I get requests for CV reviews for Switzerland every day. With the headline I am not saying optimizing your CV is not important but I think it has a limit. It’s like cleaning your home. It has to be done on a regular basis but you don’t do it twice every day I hope. Most important parts to adjust on your CV for Switzerland can be found in this blog posts I wrote about 12 CV Details That Will Get You a Job in Switzerland. Do all these things I talk about in this blog post and you have the major areas covered for Switzerland.
Using the CV Right
I believe many people use the CV in a wrong way. They see it as the ultimate weapon in the war for a new job. Well, it’s not that. I believe that if you are a regular reader of my blog and follow many of the inputs I offer, you can even get a job without a CV at all. It’s much more important that you have personal contact with somebody at the company you want to work at instead of just sending out your resume.
Think about it, when you send your CV in for an advertised job without talking to somebody first, HR has only very few information to base his or her decision on to either reject your application or forward your CV to the hiring manager. The HR person can only judge you based on what you wrote on your CV or in your email and you have approximately 10 seconds to stand your ground against 100 other applicants. You can do the math, it’s not very effective.
On the other hand, if you talk to the hiring manager first or have somebody introduce you to her, the situation is completely different. The hiring manager will now take more time to go through your documents because you added a voice to the sheet of paper and she has an obligation to give you a feedback. If you have ever hired somebody yourself, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Job Search vs. Sales
Hunting for a new job is much like sales. In both areas you have the superstars and the average performer. Now the question is, what makes the difference between the superstar and the average performer? It’s usually not the amount of hours spent at work or the amount of cold calls or CVs sent. The difference comes from the strategic approach where the average performer simply starts to send out resumes or does cold calls without any goal in mind. What’s your desired company like? What position or function do you want to work in? Who exactly is the person you are talking to?
Talking About the Right Things
Once you figured out that you need to talk to people to get a job, you want to talk about the right things. Stop starting out with “I am looking for a job as XYZ. I have 7 years experience in ABC.” It’s like calling a potential client when you work in sales and start with “Hi, my name is Bob. I’d like to sell you a fridge today. Our company has 50 years experience in selling fridges.” Would you buy a fridge from Bob? I know I would not.
To make sure you have the right foundation for your communication, I created a 33-page Communication Excellence Workbook that you can download here for FREE. It will help you to communicate more effectively with HR and hiring managers.
I work with coaching clients from all over Europe and all of them confirm that Switzerland is a very unique country in terms of job search and career development. Switzerland is a very small community. If you look at the economic stability in comparison with the rest of Europe, there must be a difference in terms of how the country works. A key factor that Switzerland is built on is trust. People in Switzerland do business with people they trust. The same principles apply in hiring. People hire people they trust. You don’t gain trust by sending a CV, you gain trust by talking to people about what matters to you and what you believe in.
A Hiring Story From Switzerland
A while ago, I talked to a hiring manager and he was looking to hire a new System Engineer in his IT department. He had many applicants to choose from but rejected many after the first interview. I wanted to know what the reason was for that and he told me, the applicants all seemed to be very senior on paper but sold themselves better than they seemed. He did not trust them, mainly because what they told him in the interview and what was stated on the CV did not fully match in his viewpoint.
In the end, he hired a junior for this job who came straight from an apprenticeship without any university degree. He told me that this candidate still sold himself very well but he did not brag. The applicant seemed very passionate and enthusiastic about his work, his previous companies and was a very positive person. The hiring manager felt that the applicant was authentic and honest and therefore he trusted him. The trust and the gut feeling were more important than skills and diplomas. You don’t gain this trust by applying for an advertised job, you gain it by talking to a hiring decision maker.
This trust comes largely from the WHY part of the “WHAT-HOW-WHY Technique”. If you can communicate this message in an authentic and easily understandable way for your counterpart, it changes everything from upside down and increases you chances to move forward significantly.
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