Before starting work

There are several ways to obtain a job in Switzerland. Exercising a remunerated activity often requires prior procedures such as recognition of your training and professional experience acquired in your country of origin.

Searching for work

If you are looking for a job in the canton of Vaud, you can:

  • Respond to job offers listed on the internet or in newspapers.
  • Send an “unsolicited application” file to the companies that interest you. You can find company addresses on
  • Register with a recruitment agency that will act as an intermediary for temporary jobs (you will find them listed on the website).

Three-pillar system and unemployment insurance


Also remember to call on your acquaintances: 75% of people find work in Switzerland thanks to their social network.

Application file

To respond to a job offer, most Swiss employers will ask you to send them an “application file” containing the following documents:

  • A cover letter.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV).
  • A copy of your diplomas and training certificates.
  • A copy of your work certificates.

If they are interested in your file, they will then contact you for one or more personalised interviews.

Finding a profession when you have just arrived

The Office cantonal d’orientation scolaire et professionnelle (OCOSP), with its Regional Centres, promotes the professional integration and employability of all people, regardless of their age and training. It provides applicants with assessments, a great deal of information and support in the process of building a professional project in Switzerland.

Centres régionaux d’orientation scolaire et professionnelle

Guidance for recently arrived people

The information portal for vocational, academic and career guidance collects all information on apprenticeships, occupations and training.

Recognition of foreign diplomas and professional certification for adults (CPA)

Before starting to work in Switzerland, you may need to take steps to have the training or experience acquired in your country of origin recognised. In Switzerland, certain professions are said to be “regulated”. That means that the exercise of these professions requires an officially recognised title. This is for example the case of medicine, nursing, education, for which the recognition of diplomas is compulsory if you wish to practise. For regulated professions, a recognition procedure is mandatory. Have you studied abroad and do you want to know if your diploma is recognised in Switzerland? Find out more from the Secrétariat d’État à la Formation, à la Recherche et à l’Innovation (SERI).

Find out if your diploma is recognised in Switzerland

Adults with several years of professional experience in a profession of the CFC or AFP type have the possibility of obtaining the end-of-training title by following a qualification procedure for adults in two ways:

  • Either by taking the end of apprenticeship exams with the possibility of taking preparatory courses.
  • Or by following a procedure for validating prior learning (VAE). This involves the development of a portfolio file documenting the skills related to those required in the qualification profile of the targeted profession, benefiting from collective and individual support.

It is also possible, on the basis of your training course, to be able to follow a professional training of reduced duration.

Professional certifications for adults (CFC, AFP)

Office cantonal d’orientation scolaire et professionnelle (OCOSP)
021 557 88 99

Professional integration

Many associations have developed professional integration projects for migrants. These offers can help you in your search for employment or training. Some of them are listed on the Welcome to the canton of Vaud portal.

Associations for Professional Integration


In addition to broadening your field of skills and your network, volunteering can be a springboard for obtaining paid employment. If you want to commit a few hours a week to a cause that is dear to you or create an association, you can consult Bénévolat-Vaud.

Leisure and social life

More information

Bénévolat-Vaud, Centre de compétences pour la vie associative

Avenue Ruchonnet 1 | 1003 Lausanne
021 313 24 00

Unemployment insurance professional integration measures

Under certain conditions, professional integration measures are accessible to people registered with the Regional Employment Centre (ORP) in their region and who have been granted a right to unemployment insurance benefits.

Business creation and development

The canton of Vaud offers a framework conducive to the creation and development of businesses. The Service de la Promotion de l’Economie et de l’Innovation (SPEI) guides entrepreneurs in their efforts and directs them to the appropriate organisations according to their needs (advice, financing, technological support, etc.). Support is available for companies active in the industrial and high-tech sectors.

Service de la promotion de l’économie et de l’innovation (SPEI)

Rue Caroline 11
1014 Lausanne
021 316 60 21

The Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CVCI) offers a business creation advice service.

Chambre vaudoise du commerce et de l’industrie (CVCI)
021 613 35 35

Finding a child-minding solution

When searching for a job, it is essential for the parent to have a child-minding solution though-out.

Before school