Why Networking in Switzerland is Important


Did you know that the friend of a friend of your friend can influence your weight? Me neither, but the researchers Nickolas A. Christakis and James Fowler did a study on how social connections shape our lives, published in the Journal of Cognition and Culture. The impact third-degree relationships on weight have and how strong the influence of a person we don’t even know on our lives must be, is incredibly high. James Fowler explained the results of his study in a video for poptech: 

If you have watched the video, you now know why it is important to keep the positive people in your life close to you and why you should scroll down your Facebook page or your contact list on your phone every now and then to reach out to old friends and acquaintances. If you did not watch the video (which is a shame!) then the answer would be: because your social network defines who you are and it is easier to reconnect to people you were already in contact with at some point in your life.

Business school professor David Burkus wrote a great book about the importance of networking: A Friend of a Friend… (Photo credit: Nilesh Ukey)

Reaching out to Strangers Online

Reaching out to people you don’t know but would like to get in contact with for some reason, is a different thing. If you have not tried to do so yet you’ll have for sure experienced the other side: receiving friend requests from strangers. Haphazardly adding people to your social network might seem appealing at first, but especially when you are actively looking for a job, it makes sense to put some more effort into it than simply clicking on the “add friend” button.

A good start would be to write a purposeful message in addition to the friend request. This could be something like “Hey there. I have come across your profile and saw that you are working in the hotel industry. As I am currently looking for a job in the same field, I could use some advice on the local job market. Would you mind helping me?” Make sure your message has a clear meaning, but also make sure your opponent doesn’t feel like she/he/they were stalked by you. So for example, if you looked her/him/them up, don’t write about intimate details of their personal life that you might have come across during your research.  This might sound obvious, but reality shows it is not that clear to everyone.

One thing that often works out nicely, is to compliment the person, for example regarding a remark about a comment they made on a post and you both read. Why? Because everyone likes compliments. To sum this up: Approaching strangers on social media requires a lot of “Fingerspitzengefühl“.

Social media channels can be very useful when looking for a job. Provided, you make use of it the right way. (Photo Credit: Unsplash)

Moreover, keep in mind that every social network has its own rules. So when you do send a direct message on Instagram, make sure the text is unique and non-generic, demonstrating that you took the time to study the person’s feed. On Facebook make sure the person you are reaching out to knows where to place you or why you are reaching out to them (see example above). Sending a direct message on LinkedIn is similar to Facebook with a clear emphasis on the professional level.

Especially on a professional platform like Linkedin, it is important to add value. For example by showing the world who you are and what you have to offer. (Photo credit:Unsplash)

Clearly there are more ways to network than simply sending a direct message.
Comment on posts, state your opinion, engage in ongoing conversations.

Another thing that has always helped me in foreign countries, is to reach out to Facebook Groups, people on MeetUp, Internations, and groups alike. Groups and communities, that were relevant in regard to my quest.

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Moreover, you are heartily invited to read on: 
Still got questions about job hunting in Switzerland? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email hidden; JavaScript is required">send me a message.

About Author

Hello there! I am Désirée Klarer, journalist by profession and recruiter by passion. Being surrounded by people from different countries with various professional backgrounds, it has always been my pleasure to help them finding the right career path in Switzerland. May it be a job where you don't need German that simply pays your bills while you study or finding your dream-job - I am happy to help.


    • Désirée Klarer on

      Oh Bianca, sure 🙂 you can. I can send you a newsletter from now on if you wish? Not a problem.

  1. Demet Torul on

    “It makes sense to put some more effort into it than simply clicking on the “add friend” button.” Totally agree! If I don’t know someone or have no common background, I would dismiss all of the requests unless they are explaining the reason to reach out. Thanks for sharing Desiree!

    • Désirée Klarer on

      Exactly my thoughts! I really wonder why it is still so common on social networks that people randomly send you a friend request, especially as it is so easy to find out about something you might have in common with that person. For example: a common friend 🙂 Have a lovely day, Demet!

  2. Very insightful article! I agree that a good amount of “Fingerspitzengefühl” is invaluable while navigating the sometimes tricky field of networking. Can’t wait to read your next post Désirée!

  3. Great article and very important especially in a place like Switzerland since the job market is already very tight knit and considering you are a foreigner and don’t speak the local language, networking through social media is one of the ways to open doors. Look forward to future posts like this.

    • Désirée Klarer on

      Dear Martin

      I am glad you liked my post and yes, you are right: the job market is very tight knit, even more so because of the pandemic.

      • Stephanie I. on

        That’s an amazing summary with a lot of very useful insights! Thank you for this wrap up.

        • Great article! Networking is such a powerful and important tool nowadays, if not the most important! Also opting-in for the newsletter 🙂

          • Désirée Klarer on

            Dear Jessica

            Thank you very much for your kind words and your subscription to the newsletter 🙂
            You wont regret it.

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