The Upper Valais Office for Vocational, Study and Careers Guidance tells you the necessary basics to bring your application file into line with the latest standards.
Applying for a job in Switzerland
In principle, applications should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae and copies of employment certificates, diplomas, and leaving certificates. The letter of motivation must be no longer than one A4 page and the CV should list experience and qualifications in reverse chronological order. It is normal to include a photo in Swiss job applications; you should ensure it is professional and was taken recently. The form in which the dossier is to be delivered – electronically or by post – is usually indicated in the job advertisement.
While written applications in Switzerland bear many similarities to those in other European countries, there are nuances that show the employer you are aware of Swiss particularities. It is possible to indicate any companies or persons who can provide information about your expertise and working methods. Care must be taken to ensure that they can provide relevant information and, in particular, that you obtain permission in advance. Referees can be mentioned in the curriculum vitae. If you don’t want to do this, you can note that references are available on request.
Differences between Swiss applications and those in Anglo-Saxon countries are even more pronounced. For example, particular attention is paid to the completeness of application documents, including certificates. Even if employment certificates are unusual in English-speaking countries, you should endeavour to include diplomas, proof of qualifications and any letters of recommendation.
As in other countries, if you are invited to an interview in Switzerland it is important to be well prepared. In general, it is appreciated if you take the time to research the employer. It also helps to familiarise yourself with the situation and conditions at your potential future workplace. In general, punctuality is regarded as an indispensable virtue in working life; applicants should neither arrive too late nor too early. Appearing confident, but not arrogant, helps to win over employers.