• France's news in English
 

Six quick tips for finding a job in France

Published: 22 Aug 2014 17:40 GMT+02:00

The process of getting hired in France has its own etiquette, subtle signs and requirements that are unique to this side of the Atlantic or the English Channel.

However the good news is that with a little cultural awareness these barriers can be overcome.

In order to clear the way, The Local asked Diane Picandet from recruiting agency GR International Profiles to explain six crucial dos and don'ts for landing a job in France.

Here is six tips to help you find work:

Clothes make the (wo)man: How you look when you show up to a job interview is important anywhere, but especially so in France where recruiters really focus on the details. Also, French bosses tend to think your personal clothing style reflects how you’ll act in the company. Thus formal yet not flashy clothes are the best. French bosses tend to prefer a corporate look. Of course, it depends on the firm, so if you want a job in design, dressing a bit more originally would be a plus.

Diploma, diploma, diploma: The main cultural difference between the Anglophone and French job market is the emphasis placed on applicants’ diplomas and credentials. It makes the market more rigid and can prove a barrier for expats who got their training outside France. However, it can also be a strength in positions where the employer is looking for someone with ties to the Anglo world.

Paint a clear picture: Firms in the Anglo world are more open to applicants who have a variety of experiences because they are seen as curious, independent and open-minded. However, in France it comes off as the mark of a person who may not very stable or reliable. Thus your French resumé must emphasize the experiences that are really important and relevant to the job you are applying for. Take out experiences that aren’t germane.

SEE ALSO: Ten French job options Anglos don't think about

Clean up your CV: French resumés are short and concise, no more than 2 pages, with perfect spelling and ID photos. Your work experience section should be first and most prominent. And when translating your CV into French don’t rely on an automatic translator like Google. It’s better to have a French speaker help you translate and proofread it. Finally, don’t forget some of the most common spelling mistakes for English speakers are the genders of French nouns (la table, le verre), so take extra care with those.

Brush up on your French: Yes, you might be able to teach English or work in a bar without decent French , your ability to speak the language of Moliere will be a major factor in getting hired in France for most jobs, Picandet says. Even if you are applying for a position at an Anglo company, you should have a minimum fluency in writing and speaking, because every job will require contact with the general public or other companies. So get your head in the books or sign up for a course. There's no point putting it off.

Temp agencies: A good way to break into the French market is through temporary employment agencies. A short assignment can help you get acquainted French business culture, provide practice for your language skills and give a chance to begin networking. No to mention, it’s a valuable experience to add on to your resumé for finding a longer term job.

By Léa Surugue

CLICK HERE to visit The Local's jobs page

Don't miss stories about France, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Riviera beach-gate
Saudis savaged over Paris hospital bills
Saudi Arabia owes €3.7 million to the Paris public hospital system. File photo: AFP

Saudis savaged over Paris hospital bills

Saudi royals who took over a public beach in southern France recently should have paid their country's outstanding hospital bills before leaving the country, a top French doctor has said. READ  

French parents busted over Disneyland drug run
The family headed home with a car full of stuffed toys and heroin. Photo: CetusCetus/Flickr

French parents busted over Disneyland drug run

Police have arrested a mother and father after finding ten kilogrammes of heroin in their car while the family was heading home from Disneyland Paris. READ  

Woman's dismembered body found in Toulouse
Police remained on the scene on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: AFP

Woman's dismembered body found in Toulouse

The dismembered body of a young woman has been found in a plastic container in a flat in the southern French city of Toulouse. READ  

French news site blocked in Indian porn crackdown
Le Dauphiné Libéré was one of 857 sites labelled as "worse than Hitler" by an Indian lawyer. File photo: AFP

French news site blocked in Indian porn crackdown

The Indian government is cracking down on online pornography but a list of sites blocked by authorities contains at least one surprise addition: French regional news site Le Dauphiné Libéré. READ  

Why the French back their striking farmers
A farmer passes by the main entrance of the DDT (Direction Departementale des territoires) with manure stacked outside during a protest. Photo: AFP

Why the French back their striking farmers

Visitors to France may have cursed the striking French farmers who recently blocked towns and tourists attractions with piles of manure, but the French public are 100 percent behind them. Well almost. READ  

New plan to get shy French chatting on trains
TGV passengers are known to keep to themselves. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers/Flickr

New plan to get shy French chatting on trains

A passenger survey from French rail operator SNCF has found that while the majority of respondents are keen to make conversation on a TGV train, they're being held back. And SNCF wants to help. READ  

Hollande hails Obama's 'courage' on climate plan
President François Hollande has saluted the courage of Barack Obama for taking on the fight against climate change. Photo: AFP

Hollande hails Obama's 'courage' on climate plan

The French President François Hollande has hailed the "courage" of Barack Obama for committing the US to unprecedented cuts in carbon emissions as the US president takes up the fight against climate change before December's key global conference in Paris. READ  

Calais migrants' crisis
Calais migrants: France wants more help from UK
UK Border Force will send 100 more officers to Calais. Photo: AFP

Calais migrants: France wants more help from UK

UPDATED: The French and UK governments have steered clear of blaming each other over the ongoing Calais migrants crisis, but France’s interior minister upped the tone on Tuesday by demanding more action from London. READ  

Wild wallabies roam villages west of Paris
Wallabies have adapted to their new home in the wilds of France. Photo: AFP

Wild wallabies roam villages west of Paris

A tiny French village in Paris's leafy western suburbs is ringed by scores of wild wallabies, who now thrive in a nearby forest a world away from their native Australia. READ  

Christian tombs desecrated in France
File photo showing Jewish graves vandalised in February. Photo: AFP

Christian tombs desecrated in France

UPDATED: Around 40 Christian tombs were desecrated in a cemetery in eastern France on Monday, with headstones uprooted or broken, the interior ministry said in a statement. Three youths have been arrested. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
'Massacre' of black cats shocks Marseille locals
Education
Rampaging kids trash French kindergarten
French bullfighting president mauled by rampaging bull
National
French court says 'non' to new cockfighting pits
France names capital cities for new regions
Ten things you didn't know about Gay Paris
France eyes boost to holiday leave rights
Business & Money
French dating sites 'not protecting client privacy'
Features
Learn more about the Bayonne festival - France's wildest party
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in August
Features
What to see and do at the Paris Plages this summer
Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach
Take a closer look at the 560,000-year-old tooth found in France
National
Swiss army pilfers French water to give to thirsty cows
National
'B**ch' and 'brainless': French shop slurs clients
Travel
French cops rebel over order to give kids sweets
National
New measures to stop migrant deaths in Calais
Travel
Here are some of the most ridiculous comments you'll read about France
Features
Life may be about to get easier for expats settling in France
National
Burning tyres and blocking roads is just the way the French do strikes
National
Muslim tourists visiting French Alps are reminded of burqa ban
Opinion
Slim and chic: Are French women fed up of the stereotypes?
French officials defend handing public beach over to Saudi royals
Society
French kiss: Should expats in France do 'la bise' among themselves?
National
Paris commuters and tourists face summer of travel trouble
This man learnt the entire French vocabulary in nine weeks, but why?
French speed cameras snare tens of thousands of British drivers
Gallery
What kind of expat in France are you: A lover or a loather?
Society
French tweeters reveal the trials and tribulations of #GrowingupFrench
Where to find the best (and worst) quality of life in France
National
Riviera rumpus as Saudi royals grab public beach all for themselves
What we know about France's foiled terror plot
Features
Here are ten places in Paris where you can escape the summer heat
National
Coup d'état fails in France after being snubbed by military
Are shoppers in northern France the most honest in the world?
French woman fined €90 for driving in flip-flops
Cyclists in Paris get the green light to jump red
'Adieu France': Angry mum's parting rant goes viral
Franco-German rift opens over Greece and it could take time to heal
The Megavalanche: The most spectacular cycling event in France
Ex-French PM's daughter creates a buzz by going topless for photo shoot
Could Parisians be bathing in the Seine by 2024?
Paris unveils new mobile app to help non-French speakers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,641
jobs available