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  #1  
Old 16.05.2011, 23:59
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Hello, Iīm a Civil Engineer with a Degree and a Master Degree in one of the best Universities in Portugal.
I Have experience in civil egineering projects in a big company in Portugal that I have worked.

I have been trying to get a job in Switzerland (Basel, Zurich or Bern zone) for a few months and I canīt get a positive response.
What am I doing wrong?
I have taken a 150 hours German course, but my intention is to haver German calsses to improve it wen I get there.

I Would like very much to have an opportunity in Switzerland and I have family there.

Can anyone help me?

Iīm an Civil Engineer.

Last edited by jrspet; 17.05.2011 at 00:01. Reason: Merging of successive posts
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  #2  
Old 17.05.2011, 00:08
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

It is very competitive, and you need to be at the top of your game, or have a good opportunity come along. German helps a hell of a lot. In It and finance is not so bad, but in other discplines can be difficult.

It can also take time to find work in Switzerland, 12 - 18 months is not unusual for people to be searching for work here. It can take some companies just three months to go through all the resumes.
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Old 17.05.2011, 10:07
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

Civil engineering and Architecture are at the moment an extremely difficult market. I am not saying this to scare you, but to prepare you. If you are looking into the German part of Switzerland, you MUST speak German. That means fluent German, which 150 hours cannot give you. In this field English is not so important, and there are not many companies that actually function in English (as it happens on other fields like IT and Finance).

You need to construct a good CV, make a lot of research on job opportunities, and don’t be picky: look for jobs on small companies in small towns. Once you get a working permit, a lot of doors will open for you.

Since you are from Portugal, you should have had 3 years French. Look into the French part of Switzerland: they are at the moment slightly better for Civil Engineering and most of Portuguese emigrants are on that side, which makes companies more open to other good workers of that nationality.

I was refused a job here because of my nationality (and on my gender for all that matters). Be prepared for a lot of months of fight.

Good luck
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Old 17.05.2011, 10:17
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

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Since you are from Portugal, you should have had 3 years French. Look into the French part of Switzerland: they are at the moment slightly better for Civil Engineering and most of Portuguese emigrants are on that side, which makes companies more open to other good workers of that nationality.
Yes, I fully agree. Look in the swiss romande area and you really should have no problems finding something. You should have some french, but most portugese I know pick up french quickly. Your ability to speak portugese here, with the building folks, would indeed be an asset. Geneve, Lausanne, Neuchatel, possibly Fribourg, and some larger places in the Valais should be your target.
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Old 17.05.2011, 13:04
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Thank you all for the advices

What are the best sites to look for a civil engeneering job in Switzerland?

Do you think thatīs a goos idea to go there a few days and try to deliver some CV in some companies?

Thanks

Last edited by MusicChick; 23.05.2011 at 18:25. Reason: Consecutive posts.
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Old 18.05.2011, 14:23
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

Unfortunately I only know IT (www.monster.ch) and architecture (www.swiss-architects.com).

I have no idea how it goes with Civil Engineering... I got some really really really nasty feedback when I tried to deliver my CV personally. As in extremely rude answers to a simple smile and CV deliver.

ELITA (www.elita.ch) and WORK MANAGEMENT (www.workmanagement.ch) helped me out before, but I don't know if they accept applicants without a working permit. Maybe you can have a look.

Boa sorte!
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Old 18.05.2011, 14:31
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

Yours is a very common case unfortunately, I have a cousin who is Italian has a Masters also and can't get a job here! It is simply because unfortunately his career is not in high demand and/or Swiss residents/citizens can fill the position easily (he woks in IT). It can bea drag to hire someone non-Swiss so I totally understand.
But do not give up and keep trying!
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Old 18.05.2011, 14:42
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

Hi, as a Portuguese that arranged work in IT in Zurich what i can tell you is you have to give some time to know the recruitment agencies (a lot fo phone calls, a lot of research).

I do not know German and that is a big cons in here. So i was lucky to have found an english business environment.

As you might know, agencies only make shortlist candidates and final clients decide who they want to interview but talking with agencies we can have the big picture.

For example in my area, if you have to understand the customer problem you need german (most of opportunities in Business Analysis and project management gone).

IF you need to manage teams you need german, more dozens of opportunities gone.

Even with a recommendation i could not get a job because the lack of german.

So you need to consider how the market is.

In Romandie it is french (for example i see all websites in french but i can not speak fluently) but you can try to know if there is a construction company from a Portuguese guy.

I know a lot of Portuguese that works for Portugueses that went in 60/70s.

Good luck my friend.
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Old 18.05.2011, 14:59
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

Can you please email me your resume. I might be able to help you get a job. My husband is the MD of a engineering firm and he himself is a Civil Engineer.
But no promise. He would like to take a look at it though.
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Old 18.05.2011, 15:41
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

So far it seems that recommendation is one of the best tools for finding a job. Indeed. From large corporates to smaller ones.. they always ask internally first, then take out the offer.

Make a lot of friends and try to move into the real-life social network.

*mental note*..I should be doing the same */mental note*
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  #11  
Old 19.05.2011, 12:22
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Iīm seeing itīs a hard hard work but i will not give up

Do you think the best time to search for a job is in September or before?

Thanks

Last edited by MusicChick; 23.05.2011 at 18:26. Reason: Consecutive posts.
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Old 23.05.2011, 17:25
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

There is no "best time". Just look for it all year long. Construction works start around April, so you might actually have more chances during Spring, since a lot of calculations are needed around that time.

But don't wait until September. Check job portals everyday.
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Old 01.06.2011, 01:05
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

It can be very tough to get a job if you don't speak great Swiss German in pretty much every job other than finance or the high-tec industries...
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Old 01.06.2011, 01:21
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

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It can be very tough to get a job if you don't speak great Swiss German in pretty much every job other than finance or the high-tec industries...
Or in parts of the country where they don't speak Swiss German.
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Old 01.06.2011, 01:45
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

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Hello, Iīm a Civil Engineer with a Degree and a Master Degree in one of the best Universities in Portugal.
I Have experience in civil egineering projects in a big company in Portugal that I have worked.

I have been trying to get a job in Switzerland (Basel, Zurich or Bern zone) for a few months and I canīt get a positive response.
What am I doing wrong?
I have taken a 150 hours German course, but my intention is to haver German calsses to improve it wen I get there.

I Would like very much to have an opportunity in Switzerland and I have family there.

Can anyone help me?

Iīm an Civil Engineer.
Have you tried looking at the insurance and reinsurance companies - mostly based around Zurich ?

They advertise jobs for people like you on their websites, and German is not required. Just English.
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Old 01.06.2011, 11:36
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

I agree with the others, engineering is very difficult in switzerland at the very moment. If I'd be you, I would try to score a job in Germany first (they do have a severe shortage in engineering), learn the language until you are fluent and meanwhile continuing to check the swiss market. Maybe you find a well paid position in germany first and can later transfer to Switzerland. Best of luck to you!
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Old 01.06.2011, 12:31
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

I have tried so long to get an IT job (probably for the last 2 years), with no success... It has been really hard. Any advices?
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Old 01.06.2011, 15:55
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

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Hello, Iīm a Civil Engineer with a Degree and a Master Degree in one of the best Universities in Portugal.
I Have experience in civil egineering projects in a big company in Portugal that I have worked.

I have been trying to get a job in Switzerland (Basel, Zurich or Bern zone) for a few months and I canīt get a positive response.
What am I doing wrong?
I have taken a 150 hours German course, but my intention is to haver German calsses to improve it wen I get there.

I Would like very much to have an opportunity in Switzerland and I have family there.

Can anyone help me?

Iīm an Civil Engineer.
Have you already tried seaching on: http://graduateland.com/jobs ? They seem to have lots of positions in engineering at different engineering companies in Switzerland. Since most featuring companies are multinational, I've seen on their site that it does not seem to matter a lot getting a job if your german is not that perfect. Good luck!
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Old 01.06.2011, 16:44
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

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I have tried so long to get an IT job (probably for the last 2 years), with no success... It has been really hard. Any advices?
Keep trying.. or change your focus. Update your CV, create a new fresh Cover letter.. change your email..

I've been searching barely for 2 months, and in the first month, not even responses. In the second month, I am getting these "Thank you, but you're not suitable" either in German, French or English, so I hope that in the third month, to start receiving phone calls
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Old 01.06.2011, 18:31
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Re: Why canīt I have a job?

just thinking outside of the box but have you tried the Swiss Embassy in Lisbon to get an idea of job vacancy boards, company names etc as they should have a commercial department who, if they are nice enough, be able to help you or alternatively they may ask you to bugger off
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