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Old 20.05.2014, 22:52
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Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

Hi, I'm non-eu with a B permit. Since my wife is an EU citizen my B permit is EU/EFTA. According to my nationality it is clear I'm non-EU (and also not American/Canadian). Any ideas what should I write in my CV or in other work application documents? Any idea whether that may affect the fact that I'm not getting any interviews although my CV is quite nice and I have a good reference from the Swiss company that employed me in my last job?

Thanks in advance
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Old 20.05.2014, 23:05
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

if you have a dependent EU/EFTA permit with permission to work, definitely mention that. this is very relevant for an employer.
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Old 20.05.2014, 23:21
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

Since i've got employed recently and not competing for jobs anymore (well, for now), here is my advice

Same case, i am non-EU, my husband is swiss. I took his last name, but as it is an old and rare last name, you can't surely say where i come from.

- I have never wrote nationality. Recruiter screening my CV can focus on this and get false impression I need a work permit. However, looking at my language skills one can figure. But main point is: nationality is a bonus when one is Swiss/EU, otherwise, it can be a huge road block, considering they spend 8sec checking your CV.

- As k_and_e mentioned, always mention your permit. Always! Right after your personal details or maybe even right below your name, wherever visible . I also mentioned i am available immediately, so they get a point.

- Goes without saying: nothing will help if your CV is not easy to read, to the point and tailored for each job you apply for. If you've heard from multiple recruiters/friends working in HR that your CV is "quite nice", then just be patient and keep applying. If you personally think your CV is "quite nice", get it checked by someone else (Swiss preferably).


*i think this thread belongs to Employment, not to Permits/Visas/Government
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Old 20.05.2014, 23:44
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

Hi Thanks for the replies. I just thought they'll figure out my nationality anyway. As for the thread, Cheezecake you're right, but I have no idea how to move it.
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Old 21.05.2014, 00:05
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

You can't move your own threads, so I took care of it for you.
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Old 21.05.2014, 00:37
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

3Wishes is megaschnell!

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Hi Thanks for the replies. I just thought they'll figure out my nationality anyway.
Its globalisation, you can never figure out nationalities these days.
There are two ways as i see it: a) they will check your CV, see you don't need a work permit, find your relevant skills and experiences and invite you for an interview to ask, also about your nationality. b) they see your nationality written before the info about your permit and toss the CV in the garbage.
It is not about figuring out nationalities, it is about having your CV read.
These are my thoughts anyway; i've received 3 job offers. Not because i lied on my CV, but because i removed what i saw as a roadblock (and spent countless hours on my applications).
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Old 21.05.2014, 03:07
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

Simply write: "XY nationality (Swiss B work & residence permit)". You may also include the expiry date of the B permit, just in case, it can't hurt.

It's important to state that you not only have a B permit to reside (many do), but also to work.

I dislike it when people only write either or, or - even worse - nothing at all (I've been working in HR and international recruiting for a long time)

Also, it's really not that difficult to find out the nationality of an applicant. Google name, find LinkedIn/some other online profile, do a little math and research about education, work experience & work location, and in 95% you can be pretty sure of the person's nationality.

And yes, this may have affected your job search so far - if you didn't write you had a permit at all, people might have simply assumed you're non-EU with no permit. Any non-EU citizen (that includes US/Canada, btw, since you made that distinction) is on the bottom of the list of applicants. Many companies are not considering non-EUs at all or only in very few cases.

This is not about discrimination or that they're too lazy to do the work (an often-heard accusation). A CV can be a perfect match and it still won't matter. Companies need to prove that they could find no Swiss/EU/EFTA candidate to do a given job - in most jobs, this is impossible to prove, or would simply be untrue and official authorities are not stupid enough to fall for obvious lies. Subsequently, even if companies tried to apply for a permit, depending on the specific situation, it will well be declined anyway - and that is usually very clear upfront. So why should they bother, and - most importantly - make false promises to a candidate when they are sure they can't be kept anyway? That's not fair to the applicant.

So, write as explained above and it will probably help.

Good luck with the job search!
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Old 21.05.2014, 10:11
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

As Samaire 13 has pointed out employers have to prove to the authorities that they can't find a Swiss or EU national to do a job. But there's also a third category they have to work with. People who have a valid residence/work permit for Switzerland must also be considered before a non-EU person can be hired. That's why giving your permit details is important. The fact that you have a B permit allowing you to work puts you ahead of other non-EU applicants because employers won't have to go through the expensive and time consuming non-EU hiring process.

I also recommend "How to Write an Impressive CV & Cover Letter" by Tracey Whitmore. It's aimed at UK job seekers, but my husband found it very useful when he was made redundant here in Switzerland a few years ago. He wasn't getting any response to his CV until he used some of the advice in this book. The revamped CV's then started getting him interviews, and eventually a new job.
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Old 21.05.2014, 10:52
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

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Simply write: "XY nationality (Swiss B work & residence permit)". You may also include the expiry date of the B permit, just in case, it can't hurt.

It's important to state that you not only have a B permit to reside (many do), but also to work.

I dislike it when people only write either or, or - even worse - nothing at all (I've been working in HR and international recruiting for a long time)

Also, it's really not that difficult to find out the nationality of an applicant. Google name, find LinkedIn/some other online profile, do a little math and research about education, work experience & work location, and in 95% you can be pretty sure of the person's nationality.

And yes, this may have affected your job search so far - if you didn't write you had a permit at all, people might have simply assumed you're non-EU with no permit. Any non-EU citizen (that includes US/Canada, btw, since you made that distinction) is on the bottom of the list of applicants. Many companies are not considering non-EUs at all or only in very few cases.

This is not about discrimination or that they're too lazy to do the work (an often-heard accusation). A CV can be a perfect match and it still won't matter. Companies need to prove that they could find no Swiss/EU/EFTA candidate to do a given job - in most jobs, this is impossible to prove, or would simply be untrue and official authorities are not stupid enough to fall for obvious lies. Subsequently, even if companies tried to apply for a permit, depending on the specific situation, it will well be declined anyway - and that is usually very clear upfront. So why should they bother, and - most importantly - make false promises to a candidate when they are sure they can't be kept anyway? That's not fair to the applicant.

So, write as explained above and it will probably help.

Good luck with the job search!
Wow, many thanks! I'm actually doing exactly what you say, nationality and permit details in my CV, but I still wonder whether that's (mentioning my nationality) isn't a roadblock.
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Old 21.05.2014, 11:09
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

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As Samaire 13 has pointed out employers have to prove to the authorities that they can't find a Swiss or EU national to do a job. But there's also a third category they have to work with. People who have a valid residence/work permit for Switzerland must also be considered before a non-EU person can be hired. That's why giving your permit details is important. The fact that you have a B permit allowing you to work puts you ahead of other non-EU applicants because employers won't have to go through the expensive and time consuming non-EU hiring process.
So what are the exact regulations? As I understood it the requirement to find a Swiss/EU/existing permit holder could not be applied to a person who was covered under EU regulations (EU-17 at least). The spouse of a EU citizen falls under these regs.

In other cases is there a two-tier check? Swiss/EU then other permit hodlers then noreigners without permits?

To the OP - I'd simply put the permit "EU/EFTA B-Permit (full permission to work in all Cantons)" and leave nationality out.
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Old 21.05.2014, 11:50
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

Took off the nationality part, let's see how it works (left the permit info.)

I think I should add to the discussion the fact that their are unfortunately certain nationalities (EU or non EU) which would be more acceptable or preferable for job seekers.
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Old 22.05.2014, 01:37
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

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Also, it's really not that difficult to find out the nationality of an applicant. Google name, find LinkedIn/some other online profile, do a little math and research about education, work experience & work location, and in 95% you can be pretty sure of the person's nationality.
Samaire13, if only there are more recruiters like you, looking at candidates' linkedin or devoting anytime to find out the background! Recently there was an opening at my husband's team (big multinational but swiss based). They received 100 applications in 3 days. How did they deal with this? First got rid of anything they did not like. No swiss address - to the bin, no pic - to the bin, non-EU - to the bin etc. Then they proceeded with reading through CVs of those who had all right details.

I am definitely not saying "get rid of nationality field and you will find work tomorrow". There are so many variables in the recruitment process! But according to my experience when i got rid of nationality field and added "right to work for any Swiss employer" to my "B permit", i have received interview invitations 6 times out of 10, which i consider greatmegasuccess. It might be i was just lucky and applied for the right job at the right time, who knows.

I was also advised to get rid of my birth date because I am too young (for local standards). But i thought it is my advantage that i have that much experience for my age, i worked for it. I didn't want an employer who would have some prejudices against my age. But nationality, on the other hand, is just confusing, when you think about how difficult (if almost impossible) it is with non-EU.

Good luck once again, the process is nerve-wracking, be strong!
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Old 22.05.2014, 12:50
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

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Samaire13, if only there are more recruiters like you, looking at candidates' linkedin or devoting anytime to find out the background! Recently there was an opening at my husband's team (big multinational but swiss based). They received 100 applications in 3 days. How did they deal with this? First got rid of anything they did not like. No swiss address - to the bin, no pic - to the bin, non-EU - to the bin etc. Then they proceeded with reading through CVs of those who had all right details.
Hehe, I'm not surprised (despite working in HR, I have a very negative view of HR ).

The picture thing is ridiculous, though, especially for an MNC - it's a very Central European-thing to even include a picture on the CV. If this were a smaller, more local company, fair enough, but with an MNC? People should know that the majority of applications won't be from Central Europeans and not discard applications for such a mundane reason.

There is a bit of a catch-22 in the pre-screening process, though. There are simply jobs where you can't prove you haven't found a Swiss/EU/EFTA candidate. Many jobs in supporting, sort of business admin-related functions fall into this category, not even on just the lowest level, but also somewhere between a specialist and a management function. So even though one might shortlist candidates based on their backgrounds rather than their permit status (which should of course always be the case), you may then well be forced to eliminate those who are non-Swiss/non-EU and have no permit, simply as it would be impossible to get one for them. Which brings us back to making false promises to people and going through a process with no chance of success, which is unfair and a waste of time for all involved parties...
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Old 25.05.2014, 23:39
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

I have a profi photoshoot done, thanks to ex-employer. I don't really LOVE the pic, but it looks professional (no bikinis in front of the pool ) and "warm". So why not - i think it makes CV more personal. But surely it is not a deal breaker, i agree. Anyway, proves a point: when there are so many applicants, companies search for a reason not to hire.


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Which brings us back to making false promises to people and going through a process with no chance of success, which is unfair and a waste of time for all involved parties...
I didn't make myself clear here. If one needs a work permit, then s/he MUST write nationality on the CV. Exactly because of false promises: receiving rejection based on work permit situation is much harder after face2face interview vs after initial application. But if the employer reached out despite of "nationality issues", there is indeed a chance he is serious and is willing to organise it.

But in case of non-EU with a right to work (for any employer) - then I'd get rid of nationality but of course write about the legal status.
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Old 26.05.2014, 00:13
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

I assume you have a 5 years EU/EFTA work Permit.


It would be good to list the work Permit B EU/EFTA.


How is your German or French? If you don't have the language,
many communities offer courses for free.
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Old 28.05.2014, 11:36
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

I am in a similar situation myself....non-EU married to EU worker. I have been job hunting for almost a year and in my experience the photo is not important...and lets face it, they will google you and find a photo if it is really important to them.

For the permit I have found that even though I clearly state that I have a full B permit (immediately after my name and contact details), I am ALWAYS asked on the telephone whether if I have the right to work in Switzerland. This can only be because I have a non-EU nationality written below my permit details.
Do they think I am a lying about having a permit...or just plain stupid

I think I will remove my nationality from my CV and see how it goes
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Old 28.05.2014, 11:48
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

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I am in a similar situation myself....non-EU married to EU worker. I have been job hunting for almost a year and in my experience the photo is not important...and lets face it, they will google you and find a photo if it is really important to them.

For the permit I have found that even though I clearly state that I have a full B permit (immediately after my name and contact details), I am ALWAYS asked on the telephone whether if I have the right to work in Switzerland. This can only be because I have a non-EU nationality written below my permit details.
Do they think I am a lying about having a permit...or just plain stupid

I think I will remove my nationality from my CV and see how it goes


You should definitely have a photo, birthdate, work permit, language capabilities with Level if you know it....There are books on how to
write cover letters and CV's.


I would not mention nationality.


Reference letters from former employers with title and responsibilities, if you can get them.


In the US, we don't have them. The market was good then, and
they didn't ask further questions.


Lastly, if you don't speak the local language, you can at least attend
the free courses given by the local communities.


It definitely helps to know the local language! You can practice
with your spouse.
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Old 28.05.2014, 12:04
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

I agree with everything you have said (especially to include reference letters of you have them..a big thing here in Switzerland) but not with the Photo. If you are good looking and have a fantastic photo use it, otherwise don't bother because it is just another factor that could be used to discriminate against you. Some people here use one others don't, but just make sure the photo is professional if you use one.

The best advice I received was to ALWAYS telephone the recruiter or hiring manager if they list their number on the job advertisement and prepare good questions regarding the position and company. That way you really show an interest in the company and the position and they are more likely to remember your name and see you as a person rather than just one more CV in a pile of 300+

Good luck!
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Old 28.05.2014, 12:09
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

I am in the same situation, non-EU nationality and Swiss spouse, with open permit. Even if I write this very clearly in the motivation letter and the CV, they still ask time and time again if I have a valid permit. Once the HR even asked me: "Are your spouse really Swiss?" Then I said to myself: "WTF, do I have to upload the marriage certificate and the identity card of my spouse??"

Also, sometimes in the job ad it reads "Due to local restrictions, we only consider Swiss or EU-citizen with a valid working permit in Switzerland". Then I do not know if I can even apply. On one hand, I think they want to say "we want someone already with a permit" but they forget non-EU with open permit. On the other hand, from the text itself I cannot apply because they explicitly say only nationality CH or EU.
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Old 28.05.2014, 12:52
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Re: Unemployed Non EU regarded as EU CV etc.

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I am in the same situation, non-EU nationality and Swiss spouse, with open permit. Even if I write this very clearly in the motivation letter and the CV, they still ask time and time again if I have a valid permit. Once the HR even asked me: "Are your spouse really Swiss?" Then I said to myself: "WTF, do I have to upload the marriage certificate and the identity card of my spouse??"

Also, sometimes in the job ad it reads "Due to local restrictions, we only consider Swiss or EU-citizen with a valid working permit in Switzerland". Then I do not know if I can even apply. On one hand, I think they want to say "we want someone already with a permit" but they forget non-EU with open permit. On the other hand, from the text itself I cannot apply because they explicitly say only nationality CH or EU.
I wonder sometimes if the rules are too complicated and the HR people are not even sure if they are allowed to hire a non-EU person with an open permit....maybe they think they still have to follow the Swiss/EU first rule...even though you have the same work rights and can be hired without justification.

BUT asking if your spouse is really Swiss is just unacceptable. If it makes you feel any better the employer could still discriminate against you (regardless of nationality) if you are female, have a child, are the 'wrong' colour, age etc etc etc
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