Guide to Creating a Curriculum Vitae for Switzerland

Guide to Creating a Curriculum Vitae for Switzerland

If you’re applying for a job in Switzerland, you’ll need to write a Swiss CV. Switzerland is an appealing place to live and work, with its strong economy, competitive salaries and benefits and healthy approach to work-life balance. If you want to apply for jobs with Swiss companies, this article can help. We’ll discuss tips for writing a perfect CV for Switzerland and delve into the customs and culture of Swiss workplaces.

The Swiss Job Market and CV Expectations

Switzerland has a highly developed economy, ranking in the world’s top 20 (1) by GDP, and eighth for GDP per capita (2). The country has a highly advanced service economy and world-leading industry in food, machine and robotics manufacturing and a world-famous watch-making industry. Switzerland also has a leading banking and finance sector.

Salaries in Switzerland are among the best in the world and are significantly higher on average than in the UK (95,490 USD vs 49,240 USD) (3), and the workforce is supported by healthy benefits and a strong social security system including public healthcare and state pensions. Swiss law limits the regular working week to a maximum of 45 hours (4). As such, quality of life in Switzerland is high compared to other countries. Swiss citizens rate their quality of life on average at 7.5 out of 10, compared to an average among OECD countries of 6.7 (3).

Switzerland has four national languages. These are German, Italian, French and Romansh. German is the most widely spoken language in Switzerland, and is spoken natively by 62% of the population. It’s also the most commonly used business language in the country, so you may need to write a German CV. Around 22% of Swiss nationals speak French, so you may sometimes need to submit a French CV. The general rule on writing your CV is to use whichever language the job description and job advert was posted in.

Swiss CVs tend to follow a traditional, reverse-chronological format, similar to the structure adopted in most other European and western countries. There are, however, some minor differences. They also tend to be no more than two pages long, with a concise one-page CV being the best option.

Structural Similarities and Differences of Swiss CVs

The Swiss CV follows a very similar structure to the standard UK CV, as well as the US resume format. In both the UK and Switzerland, CVs tend to be no more than two pages in length, with the emphasis on a concise document that summarises your career, skills and achievements. In another similarity to the UK CV, Swiss employers tend to favour CVs presented in a reverse-chronological format that emphasises your work history.

The key components of a CV for Switzerland include work experience, education, skills, personal information and a CV summary or personal statement. This mirrors the standard UK CV sections, with the layout of the CV also following the same structure. The first part of the CV is the header with personal information, followed by the CV summary, then your work experience and education sections, presented in reverse-chronological order and finally, a list of your skills.

Like the UK CV, there are several optional sections you can add to your CV if they’re useful for proving your suitability for the job. These include voluntary work, languages, certificates, driving licences, internships, hobbies and interests and computer skills. Unlike the UK CV, Swiss CVs tend to include a personal photo, though this isn’t mandatory.

Key Components of a Swiss CV

Take a look at the sections below for some detailed guidance on what to include in your Swiss CV:

CV header

The header in a CV for Switzerland contains all the necessary contact and personal information. This includes your first and last name, your email address, your phone number and your address. Swiss CVs, it’s common to include your full postal address. Swiss employers may also request you submit your date of birth, nationality, residence status, marital status and gender.

In addition, one of the key differences between the Switzerland CV and its UK equivalent is the inclusion of a photo in your CV header. While this isn’t mandatory, many candidates do submit a photo as part of their document. 

CV summary

Below your header, write a brief summary of your skills, experience and career objectives. The CV summary is your chance to make a positive impression with Swiss employers. You don’t need to include too much detail. A couple of sentences, or even a single, concise sentence will usually suffice.

Work experience

Like in the UK, work experience is one of the most important sections of a Swiss CV. This gives you the chance to showcase your relevant experience and achievements, and prove to employers that you’ve got what it takes to do the job.

The structure of the work experience section is similar to UK CVs. Add your jobs in reverse-chronological order, starting with your current or most recent role. List your job title, the name and location of the employer and the dates you worked there. Under each entry, add bullet points listing your responsibilities and achievements. Refer to the job description for keywords and phrases to use, and add strong verbs and active language to emphasise your impact. 


As with your work experience section, list your qualifications in reverse-chronological order. Swiss CVs tend to include all relevant educational awards and professional qualifications. List the name and level of the award, the institution you studied at and your dates of study. You can add your education section either before or after your work history, depending on your experience levels.

If you’re not sure if your UK qualifications are accepted in the profession or role you’re applying to work for in Switzerland, you can check their compatibility using (5) This service is run by the Swiss government, to help people from outside Switzerland apply for jobs in the country.


Consult the job description to understand the skills the hiring company is seeking in candidates, and list any you have in your skills section. Some employers may look out for IT skills or other specific technical skills, so you could list these separately from your soft, or transferable skills. 

Optional sections

Optional sections for a Swiss CV include languages, hobbies and interests, certifications and training, or volunteer work, but only add these if they’re relevant, and remember to keep them brief.

If you’re adding a languages section, specify your proficiency levels in each language using the CEFR standards. These list competency levels from A1 (basic), to C2 (advanced). If you’re listing your language skills, you could break down your competency levels into speaking, listening, reading and writing and provide a rating for each.

"In both the UK and Switzerland, CVs tend to be no more than two pages in length, with the emphasis on a concise document that summarises your career, skills and achievements."

Optimising Your Swiss CV

Follow these dos and don’ts to optimise your Switzerland CV for the best chance of success:


  • Include a photo: if you feel comfortable doing so, add a professional-looking photo to make your document more personal. 
  • Add your date of birth: while it’s generally discouraged to add your age or date of birth to your CV in the UK, it’s standard practice to do so in Switzerland.
  • Include all relevant education and qualifications: unlike UK CVs, where the most recent qualification is usually sufficient, Swiss CVs tend to include any qualifications or training relevant to the role.
  • List your language skills: add your language skills, either in the CV header or in its own section at the end of the document.
  • Mention technical skills: mention any computer skills or other technical skills you have, either in your main skills section, or in their own section.
  • Use a professional-looking design: you can make your CV stand out from the crowd by using an online CV builder. CVwizard has a range of clean, attractive and professional CV templates to choose from.


  • Make it too long: an ideal length for a Swiss CV is two pages or shorter. Keep your CV as consise as possible, and exclude any unnecessary content.
  • Over-use keywords: it can be tempting to stuff as many keywords as possible into your CV, but this can make for a dry, unreadable document. Make sure it feels natural, but reference keywords where possible.
  • Lie or mislead: avoid any lies, exaggeration or half-truths in your CV, as these will only come back to haunt you later in the recruitment process.
  • Include spelling or grammar errors: proofread your Swiss CV and if possible, ask a native speaker of the relevant language to review it before sending, to make sure you’ve used all the appropriate terminology.

Expert tip:

If you’re applying for jobs in Switzerland, you’ll need to write your CV in the language the job advert is posted in. Translate your qualifications to their Swiss equivalents, and pay particular attention to the translation of your headings. Have your CV reviewed by a native speaker before you send it, to ensure its accuracy.

Key Takeaways for a Winning Switzerland CV

In many ways, a Swiss CV closely resembles a CV from the UK and many other European countries, but there are several key differences. While most of the essential sections remain the same, Swiss CVs tend to include a photo, a date of birth and a few additional personal details. You should also list your language skills for any of the languages widely spoke in Switzerland. You can enhance your Swiss job prospects by creating a beautifully designed CV in CVwizard. Choose from a selection of CV templates and follow the simple steps to build your winning Swiss CV.


(1) Forbes India, 10 April 2024: The top 10 largest economies in the world in 2024

(2) The World Bank, accessed 22 April 2024: GDP per capita (current US$)

(3) World Data, accessed 11 April 2024: Average income around the world

(4) OECD, accessed 22 April 2024: Switzerland country profile

(5) State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI:

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