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  #21  
Old 20.06.2012, 12:34
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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Great advice folks - but the original post is a year old already, so he/she might not be reading it anymore.
"You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Corbets again."
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  #22  
Old 20.06.2012, 12:54
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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Well Switzerland has laws protecting older members of the workforce. They get a higher salary. They get more holidays. The employer has to pay more for their pension fund.

So they don't get hired, if there is a younger (= cheaper) alternative that's suitable. Simple.

Sorry -- I should have wrote ANTI-age discrimination laws.
Because from what you have described above, it sounds like Switzerland does indeed practice age-discrimination. Hence, my argument still stands.
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  #23  
Old 20.06.2012, 13:13
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

Age discrimination certainly exists in Switzerland, and age ranges are frequently quoted in adverts, I've noticed - something that would not be allowed in many other countries.

As someone said, a lot of it comes down to the mentality that presumes that at age 25 you should be at a junior level, at 35 at mid-management level and at 45 at executive or director level - I was once turned down for a role because they thought that at my age (not experience) I was too senior!

I'm surprised though that no one (that I could see) mentioned language. The reality is that even if German/French/Italian is not used regularly on the job, many companies will still prefer someone who can speak the language fluently.

And in this regard, with the freedom of movement afforded to EU citizens, this has increased competition; there's lots of Germans, Austrians, French, Belgians and Italians competing for the same jobs as native English speakers - except, as we all know, they'll tend to also have English, while native English speakers are notorious for only having English.

Another way language becomes important is when combined with the age-hierarchy prejudice above; the importance of speaking the language if you're over 35 increases because you're increasingly expected to be a manager (and thus be able to manage in a local language).

Anyhow, just a few thoughts on the subject.
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Old 20.06.2012, 13:15
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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Sorry -- I should have wrote ANTI-age discrimination laws.
Because from what you have described above, it sounds like Switzerland does indeed practice age-discrimination. Hence, my argument still stands.
Actually, while the US has anti-discrimination laws based on age discrimination is still practiced, just not explicitly. For age, the reasoning is that an older employee doesn't know newer things, is overqualified, etc etc etc. It's just that you can't place an ad asking for someone under 45, or whatever. Employers have a lot of leeway in hiring for the most part, and can pass over an individual based on a variety of factors, all of which might be related to age.
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  #25  
Old 20.06.2012, 13:36
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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I think it's quite sad that there aren't age discrimination laws in place here in CH (as there are, for example, in the U.S.).
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it sounds like Switzerland does indeed practice age-discrimination. Hence
Its pretty naive to think that just because there is a law in place to counter age discrimination, doesnt mean it isnt practiced. In fact, the practice of it is in no way changed (unofficially). If someone doesnt want to hire you, they wont - whether that be CH or US. In the US, they merely give you another excuse (i.e. lie) - over qualified, someone fit the 'profile' more, we took an internal candidate etc etc.

Last edited by Lex; 20.06.2012 at 15:09.
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  #26  
Old 20.06.2012, 14:03
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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... If someone doesnt want to hire you, they wont ...
this this this
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  #27  
Old 20.06.2012, 14:06
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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...I'm surprised though that no one (that I could see) mentioned language. The reality is that even if German/French/Italian is not used regularly on the job, many companies will still prefer someone who can speak the language fluently.....
tbh - I would NEVER recommend anyone come to this country with just their native language especially if that is English - yes English is widely spoken and used but the lack of other language skills seriously ruin your peospects of finding work - what is normally a hard proces becomes very very hard
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  #28  
Old 20.06.2012, 14:22
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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tbh - I would NEVER recommend anyone come to this country with just their native language especially if that is English - yes English is widely spoken and used but the lack of other language skills seriously ruin your peospects of finding work - what is normally a hard proces becomes very very hard
Yet it's unbelievably common amongst Anglophone ex-pats.

I was having a pint with one (British) the other week and he confessed to being nervous about his contract being renewed (rolling 12-month contract in a bank). He has close to zero German, despite living here about two and a half years, despite his claim that he and his family want to remain here in the long term. Needless to say, he'll revisit doing German classes if his contract isn't renewed...

Another chap (American) was living in German Switzerland for over four years and, outside of ordering beer, his sum total of the language was the ability to inject 'genau' in a discussion at random intervals. He lost his job, eventually gave up on finding work after six months and moved back to the US.

In fact, of all the Anglophones who I know here and have lived here for longer than two years, I think I might know only one (British, 20+ years here) who has higher than German A2. Most don't even seem to have A1 level.

In an increasingly competitive jobs market, I suspect that this rather than age is the single biggest factor affecting people who are jobhunting.
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  #29  
Old 20.06.2012, 15:24
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

I live in the French speaking part of Switzerland - IME a lot of expats do not bother to learn the local language...but why should they as a LOT are on short term contracts with the UN

regarding jobsearch - I would estimate that the possible jobs I could apply for would increase 6-fold with French language
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  #30  
Old 20.06.2012, 15:40
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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I live in the French speaking part of Switzerland - IME a lot of expats do not bother to learn the local language...but why should they as a LOT are on short term contracts with the UN
Totally agree; there's limited benefit to learning a language if you're only going to be around for a year or two.

I was largely citing those who are hear longer than two years, especially those who either have no plan to leave or have decided they want to settle here - all the examples I cited fell into those categories.
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Old 20.06.2012, 15:45
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

True - the worst example I can give for not learning the local language was the managers in my last job they ALL prided themselves on knowing little to no French whatsoeevr yet they had a business here AND wre in the country for over 10 years

my reason for not learning as been an on-off should I stay or should I go feeling (still not fully resolved) why invest a lot of time energy money in something which increase my job prospects to just match the level in the UK
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  #32  
Old 20.06.2012, 16:20
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

Not knowing, not learning or at least attempting to learn the local language by foreigners does indeed reflect poorly on foreigners who came here to work. However, I was told (by experienced Swiss recruiter) this does matter mostly/generally at the more junior levels (not middle to senior management) and mostly CH companies with little to no foreign operations.

As mentioned in this thread and many others the issues why it takes a long time to get an interview and an offer are:
1. Current economic situation surrounding CH and the involved competition from EU and 3rd countries as well as local market
2. Mostly useless HR depts and recruiters who are using checklists to screen applicants for completeness of their application materials and correct keywords/phrases in their CV and motivation letters before hiring manager has a chance to review them.
3. Most desirable jobs are filled via networks - something most of us newcomers did not have time, opportunity nor willingness to develop.

As stated, being short or more likely long term unemployed is part of life in these challenging times. Getting a job is more of a lottery and luck game nowadays.
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Old 20.06.2012, 16:22
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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Its pretty naive to think that just because there is a law in place to counter age discrimination, doesnt mean it isnt practiced. In fact, the practice of it is in no way changed (unofficially). If someone doesnt want to hire you, they wont - whether that be CH or US. In the US, they merely give you another excuse (i.e. lie) - over qualified, someone fit the 'profile' more, we took an internal candidate etc etc.
Of COURSE it's still practiced in the U.S., regardless of laws being in place! I didn't say that it wasn't. However, I do think that the law at least attempts to discourage it and help set the tone for it to not be an acceptable practice. And if someone can, for example, prove in court that they were fired because of their age, then the employer/business can be prosecuted.
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  #34  
Old 20.06.2012, 16:24
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

unfortunately because of the current financial times it has become incredibly difficult to land a job. True things are a bit better in Ch than many other countries but still..good luck in your search!!
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  #35  
Old 20.06.2012, 16:56
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Re: Still looking for a job but no response - why?

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Not knowing, not learning or at least attempting to learn the local language by foreigners does indeed reflect poorly on foreigners who came here to work. However, I was told (by experienced Swiss recruiter) this does matter mostly/generally at the more junior levels (not middle to senior management) and mostly CH companies with little to no foreign operations.
I don't know if I'd agree with this. As I suggested beforehand, even if not required, competency in the local language is considered preferable and given the increased competition can act against someone without it.

Secondly, even if unimportant in multinational companies, it remains important in local ones; leading one to a situation whereby they're disadvantaged when applying to the majority of available positions.

I'd also question if the local language is more important in more junior roles than senior ones. Senior ones tend to be more customer facing, or dealing with executive (often Swiss) stakeholders. Junior roles are often boxed off from dealing with the local market or stakeholders and are managed by a more senior person who will speak English. At least this would be my feeling on this.
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As mentioned in this thread and many others the issues why it takes a long time to get an interview and an offer are:
1. Current economic situation surrounding CH and the involved competition from EU and 3rd countries as well as local market
2. Mostly useless HR depts and recruiters who are using checklists to screen applicants for completeness of their application materials and correct keywords/phrases in their CV and motivation letters before hiring manager has a chance to review them.
3. Most desirable jobs are filled via networks - something most of us newcomers did not have time, opportunity nor willingness to develop.
Very good points. Of the final one, this is particularly true of Anglophones - almost all of my friends here are Swiss and this has aided me, both socially and professionally, hugely. Yet I am amazed by the number of ex-pats (some of whom are here for years) who will have little or no contact with the Swiss, preferring to socialize instead with other English speaking ex-pats.
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