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Find a job in France

Looking for a job in France? Find out, in this article, how to proceed to land a job in the country.

Finding a job in France may not be an easy task for a foreign national, especially during this complicated period. Indeed, you will need much patience, motivation and determination if you are looking forward to work in one of the most promising fields. However, feel free to seek the help of employment programs which have been set up by local authorities for job seekers. With some guidance, and if you have the required qualifications and skills, you might be lucky enough to be hired by a French company or organization.

Labor market

According to specialists, the French labor market is divided into two categories: the highly qualified employees and the less qualified. Unemployment particularly applies to the less qualified, with a strong emphasis on the lack of job security. 

In 2014, unemployment rate stood at 4% for the highly employed manpower at at 15% for the less qualified workers. Hence, you might be luckier if you hold a higher education diploma and if you have professional experience, especially if you are seeking a better quality of life in the country.

Promising fields

To date, the following are deemed to be the most promising fields in terms of employment: industry, digital, information and communication technology, trade and commerce, health care and personal services. You may therefore try your luck in one of these beforehand if you have the required skills and qualifications. 

Foreigners coming from EU, EEA, Switzerland and Croatia

Foreign nationals coming from the European Union, the European Economic Area, Switzerland and Croatia can make a 6 months stay in France and look for a job during that period. This period can even be extended if they actively continue their job search if they are sure to find a job according to their profile (employment offer, sought-after qualifications, etc). Otherwise, they will have to leave the country at the end of this period. 

Find a job

EU, EEA, Switzerland and Croatia nationals are advised to register at the nearest Pôle Emploi agency to their place of residence in France. Once they have registered, they will be entitled to an unemployment allowance if they have already worked within the EEA before. This amount is calculated according to the periods of unemployment insurances accumulated where there have worked before. 

 Important:

To be eligible to this unemployment allowance which takes into account your unemployment period abroad, you must have started a new professional activity in France. 

Besides Pôle Emploi, you may also seek the assistance of other recruitment agencies. And why not browse job ads on the Internet and in local newspapers? Given that some particular fields currently require manpower, feel free to send spontaneous job applications to companies operating across the country. You might be lucky! Who knows?

Foreigners coming from non-EU, EEA countries and Switzerland

Foreign national coming from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland to work in France have to apply for a work permit, as well as a resident permit. 

In case you have found a permanent contract job in a company located in France, the company must be able to prove that you are the ideal candidate to occupy the position offered. The company also has to justify that the required skills are not available in the whole EEA. Note, however, that relating procedures are rather long. So you will have to be very patient. In general, you might have to wait for at least 4 to 6 months before receiving your permits. 

In fact, formalities to be filled by the employer are rather complicated as the final decision will be given by the Direction Départementale du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle (DDTEFP). In the case of a positive response, you will be required to undergo a health examination in your home country. 

If you do not wish to work in a company, you may as well become a migrant worker (to be able to travel regularly from and to France), au pair, or even opt for the tourism sector or language teaching. 

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Work in France Forum  
Expat.com – Jobs in France  
Pôle Emploi www.pole-emploi.fr
Monster France www6.monster.fr
APEC – Emploi cadres www.apec.fr
The Local www.thelocal.fr
Reed www.reed.co.uk
Eurojobs www.eurojobs.com

HERVER contributor
Member since 28 July 2008
Évian, France
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