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Personal Information section: your address (part 2)

How to write your address in your Swiss CV? Sounds too easy? Here’s part 2 of my recommendations.

Here’s part 1, in case you missed it. See also the introduction to the series with the list of topics.

In these articles I explore how you can or should display your home address on your CV if you’re looking for a job in Switzerland.

Granted, I’m going into a lot of details and crazy assumptions, but if you’re aiming for an optimized rather than a merely good or just average CV, then it’s all about the details.

Countries and their codes…

Instead of spelling out the full country name, country codes can save you one line of precious real estate on your CV. On the other hand, like I always say, you should avoid ambiguity.

Now’s the time when you might think that I’m overly obsessive about avoiding ambiguity and that everybody knows the country codes, at least of the countries close to Switzerland. But…

  • I know that some people have a hard time remembering if the country code for Austria is AU or AT (AU stands for Australia)
  • Others always mix up PT and PL (Portugal and Poland). By the way, did you know that the country code “PO” doesn’t exist?
  • And finally, your future manager might have relocated last week from another continent and doesn’t know yet that ES stands for Spain (Estonia is EE) and that FL is the Fuerstentum Liechtenstein.

…or rather the full country name?

As a general recommendation, I would say that it’s okay to use the country code if you’re living in a Western European country, but by spelling out the full country name you can reduce the risk of misunderstandings to zero (unless you send your CV to Mr. Murphy).

Translated or original city name

This one’s a bit tricky. I’ve seen CVs in which the only non-English word was “Genève”. I thought that this looked a bit odd, although it was certainly not wrong.

This is very subjective, but in an English CV I would write “Geneva” and “Zurich” (without the “Umlaut”), but keep all other Swiss places in their original language.

But what about Fribourg and Freiburg?

Fribourg / Freiburg is one of the bilingual places in Switzerland. If you’re living in such a place and don’t know which version to use when applying for a job, you can check on the company website. If the homepage shows up in German use Freiburg, if the first language is French, then write Fribourg.

And if the standard language is English? Then look up the contact information and see how they display their address.

If you know the name of the HR person or the hiring manager, then look them up on LinkedIn. Their profile will most probably be in English, but you can check their job history. Do the locations where they used to work sound more French or more German? You can also look up the names of the schools they attended in the education section.

I think that’s enough craziness for today. If you disagree, then please read some of the older articles and let me know what you think in the comments (especially if you disagree with anything I say).

What you can do right now:

  1. How do you mention your home country in your address? Decide whether to use the abbreviation in front of the ZIP code or the full country name. Trust your gut feeling if you have doubts.
  2. City names in English or the local language? Again, there’s not really any right or wrong answers. But make sure to be consistent.
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