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  #21  
Old 28.02.2012, 20:26
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Re: Whats going-on in the reviews for my job applications in Switzerland??

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Hey, I found a similar situation as yours, I'm EU but I'm a female in a traditionally male-dominated field (engineering/high-tech). When I sent in my CV with my full name on it, I got a response ratio of about 10 to 1. I changed my CV to show only my initials (thus keeping my gender hidden) and the response rate shot up to something like 5 to 3. That's a huge change to attribute just to "chance".

Ignore those people who say your CV isn't "swiss format". At your levels (PhD in Chemistry) good people are hard enough to find that a CV without a picture or without a nationality on it will not be the factor that is cutting you out (they can always email you and ask about it later). Something else is going on and I suspect it is where you come from.

Anyway, with nationality/race it may be harder to hide because you may have an obviously non-euro last name which you can't leave out of the CV as it is the first and topmost piece of information that comes in it.

The real problem is actually that your CV first gets screened by HR intern types who are very young (early twenties), are not college educated, and have a ticklist to check and who don't really understand your capabilities and skillset. Add a little bit of Swiss prejudice and you're toast. While a manager would hire you with eyes closed, an HR person is unfortunately the gatekeeper and is stopping your CV from landing into the manager's hands.

So what do you do?

1. Get rid of the CV altogether. You have connections in the industry through your friends and the University. Find the names and contact information of the managers you want to work for. Meet them at conferences and trade shows. Introduce yourself. Tell them what you can do for their companies.

2. If you *MUST* use your CV, use your network of friends to get them to physically place your CV in the hands of a hiring manager. Bypass HR. HR is what is killing you.

Best of luck!
Thanks for the information and detailed advice. I will surely try to increase my network so that I will avoid my applications being rejected by HR.

Meanwhile, I have also decided to apply for the Swiss nationality. I sent my applications some few months ago. I hope that would also enhance my chances of getting a job.
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  #22  
Old 29.02.2012, 17:31
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Re: Whats going-on in the reviews for my job applications in Switzerland??

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I would not mind meeting you in person and then give you more evidence on what I am writing about. Also, I have witnesses on what I claim.
Evidence on what? Receiving rejection letters? No need for that - my friend who left to Germany applied to 20 jobs on average per month and has had a grand total of 3 interviews in 1.5 years. And she is Swiss and caucasian. The economy goes through a crisis, and Novartis just about axed their research center in Nyon... and you wonder why you get rejected?

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Seems you and I are in totally different professions if you are doubting a graduate trainee/internship for somebody with a PhD in Chemistry.
Despite not working in the Chemistry field I am very aware of what happens there... and I can tell you that no field will hire a PhD as a grad trainee / intern. I can also tell you why and it has nothing to do with race despite some assertions to the contrary...
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