Excerpted from the Switzerland Career Guide
A jobseeker’s résumé, or as it is predominantly called in Switzerland, the curriculum vitae (CV), and accompanying cover letter are deciding elements in securing a job interview. In addition, it is customary to send complete documentation and detailed attachments with any job application, regardless of the professional experience of the applicant. Typically, these attachments are arranged in a folder.
Cover Letter Guidelines
In Switzerland, the cover letter is very often a ‘door opener,’ as it might influence the decision to consider and review an application. It must therefore be persuasive and relate to the open position. The voice and style of the cover letter are indicative of both the professionalism and personality of the applicant. Short, concise letters are more likely to be read than long ones. The cover letter should not exceed one page (paper size DIN A4). Most cover letters consist of three to four paragraphs containing the following information:
- A short introductory paragraph
- Why one is interested in the job
- What qualifications and motivations one has for the job
- A conclusion thanking the employer for considering the applicant for the position. The desire for a personal interview also should be expressed.
The résumé/CV should be persuasive right from the start and targeted to the needs of the employing organization, as this encourages the recruiter to read further.
There is no universally accepted format. The common résumé/CV has a detailed chronological format, and the document ideally should contain no more than one page. It should be honest and factual. It must highlight the achievements of the candidate and how they relate to the particular job. It must give the reader a clear indication of why the jobseeker should be considered for this role.
A résumé/CV lists in tabular or bullet-point form factual information about a candidate:
- Personal data
- Education and professional training
- Professional experience
- Language and computer skills
- Secondary activities and hobbies may be mentioned, as long as they fit the job specification.
This is just a sample of what you'll find in the complete Switzerland guide.