France has a vibrant economy with a high number of immigrants in the French workforce. The majority of workers are within the service sector, with the second most popular sector in agriculture. Unemployment runs between 9 to 11% (with approximately 4% long-term unemployment).
A CV (Le CV français) in France should be used when applying for a professional position. When you are preparing your CV, note that the French format might be different from that of your home country. For instance, the French tend to list education first on the CV. The CV format can also vary by industry or job.
CVs need to be in French and are usually only two pages. The most common exception would be in English-speaking positions in international companies. A résumé is a false cognate in French and English. Un résumé means a summary, whereas a résumé refers to un CV (curriculum vitae).
For more information about writing a French CV, use a CV guide.
A cover letter (lettre de motivation) usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent. Also known as a cover letter, covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation. The cover letter may be requested to be hand-written although it is less often requested nowadays. Some employers ask for handwritten letters so that they can do a handwriting analysis. This will be note in the ad.
For some basic templates for CVs and cover letters, try the guide to Cover letter in French.
Search engines allow you to scan a great variety of jobs, an narrow down your search on certain criteria. It is also a good idea to post your CV online so hiring managers can find you. They may also allow you to sign-up for e-mail alerts of when new jobs become available.
There are also organizations that help job seekers find positions within their organization, or with their partners.
Newspaper listings and magazines may seem a little old-fashioned, but these Job Listings may still prove helpful. You can also try placing your own ad.
As part of the EU, job seekers can access the European job mobility portal EURES. This resource provides information about job vacancies and the labor market. It also provides information on the living and working conditions, and a CV posting service.
Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers. EasyExpat's job listings for France are a great resource. Search by industry and browse the latest jobs.
Most agencies specialize in a particular field, such as computers, nursing, secretarial work, accounting, catering, or construction. There are also "Head hunting" agencies that are hired by large companies to recruit executives, managers or professionals. Many offer bilingual positions at an administrative or executive level. You can register by email but will probably be offered an initial interview in order to discuss your work experience and aspirations.
Career fairs are an excellent way to find out about available jobs and opportunities. There are usually a large variety of employers you can visit in one day and apply. Entrance is usually free, but registering online might be encouraged. Bring your resume and dress to impress as there may be interviews on the spot.
Sometimes getting a job is about knowing the right people. Talk to friends, family, and business contacts to see if they have connections in the area you would like to work. Chat with expats through the network and look out for expat events in Paris.
Native English speakers can often find positions teaching English. Language schools may require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. You must have adequate visa clearance and registration.
Schools usually supply the intent to employ form, so the teacher may secure a visa. Pay is adequate for living in France, but usually isn't a high-paid position. Speaking French will usually increase your job opportunities, but private schools may hire native English speakers for English-immersion classrooms where no French is spoken.
Placement agencies or university fellowship programs are the best resources for finding teaching jobs. The alternative is to contact schools directly within France.
Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test. Some schools will throw teachers right in for a 90 minute class where the school observes and either offers the job, or does not. It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove themselves reliable and are able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Some teachers work at two schools or supplement by giving private lessons.Agencies:
It is also an option to work for yourself by giving private lessons. These are usually more profitable per hour, but require a lot more work finding and keeping customers. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like Easy Expat's Teaching Job Listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.
TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.
Another option for courses is WICE. It is a nonprofit anglophone volunteer-based association that offers accelerated courses. Courses take over four weeks with mornings devoted to teaching practice and afternoons for theory and practical teaching techniques.
Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. Research the company before the interview to discover their missions and direction. It is not uncommon for there to be a series of interviews, with the first lasting 30-60 min, and further meetings possibly taking an entire day.
Most jobs rely on an employment contract. The contract must be in writing and can include details of the type of work to be done, duration, salary, and benefits.
It is common to have a probational period at a new job. The length and requirements of this period should be detailed within the contract, including what should happen if either side wishes to terminate the contract.
For complete information on contracts in France, refer to the contract section of "Work Usage".
If you are in need of short term work of any kind, there are agencies that will find you employment with another company. Jobs may consist of office work, babysitting, gardening, security or any other types of work. They will try to fit with occupations that fit your skill set. As an added bonus, sometimes short term work can lead to a longer contract.
Adecco is one of France's biggest temp agencies. They offer positions in every line of work.
For highly skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs and recent graduates from France universities: You do not need a job offer when you apply to enter or stay in the France in these categories, but you will need to pass a points-based assessment.
For skilled workers: If you have been offered a skilled job in the France and your prospective employer is willing to sponsor you, you can apply to come or stay here to do that job.
Full details can be found in the Departure/Visa section and at the France Border and Immigration Agency website.
Full details can be found in the visa section and at the France Border and Immigration Agency website. Also look into the "Passport & Visa" section of the guide.
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