Often people have found it more difficult when they live in rural areas or towns and areas where unemployment is known to be high, so you may want to factor in your plans to live and work in France the need to relocate where you have the best chance of finding work.
If at all possible, try to sort something out before you arrive in France. Before leaving your home country register with agencies and job sites in France, check your embassy in France’s website to see if there is anything to help you and network any friends already in France. Prepare your French style CV and letter of motivation, update your Linkedin profile and learn French – you need to be fluent to be in with a chance of gaining employment in France for the majority of jobs.
Once in France – visit job agencies, network amongst French and expat friends and contacts. You’ll find that jobs in the agencies are classified as “cadres” – management, or “non-cadres” – non-management jobs. They may also be classified as CDD – temporary jobs or CDI – permanent jobs.
CDD or temporary jobs are on the increase in France. A CDD states a date of completion (maximum 18 months) and can be renewed once. They are a way to get into the jobs market, experience the work place and for an employer to see if you are what they are looking for before committing to full time employment. Since France’s laws make it extremely difficult and very costly to sack or make an employee redundant, CDDs have become very popular and very common.
Pôle Emploi is the French equivalent of a national job centre with branches in towns all over France. In addition to listing jobs, they run courses to help you create a CV and write a letter of motivation for a job application – both critical components of finding a job in France.
If your CV is on a recruitment website, such as Linkedin or elsewhere, refresh it at least once a month to keep it at the top of the listings.
Some of the bigger companies in France (particularly in the IT industry) have an on-line registration area where you can directly submit your CV. If there is a company that interests you specifically – check to see if they have this application.
You may want to consider listing on Viadeo.fr – a French networking site where you can search for jobs and place your CV for those looking for particular skills.
Make sure that you have all the paperwork you need to hand. Applying for a job in France, is as you may expect, a paper-driven process. Prepare a dossier with photocopies of your passport, payslips, carte vitale (health card), working papers, visas, utility bills, CV, Letter of Motivation – be prepared to supply even more paperwork than this if your application goes through to the interview stage.
Review our list of job resources in France to help you narrow down the search.
When you land that first interview – check out our helpful tips for French interview etiquette.