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Old 17.03.2010, 04:55
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Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

I would be interested in hearing from members of this forum who are non-EU citizens as to how they successfully found jobs in Switzerland. I am particularly interested in first-hand accounts.

Before this thread gets started, I know this is difficult to do, and I am (somewhat) aware that it is particularly difficult right now. Also, the advice that I received from one recruiter that I corresponded with--to marry a Swiss woman--is out for several reasons (among other things, I am already married!). I am only interested in lawful means of entering the country. I lived in another part of Europe previously and went to great lengths to ensure that I was there legally. It will no doubt be harder in the case of Switzerland, but I will not consider any other way.

Finally, is it even feasible to conduct a job search from abroad? Is it possible/recommended for a non-Eu citizen to come to Switzerland for a time for the purposes of finding employment? Should I expect to pay my own way for a flight and lodging related to a job interview? I am a software engineering professional and will be looking for positions related to this field.

Thanks for any tips/advice.
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Old 17.03.2010, 10:06
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

First of, you have a very good attitude with regards to finding a legal way to stay here. That is already a positive sign.
Although the job market in CH is just like other countries on the slow side, there are still chances for IT professionals. There are several job search sites in CH which you will find them by google.
I would only pay my travel expenses is I was short listed for a job.

Good luck,
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Old 17.03.2010, 10:23
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

I have got to know somebody from Credit Swiss, they are looking for experienced IT recently.
good luck!
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Old 17.03.2010, 10:24
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

One thing you could do is to get a Job in the USA with an American company having some offices here. The you relocate.

There is many....otherwise I would not hope for it to much...Just like it is impossible for us to get into the US....with the occasional exception .

AND being that there is tons of people with your education here.....again same as USA
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Old 17.03.2010, 13:36
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

I saw a position advertised that was a couple of minutes from home using my skills, but it was filled quickly. I offered to work for free just to get some local experience and keep my skills up (software dev). After I finished a small project I was paid for every hour worked and was offered a permonant job. Still there 6 years on....
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Old 17.03.2010, 13:49
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

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I saw a position advertised that was a couple of minutes from home using my skills, but it was filled quickly. I offered to work for free just to get some local experience and keep my skills up (software dev). After I finished a small project I was paid for every hour worked and was offered a permonant job. Still there 6 years on....
How did you manage to have a home there without a job?
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Old 17.03.2010, 13:57
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

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How did you manage to have a home there without a job?
My husband was offered a job here.
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  #8  
Old 17.03.2010, 16:57
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

Any other non-EU citizen "success stories"?
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Old 17.03.2010, 17:06
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

you need unique skills and experience.

My husband and I are teachers with specialist training...we were head-hunted...
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Old 17.03.2010, 20:14
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

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you need unique skills and experience.
That may indeed be the case, but I seem to have heard about other cases where the skills were not so much unqiue as they were specialized or perhaps in demand. I am thinking of my profession of software engineering, in particular. I realize that economic conditions have changed, but it still seems that non-EU inviduals with technology backgrounds somehow find their way into Switzerland. I am looking for tips in this regard especially.
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Old 17.03.2010, 20:22
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

As many of us, I got my job via applying from overseas. It took some time but that's normal company's procedure to shortlist candidates and then invite for an interview and then inform about final decision. Normal recruiting process. There are many engineering companies which look for software engineers in their development departemnts or R&D. Mainly, I would try to look for companiess like ABB, ALSTOM, SIEMENS and perhaps in insurance and banking sector but it might be still stagnant there. If you are familar with programming of DSP's in C, Assembly, MATLAB/Simulink, embedded systems in genral I could try to help.
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  #12  
Old 17.03.2010, 20:26
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

As someone else specified, it might be a good idea to get a job in a company with offices here and then try to have an internal transfer. I wouldn't play the "unique and special" card, there are thousands of applications from all over the world, they all are unique and diserved head-hunted..it is pure luck, if you ask me.
So good luck to you!

O.K. It would be fair to add I'm an EU, but a ...errr...third class EU (Romanian, and we can't freely work within the EU) which didn't help me a bit with the visa, work permit etc. So, I feel for you..Try, try and try and you'll find your way.

Last edited by greenmount; 17.03.2010 at 20:44.
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Old 17.03.2010, 20:59
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

I understand your situation.

My idea of finding a job here is ..networking, making lots of cold calls, becoming member of linkedin and XING. Get names of medium size companies here and study them. Send them emails, asking for referrals. Most people are very helpful. Write resume that the Swiss are familiar with.

The headhunters here are not that impressive. They are not working the same way they do in the US (or at least in California where I came from).

Do not come to search for job unless it is paid for by the prospective employer. Hurry. Summer is coming soon and it is painfully slow to get anything done during that time.
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Old 17.03.2010, 21:28
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

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Write resume that the Swiss are familiar with
I have seen conflicting information on this, and I am not always sure that the "advice" certain sites give is actually what happens in practice. Is there a link or two that you could refer me to.

Thanks,
Carl
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Old 17.03.2010, 21:31
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

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I have seen conflicting information on this, and I am not always sure that the "advice" certain sites give is actually what happens in practice. Is there a link or two that you could refer me to.

Thanks,
Carl
Do a search on the forum, there was a discussion a while back about Swiss CVs.
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Old 19.03.2010, 17:26
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

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As someone else specified, it might be a good idea to get a job in a company with offices here and then try to have an internal transfer.
I am giving this idea some very serious consideration. There is a position at Siemens not too far from where I live that my background might qualify me for. The only issue that I have with this approach is that it is bound to take some time (probably at least a year) before a transfer could be requested. In the end, though, this might be necessary. Hard to say right now.

Thanks,
Carl
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Old 19.03.2010, 17:35
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

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Do not come to search for job unless it is paid for by the prospective employer.
Don't you think there would be any potential advantage to coming there in person to search for a job? I would think having to fly someone across the pond and put them up in a hotel would be a significant disadvantage when local candidates might be available. It seems to me that more responsibility rests with the job seeker when he is a foreigner and across the ocean.

But no one has yet told me whether it is permitted for a non-EU citizen to come to Switzerland explicitly to find a job. I am asking because there were restrictions like this for certain EU countries. I don't know about Switzerland though. This is why I am trying to ask advice from non-EU folks who have done this successfully.

Thanks,
Carl
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Old 19.03.2010, 23:09
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

Im married to a Swiss for 7 years and still have trouble finding a job! Keep trying thoughn it is happening for other people so could happen for you.
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Old 20.03.2010, 01:32
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

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Don't you think there would be any potential advantage to coming there in person to search for a job? I would think having to fly someone across the pond and put them up in a hotel would be a significant disadvantage when local candidates might be available. It seems to me that more responsibility rests with the job seeker when he is a foreigner and across the ocean.

But no one has yet told me whether it is permitted for a non-EU citizen to come to Switzerland explicitly to find a job. I am asking because there were restrictions like this for certain EU countries. I don't know about Switzerland though. This is why I am trying to ask advice from non-EU folks who have done this successfully.

Thanks,
Carl
I don't know if you can come here on a tourist visa(if you need a visa) and search for a job but from my experience finding a job as a non-EU is very difficult because of the work permit process. I have had 2nd interviews canceled because I am non-EU and being already here with a resident's permit did not help. I don't know if the case is different for Americans or Australians (I am not of either) and I am a software developer.
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Old 20.03.2010, 15:39
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Re: Tips on finding jobs in Switzerland as a non-EU citizen

why Switzerland?

It's just another west european country, no different from the nordics, the netherlands, germany, belgium or even austria.

I don't know if you belong in this crowd but as a general remark - I don't understand people's obsession with Switzerland. It's nice and all but there is nothing here which doesn't exist in the rest of western/northern europe.

And to add something constructive, my story is that I was offered a job here when my manager was transferred here to fix a local subsidiary.
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