How to NOT Get Rejected from HR When Applying For Jobs in Switzerland

One of the most devastating things in job search is rejection, especially when there is no clear reasoning behind. You feel like a number in the hiring process and as hard as it sounds, if you apply for jobs at large corporations, most of the time you are nothing but applicant 3651. 

Let’s talk about how you can not just avoid rejections but also be valued as a human in the hiring process.


The Problem

If you ever applied for a job at a large company, you certainly experienced this: You fill in an application form for 30 minutes and then can’t upload your documents because they are too big.

After 40 minutes, when you finally managed to get to the last step and press the “Apply Now” button, you face an error message that the website is currently down and have to start all over again.

If you are successful in finally getting that “Thank you for your application. We received it and will get in touch with your shortly” message, “shortly” becomes 4 weeks and you receive a nice email with a “Thank you… but… We decided to hire somebody who was a better match for the job”.

I know exactly how you feel in such a situation. I worked in recruitment for over 7 years and have dealt with such companies over and over again.

Of course it’s not always like that, there are the exceptions. Please email me about which companies you think are the exceptions. If you read this by email, just hit the reply button. Otherwise email me to


My Strategy Change From Large Corporation to SMEs

While I worked as a Branch Manager for two locations in Switzerland at a major Fortune 500 recruitment company in my last job, I quickly got annoyed about how many large corporations treated recruitment agencies. It was all about the price and there was no relationship, just one IT system talking to another.

I changed the strategy for my branches and decided to exclusively focus on small to medium-sized enterprises in Switzerland. The result was much more fun work for my consultants, increased profit margin and clients who loved what we did.


How You Can Get Rid of Rejections

Dump the large corporations on your list.

Just as an experiment, only apply for jobs and get in touch with companies in Switzerland who have less than 500 employees. Do this over the next 2 weeks with an effective communication as the foundation and you will be amazed about the results.

Email me when you get a job using this approach, I am very interested in your results.

Switzerland is THE small business country. Over 2/3 of all people in Switzerland work at small companies with less than 250 employees and over 99% of all companies in Switzerland are SMEs.

You might think SMEs pay less than large companies. Maybe in some cases but I also did experienced differently.

A while ago, I had a client who was hiring for a team leader in the IT department. The company had around 100 employees at that time and was in a very specific medical niche. The target salary of the team leader with approx. 10 people reporting to him was CHF 200’000.- per year. The company could pay that money because of the extraordinarily high profit margins in this niche.


How to Find Jobs at SMEs and Startups

Don’t spend too much time on job boards. These companies usually are on a tight budget for advertising. Instead, find the companies online and sign up for their job newsletter or check their website regularly.

To find the companies, do a search on Google for 

[your industry, expertise or function] services Switzerland

[your industry, expertise or function] products Switzerland

[your industry, expertise or function] solutions Switzerland

[your industry, expertise or function] companies Switzerland


Be creative

Find partner firms of large corporations. I.e. find all Microsoft partners in Switzerland on Microsoft’s website.

Do a LinkedIn people search for your industry or expertise keywords and then select to only show you companies with less than 500 employees.

If you have a premium account, you can also choose to only see people who are interested in hiring employees. See more details about this in the bonus section of the Communication Excellence Workbook which you can download here.

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The Personal Part

Even if you only apply for jobs at SMEs, it’s still important to have a personal contact with somebody there.

The good news is, it’s much easier to find and get in touch with somebody at those small companies.

Smaller companies usually care more about you as a personality that as a skill. Therefore they are willing to get to know you personally and not just choose the best looking CV.

Before you get in touch with anyone, make sure you established a clear communication and know your WHY.