Swiss CV Writing Guide

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, work in Switzerland needs more than just the obvious Swiss cover letter and Swiss CV writing and translation – it requires methodical preparation. You will be confronted with issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you become interested in Swiss jobs.

Do not underestimate the influence they can have on your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.

A CV is similar to a resume in that it provides more details about one’s professional qualifications, experience and education. However, the term "Curriculum Vitae" most often called CV, typically carries a different meaning depending on whether one distribute the CV within the US, Canada or internationally (external to the US or Canada) or is seeking a faculty, academic, research, clinical or scientific position.

You can turn your current resume into a Swiss CV. A CV is similar to a resume in that it outlines your professional qualifications and history, but it does so with more detail by adding to the resume the detailed descriptions of your educational and/or professional experiences and personal information that may include nationality, date of birth, marital status, etc.

Prepare yourself - before writing your Swiss CV find out info about the company you want to work for. Such information will help you to adapt your CV more effectively to each specific job and use of proper examples illustrating your achievements.

The aim of your Swiss CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for an interview. Therefore, your CV is a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it. Write an introduction that contains many power keywords and action verbs. Scanners that are programmed to select specific words notice these key words.

There are four official languages in Switzerland, although only three (German, French and Italian) are spoken widely. English is a common language, especially in the international business sector. The German and the English CVs in chronological, reversed chronological or functional order are mainly used in the Swiss job applications.

Check in advance, within the company you are seeking employment with, what is the main language within the organization and write your Swiss CV and cover letter in this language. Stick to one language once chosen. However, you need to accept that not knowing the local language will put you at real disadvantage from the local job seekers. The basic knowledge of the local language is considered necessary to cope with daily office life and life outside work.

Use the English language CV for international companies, unless they specify otherwise. The English CV is typed on one to two pages of A4 format paper in reverse chronological order - starting with what you have done most recently.

The CV in German is longer and typed on two to three pages of A4 format paper in chronological order - starting with your first job and ending with your most recent position, very detailed and has attachments, such as grades, references, etc. A photo is usually attached or scanned to the top right corner.

Both CVs should include your personal details, education, qualifications and practical experience.

Often CVs are kept on file for lengthy periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number, with the international access code and e-mail are most important.

Swiss recruiters attach great importance to work experience, so make your CV more effective by providing examples to prove your achievements that might interests your future employer.

Mention your native tongue and describe level of fluency for the other languages. Reveal your computer literacy. Extracurricular activities, hobbies and interests are optional.

Carefully consider what to leave out of your CV. On a separate sheet, include two or three references. Also, include copies of your diplomas and testimonials from former employers.

Internet resources are among the most popular job-searching tools. However, you should be aware that an electronic CV does not look the same as a standard one.

Employers often scan CVs, so make your CV scannable by avoiding for example lines or italic fonts etc.

Most employers expect your Swiss CV to be to be sent together with a cover letter.


Check the spelling and grammar of your Swiss CV. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or German language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your CV, send it to a professional for assistance.

art_remember Swiss CVRemember that your Swiss CV must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have a difficulty with your CV writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use:

art_tip Swiss CV

We recommend that you send your CV together with a cover letter. If you have a difficulty with your cover letter writing use:

Other Swiss CV Info

If your Swiss cover letter and Swiss CV are ready, distribute them through the job search services to your prospective employers. When your Swiss job search have been successful apply for the Swiss visa with Swiss work permit and start preparing for the Swiss job interview using Swiss dress code.

Check the job interview tips do's and don'ts, and find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Swiss CV!

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