What you need to know if you want to live and work in France


France is one of the most popular countries where students who study French want to live and work. Having the opportunity to work and live this country is a chance to explore amazing hidden places, enjoying the nightlife or trying the good, traditional food. In addition, the capital is known to be the city of love, being a great tourist destination. But actually living and working in France is not easy. So just what is it that makes it so difficult?

The main reason is that many people from other countries come to France to find work, so there is concern surrounding immigration and high unemployment rates.

So with these factors in mind, let’s talk about what you need to live and work in this beautiful country that has lots of good things to offer.

Learn and talk the language
Not speaking French will close many doors to you. France is known to be composed of cities where the mother tongue is required and people expect you speak at least a basic level of French. It is of course advantageous if you speak other languages, but most companies only accept workers if they have a fluent level of French. This means it is essential that you try to learn the language before going to work, maybe attending language classes/courses, meeting French people and watching French TV and cinema.

Be interested in the country’s culture
Learning about the culture and history of France will make your life comfortable and to understand the mindset and opinions of French people. When mixing with French citizens, understanding the history and culture means you have a common topic of discussion and means you can share hobbies and passions.

Work permit
Getting the work permit can sometimes be a difficult task. Most citizens receive a tourist visa upon their arrival in France, but they cannot work or receive any social benefits. Foreign people who want to work in France for less than 90 days receive a work permit approved by the French Ministry of Labour. This is then sent to the French embassy/consulate in your home country where you can apply for your visa. You must be sure that before going to France your company is willing to provide a valid work permit.
If you are planning on working for more than 90 days, you must apply for a long-stay work visa in the country, also having the residence permit.

Looking for the right recruitment places
Once you make sure that you desire to work in France, the most important thing is to look around the labour market and explore which job offers match your skills and experience. New technologies make it easier so you can find hundreds of job opportunities in a few seconds by using mobile applications and the internet. Explore the French leading job portals and show your education and experience!

Rewrite your CV to the French form
If you adapt your CV to the French form, most companies will be interested in your profile, but you have to be careful with spelling and grammar. The length should be no longer than two pages, dependent upon your experience (senior or junior). Furthermore, the photo you show in the CV has to look as normal as possible, without strange faces or over the top make-up.

Make contacts regularly
Keeping an eye on people you think are interesting for your future job is a great way to ensure work. It is important to stay in contact regularly with job portals and agencies, sending them as many CVs as possible until you’ve found the right job. To meet new people related with Human Resources, a good option is to join networks, visit events and hang out with different people. You do not know where you will find the right person!

Be patient
Patience is the key to finally find the job you desire, according to the complexity to getting hold of a job in France. Do not give up and keep trying!

What is clear is that living and working in France is not particularly easy, like in any foreign country. Maybe in this country it is more difficult than others, but it is not impossible! Be careful and patient and you will have a great experience in this amazing country!

Written by Laura Molas

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