How to look for a job in France?

Like we said in our previous post, a foreigner – who does not belong to the European Community or Switzerland – who wants to work in France, must get a work permit. The employer is the one who applies for the work permit, whether he is a business or an individual. What does it take for an alien who would like to work in France to find a job?

In France, the Public Employment Service is called Pôle emploi. This governmental agency offers services to ALL job seekers regardless of their nationality and is in charge of the payment of the unemployment benefits to the workers who qualify for it, which means that they’ve been working in France for a minimum of 6 months.

Any service offered by Pôle emploi is free, for job seekers and companies as well. Businesses are happy to post their job offers at which is the main French job board. Pôle emploi displays a minimum of 500,000 job offers a day.

Anybody can check job offers. You don’t have to be registered as a job seeker or have unemployment benefits to answer an ad. The website also offers many free online services to help you in your job search and the application processes.  Go to to find services, websites and apps in order to:

·         Find a list of companies which are hiring in a specific location or area,

·         get help writing your resume and cover letter,

·         make a video resume,

·         get ready for a job interview,

·         and even learn French as a Second Language (called “FLE” in French) !

Pôle emploi portal  includes the job offers from all major job boards (Monster, Indeed, Jobolo, Jobijoba, as well as unions like the business union of French Hotels and Restaurants …). We also advise you to check out other job boards where you can find specific job offers for American natives like: Craigslist FranceLe magazine FUSAC, and also to visit the American library of Paris. The Librairie Americaine de Paris  has a physical job board (which does not exist on line).

We also advise you to register on the website Viadeo, the French LinkedIn, used by a lot of French companies and allowing you to have more visibility. Of course, you can use LinkedIn itself as well.

Differences between French and American Resumes:

  • The titles and names of the diplomas. We recommend you to check equivalents and translations.
  • In France, you have to include a picture and your date of birth, which is not recommended in the USA.
  • The experience written on the resume in France is often limited to the position with few details.
  • Don’t forget to add your level of French, English and other languages with your language diplomas or language test scores. It helps a lot!
  • Careful with the date formatting! In France, the format is DD/MM/YYYY. In English, it is MM/DD/YYYY

We hope this article will help you in your search! Feel free to ask us any questions about job searching in the comments or on Facebook!