Finding a job

The best way of searching for jobs in Switzerland

Finding a job

There are many ways and places to look for a job in Switzerland. Many can be contacted before you arrive. To help you get started, we have gathered together some of the more effective Swiss resources for searching for employment.

Newspapers & Magazines: Job offers ( Stellenmarkt - offres d’emploi) can be found in the classified sections of daily newspapers (often in the issues on Wednesdays and at the weekend), in weekly newspapers, monthly magazines (city magazines) and specialized trade magazines and journals. A wide range of job offers can be found in the newspaper Le Temps, 24heures and Tagesanzeiger and in the official Confederation’s vacancy bulletin. For a fee, you can also place a situation wanted advertisement in many job sections, although you may find this quite ineffective.

Internet: Online recruitment websites ( Jobsbörsen - sites web d’emploi) allow you to make customised job-searches where you can specify the sector and even the region where you wish to work. Among the countless active job-hunting websites, there is an increasing number of sites with an interactive research option (online posting of CV, standard letters of application, job mailer, etc.). Today, the Internet is one the most widely used ways to look for work in Switzerland.

Employment agencies: Employment agencies play an important role in the Swiss recruitment market. However, many agencies only work with candidates that are Swiss citizens or foreigners with a B or C residence permit. An employment agency cannot apply for a residence and work permit on your behalf; this can only be done by a prospective employer.

Career fairs: A good way to get on overview of the Swiss job market is to visit a career fair. Fairs usually host a range of employers, often concentrating on a specific sector or industry. For many fairs, you have to apply in advance by sending in your CV. Employers will then get the CVs in advance and decide on whom they want to meet. Besides getting general information on employment perspectives in different companies, it is often also possible to arrange interview in advance.

Speculative applications: If you are interested in working in a specific company, you can also send a speculative application. This should be addressed to the person responsible for recruitment of the head of the human resources department ( Personalabteilungsleite - Directeur de Ressources Humaines). Some personnel departments file these applications, and if job positions become available they check these applications before advertising the position or contacting state employment offices. A list of the 2000 largest Swiss companies is available in Top 2000, a book published by Handelszeitung (also available on CD Rom).

Chambers of Commerce: You can also contact the office of the chamber of commerce of your home country in Switzerland (if there is one). Chambers of commerce sometimes receive requests from companies trying to fill out a position with someone from a specific country, and some even have a database of open job positions.

EU citizens searching for jobs

For job searches up to 3 months, EU citizens don’t need a residence or work permit. If your search lasts longer, you have to apply for a residence permit for another 3 months. These permits are not subject to quotas and provide no access to the Swiss social security system. As an EU citizen, you can also use some search options that are not available to other nationalities.

State employment agencies: While you are still a job-seeker, you have the same right to assistance by the employment agencies as Swiss citizens. In order to get that assistance, you have to register at the regional employment office ( ORP - Office Régional de Placement).

EURES:The EURES network is a partnership between the state employment services in the EU (European Union) / EEA (European Economic Area) to support free movement of workers. Switzerland has joined the EURES network. The network facilitates the circulation of vacancies and enables access of up-to-date information on living and working conditions in each EU/EEA member state via a computer network.

The EURES network has 500 specially trained staff throughout the EU/EEA who administer the EURES system. These ‘Euroadvisers’ specialize in the practical issues surrounding employment in the member states, and can assist workers and employees who wish to start a career abroad and help companies and employers to find suitable employees from all over the EU/EEA.

More information and vacancies on the EURES system can be found on the EURES website: .

Further reading

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