French CVs can differ slightly than CVs in the Anglo world. For one thing, it is highly recommended to add a passport sized photograph to the document. Although the rules have changed considerably, a conventional French CV puts your degrees first and professional experience second (explaining why the prestige of your school can haunt you in this country). Now, things have loosened up considerably.
Try keeping CVs limited to 1-2 pages and dont hesitate with the centres dintérêts, your passion for the viola da gamba can make you stand out in a whole pile of homogenous resumes.
Here are some sites with models of CVs:
When writing a cover letter, we recommend getting a trusted French friend to re-read what youve written. These letters are always obnoxious to write, but try to put thought into them. A well-written cover letter can also make you stand out. As an international applicant, we feel that its a good idea to remind employers that what they may see as a liability (that is your non-French foreignness) is in fact, an asset.
Here are some sites with model cover letters:
There are many ways to find employment in Paris. Like most places, you can apply for specific posts online, through your network of contacts, or by straight-up contacting a company that interests you. Obviously for certain professions, in the arts, for examplethese basic rules may not apply. Because Brenna and Sam are corporate ladies, we cannot tell you how to go about finding this type of employment. Heres what we know.
There are plenty of sites with various job listings. Here are a few that we know about.
www.emploi.strategies.fr – Stratégies is the French equivalent of Advertising Age, this is a great place to find jobs in communications and marketing.
www.fr.fashionjobs.com/jobs/index.php– This is a huge resource for the fashion, luxury and retail industry in France. Major companies (many of which are unlisted) will post a high tech version of a help wanted ad.
Networking plays a huge role in Paris. Making the right contacts can be key in getting a job. Indeed, most businesses post ads online only when they werent able to find someone among their existing networks. Of course, cultivating connections is not easy, and it isnt fairit favors an elite.
If you come to Paris without a single contact, then it will take awhile to build a network. If you come as a student, especially in a professional Masters program (like what Sam did), it can pay to get to know the professors, who are often professionals. Is it brown-nosing? Of course, but it can help when youre searching for jobs.
Again, parties, school events and after works can be great ways to start building a personal and professional network.
This when you just send your CV and cover letter directly to a business that interests you. We highly encourage this. Even though a lot of these applications will be shots in the dark, corporations often hold on to these letters and put candidates information into a database. Sam, Brenna and most of their friends have been contacted by businesses theyve sent candidatures to months later. You have nothing to lose by doing this.