Looking for work in France.

It may seem easy at first, but finding a job in France is a disheartening task. They are not open to people who don't have an excellent command of the French language without an accent. France has a high unemployment rate and strict hiring and firing laws. This makes them cautious when employing someone because once a person has a contract; it is difficult to let him go. Temporary employment is easier to find because the labor laws are more relaxed than with permanent employment.

Where to find employment in France

The best way for finding a job in France is through extensive networking. They hire their friends, family, and contacts. Make use of any acquaintances you might have in France. Visit their clubs and make friends through the Internet before you embark on a job hunt in the country. Allow enough time for the job search.

Newspapers and the Internet
The French newspapers all run classifieds and the Internet have many sources for employment in France. You will however compete with French citizens, who are well qualified and can speak the language.

European Union passport holders
Finding a job in France is easier when you have a EU passport. It gives you the right to work and stay in France for three months, providing you with the opportunity to find suitable employment. Americans and other foreigners struggle to find work permits, but if you are adamant you may succeed.

Bulletin Boards
The bulletin boards have bilingual jobs, volunteering options and temporary jobs that are open to expatriates.

Employment Agencies
Finding a job in France through recruitment agencies is another option open to executives and highly qualified persons in the information technology industry.

Tips for the job hunt

  • If you cannot speak French, then attend a language course. Learn to speak without an accent. They are very protective about their culture and language.
  • The French are diplomatic and well mannered. Keep all communication on a formal level. Don't send notes, that thanking the person for interviewing you, and don't end your letters with 'looking forward to your reply.' They consider it as forward.
  • The resume is called CV for curriculum vitae, the Latin version of resume.
  • Get a French person to type your resume. They require a formal resume with less self-promotion. Your resume must be in French with no mistakes. If you don't know someone, try the French consulate in your country.
  • They have specific requirements for each job and will not hire you if you fall short with even one qualification.

Tips for the interview

  • Dress in a formal manner.
  • Give one firm handshake.
  • Carry a briefcase or neat handbag.
  • Don't sit unless you are invited to take a seat.
  • You must be on time.
  • Resources for finding a job in France

    • Council on International Educational Exchange assists you in obtaining a 3 months working permit http://www.ciee.org/
    • Association for International Practical Training assists you in getting a 6 months renewable working permit http://www.aipt.org/
    • The Europlingua institute may help you to find employment as and English teacher http://www.eurolingua.com/French_in_Montpellier.htm