Applying for a Job

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French CVs

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 don’t hesitate with the centres d’intérêts, 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:

www.moncv.com
www.modele-cv-lettre.com

Cover Letter 

When writing a cover letter, we recommend getting a trusted French friend to re-read what you’ve 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 it’s 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:

www.cadremploi.fr
www.commentcamarche.net

The Job Hunt

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 example—these 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. Here’s what we know.

Applying Online

There are plenty of sites with various job listings. Here are a few that we know about.

www.monster.fr– French version of monster.com
www.keljob.fr– Over 57,000 job listings
www.annoncesemploi.org– Another big old job site

Specialty Sites

Communication/Marketing
www.emploi.strategies.fr – Stratégies is the French equivalent of Advertising Age, this is a great place to find jobs in communications and marketing.

Fashion/Luxury/Retail
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.

Finance
www.efinancialcareers.fr

Networking

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 weren’t able to find someone among their existing networks. Of course, cultivating connections is not easy, and it isn’t fair—it 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 Master’s 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 you’re searching for jobs.

Again, parties, school events and “after works” can be great ways to start building a personal and professional network.

Candidature Spontanée

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 candidate’s information into a database. Sam, Brenna and most of their friends have been contacted by businesses they’ve sent candidatures to months later. You have nothing to lose by doing this.

Long Term Jobs in Paris
Jobs: Quick Finds

 

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About Author

Brenna

I've lived in France since August 2006 with a stint back in Washington, DC for a year. Ten months of my time in France were spent in Rouen - the Normandy town known for, among other things, Joan of Arc's death and Monet's study of light. With the years that pass, Paris is constantly transformed by the interesting people I meet who open up new doors in this amazing city.

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