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-   -   What is wrong with my applications from abroad? (https://www.englishforum.ch/employment/243029-what-wrong-my-applications-abroad.html)

Paxton 03.11.2015 08:43

What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
I have been thinking of moving to Switzerland for about 6 months and a few months ago I decided to sent out my CV to some recruitment agencies. I must have sent out about 7 open applications.

I did not apply for specific positions as I also wanted to get some sort of indication as to my chances of getting a job in my field of experience, I.T. I have lived and worked in several European countries however I have always applied after arriving in the country. Just to make things clear, I am an native English speaking EU citizen with no German language ability.

My problem is that I have not had a single response from these recruitment agencies yet and I am trying to find out what the issue might be. It is of course not a great idea to write again and ask why there was no response and no amount of internet search can shed any light on this either as I have tried already. Of course there are many factors however the first few that come to mind are:

-I dont have a degree in I.T. or any field: My highest level of Education was a diploma. Nobody can tell me whether this is a Swiss employment requirement or not. I do however have over 12 years experience in the I.T. field and I do not know if this is valued at all. In the UK and Netherlands it certainly is valued.

-I am not in the country: This could also be causing an issue as recruiters may not see the value in making such effort for someone abroad.

-I don't speak German: This I assume is can be a big issue however I have read many stories of people working in Switzerland withought even viewing to learn the language in the future. I understand French and Italian are also official languages (both of which I speak) however I assume that most jobs require german.

None of the recruiters have even replied to point out any major shortcomings in my application or CV and although they are not required to, it would certainly help. If anyone can shed any light on this I would be most grateful.

thank you!

Papa Goose 03.11.2015 08:45

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
This is a Friday thread and it's only Tuesday:D

Chuff 03.11.2015 08:47

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
So basically, you do not live in the country, have not applied for a specific position, and expect them to be doing what exactly? Free private coaching?

Switzerland is one of the most competitive countries in the world to get a job in, and there is no shortage of unqualified general IT bods (and I speak as an ex unqualified IT bod). Without a degree or recognised qualifications you basically have little chance without either being grandfathered in by your current company (as I was), or moving here to establish yourself, or having specialist skills which are in short supply, and that does not include IT support and networking.

Paxton 03.11.2015 09:13

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2478248)
So basically, you do not live in the country, have not applied for a specific position, and expect them to be doing what exactly? Free private coaching?

Switzerland is one of the most competitive countries in the world to get a job in, and there is no shortage of unqualified general IT bods (and I speak as an ex unqualified IT bod). You basically have little chance without either being grandfathered in by your current company (as I was), or moving here to establish yourself, or having specialist skills which are in short supply, and that does not include IT support and networking.

Hi and thanks for the honest reply. No I did not expect free private coaching but I hoped that they might have told me something along the lines of: I have No chance unless I am in the country or I have no chance without the language. Or perhaps send me in the right direction. Hence my post on this forum as I have so far been unable to find such information researching the internet.

I am moving back to Europe and wanted to weigh up my chances in different countries such as Switzerland vs Germany vs Austria. Being present in the country is something I can change with a simple flight however my lack of German would take a while to change and lack of a Degree I am not sure I would do this at all. If the latter is definitely a show stopper then I already have my answer and I will not bother hence my questions regarding these two factors. I am still unable to find information specifically telling me whether a degree is a pre-requisite or not.

I appreciate your info and it is helpful to know that there are already plenty of people like me (unqualified) looking for work there so it might not be a great idea. Of course my specific experience might fit perfectly with a particular role however it might be totally ignored for the simple fact that I am not there or I dont have German or a Degree. I have no idea on this.

TiMow 03.11.2015 09:20

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
You've discovered Swiss apathy at it's best.

Agencies and prospective employers tend to give back only positive feedback to the successful applicant(s) only - it's easier that way.

Remember, no news is ...... rejection.

Arteemis 03.11.2015 09:34

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Why not start with looking at jobs in the UK, where language is not an issue?

I'm just curious as to why you are set on Germany, Austria and Switzerland if you don't speak German?

Chuff 03.11.2015 09:41

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478265)
Hi and thanks for the honest reply. No I did not expect free private coaching but I hoped that they might have told me something along the lines of: I have No chance unless I am in the country or I have no chance without the language. Or perhaps send me in the right direction. Hence my post on this forum as I have so far been unable to find such information researching the internet.

I am moving back to Europe and wanted to weigh up my chances in different countries such as Switzerland vs Germany vs Austria. Being present in the country is something I can change with a simple flight however my lack of German would take a while to change and lack of a Degree I am not sure I would do this at all. If the latter is definitely a show stopper then I already have my answer and I will not bother hence my questions regarding these two factors. I am still unable to find information specifically telling me whether a degree is a pre-requisite or not.

I appreciate your info and it is helpful to know that there are already plenty of people like me (unqualified) looking for work there so it might not be a great idea. Of course my specific experience might fit perfectly with a particular role however it might be totally ignored for the simple fact that I am not there or I don't have German or a Degree. I have no idea on this.

Believe it or not, a relatively large proportion of the Swiss workforce (vs other mainland Europe) do not have a degree, they have various other routes into work such as vocational training and apprenticeships etc. However, as an Auslander without the relevant language skills you will find it very tough (I'm not saying impossible, mind) to even get a foot in the door and compete with them. If you speak good French then apply in the French-speaking areas. Also don't make the mistake of only sending your CV to recruitment agencies... do some specific research and check out the companies in the big cities, check the job sites, and try applying personally using applications specifically tailored to the company and role. The major stumbling block you will face will be the extra effort a company has to go to the trouble of getting you a permit... if you don't live here and have a B permit then many companies are put off by this.

I also note that, worryingly, you state "I have 12 years experience in the IT field" and yet don't state what that experience is (IT is too broad to get away with saying stuff like that, especially when you want detailed advice), and in addition don't state if in this long 12 year period you gained any recognised IT certifications or not? Do you have anything?

Paxton 03.11.2015 09:48

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arteemis (Post 2478285)
Why not start with looking at jobs in the UK, where language is not an issue?

I'm just curious as to why you are set on Germany, Austria and Switzerland if you don't speak German?

It's just that I lived in the UK for almost a decade and although I loved it there, it really felt like I had had my fun and it was time to go. I have considered returning but wanted to experience something different.

I particularly like the above mentioned countries and have visited them as a tourist and for snow sports many times. Having all that skiing so close is a real attraction for me. Benelux is also an option however I lived in the Netherlands and Belgium for over 5 years and feel that I have experienced that also. English was widely accepted as the official language in the companies I worked for in Holland and I know that some countries are more restrictive than others regarding language. Germany, Austria and Switzerland are totally unknown to me as far as my career prospects go.

Arteemis 03.11.2015 09:54

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
I can't speak for Germany or Austria, but Switzerland will be a tough job market to apply to as a non EU national.

The same applies for us Swiss citizens when we apply to Australia though :)

fatmanfilms 03.11.2015 09:57

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arteemis (Post 2478325)
I can't speak for Germany or Austria, but Switzerland will be a tough job market to apply to as a non EU national.

The same applies for us Swiss citizens when we apply to Australia though :)

The OP claims to be a English speaking EU citizen.

Arteemis 03.11.2015 09:58

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 2478329)
The OP claims to be a English speaking EU citizen.

My bad, I skipped that piece of information...

Paxton 03.11.2015 10:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arteemis (Post 2478325)
I can't speak for Germany or Austria, but Switzerland will be a tough job market to apply to as a non EU national.

The same applies for us Swiss citizens when we apply to Australia though :)

Australia is tough for anyone, so I have heard :)

I do have both Australian and Italian citizenship so I hold an EU passport...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2478295)
Believe it or not, a relatively large proportion of the Swiss workforce (vs other mainland Europe) do not have a degree, they have various other routes into work such as vocational training and apprenticeships etc. However, as an Auslander without the relevant language skills you will find it very tough (I'm not saying impossible, mind) to even get a foot in the door and compete with them. If you speak good French then apply in the French-speaking areas. Also don't make the mistake of only sending your CV to recruitment agencies... do some specific research and check out the companies in the big cities, check the job sites, and try applying personally using applications specifically tailored to the company and role. The major stumbling block you will face will be the extra effort a company has to go to the trouble of getting you a permit... if you don't live here and have a B permit then many companies are put off by this.

I also note that, worryingly, you state "I have 12 years experience in the IT field" and yet don't state what that experience is (IT is too broad to get away with saying stuff like that, especially when you want detailed advice), and in addition don't state if in this long 12 year period you gained any recognised IT certifications or not? Do you have anything?

I come from a windows background with experience in Server 2003 and 2008 (server administration) and although I completed a course in Maintaining, Configuring and managing windows 2008 I don't have the MCSA or similar. I am still wondering whether to do this or not. I have my ITIL and of course extensive experience in tech support for all windows operating systems. I started out in customer support, moving on to technical support, account management and system support for JP morgan, Fortis and the like and then onto server administration and then my last role.

My last role was as a NOC engineer was a summation of all my experience, client-facing and technical as we had to do both and work with all parties involved from the clients to development to the upper management as well as troubleshooting any issues our monitoring picked up, logging issues, ect. I was also responsible for all the IT procurement and management for our department so this was good experience also. NOC roles are difficult to come by though it seems and it's a very particular set of skills that are required. This is what gives me the idea that I might stand out from others and although there are few NOC jobs about, not everyone can provide the skills required.

If no degree is not a show-stopper then I am in with some chance. I do speak French and Italian so these might help. My German is coming along but not good enough for any type of business conversation. In holland, Dutch was not required for many companies and I was hoping there might be similarly relaxed companies in Switzerland. I have read stories (forum threads, ect) that suggest this is the case.

sorry, what is a B permit?

Arteemis 03.11.2015 10:28

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478364)
sorry, what is a B permit?

Here's a brief summary of the different permits to live in Switzerland:

https://www.ch.ch/en/renewal-overvie...idence-permit/

As an EU national you would obtain a B permit

Treverus 03.11.2015 10:28

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478362)
In holland, Dutch was not required for many companies and I was hoping there might be similarly relaxed companies in Switzerland. I have read stories (forum threads, ect) that suggest this is the case.

You must have misunderstood these threads. Only large MNCs will consider people who don't speak the local language. That's the same MNCs which are currently moving their NOCs from Switzerland and London to low cost countries...

Chuff 03.11.2015 10:31

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478362)
I come from a windows background with experience in Server 2003 and 2008 (server administration) and although I completed a course in Maintaining, Configuring and managing windows 2008 I don't have the MCSA or similar. I am still wondering whether to do this or not. I have my ITIL and of course extensive experience in tech support for all windows operating systems. I started out in customer support, moving on to technical support, account management and system support for JP morgan, Fortis and the like and then onto server administration and then my last role.

My last role was as a NOC engineer was a summation of all my experience, client-facing and technical as we had to do both and work with all parties involved from the clients to development to the upper management as well as troubleshooting any issues our monitoring picked up, logging issues, ect. I was also responsible for all the IT procurement and management for our department so this was good experience also. NOC roles are difficult to come by though it seems and it's a very particular set of skills that are required. This is what gives me the idea that I might stand out from others and although there are few NOC jobs about, not everyone can provide the skills required.

If no degree is not a show-stopper then I am in with some chance. I do speak French and Italian so these might help. My German is coming along but not good enough for any type of business conversation. In holland, Dutch was not required for many companies and I was hoping there might be similarly relaxed companies in Switzerland. I have read stories (forum threads, ect) that suggest this is the case.

No degree makes things trickier vs one of your peers with similar experience who has a degree, but it's not the be-all and end-all as some people would have you think. Character, drive and experience still counts for a lot, and anyone who says otherwise may not always necessarily be someone you want to work for. There are many big companies, especially in and around Zürich/Geneva, where the business language is English, and with your experience (now that it's all a bit clearer) your best bet may be banks and financial/insurance institutions that have large and complex IT environments.

Trawl the mass market job sites (Jobs.ch etc), trawl the specific company site job pages, apply to the big IT recruiters and maybe call them directly to get advice and explain what you're about (that will help rather than just sending faceless CV's), and see what turns up. Good luck, because imo if you get yourself established here and get a good social circle going then it's a truly amazing place to be. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478364)
sorry, what is a B permit?

Tip for getting future help: please don't waste our time asking questions like this, do your basic research as everything is a very quick Google away. Use the forum members to get advice for things you have researched yourself and still don't understand :)

newtoswitz 03.11.2015 10:34

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478246)
It is of course not a great idea to write again and ask why there was no response

Why? :confused:

Don't ask, don't get.

But you do need to find a role that you are qualified for (jobs.ch, monster.ch, jobserve.ch etc etc), then you can send an application and follow up with a phone call. Those sites will also give you the names of agencies working on your sort of roles.

gipfelisturmer 03.11.2015 10:37

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Try Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland as well.
They might be more welcoming to English-only speakers, and some of them would have ski-locations nearby.

Cheers

Mullhollander 03.11.2015 11:15

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
English is widely spoken among EF members but not necessarily in Switzerland. According to a company coincidentally called EF, English in Switzerland ranks 19th, behind Austria at 10th and Germany at 11th. The top countries for English as a second language are:

1) Sweden
2) Netherlands
3) Denmark
4) Norway
5) Finland

http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/sch...id4320014.html

meloncollie 03.11.2015 11:16

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 2478366)
You must have misunderstood these threads. Only large MNCs will consider people who don't speak the local language. That's the same MNCs which are currently moving their NOCs from Switzerland and London to low cost countries...

The changing IT landscape is something the OP needs to understand.

Yes, Switzerland used to be a hub for skilled IT folks, that's why many EFers were recruited to Switzerland 10, 15 years ago. But those days are over.

Many of the MNCs - and some smaller Swiss firms as well - simply cannot justify the cost of 'first world' IT salaries anymore, let alone the even higher costs in Switzerland. IT jobs that are not directly tied to a Swiss-based profit making function are going.

If you want to work in IT for a Swiss company, Poland is the place to look.

Paxton 03.11.2015 11:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2478372)
No degree makes things trickier vs one of your peers with similar experience who has a degree, but it's not the be-all and end-all as some people would have you think. Character, drive and experience still counts for a lot, and anyone who says otherwise may not always necessarily be someone you want to work for. There are many big companies, especially in and around Zürich/Geneva, where the business language is English, and with your experience (now that it's all a bit clearer) your best bet may be banks and financial/insurance institutions that have large and complex IT environments.

Trawl the mass market job sites (Jobs.ch etc), trawl the specific company site job pages, apply to the big IT recruiters and maybe call them directly to get advice and explain what you're about (that will help rather than just sending faceless CV's), and see what turns up. Good luck, because imo if you get yourself established here and get a good social circle going then it's a truly amazing place to be. :)



Tip for getting future help: please don't waste our time asking questions like this, do your basic research as everything is a very quick Google away. Use the forum members to get advice for things you have researched yourself and still don't understand :)

Yeah sorry you are right that was just me being lazy and thanks for all the great input, I now have some good info that I can use. In the past when moving country I didn't give much thought to the possibility that I might end up jobless and peniless and I always found my way. But this time I'm especially cautious as with my current finances I'll get one shot at this and not much more (especially in Switzerland). No hope for a backup plan or help either hence having to decide on one country, go for it and hope for the best.

Preparation is everything....apparently :)

Thanks

Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 2478416)
The changing IT landscape is something the OP needs to understand.

Yes, Switzerland used to be a hub for skilled IT folks, that's why many EFers were recruited to Switzerland 10, 15 years ago. But those days are over.

Many of the MNCs - and some smaller Swiss firms as well - simply cannot justify the cost of 'first world' IT salaries anymore, let alone the even higher costs in Switzerland. IT jobs that are not directly tied to a Swiss-based profit making function are going.

If you want to work in IT for a Swiss company, Poland is the place to look.

I guess I expected the Swiss IT industry and job availability to be similar to the one I left behind in the Netherlands where there were plenty of jobs and salaries were better than decent. That was only a year or two ago but perhaps that has changed already.

Poland? I've never considered it but right now options are my best friend so I will need all I can get ;)

Chuff 03.11.2015 12:10

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478449)
I guess I expected the Swiss IT industry and job availability to be similar to the one I left behind in the Netherlands where there were plenty of jobs and salaries were better than decent. That was only a year or two ago but perhaps that has changed already.

Poland? I've never considered it but right now options are my best friend so I will need all I can get ;)

Why don't you get work in the UK (London), Germany or France to get on your feet and earn some cash while the initial living costs are cheaper? Once you have a settled base there it may be easier to have a shot at getting to Switzerland, especially if you live in Germany/France which is only a few hours from Switzerland by train, meaning you could visit and get a feel for the place. In a year you could then take stock and plan carefully, not to potentially mention commute form over the border if you lived close enough.

Paxton 03.11.2015 12:21

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dbucar (Post 2478379)
Try Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland as well.
They might be more welcoming to English-only speakers, and some of them would have ski-locations nearby.

Cheers

well I had never really considered any Nordic countries so hadn't really decided whether they appeal to me or not. Beggars can't be choosers though :)

Will add them to my list!

fatmanfilms 03.11.2015 12:26

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2478454)
Why don't you get work in the UK (London),

I think that housing & travel will likely cost more in London than Zurich. Other day to day expenses will be less. With Lower Salaries & Higher taxation London would not be high on my list.

Chuff 03.11.2015 12:35

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 2478469)
I think that housing & travel will likely cost more in London than Zurich. Other day to day expenses will be less. With Lower Salaries & Higher taxation London would not be high on my list.

My point was that I think those three places would be easier to find a job than Zürich, with less initial financial risk (he said he in a bit of a stick at the moment).

Paxton 03.11.2015 12:39

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2478454)
Why don't you get work in the UK (London), Germany or France to get on your feet and earn some cash while the initial living costs are cheaper? Once you have a settled base there it may be easier to have a shot at getting to Switzerland, especially if you live in Germany/France which is only a few hours from Switzerland by train, meaning you could visit and get a feel for the place. In a year you could then take stock and plan carefully, not to potentially mention commute form over the border if you lived close enough.

I did live in London for a long time so wanted to avoid going back - It was great though. I would be more inclined to go for Germany as opposed to France but I will only get one shot at trying this so I figured why not go for my number one choice.

The issue is that it seems job opportunities will be few unless I am there in Switzerland and to go there means going all in on one country and one chance. I have also applied to agencies in Germany and have had the same experience...as in no reply. Therefore I didn't have any reason to think that I have a better chance there. I suppose at least in Germany however, I am already an EU citizen so there would be no messing about with visas and it will be easier on the pocket. I have some serious thinking to do :)

Carlos R 03.11.2015 13:06

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 2478248)
So basically, you do not live in the country, have not applied for a specific position, don't have specific qualifications for the field, don't speak the language, and expect them to be doing what exactly? Free private coaching?

You missed a couple of bits...

belgo 03.11.2015 13:21

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
We are a small online bank and receive spontaneous applications all the time. In the beginning I replied to each one but this rapidly became too time-consuming. I still reply if people made an effort but no longer to the generic applications. But if you want a better response rate, I would start by giving them a Swiss address even if you are not yet there. No-one will in my opinion take a spontaneous application seriously if it is coming from the other side of the world unless you have a skill-set they cannot find here. Don't forget these recruiting agencies are inundated with applications every day from local applicants.

Paxton 03.11.2015 13:40

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by belgo (Post 2478508)
We are a small online bank and receive spontaneous applications all the time. In the beginning I replied to each one but this rapidly became too time-consuming. I still reply if people made an effort but no longer to the generic applications. But if you want a better response rate, I would start by giving them a Swiss address even if you are not yet there. No-one will in my opinion take a spontaneous application seriously if it is coming from the other side of the world unless you have a skill-set they cannot find here. Don't forget these recruiting agencies are inundated with applications every day from local applicants.

I can understand this although I wouldn't want to give false information stating a Swiss adddress and then being invited to an interview that I cannot possibily attend.

I was not only trying to get my CV out to recruitment agencies in advance, but also trying to get a feel of what my chances might be. And more importantly to make sure there were no pre-requisites that I cannot possibly get together before going such as a degree or proficiency in German. One of these two would render my entire quest useless and would cost me dearly so I would have skipped Swizerland and gone onto my next country of choice.

belgo 03.11.2015 13:46

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Your expectations are not very realistic I am afraid. Did you try to call them to discuss?

jfd134 03.11.2015 14:01

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478534)
I can understand this although I wouldn't want to give false information stating a Swiss adddress and then being invited to an interview that I cannot possibily attend.

I was not only trying to get my CV out to recruitment agencies in advance, but also trying to get a feel of what my chances might be. And more importantly to make sure there were no pre-requisites that I cannot possibly get together before going such as a degree or proficiency in German. One of these two would render my entire quest useless and would cost me dearly so I would have skipped Swizerland and gone onto my next country of choice.

Hi Paxton, keep your head up. The employment market is very tough right now. I was job searching for more than 9 months, as a resident with a B-permit and a PhD. Lots of very clever people here, or wanting to come here, and limited jobs.

Some things that helped me immensely
  • be a rockstar on your linkedIn profile
  • your (1-page) cover letter better be unique and really attention grabbing. Many people are applying, assume all are qualified - why are you best?
  • if you can find any way in via referral (even 'friend of a friend's neighbor), your chance of getting to a hiring manager (and getting an interview) increases dramatically
  • some firms have HR or automated screening, your application might be dead there before an engineer sees it. Make sure it has all the key skills in the job ad.
Lot of free job search options, they also have tips on how to write a resume, cover letter, etc.
  • glassdoor (this will also help you ask for the right salary)
  • linkedin
  • dice
  • ivyexec (get a 1 month free subscription)
  • naturejobs, sciencejobs (they have non-academic positions)
Good luck!

Paxton 03.11.2015 14:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by belgo (Post 2478540)
Your expectations are not very realistic I am afraid. Did you try to call them to discuss?

I don't think that I was being unrealistic. Recruitment agencies know the requirements in their particular country in order to get a work permit and they know their own requirements set by their employers before even considering an applicant.

They would have received my cover letter (email body) and I suppose would have either looked at my CV or not bothered to even do that based on some factor that is unknown to me. They had already taken the time to read the email and possibly the CV so a one liner stating for example " I am sorry but we cannot help you unless you are in the country" or "we cannot help you as you do not have a degree" would have taken marginally less time than they had already spent.

This information would be of great value to me as I could immediately make decisions based on this. If this information were available on the internet I would have used it however, surprisingly it is not clearly stated in any place that I have looked. I then decided ask people here and now I have some good information.

I thought that an email would be much less intrusive than a phone call and they would appreciate me not calling them out of the blue.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jfd134 (Post 2478552)
Hi Paxton, keep your head up. The employment market is very tough right now. I was job searching for more than 9 months, as a resident with a B-permit and a PhD. Lots of very clever people here, or wanting to come here, and limited jobs.

Some things that helped me immensely
  • be a rockstar on your linkedIn profile
  • your (1-page) cover letter better be unique and really attention grabbing. Many people are applying, assume all are qualified - why are you best?
  • if you can find any way in via referral (even 'friend of a friend's neighbor), your chance of getting to a hiring manager (and getting an interview) increases dramatically
  • some firms have HR or automated screening, your application might be dead there before an engineer sees it. Make sure it has all the key skills in the job ad.
Lot of free job search options, they also have tips on how to write a resume, cover letter, etc.
  • glassdoor (this will also help you ask for the right salary)
  • linkedin
  • dice
  • ivyexec (get a 1 month free subscription)
  • naturejobs, sciencejobs (they have non-academic positions)
Good luck!

9 months?? Wow.

thanks for this info ;)

miniMia 03.11.2015 14:15

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
You've gotten some very good advice here.

But 7 non targeted CVs sent with no response?

Get back to us after you have sent 70 specific applications.

Guest 03.11.2015 14:24

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Paxton, to be very realistic, Switzerland is cutting back all over the place, you really don't have anything unique to offer and what ypou do offer can be done by any number of people, already here, with permit and address.

You may be exceedingly lucky and find something, but as you say finances are not brilliant, i really would look elsewhere, Switzerland is expensive and money disappears quickly, especially if you're not earning, and this is certainly not going to happen before 2016 at best now.

Paxton 03.11.2015 14:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 2478569)
You've gotten some very good advice here.

But 7 non targeted CVs sent with no response?

Get back to us after you have sent 70 specific applications.

I get your point however I wasn't fishing for a job interview just yet - not if I'm out of the country. I would not even be able to attend unless I got on a plane that very day. I just wanted to get my CV on "file" so to speak and make sure I wasn't asking for the impossible considering that I don't have a degree and dont have German. It was also to somehow gauge if my skills might be of value in the current IT workplace.

Recruiters would know if this is the case and whether I am totally wasting my time even writing. Getting a degree or German proficiency or altering my work skills or experience in a matter of days is impossible. Making any sort of move is absolutely useless unless I am on the right track and at least have the pre-requisites in order.

Quote:

Paxton, to be very realistic, Switzerland is cutting back all over the place, you really don't have anything unique to offer and what ypou do offer can be done by any number of people, already here, with permit and address.

You may be exceedingly lucky and find something, but as you say finances are not brilliant, i really would look elsewhere, Switzerland is expensive and money disappears quickly, especially if you're not earning, and this is certainly not going to happen before 2016 at best now.
Thanks, this helps me a lot too. I want to make a smart, realistic decision and not another silly one.

I've made too many of those recently ;)

Meerkat33 03.11.2015 14:52

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
You have to apply directly to companies with specific cover letters, i don't know how it works elsewhere but no one will find a job for you here (unless you know them personally). Recruitment agencies receive CVs from all over the world all the time. When a company opens up a position they get tens if not hundreds of direct applications from people living here and the EU.
You said you speak italian and french, then why don't you apply to companies in french and italian switzerland too?

miniMia 03.11.2015 15:18

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paxton (Post 2478587)
I get your point however I wasn't fishing for a job interview just yet - not if I'm out of the country. I would not even be able to attend unless I got on a plane that very day. I just wanted to get my CV on "file" so to speak and make sure I wasn't asking for the impossible considering that I don't have a degree and dont have German. It was also to somehow gauge if my skills might be of value in the current IT workplace.

Recruiters would know if this is the case and whether I am totally wasting my time even writing. Getting a degree or German proficiency or altering my work skills or experience in a matter of days is impossible. Making any sort of move is absolutely useless unless I am on the right track and at least have the pre-requisites in order.

I get that. But with the market the way it is, recruiters don't need to 'work'. There is no hunting needed for head hunters. ;) they may put your CV on file. But they will never look at it.

If you do plan to come to Switzerland, really, you should be prepared for a year long search with 100 applications sent. Maybe you won't need that. You should be prepared though.

Now, I agree with the reply that there is no harm in asking the recruiters for advice. I asked maybe 4 or 5 and one responded. This was in response to specific jobs that I thought I was well qualified for. So maybe that was why I got a response. anyway, no harm asking by. It shows you are serious about your job search.

Now, as someone who is currently recruiting, I have to say I don't bother even reading CVs of people not in the country. I have over 100 candidates and I have to filter somehow. Location is first. Languages second, then I start looking at work experience and last on the list is education. I barely look at that.

Another easy filter is salary. Most English speaking 'expats' are asking for too much money. They have been reading too much EF and don't realize locals expect much less.

kd21 03.11.2015 15:36

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
One word I've learnt (from Swiss coaches) about the swiss job market...:

Contacts

Of course that's not only true in Switzerland, but given the size of the country, I guess it's even more important. So, why should an employer or an agent spend time and effort for somebody who's not even there, neither "unique" in his qualifications and skills?

It's a rhetorical question I'm afraid...

Medea Fleecestealer 03.11.2015 16:50

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
a) what nationality are you putting down on your CV? Aus or Italian?

b) if Aus then that's where part of your problem lies. Hiring a foreign national is difficult and certain criteria have to be met for an employer to be able to do so.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

"Cadre, specialists and other qualified employees will be admitted. "Qualified employee" means, first and foremost, people with a degree from a university or institution of higher education as well as several years of professional experience."

As an EU national it's a different story, but frankly it's probably best if you are here on the spot to apply/attend interviews rather than applying from abroad. There are plenty of candidates on the ground here so if you're not one of them I don't think you'll get very far.

newtoswitz 03.11.2015 16:55

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 2478620)
I get that. But with the market the way it is, recruiters don't need to 'work'. There is no hunting needed for head hunters. ;) they may put your CV on file. But they will never look at it.

If you do plan to come to Switzerland, really, you should be prepared for a year long search with 100 applications sent. Maybe you won't need that. You should be prepared though.

Now, I agree with the reply that there is no harm in asking the recruiters for advice. I asked maybe 4 or 5 and one responded. This was in response to specific jobs that I thought I was well qualified for. So maybe that was why I got a response. anyway, no harm asking by. It shows you are serious about your job search.

Now, as someone who is currently recruiting, I have to say I don't bother even reading CVs of people not in the country. I have over 100 candidates and I have to filter somehow. Location is first. Languages second, then I start looking at work experience and last on the list is education. I barely look at that.

Another easy filter is salary. Most English speaking 'expats' are asking for too much money. They have been reading too much EF and don't realize locals expect much less.

^^ This ^^

I can confidently say I have more than enough CVs "on file". Anything that isn't local and a very good match goes into the round file; life's too short.

Capo 04.11.2015 11:34

Re: What is wrong with my applications from abroad?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 2478620)
Now, as someone who is currently recruiting, I have to say I don't bother even reading CVs of people not in the country. I have over 100 candidates and I have to filter somehow. Location is first. Languages second, then I start looking at work experience and last on the list is education. I barely look at that.

Well, I think it's not the norm, perhaps true for IT...

BUT in many industries (e.g. investment banking), to fulfill front office positions, education is the first item that many recruiter will use as cut-off.


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