Five quick tips for finding a job in France (from an expert)

Finding a job in France can be tough but there are a few rules you can follow that will help you land that perfect role. Founder of the Mister Bilingue employment agency Ludovic Martin tells us his five top tips for job hunting in France.

Five quick tips for finding a job in France (from an expert)
Photo: eabff/Depositphotos
It's no secret that finding a job in France can be tricky even if you're someone who speaks fluent French. 
So before you apply, here are five tips to help you navigate the job market from founder of employment agency Mister Bilingue Ludovic Martin. 
1. Your resume must be written on a single page
Recruiters want to be able to quickly find the information they need so it's important to be clear, accurate and concise.
And if you think it's impossible, take Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer, who managed to write her resume on a single page. If Marissa can do it, why can't you?
2. The resume must be in French
Not every recruiter is bilingual in English, therefore, they might not understand certain words, for example technical terms.
We advise you to write your resume in French.
If you don’t speak French perfectly, you can always ask your friends to help you. Please avoid any spelling and grammatical errors.
If you apply for a job within an international company, you can write two versions — one in French and one in English.
3. Be original… but don't go too far
Forget the usual black and white resumé. Add some color to make it pleasant to read and easy to understand, for example by putting the titles in colour (education, work experience, languages, etc).
But make sure you stick to one or two colours maximum.
You can also add the logos of the companies you've worked for.
This draws the recruiter’s attention and allows him to recognize the companies easily.
Brexit to create 3,500 finance jobs in Paris, says French lobby group
Photo: AFP
4. Stick to the facts
The pieces of information you give to the recruiter must be confirmable.
Be practical and provide data any time you can.
For example, in order to justify your speech level, you have several options:
English: Bilingual – Toefl test – Score 788
German: Fluent – 3 years in Munich, Germany
French : Mother tongue
To reassure the recruiter, mention the contact information of your most recent employers. 
If you are applying for a job in business, you can also implement key numbers, such as the sales turnover and the goals you have achieved.
20 new words the French language needs
Photo: Lagotic/Flickr
5. And what about the photo?
A photo is not mandatory in France, therefore you are not obliged to insert one in your resume.
But we do recommend you to put a photo of yourself for several reasons.
– It makes your resume more personal, you are no longer a simple resume
– It makes it enable for the recruiter to remember you more easily
– Recruiters will see a version of you in your work environment.
You are now ready to apply.
Ludovic Martin is the founder of Mister Bilinguea jobs site for bilingual and multilingual job seekers living in France. You can find details of his next jobs event in Paris on February 5th by CLICKING HERE.
Find out about internships, fixed-term contracts and open-ended contracts for jobs for people with the ability to speak English, German, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Dutch or Portuguese.

FIND A JOB: Browse thousands of English-language vacancies in France 

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How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.