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by Local Recruitment Specialist, Francine Constanty

Owner and manager of proDEPHIE for the last 13 years, Francine Constanty is particularly experienced at helping women find jobs in the region, whether they be long-standing Swiss nationals or newly-arrived expatriates.  Here are some of her comments:

The labour market in Switzerland has got strained, particularly in the Geneva region. But companies are always interested in employing people who can bring some experience picked up abroad, even if the competition is significant.

First make sure that you can get a work permit. Positions are usually open to Swiss and EU nationals.  The Service Etrangers et Confédérés (tel.  022/546 48 88) can provide a lot of useful information if you come from another country.

If you are a Mom with small kids, daycare institutions (crèches) provide a pre-education program, which will leave you some hours to work away from home! Finding a baby sitter or a nannie should be one of the first steps in job hunting.

If you don't speak French at all, some lessons would be useful. A lot of people do speak English in Geneva, but the region remains French  
speaking and it is highly appreciated if you can understand and communicate in French.

Some tips:

Write your CV and set up a file with copies of your diplomas and reference letters. Please note that reference letters in Switzerland are very important. Your CV should be attractive, with no mistakes, and easy to read. HR Managers only have a first glance of a few seconds, so make sure you emphasize your skills. Write a presentation letter where you explain your interest in the job and in the company.

You are now ready to go ahead and send off your application. International companies will be interested in receiving your file as your international experience can be considered as an extra skill. Employment agencies may also help you. Job announcements in local newspapers are usually published weekly. Often companies will publish the same open positions in all three places simultaneously. Each company has its own website. Apply only if you see a suitable position.

www.portailemploi.ch is a great website that has links to all the major employment agencies. There are some useful tips and information, but the website is in French.  This is not a problem if you just want to make use of the excellent links on the site.

www.jobup.ch groups agencies and companies together with a description of their open positions. You can apply directly on line.

www.genevainternational.org lists NGOs with a direct link to each one. Proficiency in English is a must and international experience may be valued.

www.optioncarriere.com is a useful resource for jobs in neighboring France.

If you get an appointment for a first interview, make sure you are well prepared and have researched as much as you can about the company and the job, in order to be able to ask questions and to have a positive discussion with the person to whom you are speaking. Be prepared to answer questions such as: listing your skills, your weak points, what you expect from your job, from your employer, from your team, etc. Stay natural.

If it doesn't work, don't get disappointed - it rarely works the first time. Try to understand why you didn't get the job, by calling the HR department or the person you met, so that you can do better next time!

If you would like to find out more about job opportunities in the Lake Geneva region, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..