How to Find a Job in France

Last updated on February 16th, 2024 at 05:39 pm

How to Find a Job in France From Paris to Marseille to Lyon, there are many great French cities where you might want to settle and work. You may even have your sights set on smaller communities, perhaps in idyllic rural settings. Wherever you want to settle in the country, there are several ways to find a job in France.

Review this Remitly guide to help you do exactly that.

Quick tips for finding a job in France

  • Check online job boards. Review a variety of job sites to find open positions in specific areas of France.
  • Find a recruiter. Apart from helping you find a job, recruiters can also help you polish your resume and prepare for upcoming interviews. Try finding a recruiter France to help you find local positions you want to pursue.
  • Transfer within your company. If your company has an office in France, consider making the transfer. Make sure you meet the requirements for the transfer permit ahead of time.
  • Enroll in a graduate program. Consider pursuing a graduate training program to help prepare you for the French workforce. Before filling out your application, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Start networking. Make connections with workers in France by networking on LinkedIn or joining online communities for expats living in France. This can lead to job opportunities, references, and valuable connections for the future.

Work visa requirements

If you’re arriving from a country outside the EU, it’s important to understand French work visa requirements. You must apply for a long-stay visa through the French consular authorities in your country of residence. Your employer in France usually has to request a work permit on your behalf. You’ll then attach the work permit to your visa application.

We have a dedicated guide on applying for French work visas, which considers the different types available. Keep in mind that if you change jobs while in France, you may need to change your work/residence permit accordingly.

Ways of conducting a job search in France

Here are some of the top ways expats find jobs with French companies:

Check online job advertisements

Thanks to online job sites, you can browse vacancies wherever you’re located. A major example is the government-run Pôle Emploi portal, where you can look up a wide range of job roles across a range of sectors. Meanwhile, the main hub for senior managerial roles is Apec.

You can also check out general job ad sites, including Indeed and Monster, and more specialized job websites, such as:

Competition for jobs tends to be fierce. Therefore, it’s important to have a strong CV or resume to increase your chances of finding a job in France. Provide details about your previous career experience and present the information neatly and attractively.

Free resume builders are available online. You can even use a professional resume service. There are many to choose from, including some based in France. If you’re not fluent in French, try to have your resume reviewed by a native speaker, whether it’s a friend or professional.

Whenever you apply for a job, read the advert closely to understand the following:

  • The exact skills the employer is after so you can tailor your application correctly
  • Whether your application needs to be sent to an agency, an email address, or through a special website
  • What the closing date is

Work with recruiters

While many job seekers apply for jobs directly, recruitment agencies can help you find a job, too. There are many throughout France, and recruiters can be particularly helpful for newcomers to the country. They provide a highly personalized approach, guiding you toward roles you’re best suited to.

Recruitment consultants can prepare you for interviews, advising you on what’s expected. The best consultants gather post-interview feedback from employers so you have a better chance of nailing the next one.

You can search for recruitment agencies online using the French term cabinets de recrutement. You can then browse the kinds of jobs they list on their websites and get in touch to sign up.

Transfer within your company

Another way to work in France is to move to a local branch of your current organization. This is made possible through two channels.

If your existing contract with your employer remains in effect during your transfer, you need an intra-company transfer permit known as the salarié détaché ICT.

To be eligible, you must have held a senior position in the company for at least six months. This permit is only valid for three years, so you need to request a new permit to remain in France after this.

If you’re working under a new contract with the French subsidiary of your current company, you need a talent passport. You must have worked for your current employer for at least three months to qualify.

In addition, your salary under the French contract needs to be at least €35,544.60. This permit allows you to stay in the country for up to four years, though, you can renew it.

Explore graduate programs

If you’re completing your bachelor’s or master’s degree or have recently finished a course, you may want to consider graduate training programs. These tend to last between one and four years and are specifically designed to prepare you for senior roles with French employers.

Larger organizations, such as financial institutions, law firms, and retail giants, tend to offer graduate programs.

You can browse the latest openings at some of the mentioned employment sites. In addition, you can also look at the websites of prominent companies in France to see if they have pages for such programs.

Graduate programs typically offer good salaries and great opportunities for learning and advancement. Unsurprisingly, they tend to attract high-caliber candidates.

To make a good impression, research the company extensively and be ready to undergo several interviews and even special testing.

Keep in mind that not all graduate programs accept applicants from around the world. Some are only for students and recent graduates who are French citizens or permanent residents, or those from the European Economic Area and/or a European Union member state.

Double-check the eligibility requirements before you complete an application.

Connect with expats from your home country

Networking can bolster job-searching efforts in any country. Join online communities for expats living in France and start meeting people. You never know what job openings you may learn about through word of mouth.

LinkedIn is another great way to build your list of contacts in France. Create a free profile on the social media site and highlight your qualifications, education, and experience.

Create a headline that says you’re looking for jobs. Then, search for users who work for companies in France and send messages to connect.

Best Way to Find a Job in France

Tips for responding to job ads

Whether you’re responding to an online job ad for a position in Paris or applying directly for jobs in France through a company’s official site, follow this advice to make the best possible impression and increase your chances of being invited to interview:

Think like an employer

Companies want to hire the best talent available for their open jobs. Your job is to convince them that the individual is you.

When submitting applications for positions, imagine what the hiring manager wants to hear. Then, tailor your application and resume accordingly.

Include a cover letter

A cover letter is your chance to make a great first impression with hiring managers. A great approach to writing one is to use the following format:

  • Paragraph one: Say what job you’re applying for and summarize why you’re the best talent for the job in a single sentence.
  • Paragraph two: Summarize your key qualifications, skills, education, and relevant work experience.
  • Paragraph three: Explain why you want to work for this particular employer using research you conduct on French companies.
  • Paragraph four: Restate your interest in the position and express your hope to learn more about it through an interview.

Use keywords in your CV

Many employers use AI software to scan resumes and identify the most qualified candidates for employment. As a result, making your resume AI-friendly is a best practice.

Refer to the job description and see what terms it features. Then, add as many of the ones that fit into your CV and apply to you as possible.

This can increase the chances of your resume making it through to the next round of consideration, bringing you one step closer to finding a job in France.

Follow up with a person when possible

If you apply through a third-party site or an employer’s website, follow up with a decision-maker whenever possible.

If you’re interested in the job and want to introduce yourself, send a quick email. For best results, follow the same format as a cover letter.

FAQs about finding work in France

Here are some frequently asked questions about employment and finding work in France:

Who needs a permit to work in France?

Most foreigners who want to work in France need a work permit. The exception is people from Europe who are citizens of EU or European Economic Area member nations.

How do you get a work permit in France?

To get a work permit in France, you typically need to visit a French embassy or consulate closest to your current residence. However, you usually need to have an offer of employment before you apply.

Do you need to speak French to work in France?

Language requirements for jobs in France vary. However, you’ll likely need to learn French for many jobs.

Some French employers may even require you to take a language test to verify that you meet a high standard of proficiency before considering your application. Since the French job market can be highly competitive, you’ll likely need to score well on the exam to find work.

However, there are some English-language jobs in France. Examples include hospitality and teaching jobs that provide English instruction to individuals who want to learn English as a second language.

What are the most common jobs in France for immigrants?

Immigrants work in multiple sectors of the French economy. As previously mentioned, one of the most common jobs for English speakers is teaching English in France. Many foreigners also find work in tourism and agriculture.

Is there a minimum wage in France?

Yes, the French government sets minimum wage requirements. As of Jan. 2024, the minimum wage for French workers 18 years of age and older was €11.65 per hour or 1,766.92 per month.

What are typical working hours in France?

You can expect an excellent work-life balance in France. Most full-time employees work only 35 hours per week and receive 30 days of paid vacation each year.

Typical working hours for French businesses, which are closed in the evenings and on weekends, are Monday to Friday from 8 or 9 p.m. to 4 or 5 p.m.

Managing your salary in France

Getting a job in France means you have to consider taxes. There are a few important details, such as the tax-free threshold and filing dates.

Here’s a one-stop guide to income tax in France and simple finance tips for French living here.

Consider setting aside some of your salary to send back to family and friends at home, perhaps as occasional gifts to mark special occasions or to provide ongoing financial support. The Remitly app is available to make the process simple and cost-effective.