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Old 31.01.2012, 06:33
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Online job-hunting

Hi everyone, I am hoping someone can calm my nerves about finding decent work upon my arrival to Basel this summer.

I have completed two CV's - one "normal" professional, and another aimed more toward caregiving/nanny-type work. As far as qualifications, I am not specialized. I will be a recent college graduate with a degree in Spanish and an emphasis in Social Welfare. Much experience caring for people of all ages and learning abilities. Some professional experience (customer service, sales/retail).

My issue is finding job adverts online for entry level positions (assistants, reception, entry level direct care, etc). I am new to German, which makes things even harder. I have utilized many of the links these forums provide, as well as others, yet I mainly find vacancies for advanced professionals or specialists.

Is my best bet to give in and hunt down a restaurant job or something when I arrive? Not that I would mind that. I plan on living as cheaply as possible. However, I need a job to be able to do that!

If anyone could offer some advice, I would much appreciate it.

Disclaimer - I am well aware of the fact that Swiss employers are trying to fill positions with Swiss people. That doesn't change the fact that I will need some sort of job when I arrive!
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Old 31.01.2012, 07:51
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Re: Online job-hunting

1. Do a forum search on how to do a Swiss style CV if you haven't already.

2. I don't know your permit situation and the rest of the forum doesn't either, because that changes a lot. In my case, I was eligible for a B permit when I arrived in the same situation as you, a new college graduate with a retail background. What I noticed is that until I was in the country and I had my permit in hand and submitted it with my CVs, I couldn't get any bites. If employers don't know that they don't have to go through the work permit situation with you, they are going to assume they will have to, and send your cv to the circular file. I would plan on budgeting for at least 3 months based on not having a job.

3. My first job took almost six months of aggressive, daily looking and pavement pounding, and this was in 2005 when the economy was doing better. It is really hard to get that "first experience" as a new graduate and even more so in this economy. If Spanish isn't your mother tongue and you are like me and have a BA in languages, they are wary of US degrees in foreign languages as many of us are not business fluent upon graduation; I had to jump through hoops and take the DALF to prove I speak French. Because most require two languages, you could try sending your CV to a call center if you have some sort of certificate on how good your Spanish is, and just be aware the salaries are low and hours weird.

4. Finally, unlike the French part of Switzerland, German-speaking parts seem to want German/CH German for entry level positions even if you only work in English. They say it is for "lifestyle" reasons and chatting with colleagues, so no German on CVs also increases the circular file option. I don't necessarily agree but it is what it is. But someone somewhere will hire without German, you just have to look harder. I got one so hope is not lost!

5. A good relationship with a headhunter helps get you to the top of the pile. So respond to an ad by one of them on a website, get an interview in their offices, and keep on them for the openings they may have that they don't advertise.

Last edited by NicoleCZ; 31.01.2012 at 07:57. Reason: incomplete sentence
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Old 31.01.2012, 08:52
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Re: Online job-hunting

Bring a copy of your degree, and reference letters from your prior employers (you may need to get these translated.)

Finding a job in the social domain is very difficult in my experience here. The education system is different, as is how professions are classified and regulated. Most of the job search sites do not include a focus on the social, but rather IT, banking, watch-making, construction, medical, etc. Social jobs require working with people, which requires being near fluent in the local language.

I'm sorry to be so negative, but it is really hard. You might have better luck as a nanny...
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Old 31.01.2012, 18:00
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Re: Online job-hunting

do you happen to know something about engineering situation here, e.g. chemical engineers, environmental engineers....

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Bring a copy of your degree, and reference letters from your prior employers (you may need to get these translated.)

Finding a job in the social domain is very difficult in my experience here. The education system is different, as is how professions are classified and regulated. Most of the job search sites do not include a focus on the social, but rather IT, banking, watch-making, construction, medical, etc. Social jobs require working with people, which requires being near fluent in the local language.

I'm sorry to be so negative, but it is really hard. You might have better luck as a nanny...
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Old 01.02.2012, 18:58
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Re: Online job-hunting

Thanks everyone for the helpful advice! Hearing personal accounts makes it much easier to see what I am dealing with.

My CV is, as far as I know, in the Swiss format. I think I am going to focus on finding some sort of nanny job, and if nothing happens before I arrive in Basel, I will have to find something else. I will have to not stress about it, as it is out of my control. As far as permits go, I am going to post something in that forum so as not to derail.

Thanks again!
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Old 01.02.2012, 20:02
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Re: Online job-hunting

My advice. Go through the internet with a fine toothed comb. There are lots of job sites (some good, some bad) where they have entry level as well as senior and managerial postings. Weed out the junk and useless sites, and bookmark the good ones. Then check (I used to check every 3 or so days) the bookmarks and send out as many CVs as possible.
Having said that, I am a teacher so there were plenty of sites dedicated to that field and after a few nibbles got a bite. Still part time, but at least its something.

And dont be afraid to follow up with a call or email after sending your stuff through. Sometimes employers like to see that sort of interest. Good luck!
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Old 30.10.2012, 15:34
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Re: Online job-hunting

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Thanks everyone for the helpful advice! Hearing personal accounts makes it much easier to see what I am dealing with.

My CV is, as far as I know, in the Swiss format. I think I am going to focus on finding some sort of nanny job, and if nothing happens before I arrive in Basel, I will have to find something else. I will have to not stress about it, as it is out of my control. As far as permits go, I am going to post something in that forum so as not to derail.

Thanks again!
I wouldn't consider it derailing as it is relevant to the question you pose. For instance, I'm sure you know that if you have no permit, you're SOL and need to rethink your entire strategy. beyond that, different permit types allow different opportunities for jobseeking. Let's see what you're working with!
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