Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Employment  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23.09.2020, 23:29
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Geneva
Posts: 4
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Purrus has no particular reputation at present
Degree of formality in job applications

Hi everyone,

I am soon moving to Switzerland (the city/canton depends on where I find a job), and, coming from the American market, I've already seen some differences in the degree of formality expected from an application.

A bit of background, I'm in architecture, which tends to be a little less formal than a lot of other fields, but I don't want to be misaligned, so I'm trying to gauge a few things:

-First, whether it's okay to address people by their first name on job applications.
-Second, whether it's okay to write the cover letter as the email body and not as an attachment,
-Third, whether I can skip personal details such as age, nationality, picture, etc. in my CV (I just don't like putting anything in a CV that cannot be freely and openly discussed, and I don't think my face or my nationality should be a discussion topic)

I'm thankful in advance for those of you who can share some tips based on your experience!

Gonzalo
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24.09.2020, 12:47
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bern
Posts: 28
Groaned at 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 94 Times in 24 Posts
Juliet31 is considered knowledgeableJuliet31 is considered knowledgeableJuliet31 is considered knowledgeable
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

It's ok to have the cover letter as the email bit.

The other two questions are VERY BIG No's. I work in HR. If I received an application addressed to my first name, I would consider this very bad manners. The more formal the better.

As for the leaving out vital information in your CV. You can do whatever you like, but you will just get rejections (if you're lucky). The more you leave out, the company will think you have something to hide.
And it is vital you put in your nationality and permit situation. In Switzerland employers have to choose a Swiss National to fill the job, if there is one available. If you're non EU you will hardly stand a chance.

Plus always write the application in the language the Job advertisment is.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Juliet31 for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 24.09.2020, 12:56
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 4,508
Groaned at 217 Times in 171 Posts
Thanked 7,421 Times in 3,283 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
I don't think my face or my nationality should be a discussion topic
You need to do an awful lot more research on the jobs market then, if that is what you think.

You won't ever get past the first filter without nationality as it determines whether on not an employer will be able to employ you and if so the effort involved.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24.09.2020, 13:00
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Zurich
Posts: 82
Groaned at 14 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 14 Times in 11 Posts
SandyDown has no particular reputation at present
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Purus, Most applications have an online form, and you will have to enter the personal details such as age, nationality, gender , languages etc.. so the CV is an attachment to the application form filled in. Is it still mandatory to input date of birth on the CV... I do not want to put it on the CV, not because of anything, but its such a private security information that I am not sure I should be circulating on job boards etc.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24.09.2020, 13:13
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bern
Posts: 28
Groaned at 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 94 Times in 24 Posts
Juliet31 is considered knowledgeableJuliet31 is considered knowledgeableJuliet31 is considered knowledgeable
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Unfortunately, I think information on your age is necessary in an application.
The potential employer will use it to decide on certain things like salary (the more experience you have the more expensive you are, unless they want someone with experience).
Also with women it is an indication if they could get pregnant (yes it is illegal to ask in an interview, but they will consider this).

And last of all from 55 social insurances get very, very expensive.

If you are just worried about your birthday being online, just give the HR department a call and let them know. I am sure they would be ok about this.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Juliet31 for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 24.09.2020, 13:31
Axa's Avatar
Axa Axa is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Suhr, Aargau
Posts: 2,930
Groaned at 37 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 3,944 Times in 1,830 Posts
Axa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
-Third, whether I can skip personal details such as age, nationality, picture, etc. in my CV (I just don't like putting anything in a CV that cannot be freely and openly discussed, and I don't think my face or my nationality should be a discussion topic)
Unless you apply to a huge multinational corporation, get used to the idea of including birth date, nationality, residence permit and portrait picture.

Age? Well, you're writing your college graduation year and number of years of experience. For example, if you graduated in 2010 and have 10 years of experience, it can be assumed you're on your early 30s. No point in trying to hide info. As Juliet mentioned above there are pay brackets according to experience (less than 5 years experience, between 5 and 15, more than 15, etc). So, the dates are important to estimate how much you're going to cost.

Nationality and residence permit? It takes more time and effort to do the paperwork to hire someone who doesn't have a permit yet. And it's different amount of work to hire someone from EU27 (soon EU26) compared to hiring some else from the rest of the world. Better be transparent about it. If the employer really needs you skills, they'll do the effort to get a permit. If not, no one loses time.

Portrait? If I remember well, I think the only application I made that explicitly said don't include a portrait picture was to Philip Morris.

As someone mentioned above, the local culture is more or less that if you don't show information upfront, you're hiding something.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Axa for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 24.09.2020, 13:42
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Nyon
Posts: 4,900
Groaned at 247 Times in 181 Posts
Thanked 6,676 Times in 3,138 Posts
bowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

If you are neither Swiss, nor an EU national, it is very difficult to get a work permit. So difficult that many employers wonít devote the time and resources necessary.

Applying for a job does not mean your application is public knowledge, it isnít. Information you share in your application will be shared within the company but will not be divulged outside.

If you donít share your birthdate, how are you going to get a chocolate cake on your birthday?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 24.09.2020, 16:26
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Geneva
Posts: 4
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Purrus has no particular reputation at present
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Thank you all so much for the downpour of incredibly helpful information. As you can see I'm clearly not yet in sync with the local market, so thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

Luckily I'm EU and my partner already lives in CH, so the permit part shouldn't be as much of a hassle.

I can see why these details are important to Swiss employers. It's not that my vitals will work against me, as I have the experience expected from my age, my nationality is EU, and I'm not so ugly that my picture will turn employers away.

I'll get used to putting all this info, and ensure that I remain formal. I just got too used to the informality of the American architecture job market!


Quote:
View Post
If you donít share your birthdate, how are you going to get a chocolate cake on your birthday?
This might be the worst part of it all, I don't like chocolate cake!

Thanks again for all the help, I'm extremely grateful for your advice.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 24.09.2020, 17:31
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: In your head
Posts: 380
Groaned at 45 Times in 38 Posts
Thanked 1,172 Times in 417 Posts
RufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
Unfortunately, I think information on your age is necessary in an application.
The potential employer will use it to decide on certain things like salary (the more experience you have the more expensive you are, unless they want someone with experience).
Also with women it is an indication if they could get pregnant (yes it is illegal to ask in an interview, but they will consider this).

And last of all from 55 social insurances get very, very expensive.
I think all of the reasons you list are reasons not to put your age. Aa for the "could get pregnant" consideration: makes my blood boil.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank RufusB for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 24.09.2020, 17:55
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Geneva
Posts: 4
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Purrus has no particular reputation at present
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
I think all of the reasons you list are reasons not to put your age. Aa for the "could get pregnant" consideration: makes my blood boil.
That is truly messed up.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 24.09.2020, 20:03
3Wishes's Avatar
Moderately Amused
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bern area
Posts: 11,143
Groaned at 87 Times in 83 Posts
Thanked 18,853 Times in 8,394 Posts
3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

If you don't want to put the actual birthdate, just put the year. I've seen that more than once.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 24.09.2020, 22:44
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basle
Posts: 2,764
Groaned at 72 Times in 57 Posts
Thanked 1,925 Times in 1,112 Posts
Landers has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
This might be the worst part of it all, I don't like chocolate cake!

More likely some weird plum tart
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 24.09.2020, 22:51
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basle
Posts: 2,764
Groaned at 72 Times in 57 Posts
Thanked 1,925 Times in 1,112 Posts
Landers has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

I think we all know in the UK and probably EU too, all the information which can be used to discriminate is not put on CVs. No photo, no fertility status, no age etc. Employers have to wait until interview to do their discrimination.
I'm sure you're expected to put your real name though. Just having a foreign sounding name is a big factor for your application ending up in the bin.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 25.09.2020, 03:48
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Geneva
Posts: 4
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Purrus has no particular reputation at present
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
I think we all know in the UK and probably EU too, all the information which can be used to discriminate is not put on CVs

That was my initial point... Giving those kinds of details is a big no-no everywhere else (and both employees and employers seem to agree on this one) because of possible discrimination. Sad to see that Switzerland hasn't gotten in sync with this.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 25.09.2020, 07:20
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Nyon
Posts: 4,900
Groaned at 247 Times in 181 Posts
Thanked 6,676 Times in 3,138 Posts
bowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Welcometo Switzerland. We do things differently here.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank bowlie for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 25.09.2020, 07:47
komsomolez's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SZ
Posts: 1,820
Groaned at 85 Times in 60 Posts
Thanked 3,459 Times in 1,338 Posts
komsomolez has a reputation beyond reputekomsomolez has a reputation beyond reputekomsomolez has a reputation beyond reputekomsomolez has a reputation beyond reputekomsomolez has a reputation beyond reputekomsomolez has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
I think we all know in the UK and probably EU too, all the information which can be used to discriminate is not put on CVs. No photo, no fertility status, no age etc. Employers have to wait until interview to do their discrimination.
I'm sure you're expected to put your real name though. Just having a foreign sounding name is a big factor for your application ending up in the bin.
Yeah, or they look the person up on Facebook and LinkedIn where 90% will have happily shared this and more.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank komsomolez for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 25.09.2020, 07:50
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Nyon
Posts: 4,900
Groaned at 247 Times in 181 Posts
Thanked 6,676 Times in 3,138 Posts
bowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond reputebowlie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

I had one interview where they asked me why I didnít have a social media presence. This was in the UAE.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank bowlie for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 25.09.2020, 09:23
fatmanfilms's Avatar
The Marmite Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,017
Groaned at 450 Times in 344 Posts
Thanked 22,312 Times in 11,546 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
I had one interview where they asked me why I didn’t have a social media presence. This was in the UAE.
I see the same question asked on a Facebook group for Geneva expats .The OP has a social media presence
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 25.09.2020, 09:43
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 4,508
Groaned at 217 Times in 171 Posts
Thanked 7,421 Times in 3,283 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
I think we all know in the UK and probably EU too, all the information which can be used to discriminate is not put on CVs. No photo, no fertility status, no age etc. Employers have to wait until interview to do their discrimination.
I'm sure you're expected to put your real name though. Just having a foreign sounding name is a big factor for your application ending up in the bin.
Yea, donít know why some people are happy to waste their time doing interviews etc for jobs they are never going to get...but they are.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 25.09.2020, 09:44
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 4,508
Groaned at 217 Times in 171 Posts
Thanked 7,421 Times in 3,283 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Degree of formality in job applications

Quote:
View Post
Yeah, or they look the person up on Facebook and LinkedIn where 90% will have happily shared this and more.
There are systems for doing it these days
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
application, cover letter, tone




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
carpooling applications patrickk Transportation/driving 0 13.09.2020 17:06
Applications for by internet? namchebazar Housing in general 6 19.12.2012 08:19
Two applications in a row rel2011 Permits/visas/government 7 30.11.2010 19:22
Response for job applications irishrich Employment 4 24.06.2008 15:58
Anonymous Job Applications Guest Employment 7 09.10.2007 17:20


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 15:34.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0