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Old 30.10.2018, 20:08
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Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

I'm a reasonably well-qualified person, but my work permit renewal date is coming up in five weeks and I need *** ANY job NOW ***. I will literally do anything legal, and live just outside Zurich. I speak German quite fluently, and understand Swiss German reasonably well. Can anyone give me tips on the style of a Swiss covering / "motivational" letter (for example, they even want this for working at the supermarkets), or ideas on how to simplify my CV for a mundane office job which will keep me going whilst I am studying? I rewrote my CV to make it sound more customer-service focused, but a Swiss friend said that it was still too long (three pages). A German friend had already cut it down to "German standards" - are the Swiss even more brief with their CVs?
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Old 30.10.2018, 20:37
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

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I'm a reasonably well-qualified person, but my work permit renewal date is coming up in five weeks and I need *** ANY job NOW ***. I will literally do anything legal, and live just outside Zurich. I speak German quite fluently, and understand Swiss German reasonably well. Can anyone give me tips on the style of a Swiss covering / "motivational" letter (for example, they even want this for working at the supermarkets), or ideas on how to simplify my CV for a mundane office job which will keep me going whilst I am studying? I rewrote my CV to make it sound more customer-service focused, but a Swiss friend said that it was still too long (three pages). A German friend had already cut it down to "German standards" - are the Swiss even more brief with their CVs?



Your CV is FAR too long, max 2 pages and make sure you get all the interesting bits on page 1 so the person reading it reads page 2 as well.


If anybody sees 3 pages, it's waffle and in the bin directly !
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Old 30.10.2018, 20:39
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

Thanks for the feedback! I'll try doing that.
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Old 31.10.2018, 00:33
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

If you really mean any kind of job, and are intending to apply at Mcdonalds, and as a cleaner, kitchen worker, etc., then simply take out any description of what you did in you previous job. For example, convert:

Jan 2014 - Oct 2017
IT Project Analysis, including budget management, bench-marks and projections of the effects on concommitant Projects

to
2014 - 2017
Gained working experience in an IT Project

Do the same with your education. No mention of the titles or content of your degrees. In this way, you can convert your doctorate in accounting to:
attended classes in accounting
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Old 31.10.2018, 00:36
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

You might also find some tips in

https://www.englishforum.ch/employme...ch-german.html

and

https://www.englishforum.ch/employme...fications.html
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Old 31.10.2018, 00:45
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

Thanks a lot - will check those out!
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Old 31.10.2018, 08:46
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

I am not a pro but three pages for a CV is far too long especially when applying mcdonalds etc. Instead of writing all the duties try writing just a brief explanation of the job. doropfiz gave a good example. Here is mine:

Software Tester
Company, Zürich CH
Creation, execution and documentation of software tests

I use table format and can fit five work experience (5*3 line=15), three education (3*2=6), personal data (8) and qualifications like languages (3), computer knowledge (5) and driving license (1). With the titles it makes 42 lines which is enough for a page. Of course with a nice picture of me.

I hate writing cover letter but the more you write/read the less painful it is. I use this structure:

- Contact Information: Both mine and the companies address
- Application for ...
- Introduction: How I learned about the job and why I am interested in it
- Main part: Description of my job-related experiences and skills
- Motivation: About my personality and how I can help the company
- Conclusion: Call to action - I would love to get interviewed
- Greeting and signature.

Don't go below a 12 point font, be careful with playing margins, choose a good font style and use all the keywords from job description.

Good luck
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Old 31.10.2018, 08:54
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

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Your CV is FAR too long, max 2 pages and make sure you get all the interesting bits on page 1 so the person reading it reads page 2 as well.


If anybody sees 3 pages, it's waffle and in the bin directly !
Personaly I think 3 pages is fine. Particularly if you have several jobs and/or education entries to list. Better that than squashing everything in to 2 pages so it ends up looking a mess.

But to be honest if I had a max 5-week timeline to find any job, fine-tuning my CV/cover letter would not be a priority. Recruitment processes that want/prefer them are likely to take longer than 5 weeks.

I would doorstep as many places as possible, strike up conversations, politely ask to speak to the manager, etc...then explain yourself and your situation genuinely with a view to landing a job there and then. Irish pubs, shops, etc, etc....

Good luck!

Last edited by The ScottiCH One; 31.10.2018 at 09:02. Reason: Stupid spelling
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Old 31.10.2018, 09:10
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

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Your CV is FAR too long, max 2 pages and make sure you get all the interesting bits on page 1 so the person reading it reads page 2 as well.


If anybody sees 3 pages, it's waffle and in the bin directly !
Mine is almost 3 pages and it had a good response. If you are a 25 year old a 3-page CV is long but if you are mid-40s and have studied a lot and changed jobs a 3 page CV is not excessive.

For the OP, to get a job in McDonald's I wouldn't send a 3 page CV though. I would focus on German knowledge, skim over unrelated experience and cut it down to a 1-pager.
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Old 31.10.2018, 10:40
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

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Your CV is FAR too long, max 2 pages and make sure you get all the interesting bits on page 1 so the person reading it reads page 2 as well.


If anybody sees 3 pages, it's waffle and in the bin directly !

not true. mine is 3 pages long and i had steady interviews. feedback from HR, headhunter and other is that my CV is top. fact 1: reduce to the max. if thats 3 pages long with 100% relevant information so be it. fact 2: write 100% fitting to the role and have all the buzzwords in. therefore assess the job posting thoroughly and write a compelling cover letter in AIDA style. its not easy but it is the way.

if it is to land any job: go there directly! i know that Dieci Pizza is always looking for drivers. for that you dont need a CV. walk in a branch and ask about the job. good luck.
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Old 31.10.2018, 10:42
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

My 2 Rappen: One should always have multiple CVs, or at the very least a base CV which is then modified based on the job being sought.

Back in my HR days the first ones to go in the bin were the ones that were insanely long, full of wacky fonts, or that had nothing but boilerplate language like "team player likes new challenges". Oh, and we binned more than one that was on pink paper with perfume...

If you're applying to McD's or similar, maybe a CV isn't even needed. Just leg work and chatting with the manager.
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Old 16.11.2018, 00:13
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Re: Swiss cover letter style, & dumbing down my CV/resume?

Maybe you can find something for yourself amongst startups? You did not write anything about your skills. Can you help in office IT, customer support, sales? I hope that startups may be more willing to hire you quickly as they usually don't have funds to hire whom they really need. I met once a girl at RAV who told me she got a contract in sales without any interview, her task was to cold call customers in English the whole day. Check for example earlyhire.ch
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