the pointers guys.
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Old 06.04.2011, 16:51
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

Apologies. Double post due to finger spasm
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Old 07.04.2011, 12:59
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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...While I'm having a wee rant, what we've also observed is a little awkwardness/hostility towards my wife seeking work - we can only imagine this has something to do with her being a Hungarian national and with a Hungarian name - I sincerely hope this is not the case. However, we are married, and as soon as people find out she has the B residence permit they soon change their tune.
This is very similar to my story. Though I am a Yank, the recruiters start insinuating that I should accept whatever salary I can get. I have my B permit, and I specifically say so in my cv but it is often overlooked. Once I mention that I am in no hurry because my visa won't expire, their attitude changes completely.
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Old 07.04.2011, 13:03
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

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so that you know if you 'Should or Shouldn't' apply for a position there.

To the OP - This is another genuine problem in CH. I have seen a lot of people who have graduated from Law Schools and Business Schools etc.. and not considered for jobs because they do not have experience. It feels sometime like no one wants to invest into a new graduate to build their career and also bring HOT NEW BLOOD into their mix. But then again I have also seen that the same candidates have done a lot of intership type jobs for the first few years to build their resume and then get in. Alternatively, a few people I know have taken an opportunity to get their foot in the door and then try to make their way into their area of interest. Perhaps you should consider picking a fairly large company which has accounting and banking. Then you use your accounting back ground to get into the company and work your way into the area you want to get into. Again persistence and presevarance are key.

Thanks
I am on it! any tips on how internships work here? I appreciate your previous tip as well
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Old 07.04.2011, 13:44
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Re: Tips wanted in dealing with Swiss employers

I don't have a specific answer to that because I haven't directly recruited someone for an internship but I have met people who have been interns and all of them were either hired through their University directly or through referrals through internals. Usually they are hired for upto 6 months.

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I am on it! any tips on how internships work here? I appreciate your previous tip as well
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