Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Employment
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 26.07.2008, 00:37
HollidayG's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kanton Zürich
Posts: 3,032
Groaned at 52 Times in 36 Posts
Thanked 1,174 Times in 734 Posts
HollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputation
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

I have one "glowing" Zeugnis from my first job in Switzerland.

My "glowing" Zeugnis was one that my wife helped me write.
I found the wording rather "funny". If someone wrote something
like that in English, one would instantly think it a fake.


My second Zeugnis was from a company where I extremely
disliked my manager. My wife said it was good. I would
have to find the wording though.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 26.07.2008, 18:08
Goldtop's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 2,854
Groaned at 11 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 905 Times in 625 Posts
Goldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Swiss testimonials are written in a special code. This uses a set of graded phrases. The code is known to HR specialists and experienced line-mangers.

Nice sounding sentences usually indicate mediocrity. Only exaggerated hyperbolic phrases signal a talented employee.

Do-it-Yourself testimonials are instantly recognizable, result in mixed-signals and amuse the professionals.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 26.07.2008, 18:31
Rustygraben's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 954
Groaned at 6 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 1,102 Times in 556 Posts
Rustygraben has a reputation beyond reputeRustygraben has a reputation beyond reputeRustygraben has a reputation beyond reputeRustygraben has a reputation beyond reputeRustygraben has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

How to write a letter of wreckommendation

1.
To describe a person who is extremely lazy:

"In my opinion," you say as sincerely as you can manage, "you will be very fortunate to get this person to work for you."

2. To describe a person who is totally inept:

"I most enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever."

3. To describe an ex-employee who had problems getting along with fellow workers:

"I am pleased to say that this candidate is a former colleague of mine."

4. To describe a candidate who is so unproductive that the job would be better left unfilled:

"I can assure you that no person would be better for the job."

5. To describe a job applicant who is not worth further consideration:

"I would urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment."

6. To describe a person with lackluster credentials:

"All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly."
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Rustygraben for this useful post:
  #44  
Old 26.07.2008, 19:20
litespeed's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Dietikon ZH
Posts: 1,854
Groaned at 15 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 2,398 Times in 730 Posts
litespeed has a reputation beyond reputelitespeed has a reputation beyond reputelitespeed has a reputation beyond reputelitespeed has a reputation beyond reputelitespeed has a reputation beyond reputelitespeed has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Zombiekiller, what industry in and have you been working in a entry level position or supervisory/management? If you are searching for an entry level position then you performance assessment isn't so critical. References play a greater roll with the more responsibility the position demands.

But the importance of an expression of regret / disappointment in the last paragraph cannot be understated, especially for important /management roles. For those who read German, this Study by the Fachhochschule Solothurn makes an interesting read, and a excellent insight into how skewed the Arbeitszeugnis is as an effective reference instrument.

Last edited by litespeed; 28.07.2008 at 05:11. Reason: link edited
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 04.11.2008, 15:29
evilshell's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK, formerly Basel
Posts: 3,362
Groaned at 97 Times in 81 Posts
Thanked 3,074 Times in 1,338 Posts
evilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Does anyone know if you can request that the final zeugnis be written in English, or must it be written in one of the official Swiss languages? I've been looking through the threads on this subject, and either I'm blind or it hasn't been covered
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 04.11.2008, 16:44
martin34's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Niederglatt
Posts: 715
Groaned at 39 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 304 Times in 185 Posts
martin34 has earned the respect of manymartin34 has earned the respect of manymartin34 has earned the respect of many
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Quote:
View Post
Does anyone know if you can request that the final zeugnis be written in English, or must it be written in one of the official Swiss languages? I've been looking through the threads on this subject, and either I'm blind or it hasn't been covered
An Arbeitszeugnis should be written in german (as opposed to french, italian). I am pretty sure that they do not exist in the french and italian parts of Switzerland.

I find it more useful to have them in german as potential future managers will surely speak german. However you can surely ask your company for an english translation of it.

Just wanted to add to the thread:

It is possible (according to Swiss Law) to ask for an Arbeitszeugnis AND an Arbeitsbestätigung. The difference between the two is that the Arbeitsbestätigung is only factual (e.g. So and So worked for our company from ... to ... and accomplished the following tasks: ..., ..., ... Signature)
So if you are sure your Arbeitszeugnis is very bad you can choose to only show potential new employers the Arbeitsbestätigung.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 04.11.2008, 16:47
paulita
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

I have had my work contracts and reference letters from CH-based companies written in English so far. I prefer English, as it works fine here in CH plus it gives you potential international mobility/flexibility. If you work for an international company, it is pefectly acceptable to request your letter in EN.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 04.11.2008, 17:10
amogles's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9,252
Groaned at 181 Times in 156 Posts
Thanked 17,609 Times in 7,478 Posts
amogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Things to look for in a Zeugnis [work reference]

Quote:
View Post
I have seen some Zeugnisse with a footnote the bottom saying something to the effect of, this reference letter hasn't been codified and the statements therein can be taken at face value.
I think this is to get away from the intricate wording system traditionally used in Swiss HR circles, where something ultimately very negative about an employee can be articulated to look innocuous - they call it "code."
I don't think there is a "code" as such, because the number of people who would have to be in on thes ecreat is just too big to keep it a secreat.

It's just a way of formulating things that call for the reader to read between the lines. It's not that difficult really.

For example:

"Mr Smith was always punctual" means Mr Smith was an inflexible b**** who always went home on time leaving his colleagues to finish the job on his behalf.

"Mr Smith was popular among his colleagues" means he made jokes at the expense of management and they resented him because of it.

"Mr Smith was polite" means he kept his thoughts to himself so you never knew what he was thinking.

I would say that on the whole, only statements that are wholly unamibiguous are genuine praise.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 04.11.2008, 17:15
Polorise's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: about there
Posts: 2,739
Groaned at 32 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 2,325 Times in 1,259 Posts
Polorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Things to look for in a Zeugnis [work reference]

Quote:
View Post
I don't think there is a "code" as such, because the number of people who would have to be in on thes ecreat is just too big to keep it a secreat.

.
I can assure you that there is such a thing as a coded zeugnis & this is exactly why companies are now pushed towards making the "no code" statement.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 04.11.2008, 17:18
Hsiang's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Schwingapore
Posts: 1,037
Groaned at 10 Times in 6 Posts
Thanked 705 Times in 372 Posts
Blog Entries: 4
Hsiang has a reputation beyond reputeHsiang has a reputation beyond reputeHsiang has a reputation beyond reputeHsiang has a reputation beyond reputeHsiang has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Things to look for in a Zeugnis [work reference]

Quote:
View Post
I can assure you that there is such a thing as a coded zeugnis & this is exactly why companies are now pushed towards making the "no code" statement.
hi polorise, do u mean this, or is there something more?
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 04.11.2008, 17:19
martin34's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Niederglatt
Posts: 715
Groaned at 39 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 304 Times in 185 Posts
martin34 has earned the respect of manymartin34 has earned the respect of manymartin34 has earned the respect of many
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Quote:
View Post
"All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly."
This one is my favourite

Got to say some of these sentences are really witty. Pity it's in a nasty/negative way.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 04.11.2008, 17:20
amogles's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9,252
Groaned at 181 Times in 156 Posts
Thanked 17,609 Times in 7,478 Posts
amogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Need help with interpreting my Zeugnis

Quote:
View Post

Zombiekiller überzeugte durch angenehme Umgangsformen, ein sicheres und sympathisches Auftreten sowie ihre Hilfsbereitschaft. Kunden, Vorgesetzte und Mitarbeiter schätzten ihre freundliche und zuvorkommende Art.

Not really sure how to rate this...maybe someone else can help. but it lacks the clear positive adjectives that a Zeugnis needs.
This is not really positive and not really negative. I take it to mean that Zombiekiller went about her job in a friendly and generally helpful way but the key word here is sympathetic. A more powerful and positive adjective could have been used to express a higher level of satisfaction.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 04.11.2008, 17:34
amogles's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9,252
Groaned at 181 Times in 156 Posts
Thanked 17,609 Times in 7,478 Posts
amogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Things to look for in a Zeugnis [work reference]

Quote:
View Post
hi polorise, do u mean this, or is there something more?
I can't see anything in all this supposed "code" that goes beyond being able to read between the lines in an open-minded sort of way.

A code would require something more sophisticated, ie, something you cannot possibly decipher without a special key or specific knowledge that you cannot reasonably work out by yourself.

I suppose the storioes of the "code" came into being because of people who were unable to read between the lines, and maybe even the various printed explenations that have emerged over the years that were made to help such people. But that doesn't make it a code in any normal sense of the word, no more than humour or sarcasm is a code.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 05.11.2008, 00:26
Goldtop's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 2,854
Groaned at 11 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 905 Times in 625 Posts
Goldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond reputeGoldtop has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Quote:
View Post
Does anyone know if you can request that the final zeugnis be written in English, or must it be written in one of the official Swiss languages? I've been looking through the threads on this subject, and either I'm blind or it hasn't been covered
No law about the language of the testimonial. You can request it be written in English. Whether the employer condescends depends on English fluency of the supervisor and the HR department.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Goldtop for this useful post:
  #55  
Old 05.11.2008, 01:24
Nathu's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Zürich
Posts: 4,673
Groaned at 18 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 2,208 Times in 1,248 Posts
Nathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Quote:
View Post
An Arbeitszeugnis should be written in german (as opposed to french, italian). I am pretty sure that they do not exist in the french and italian parts of Switzerland.

[...]

It is possible (according to Swiss Law) to ask for an Arbeitszeugnis AND an Arbeitsbestätigung.
As you say this is a right of the employee and there is not a single reason why the Romands or Italian Swiss should collectively ignore it.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 05.11.2008, 02:26
evilshell's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK, formerly Basel
Posts: 3,362
Groaned at 97 Times in 81 Posts
Thanked 3,074 Times in 1,338 Posts
evilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Quote:
View Post
No law about the language of the testimonial. You can request it be written in English. Whether the employer condescends depends on English fluency of the supervisor and the HR department.
Thank you, that's what I told the agency I used to work for, however, they insist it must be in one of the national languages. I've told them I won't accept one in German because of the coding issue - and if they can provide my contract and all correspondence in English, then they can do a letter in English as well.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank evilshell for this useful post:
  #57  
Old 05.11.2008, 07:54
Polorise's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: about there
Posts: 2,739
Groaned at 32 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 2,325 Times in 1,259 Posts
Polorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Quote:
View Post
Thank you, that's what I told the agency I used to work for, however, they insist it must be in one of the national languages. I've told them I won't accept one in German because of the coding issue - and if they can provide my contract and all correspondence in English, then they can do a letter in English as well.
stick to your guns, thats what I did & funnily enough the English version was a lot more pleasant than the original German one.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 05.11.2008, 08:58
martin34's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Niederglatt
Posts: 715
Groaned at 39 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 304 Times in 185 Posts
martin34 has earned the respect of manymartin34 has earned the respect of manymartin34 has earned the respect of many
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Quote:
View Post
As you say this is a right of the employee and there is not a single reason why the Romands or Italian Swiss should collectively ignore it.
Sorry you are right. I know that they do not exist in France and therefore wrongly supposed that it was a typical german language thing.

You seem to imply that an Arbeitszeugnis is a desirable thing to have. But unless it is very positive it is more of a hindrance than a blessing.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 05.11.2008, 15:54
transition
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

Quote:
View Post

You seem to imply that an Arbeitszeugnis is a desirable thing to have. But unless it is very positive it is more of a hindrance than a blessing.
Yes, even an 'average' one could be detrimental to finding a new job
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 05.11.2008, 16:15
DALW's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bern
Posts: 66
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 13 Times in 6 Posts
DALW has no particular reputation at present
Re: Zeugnis [reference letter] - Q&A thread

There's no law that I have seen which defines the language of the Zeugnis. However, if it ever came to a legal dispute then an English version would have to be translated into an official language.

I would recommend drafting an English version if the employer/agency is not willing to write in English.

The big advantage of the English version is the avoidance of the coding. However, many HR managers can read English and will still interpret a Zeugnis through the "coding eyes". You can't win easily here !
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
reference letter, zeugnis




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
job application without reference? justsally Employment 30 26.02.2014 03:48
Looking to buy MAC reference books - READING on older OS and hardware, training PC_Advisor Items for sale 14 05.11.2008 01:46
reference for German etymology? cfarns Language corner 5 13.04.2008 13:32


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:20.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0