Finding a job in Paris

Parisian economy and job market

With a population of approximately 2.1 million, Paris is France's most important economic and commercial center. The numerous new poles of development in various sectors makes the Parisian labor market a dynamic one.

Paris' employment rate, however, remains high compared to other cities in France, and this is partly due to the health crisis. The latest statistics, indeed, reveal a considerable increase in the number of job seekers compared to other French cities such as Lyon, Bordeaux or Marseille.

Sectors regularly hiring in Paris

You will find a plethora of options in Paris, depending on your experience or studies. Here are a few sectors that are always hiring:

Since the job market in Paris is largely open to young people, if you are a young expatriate, your chances of finding a job are high. It is good to know that experienced and highly qualified candidates are highly sought after, especially by bigger companies. A lot of the bigger conglomerates, whether French or international, indeed have their headquarters or offices in Paris and they hire regularly.

Types of contracts

In France, many employment contracts are drawn for a limited period, also known as CDD (Contrat à Durée Déterminée). It is not unusual to have your contract "renewed" rather than to obtain a permanent position within a company. The permanent contract, known as a CDI (contrat à durée indéterminée), is also very popular in France and brings many advantages and security to employees.

Writing your CV

A French CV can be a plus in your job search, but if your language skills are not up to the task, be sure to hire a native French speaker to help you polish the document and put the odds in your favor. It is customary, in Paris, that your date of birth and a photo of yourself will be included in your CV. This may seem strange to you, but it is common practice. Limit your CV to a single page, it should be eye-catching.

Finding a part-time job

As is the case in many large cities, you may want to look for part-time work while you are settling in. Being a tourist center, Paris is known for the number of seasonal positions available to expatriates or those who aspire to a career in tourism or hospitality. Today, 77% of Parisian businesses are involved in the service industry, with many organizations looking to recruit English speakers. Tour guides, bar staff, catering, English teaching, home hospitality and babysitting are some of the popular options for expats in Paris, with companies hiring staff on a regular basis. To find a part-time job, check out the ads on French job boards, which we will discuss in more detail in the "How to find a job in Paris" section.

Finding a long-term contract

If you're planning to build a career in Paris, you'll probably want the opportunity to find a permanent job. The good news is that it is possible! Although most French companies offer a contract for a few months or an internship first. So don't be discouraged if only a few ads mention a permanent contract (CDI) right away, they often mention that the contract will be renewed or transformed into a permanent one if you have proven yourself.

Finding a job in Paris

Before moving to Paris, do not hesitate to contact companies that are interesting to you even if they do not seem to be hiring right now. Make sure that your CV and cover letter are up to date and presented according to French standards. One of the best ways to find a job in France is to approach temporary employment agencies located throughout the city and on the Internet. Many of these agencies offer fixed-term contracts and part-time jobs. Among the many agencies based in Paris, you will find Network Interim Paris, Adecco, Randstad, Manpower, EVS Interim Paris.

Fusac is a popular advertising space for Embassy jobs, while ‘English Jobs in Paris' focuses on a professional environment that favors English-speaking candidates. You may also want to consider large employers such as the OECD or UNESCO, which offer a dynamic international work environment that can attract expatriates.

You can also browse job postings on professional social networks such as LinkedIn, the gold standard for finding a job and having the opportunity to easily connect with professionals. Through this channel, you can find companies and vacancies all over Paris, apply to offers that seem interesting to you and get in touch with the targeted companies. Make sure your profile is up to date, then set up daily alerts to assess the job market in your field of expertise.

One of the most common ways to find a job in France is Pôle Emploi. The national employment service is a good solution if you are already living in France. It also handles applications for unemployment benefits in the event of job loss or in the case of a non-renewed fixed-term contract.

Pôle Emploi is also open to foreigners under certain conditions, for example,  if you are from a country member of the European Union or the European Economic Area, registration will simply require an identity card. On the other hand, for expatriates coming from a country outside the EU or EEA, you will need a residence permit or a long stay visa. Here are the residence permits that give you access to Pôle Emploi services:

If you want to learn more about this or register with Pôle Emploi as a foreigner, you can find all the details here.

Also, don't forget to visit the official portal of the city of Paris, to keep up to date with the latest news regarding employment in Paris, as well as sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor.

The importance of networking

In Paris, networking is fundamental and can lead to promising opportunities. It is a practice widely used in France by professionals. Word of mouth is certainly the most common means of professional networking in Paris. The city is big and there is no shortage of opportunities. So don't hesitate to reach out to the right people and don't miss an opportunity to talk about your job search with your new friends. You will quickly discover that many of them will be able to open doors for you on the Paris job market.

Alternatively, you can approach organizations such as the Cercle des Gens Bien et Bienveillants, or even join Facebook groups, which organize interesting events in Paris. If you are already living in the city, the many trade shows that take place in Paris will be an excellent way to introduce yourself. Be careful, however, as these events are not free.

Otherwise, the most famous networking sites are without a doubt Eventbride and Meetup. You can find ads for parties, aperitifs or even professional networking breakfasts organized in the whole of Paris. Everyone can participate and most of them are free, you only have to pay for what you eat and drink. Indeed, many of them are organized in bars or clubs, so you will have to buy something. Thanks to these meetings dedicated to professionals looking for a job, to network or to hire,you will be able to talk about jobs, applications, strategies and the future of employment, and who knows? You might even up with an offer by the end of the event!

Finding a student job in Paris

The capital of France is a young and dynamic city, and is very popular with students thanks to its universities and schools (Grandes Ecoles). However, Paris is also a very expensive city, especially when it comes to rent and monthly charges. Many students therefore need to supplement their income by taking on a small job for a few hours a week. Whether it's in the restaurant business, sales, tourism, or even giving language lessons or tutoring, you'll certainly find a temp job in Paris.

To find a student job in Paris, again, word of mouth is a great place to start. Many Parisians have a job during their school year, so they will be able to advise you or even pass on your CV to their employer. You can also check the job ads at your university or school. Institutions receive job offers reserved for students and publish them on their website, in the students' personal space or on the boards in hallways or the dedicated office areas.

If you are looking for a student job, have a look at the Pôle Emploi ads on the search engine dedicated to students. You can also check offers published on websites that are aimed at students and give precious advice such as Student Job or l'Étudiant and the one for Erasmus students: Erasmusu.

Good to know:

Foreign students with a long-stay student visa can work about 20 hours a week, 964 hours a year to be precise, while studying in France.

Starting a business in Paris

It is possible for expatriates living in France to start their own business. Make sure you have the necessary residence permit, know the French job market and the administrative procedures. Paris is a dynamic city and, being the economic capital of the country, it offers a lot to new entrepreneurs.

After having decided on the legal status that will be the most suitable to your company, you will have to look for commercial premises or offices to carry out your activity and welcome your collaborators and clients. Fortunately, you will find a large number of offices for rent and even for sale from the first to the 20th arrondissement. Coworking spaces have also become very popular in Paris in recent years and are an excellent option for new businesses and start-ups. These spaces represent the dynamism and the new face of French employment, and working there can bring a lot professionally. Here is a selection of some of the many coworking spaces you will find in Paris:

Useful links:
Paris Info - Shows and Fairs in Paris
Cercle des Gens Bien et Bienveillants

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Last update on 03 May 2022 21:21:19
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