There is no denying it: the pandemic changed the employment market in 2020, and the effects of the global health crisis will continue to be felt for many years across many sectors. 

With any increase in unemployment, there is a corresponding increase in applications to open roles. One question about this increase is where do job applicants put their efforts when applying to open roles in Switzerland?

The most popular website for job applicants in Switzerland is LinkedIn, with 75% of candidates using the site daily or several times a week to find and apply for open roles. The second most popular websites for job applicants are job boards, with employer sites the favourite of 48%, and social media sites the favourite of 13%. 

Other key statistics our recent survey found relate to the frequency people apply for jobs. In general, 48% of applicants use LinkedIn every day, 27% several times a week, and 8% once a week.  

Interestingly, recruitment consultancies are key for 44% of job applicants who look for jobs several times a week to daily, highlighting the pull of using a specialist to help job seekers find a new role. Some benefits of using a recruitment consultancy are the assistance they will give you regarding shortlisting candidates, their understanding of the employment market, and which skills are in high demand in any sector. 

This information is important for hiring managers, as it can give an indication of where they should focus their efforts in terms of job ads promotion, and when thinking of using a recruitment partner. 

When do candidates think it is too late to apply to an open role? 

Our statistics show that 92% of job applicants check when the job ad was posted. 4% of applicants in Switzerland said they felt it was too late to apply for a job after it had been live for 2-3 days, compared with 19% who felt it was too late to apply when the job was live for 5-10 days. 

These figures suggest that candidates want to apply for newly opened roles so they don’t get lost in a process, suggesting they think they will be more likely to have their application viewed by a hiring manager if they apply to a ‘fresh’ job. 

And in terms of time of day for applications, it seems as though the preferences are mixed. Most candidates (50%) in Switzerland don’t have a specific time, compared to 25% applying in the morning, 19% use their afternoons to find new roles, and 17% apply in the evenings.

What approach do job applicants take: apply to all open roles, or only ones that match their profile? 

When applying for open roles, candidates in Switzerland generally look for positions that match their skills and experience, with 76% following this path, and only 6% applying for all roles. 

Why is this? Further statistics from the survey suggest that candidates today know about keywords on CVs and in cover letters, with 21% adapting their CVs for each role they apply to. 28% alter their CV most of the times, and 31% only sometimes. 

Their knowledge of keywords and of applicant tracking systems (ATS) means that job seekers today are very aware of the why behind adapting a CV for a specific role. 

But for what reason specifically? 66% said they do this, because they know it adds value to an application, with another 57% of job applicants adapting their CV to meet a specific job description, potentially highlighting many people’s ability to perform one or more roles in their specific skills area. 33% said they do this to increase the response rate from the potential employer, compared to 19%, who adapt their CV because the role is a perfect fit, meaning they want the opportunity to interview, and know a role specific CV is the gateway to this.  

To send a cover letter or not send a cover letter, that is the question

Job applicants in Switzerland are very aware of the importance of cover letters when sending in an application – or at least 53% of them are, as they include one with every CV sent. 

50% include a cover letter specific to the role, and 25% include one sometimes and specific. However, a surprising 20% only send a cover letter when it is mandatory. Which prompts the question – why do candidates include a cover letter? 

69% explain it is to prove their motivation for the role, followed by 62% saying it is to highlight their relevance for the role. With 48% including a cover letter to explain their experience in an engaging way, and 38% explaining it is to prove their understanding of the role, are cover letters growing in importance?

Cover letters can help an application pass through specific points of a job application process by helping the candidate detail their history in an engaging way, and by meeting search terms from the potential employer. 

If you want advice on writing job descriptions, asking for cover letters or any part of the hiring process, Michael Page’s team of expert recruitment consultants are waiting to help you.

Simply get in touch via this form, or find your local office from our contact us page, here