How to Tune Your CV to Fit to Swiss Employers

Jun 16, 2020 | Entrepreneurship

Switzerland is probably the most employed country in the world. According to Trading Economy data the number of those who have a job and earn increases year by year. By 2020 it is estimated as 5129,000 people.

High wages paid in Switzerland (CHF 6,291 gross in 2020 // Trading economy) attract people from all over the world to try their best to come and get the job here. Biggest Swiss cities such as Zurich and Geneva have over 40% expats.

We had a talk with Adelina Stefan, an independent career consultant, who helps hundreds of great-skilled and highly-motivated workers to find their jobs in Switzerland.

Adelina shared with us tips and tricks in the employment process and its digitalization. Being an HR professional in Management, Finance, IT she gave sustainable recommendations to our readers who considers working in these fields and looking for prospective areas to develop the skills.

Photo: Internet

Swiss CV, What to Know

It is very important to prepare your professional branding documents starting with your CV / resume and cover letter. The way the CV is structured varies across cultures. For or instance, a Swiss CV will look different from another one from the US / Europe.

Due to digitalization caused by the influence of AI companies are using ATS – Applicant tracking systems. ATS is a software to screen candidates’ CVs to identify if the applicants fit to the role. ATS software helps to work with a high volume of applications’ saving time and money. It is really crucial to use an ATS-friendly template for your CV. Avoid using text boxes, graphics as the system is not able to recognize it.

Keep in mind that less is more. Be clear and consistent. Avoid long texts and paragraphs, as well as 1/2 pages or quarters in your CV. You CV should fit 1 page or 2 pages.

The role of the cover letter is essential in Switzerland. In a cover letter employer expects to see of your experience and expertise that make you the best fit for that role; how you can answer to the company’s challenges and help them dealing with the current challenges.

Portfolios are preferred – always start with your CV followed by your cover letter. References are something that help you to make a difference – particularly written documents / references from formal employees. However, avoid including reference contacts in your CV.

Photo: Adelina Stefan

How to prepare a proper CV

In the Job Description (JD) – tailoring is key – make sure you include all the keywords and terminology in the resume – optimize the CV; include a LinkedIn link on your CV.

Ensure that your CV is accomplishments oriented. Accomplishments are your strengths that differentiate you from other candidates. Ask yourself what you have achieved in each role; try to write concrete and measurable examples.

My motto is Apply smarter, not harder – focus on quality rather than on quantity. Prepare few applications weekly rather than send dozens of applications for any role you find with your “easy apply” button on Linkedin.

LinkedIn is also an ATS so make sure that your profile is well-optimized and does not look like copy-paste from your CV.

There are three general rules applicable in all 3 industries: ATS-friendly template, including a professional / branding statements, key skills and accomplishments. The way in which you describe your skills and position yourself as an expert may differ across industry (vocabulary, terminology, creating measurable accomplishments).

In management, more emphasis on the soft skills (i.e. leadership) is placed, in IT – on technical skills (a separate section with key technical skills should be included), while in finance – more emphasis on using numbers when describing accomplishments. The difference between industries is more evident in the way in which the cover letter is structured and the smart stories that are being emphasized. Emphasis on transferable skills should be also made especially when candidates are changing industry.

Professional development

Digitalization and AI are integrated into our lives, so future career development depends on how much  you pay attention to your soft and digital skills and develop them hard.

They are: transferable skills, emotional and cultural intelligence to facilitate cross-cultural work, analytical / critical thinking, active listening with a growth and agile mindset, decision making, interpersonal and intercultural communication skills, technology skills.

Basically, emotional and interpersonal, transferable skills. As the world fills with more sophisticated AI and technology, interpersonal skills – compassion, empathy, etc.—will define the competitive edge of workers and global organizations. So those, interested in thriving in a high-tech world must focus on emotional / cultural intelligence (CQ) and soft skills.

Adelina Stefan – Career Coach, Intercultural Facilitator & Executive Consultant

Adelina is a licensed Career Coach and Intercultural Facilitator specialized in the areas of International Human Resource Management and Intercultural Communication. She helps expats professionals achieve clarity in their career goals, enabling them to increase their self- and intercultural awareness and formulate their unique career blueprint. Her strengths lie in creative problem-solving focusing on innovative ideas and processes that help build cultural intelligence and improve connections across the globe.
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