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Old 22.05.2018, 22:10
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Seeking employment from abroad?

I'm very sorry if this question has been asked already, but I've searched a number of ways and couldn't find a clearer answer to this question:

For those of you that found a job from outside of Switzerland, what strategies did you employ that eventually led to your success? Did you typically write custom cover letters, or just send in CVs? How did you deal with time differences when interviewing? Did you interview by teleconference? How long did it take from the time you first sent a CV until the time you were hired?

I am a Senior Systems Admin (crowded field, I know), and EU citizen, as a reference. Please don't answer with "You should look inside of CH, it is easier" because I understand that already. I know the odds are tough, and I'm making this ten times harder for myself. Looking inside of CH is not an option for me, because I have a good gig I don't want to disrupt until I have something else lined up.

I am willing to fly out though on short notice if an employer really thinks I'm a serious candidate and there is a good fit. I'm also willing to do teleconference/phone interviews at weird hours for potential employers.

I'm looking for people who successfully started the interview process from abroad and got the job in CH if possible to tell me more about your experience, as I have a feeling there are more of you out there that have not talked about your job search success yet from outside of Swiss borders.

TIA,

HD
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Old 23.05.2018, 20:43
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

Los Angeles is not in EU

I guess, the first advise is 'be real'. Talk to people, blog, post, discuss in your full name, someone will get in touch sooner or later. It's not a shame that you would like to get a job in Switzerland, is it?

In my case the job came to me via a recruiter from my network. Remote interviews and flexible starting date.
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Old 24.05.2018, 00:11
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

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Los Angeles is not in EU

I guess, the first advise is 'be real'. Talk to people, blog, post, discuss in your full name, someone will get in touch sooner or later. It's not a shame that you would like to get a job in Switzerland, is it?

In my case the job came to me via a recruiter from my network. Remote interviews and flexible starting date.
Los Angeles in not in EU, but I am an EU citizen (Irish). Being open is not so easy.. there is no shame in wanting to work in Switzerland, but I do not want my present employer to know that I'm looking for other work. That makes things a bit complicated.

I guess one of the things that further complicates remote interviews for me is that the CEST time zone is nine hours ahead of my own.

I think for now, I'll just continue to send out my CV for relevant jobs and hope someone decides to take a chance. Thank you for the info, Leszek.
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Old 24.05.2018, 11:38
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

HerrDoktor,

I have a slight perception that employers in CH tend to call applicants for interviews, depending on their location, in this order:

1 - Switzerland;
2 - Germany, Italy, France, etc.
3 - UK;
4 - Overseas;

So, in your case, you will need to network more heavily to convince them to interview you before the CH-EU applicants. Of course, if you have rare, sought-after skills, it will be easier.

Another option, a bit shady to say to truth, is to have a CH address and phone number in your CV in order to increase the likelihood to be called for an interview.
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Old 24.05.2018, 11:53
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

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I guess one of the things that further complicates remote interviews for me is that the CEST time zone is nine hours ahead of my own.
That's actually an advantage because it ensures that any remote interviews would be on your own time and not your work time, assuming the usual 9-5 working day.
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Old 24.05.2018, 22:15
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

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HerrDoktor,

I have a slight perception that employers in CH tend to call applicants for interviews, depending on their location, in this order:

1 - Switzerland;
2 - Germany, Italy, France, etc.
3 - UK;
4 - Overseas;

So, in your case, you will need to network more heavily to convince them to interview you before the CH-EU applicants. Of course, if you have rare, sought-after skills, it will be easier.

Another option, a bit shady to say to truth, is to have a CH address and phone number in your CV in order to increase the likelihood to be called for an interview.
Capo, thank you for this most useful advice. I'll surely have to work harder to be considered! I would hit a Thank You button, but I don't have one yet.

Blueangel, you're right, and I really like your thinking. I'll just have to be prepared to do some very late-night remote interviews if and when I'm lucky enough to be contacted back.
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Old 25.05.2018, 01:54
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

Don't really think anyone can give you anything specific that's not common knowledge.

I got my job by setting up alerts for positions on various sites and applying, going through the interview process. Blogging and networking can be useful, but that's a fairly long game.
Most companies that advertise online are happy to do skype interview, then fly you out if you're a serious candidate for an onsite. (Speaking as a Software Engineer, idk how it translates to Sysadmins).

One thing to keep in mind is that it will be a long and frustrating process. It took me a year to finally make it happen. And it's a bit far from my initial expectations.
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Old 28.05.2018, 20:53
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

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Don't really think anyone can give you anything specific that's not common knowledge.

I got my job by setting up alerts for positions on various sites and applying, going through the interview process. Blogging and networking can be useful, but that's a fairly long game.
Most companies that advertise online are happy to do skype interview, then fly you out if you're a serious candidate for an onsite. (Speaking as a Software Engineer, idk how it translates to Sysadmins).

One thing to keep in mind is that it will be a long and frustrating process. It took me a year to finally make it happen. And it's a bit far from my initial expectations.
lordz, thank you -- I still don't have enough posts for my thank you button just yet. Yeah, my timeline is set to six months to a year or so of searching -- I've heard people say things similar to what you have, and I have no illusions that this search will go smoothly or quickly. I'm going to just have to roll up my sleeves and get in the trenches...
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Old 22.06.2018, 13:37
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

I'm also searching for almost a year now, learned a lot, especially the fact that you have to tailor you CV and resume for each and every job description. Then I've started being invited to phone interviews.



With the last company I had 3 remote interviews, they supposed to come back with an answer (or offer?) by the end of last week. Before that I've received good feedback and that they are waiting for some paperwork to go through. The job ads are still up, which is understandable they want 6-8 persons for the same position. It's frustrating. Maybe I asked too much, and they look for someone cheaper...



Just don't give up and keep looking.
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Old 22.06.2018, 13:55
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

I know that it's not what you want to hear but you are making life hard for yourself. Lots of people are struggling in Switzerland to get a job as many IT roles have been sent elsewhere and job security is low in the field. If a company deems you as not a good fit, you will be asked to leave no matter what you achieve.

If you have a good gig in LA, try to find something closer to you, the US is big enough. If you have a partner in Switzerland, convince them to move to you.
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Old 26.06.2018, 00:59
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

I have to be very honest, for the benefit to other potential job seekers that may come across this thread.

I have customized my CV to fit the Swiss market, and I always write a cover letter customized to the job when applying for Swiss jobs.

A few of the things that are kind of disheartening that I've found in my two months of job searching so far:

1) The complete lack of reply of any kind, even an automated message, even to *LinkedIn* job postings where you can see the recruiter directly! It is as if I'm sending my CV into the job ether, wondering if I'll receive a response.

2) The very thin job market in CH as a whole. Which makes sense, seeing as Switzerland has about 8.5 million people, and just the Los Angeles extended Metro area has about 12 million people. The crazy thing is that CH has *so many fewer* specialized IT listings for the role I'm looking for when comparing apples to apples, and that is even when talking about postings including every language!

3) I've seen some unprofessional things. For example, I've seen technical postings that look like they were half-written or pulled from a template (in French, which I actually have a working knowledge of), and I've even seen some postings that had *only a title* -- I've seen two of those. Only a title, not even a job description. Why would I reply to that? If people here are actually submitting CVs to things like that, it is not a good sign of the health of the job market.

The thing that makes this extra depressing is that because this search in CH has re-activated some of my old job-profiles in some places, I'm now getting a minimum of ten offers a day, five of which are custom-tailored for me and in my area -- but only in the US. The other half of the offers are from all over the US, Boston, Denver, etc... It hurts seeing a job market that is so tight here, I could likely get a 50% raise if I pursued some of these offers.

Maybe my dream of coming to CH is only a dream -- the things I've seen have certainly given me pause. If I go another six months without hearing a single peep from Swiss employers, I'll simply start applying in other candidate European countries. My family is not staying in the US, not for love or for money.

That would be an awful shame not to make it to my first choice of country, but I don't want to put myself into a job market where I've gone from hot commodity to desperate job seeker -- at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how nice the country is if I can't have reliable, well-paying gainful employment. That goes double when I'm responsible for my family's well-being.

I'll keep at it, and see where it goes! I'll post another update here in a few months, good or bad.
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Old 26.06.2018, 08:55
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

Keep working at it! I don’t know your full story, but I’m also feeling discouraged by the lack of responses/opportunities in a completely different field. I’m an American recently married to a Swiss, hence my move. However my husband spent close to two years unemployed at one time, and he’s a Swiss citizen. So did a friend of ours—almost four years without real steady employment before finally finding something.

If you can’t find something here, hopefully you won’t have trouble finding something elsewhere in Europe. Sounds like you’ve done a good job preparing yourself for the possibility of not finding anything in Switzerland.
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Old 26.06.2018, 09:31
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

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2) The very thin job market in CH as a whole. Which makes sense, seeing as Switzerland has about 8.5 million people, and just the Los Angeles extended Metro area has about 12 million people. The crazy thing is that CH has *so many fewer* specialized IT listings for the role I'm looking for when comparing apples to apples, and that is even when talking about postings including every language!
I don't think you should be surprised that Southern California has more jobs in IT... I thought that's common sense.


On the other points: If it is any help, your experiences aren't special but the norm. I think it will be extremely difficult to get an interview if you are not in the country or at least time zone. No offense, but employers probably have simpler options...


Its pretty normal to not hear anything back. The unprofessionalism is also unfortunately very normal. Two examples from recent history: I saw and ad from a recruiter who misspelled "senior", so he was looking for "Senor Consultant". Another ad used some corporate template. At the bottom was a section "Why are we great to work for"... the hiring manager left it empty and posted it without removing the headline...
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Old 26.06.2018, 09:41
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

I guess a lot of the unprofessionalism comes from the fact the person posting the ads is probably a work student
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Old 26.06.2018, 09:46
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

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I guess a lot of the unprofessionalism comes from the fact the person posting the ads is probably a work student
Absolutely. Its some time ago, but I did once receive a rejection letter signed by "head of HR" but sent from an email address labelled intern2.HR@Company.ch...
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Old 26.06.2018, 12:22
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

Also, one important aspect to be mentioned when seeking from abroad is that in my swiss job seeking experience, being from Easter Europe, all the phone interviews so far were with HR managers originating from this region (HR, HU, UA) too.



OP, you should underline your Irish origin in the cover letter, do a bit of background research on the HR manager, maybe you'll find an Irish one.



And yes, compared to my current location where I'm getting three invitations to interviews a week without sending out a single application, getting an invitation to in CH seems very difficult.
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Old 26.06.2018, 13:16
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

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I guess a lot of the unprofessionalism comes from the fact the person posting the ads is probably a work student
Or not native English speakers. I can forgive spelling mistakes in Jobs ads. And sometimes HR forgives them in my letters.... the other day I wrote 'roll' instead of 'role'. and I still made it to the phone interview.
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Old 26.06.2018, 15:02
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

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Or not native English speakers. I can forgive spelling mistakes in Jobs ads. And sometimes HR forgives them in my letters.... the other day I wrote 'roll' instead of 'role'. and I still made it to the phone interview.
Trust me... its not a language thing. They are not more professional when speaking German. If I am very honest were the native English speaker sitting typically in some call center in the UK among the worst. No clue about CH, no clue about the job, not able to answer the most basic questions about the employer (I assume they work for some outsourcing company). Only there to fill out some excel sheet and if you get enough questions right (as in: answer what was written there as they don't actually understand the questions)... you might get an actual meeting with an actual person working at the company you applied at.
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Old 26.06.2018, 15:29
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

I could spend more than 3 hours a day replying to unsolicited and solicited job offers which is why we do not reply to unsolicited and only to ones that fit the job description at leaset 80% of what was asked for.
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Old 26.06.2018, 16:26
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Re: Seeking employment from abroad?

I couldn't get a job elsewhere so just searched for job listings in Switzerland and applied.
Swiss companies tend to have big recruitment troubles due to the exciting nature of the country so... It's easier than most places to get a job in ch.
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