The Swiss Confederation is a coveted job destination for many. Renowned multinationals and high average salaries make Switzerland very attractive to thousands of people every year. Competition is fierce, so the search for employment must be carefully thought out.

How to find a job in Switzerland? What do I need to know before applying for a job in Switzerland? Which sectors and professions are the most profitable? In which sectors are most people employed?

Read our guide to finding a job in Switzerland below and find out.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

How does the Swiss labour market work?

In Switzerland, as in every other country in the world, there are different economic and industrial sectors, each with specific labour recruitment needs.
According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), there are 16 labour market macro-regions in Switzerland. These macro-regions include the labour market of French-speaking Switzerland (comprising the cantons of Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Valais, Vaud and Berne), the labour market of German-speaking Switzerland and that of Italian-speaking Switzerland (comprising the cantons of Aargau Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Berne, Basle Country, Basle City, Fribourg, Glarus, Graubünden, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Schwyz, Thurgau, Uri, Valais, Zug, Zurich, and Ticino).
Each of these regions has its own particular characteristics regarding the labour market. The attractiveness of the Swiss labour market can therefore vary due to internal but also external factors compared to neighbouring Europe, especially due to the development of the Euro-Swiss franc (EUR/CHF) exchange rate.

According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), there are 16 labour market macro-regions in Switzerland. These macro-regions include the labour market of French-speaking Switzerland (comprising the cantons of Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Valais, Vaud and Berne), the labour market of German-speaking Switzerland and the labour market of Italian-speaking Switzerland (comprising the cantons of Aargau Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Berne, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Fribourg, Glarus, Graubünden, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Schwyz, Thurgau, Uri, Valais, Zug, Zurich, and Ticino).

Each of these regions has its own particular characteristics regarding the labour market. The attractiveness of the Swiss labour market can therefore vary due to internal but also external factors compared to neighbouring Europe, especially due to the development of the Euro-Swiss franc (EUR/CHF) exchange rate.

 

The most profitable employment sectors

The best paid jobs in Switzerland are in the financial sector (in particular, banking and insurance). This specific sector offers an average monthly salary of around CHF 9,200 gross (approx. EUR 8,600 as of 25/10/2021 ). The IT, medical, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors are also very lucrative.

Other very dynamic employment sectors are tourism, hôtellerie (hotel industry) and the luxury sector. Sectors such as tourism or hôtellerie are also characterised by a large demand for temporary or seasonal work, although permanent positions are just as common.

As an example, the city of Geneva exerts a strong attraction on workers from all over the world. Indeed, Geneva is home to many international companies and organisations, such as the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, more commonly known as CERN.

 

What are the most sought-after professions in Switzerland?

Among the most in-demand jobs in Switzerland are:
- Specialists in the IT sector;
- Specialists in the banking sector;
- Specialists in the pharmaceutical sector;
- Qualified health and care personnel;
- Project managers;
- Engineers,
- Craftsmen (bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians....);
- Construction project managers;
- Sales consultants;
- Fitters and electrical fitters.
It should be noted that the most in-demand occupations can vary greatly from one canton to another, even within the same sector of activity: the labour market is therefore not the same in Geneva as in Lausanne, Neuchâtel or Zurich. When looking for a job in Switzerland, it is necessary to bear in mind the specificities of each canton.

It should be noted that the most in-demand occupations can vary greatly from one canton to another, even within the same sector of activity: the labour market is therefore not the same in Geneva as in Lausanne, Neuchâtel or Zurich. When looking for a job in Switzerland, it is necessary to bear in mind the specificities of each canton.

 

Job search in Switzerland: how to write your CV?

In order to get a job offer for the position you are seeking, it is very important to pay attention to your curriculum vitae (or CV, for short): a well-written CV can prevent your application from being rejected before the selection process even starts.

Recruitment experts in Switzerland particularly value a well-detailed CV in which the candidate's professional experience is documented, with no gaps in the description of the tasks and duties performed, let alone the skills acquired.

For each work experience it is important to mention:

  • The size of the company where you worked (in terms of turnover or number of employees)
  • Its field of activity
  • Its geographical location

It is also crucial to clarify acronyms as much as possible so that the recruiter can fully understand the candidate's background.

Personal information, then, must be complete. Never forget to include:

  • Your full name
  • Your contact details
  • Your home address

Always remember to indicate the international dialling code of the telephone number you indicate as the contact number, especially if it is an Italian (+39), French (+33) or German (+49) number.

Another important point: if you mention the B licence as a driving licence, please specify that this is the document for driving cars. In Switzerland, in fact, 'B licence' means a permit for foreigners!

Finally, Swiss CVs contain the 'references' section. In this section it is important to mention the names, positions and contact information of your former employers. They must be consensual references, so always ask permission before mentioning anyone.

 

Where to start when looking for work in Switzerland?

The best place to start looking for a job in Switzerland are undoubtedly the dedicated websites and portals. These services act as aggregators of both demand (those looking for workers) and supply (those offering themselves as workers).

On such platforms you can find advertisements from Swiss recruitment agencies, large companies, SMEs, federal, cantonal and municipal public institutions. In just a few clicks, you will get a clear overview of each job offer and can immediately proceed with an application.

Below we list some of the most popular job search sites and/or portals in Switzerland:

  • Jobs.ch – platform with a wide range of job advertisements (more than 80,000) sorted by sector, company and activity
  • Jobup.ch – more than 40,000 job vacancies available, broken down by canton
  • Jooble.ch – a site aggregating more than 148,000 job offers from all over Switzerland
  • Indeed.com – currently the most important job aggregator in Switzerland

These job aggregation sites are extremely useful but, at the same time, they channel large flows of applications and this puts your application in competition with many others. For this reason, and to make your application stand out from the others, it is important to also monitor the websites of job agencies, portals such as LinkedIn or the websites of companies you are interested in, so that you can directly contact the recruiters in charge of recruitment and have a better chance of success.

 

We hope that this guide to the Swiss labour market will help you succeed in your job search in the Swiss Confederation. If you want to calculate the exact value of your future Swiss salary in Euros, please use our currency exchange service WireTransferExchange.com, while if you want to know what it is like to work in Switzerland without having citizenship, we recommend you take a look at our guide for cross-border workers.