Disclaimer: the information on this page may be outdated, partly
incorrect, not apply to you or be flat out wrong. Use this information only after cross checking.
You have been warned!
How to handle Jobhunting in Switzerland
If you are looking to find a job in Switzerland while abroad you may want to check this out, though the points are also valid for people looking for a job in the US.
I would like to contribute with a few comments based on my experience:
Business is done differently in Switzerland than in the US. That's the
way it is. Things tend to be slower, if not grind to a halt (if anybody is
considering looking for a job soon, watch out for the june - september
period... With the summer holiday, a lot of companies litterally shut down).
This is difficult to deal with when coming back from the US. Get over it, and
Business is not really booming right now. Consequently, the demand is on
the positions, not on the applicants. That's market dynamics for you.
Finally, there is a basic mismatch of expectations/needs. Headhunters
need the right people now for the positions that need to be filled. It is
pretty rare that they would have something "just waiting for a person like
you to show up". They make a living when people sign on the dotted line and
opportunities come and go. The "fresh by" date is usually pretty short.
On the other side, the person looking to come back will often "bait and cast a
line". Send in a resume, make a few phone calls and wait to see what comes out
of it to decide whether or not they will come back and when. They expect
headhunters to go out and find the perfect position for them.
When you combine these two realities, you get disappointments on the applicant
side and frustration on the headhunter's side. That's the situation described
in the different emails we have just read.
So, here are my recommendations:
Make the decision to come back (for whatever reason), and decide when it
Figure out what you are looking for/want to do. Determine what companies you
think you would aspire to work for.
Fix up your resume. If you have spent a bit of time in the US, it is likely
to be written using US standards. Things here are a bit different (personal
data, descriptions, etc.)
Plan a job-hunting trip
Contact a headhunter, telling them: you are coming back and when. The "when"
shouldn't be in two years. It should be "in the next few months". Give them
the info on point 2), 3) and 4).
Manage the relationship. They will either have something, or not. If not,
don't expect them to look very far on your behalf. If you want them to do
just this, pay them for it. If they do, set up an interview and go. It might
not be the perfect position, but you'll get your feet wet and back in the
Swiss job search mood.
Move on and look for things on your own. If you know what you are looking
for, you'll know what companies to call and what people to talk to. They
will refer you further if need be.
As a final point, I want to emphasize the fact that I think most people don't
clearly know what they want or are looking for. So, in a way, they expect the
headhunter to figure it out for them and present them with the perfect job
(It's exactly similar to what happens in companies: if you don't have a clear
idea of what your product does and who it's for, how can you expect your
customers to figure it out?) However, if that's what you need, then there are
people who can help you, who focus more on career assessment.
Submitted by: Laurent Piguet
Pages Updated On: 30-Dec-2007 - 03:12:02
[an error occurred while processing this directive]