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I just got back from checking the mail.
Inside the box was my third rejection letter out of the five applications for employment I have mailed off.

I understand that this is only the beginning. I started sending out applications only four weeks ago.
More applications will be sent out and more rejection letters will be come back before I get a chance at an interview. Then, it is still not in the bag. The acceptance of my application is my foot in the door. From there I have to sell myself in the interview or interviews as there are typically more than one in Switzerland.

I can’t cry about not being fluent in French.

Sure I can navigate well through my daily life as a stay at home mother in the French speaking part of Switzerland. However, there is no way I could carry on a professional conversation in French where mistakes are not easy overlooked. On top of that, I am not able to write more than a few sentences in French without making a mistake.

There are many English speakers living and working in Switzerland who do not speak the local language well or not at all. Not all of them came to Switzerland with a job waiting for them. Many had to be patient and send out one resume after another just as I am.

Living in the Jura rather than Geneva sure doesn’t help much either. Yet, this is where I live and I will have to do the best I can.

Next, I will hit the headhunters and employment agencies.

I am realistic about my situation.
I know my weaknesses and my strengths.
It is only a matter of time and diligently mailing of my resume before I find something.

However, it is still frustrating.


Something I did learn after I sent off two of my applications (see below) is that in Switzerland the cover letter is typed unless a handwritten cover letter is specifically requested. I had assumed that a handwritten cover letter was the norm as it is in France which is not the case.

An application in Switzerland should consist of a resume, cover letter, copy of permit allowing you to legally work and copies of any recommendation letters, degrees or professional certificates.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • expatraveler February 22, 2008, 3:26 am

    My Swiss/American friend had a hard time finding a job. In fact, after searching for almost 4 months, she decided to go back to school and move back in California. Ironically She’ll be traveling with me to Switzerland this time.

  • expatraveler February 22, 2008, 3:27 am

    Oops – I forgot to tell you, good luck with the hunting!

  • patdem February 22, 2008, 6:46 am

    Keep on searching and try to improve your french as much as you can by listening to french radio, reading every day your 20 minutes, watching tv with teletext.
    It can help you to correct your french mistakes if you memorize the words that you see.
    Hope you’ll get soon a job

  • gotan project February 23, 2008, 4:58 am

    Being fluent in a language which is not your mother-tongue could be difficult, but I don’t think this is the main point here…(unless you looking to be a media comunicator for L Academie des beux arts de Lausanne if there is one)…You speak fluently English. and tu te debrouille en francais

    I’m a european who lives in Canada and even I have a university degree I started to work in a Wal-Mart store after hundreds of resumes sent out there and no answer…now after 6 years I have a decent job in a gouv. bank and still… je suis tres loin de maitriser l’anglais ou le francais.

    But even I don’t like this continent where I don’t fit at all I learnt one important thing: patience is a virtue that many of us don’t have it.

    And also very important europe is not america

  • Sarah February 23, 2008, 8:05 pm

    Bon courage!

  • Pumpkin February 24, 2008, 8:34 am

    Expatraverler, I have read online that it can take time to find a professional job in Switzerland. I am going to keep trying but I am going to look into taking advantage of the shortage of people in watch factories until I can get something in an office.

    I am so excited you are going to get to visit Switzerland. You deserve it!

    Patdem, Thank you.
    I noticed the other day I could actually understand one of the kids cartoons. For some reason cartoons are the hardest for me to follow.

    Gotem Project, Thank you. I have read online that others like me find jobs but it takes time and lots and lots of resumes being sent out. It will just take time as you said.

    Sarah, Thank you. :)

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