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Old 14.02.2008, 21:15
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Procedures taken by potential employers

Hi all,

I'm wondering what the normal practice is with regards to the procedures taken by potential employers in the formal review of educational and employment backgrounds. The reason I ask is because I didn't leave on the best of terms with my previous employer back in the UK... Well, when your "boss" makes it into the national newspaper (The Sun, Daily Express AND News Of The World!) for cheating on his wife with another servicewoman whilst serving in Afghanistan and I in turn, question his ability & authority in his current capacity, things got a little unhealthy between us!

I know for a fact that should any of the companies I have applied to contact my previous employer, they're not going to get an unbiased and/or fair appraisal. I was with my previous employer for 6 years, so it's not like I can swerve round the issue, as that amount of time would be hard to account for in any other way!

If I were to add contact details for several referees of my choosing (obviously most would be from my previous employment!), would they still contact my previous employer or would they take my references at face value and use that to complete the formal review?

If anybody has any other/better suggestions, then feel free to share them!

Thanks in advance
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Old 14.02.2008, 21:58
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

Hi!

I wrote a lot of applications and went to a lot of procedures last year. I had interviews with around ten staffing firms and just as much employers directly before I found "my" job at a large, very Swiss company. I was not in a hurry, so I took my time and made a lot of experiences...
Normally, people here do not call your former employer. They are very interested in a well documented CV (and written documents in general), so I hope you do have a somewhat nice letter of recommendation. It should prove your work experience in your last six years including role description to quite a detailed level.
I provided some of the recruiters with references to call, but I never gave them my last managers number (because I was in an uncancelled employment contract) and they were ok with the numbers of other former manager and colleagues of my choice. I believe only one of them ever actually called.

Cheers,

Chris
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Old 16.02.2008, 10:25
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

I had a bad vibe with a Manager in Switzerland who is well-known and respected in the industry that I work in - but we fell out.

Though he moved abroad, that wasn't the end of it - he actively went against me and stopped me from getting work in Switzerland. For a while. I work in a niche market and have got the better of him now. The prick.

Overall, I guess it's best to not upset people wherever you are if they are in senior positions. Best to keep your mouth shut. But I know people in different industries that get away with it. Just.

I wouldn't recommend it - Switzerland is a very small country. Everybody knows everybody. For whatever reason - if you upset someone higher up the chain - they can turn upon you and silently respond:

"you will never work in this town again"

Beware!

Last edited by junos; 16.02.2008 at 19:26.
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Old 16.02.2008, 10:47
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

Hi Trev,

Thanks for your reply. I have sent dozens upon dozens of applications since I moved out here, but still not had any luck yet. I'm not entirely sure the best way in which my CV should be in terms of format, layout and content. I've just taken the logical approach, but from what I can gather, the swiss way of doing things is over-meticulous and extremely thorough and I'm not 100% sure my CV is up to the required standard.

I did hear they're mad about documentation, unfortunately, I don't have a letter of recommendation, due to the clash I had with my former boss for the points I outlined in my initial post, although I might be able to get my hands on one, circumstances permitting. I'm gonna try and hand pick a few references over the weekend, so hopefully, that might add a bit of weight to my applications




Jaye
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Old 16.02.2008, 11:01
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

Hi Junos,

Thanks for your reply, fortunately, the boss I fell out with works in the UK, so hopefully it won't prove to be too much of a problem over here, so long as any potential employer I apply to, doesn't ring my previous place of work. I'm not an employee who actively seeks out arguements with senior members of staff, I felt I had just cause to "step out of line" and voice my opinions, taking into consideration that when your working in one of the most hostile and inhospitable places on earth, the last thing anyone needs in those circumstances is their boss to land himself in the national newspapers for cheating on his wife whilst on active duty. I felt it necessary to question his professionalism and his ability to continue in his capacity, then as we all know, shit rolls down hill, and the shit definately rolled down and piled up on me!

I still have a few contacts who will referee for me and hopefully I'll find employment soon as DJing in a bar on a saturday night just doesn't cover the bills!

Thanks again,

Jaye
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Old 16.02.2008, 19:15
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

Yes, but this is my point. Only thing that saved me for the position I'm currently in was the fact that they went back 10 years to 2 employers for verbal refs in the UK. In Switz, they delve into your background.

BTW - I spin Progressive CDJ1000MK3/DJM-800 setup. But dex are in storage ATM. Never mind!
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Old 16.02.2008, 19:21
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

As far as it goes negative references are never officially given by companies in fact this is expressly forbidden by HR in many major Swiss companies. Its the lack of a positive reference that causes the problem plus the fact that with for example Pharma most managers know there opposite numbers from meetings etc and its as someone else has said a small country.

ash
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Old 16.02.2008, 19:46
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

Yep, neg refs aren't given but they are often "coded". While on the face of it they might seem broadly positive, HR can and do "code it up" such that potential employers will not rely on the written one and cause them to call up to find out more.

Specifically, mine was good - I am very good at the work that I do - but the fact that they didn't "wish me well in my future endeavours" at the end of the ref pricked up the ears of all potential employers and that led to my having to go back to past employers in the UK with my begging bowl.

Under normal circumstances, I don't believe that Switzerland is any different from the UK - they don't normally call to check up. From my experience, I chose to be open about it from the start. I got there in the end. I dealt with the new Manager directly and the Director above him and we talked. HR, incidentally were kept well out of it by them because if HR had anything to do with it they prolly would have closed the door there and then.

Good luck!!
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Old 17.02.2008, 04:02
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

Thanks again guys, points duly noted! Looks I'm gonna have to start asking former colleagues if they'll knock up a reference or at least allow me to provide contact details for them should a reference be necessary, which in a document-mad country like switzerland, will sure be the case!

All else fails, then it's time for a little photoshop, cut & paste and a sprinkling of bullshit... to hopefully baffle the brains!
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Old 17.02.2008, 14:31
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

Also, does anybody know of a good website with where I could find good examples of Curriculum Vitae documentation, particularly conforming to Swiss standards?
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Old 17.02.2008, 15:27
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Re: Procedures taken by potential employers

I have no idea what the Swiss standard for a CV is. However, you do have the right to get a reference letter from your last employer and I read somewhere that you actually have the right to get a "positive and uncoded" one. Codes: I do not know if you do the same in the UK, but there are certain ways in the German speaking countries to express negative stuff in really positive terms. So it can sound very nice for you but actually means something negative every other HR guy will understand, like "he was always on time" meaning "there is nothing positive about him except that he actually shows up at work on time"... so you should be very careful with the text you get.
Definitely ask for it, if you have no other "proof" of six years work experience. And you already figured out how important any piece of written documentation is...
And keep up the spirit. I do not remember how many applications I wrote but I am sure it was more than 200...

Cheers,

Chris
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