Finding a job abroad can be quite a challenge, especially if you are following your partner to a foreign country and have a limited knowledge of the language and culture.
However, for expat partners moving to Paris Region, the reality is otherwise. Paris Region’s numerous international communities, buzzing international startup scene, and cosmopolitan feel, make it the perfect Region to boost one’s career, launch a business or even find an English-speaking job. What is unique about Paris Region is its numerous career opportunities. A Region where both partners can pursue their careers at the same time and same level.
Let us dive deeper into the steps expat partners can take to pursue their career objectives in the Region.
Check what work permit applies to your partner
First, it is important to bear in mind that to be able to work in France, expats and their partners must have a visa or a residence permit.
The European Union (EU) is an area of free movement of people. If you are a citizen of the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA), you have the right to work in another member country without any other formality than entering the territory with a valid identity document (passport, identity card).
Several residence permits allow EU nationals to pursue their professional activity or provide commercial or liberal services. They include:
- The "Passeport Talent": this simplified procedure is tailored for the accompanying families and partners. Under this passport, expat partners can undertake any paid employment in France;
- Long-stay visas equivalent to a residence permit (VLS/TS) with the mention "entrepreneur/self-employed", "private and family life", “employee” or “temporary worker”;
- Temporary or multi-year residence permit with the mention "private and family life”, “entrepreneur/self-employed", “employee” or “temporary worker”.
For students, the long-stay visa or "student" residence permit allows them to work 60% of the annual working time (i.e., 964 hours), and a residence permit - Job search/business creation - exists for those who wish to stay and work in France after their higher education.
More information can be found on France-Visas, the official website for visa application to France and Welcome to France Business France’s website to guide you through the administrative procedures.
A job market where international talents are in demand
With its numerous Fortune 500 companies, many international companies HQs, + 8,000 startups, Paris Region is an ideal location to find a job in an international & multicultural environment. Expat profiles are ideal for these companies as they need multilingual candidates with expertise in Tech, Sales, Engineering and more.
In sectors such as tourism or sales, international profiles are in high demand. In IT (Information Technology), expats can find many technical positions that do not require an extensive knowledge of French. Fast growing SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and startups are valuable resources to turn to because they usually look for international profiles to help them scale their business abroad, in specific markets, or with international players in France. In short, your skills and international profile will surely appeal to many companies in the Paris Region.
Where to start looking?
Companies in France use various channels to source and recruit employees. Most commonly, they advertise job offers on their “career” page of their websites or on their company’s social media page or on standard APEC (executive jobs), Pôle Emploi, Adecco, LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, HelloWork, Jobteaser (Internships and graduate jobs).
There are also websites that are dedicated to English-speaking professionals such as Jobs in Paris, MisterBilingue, and events dedicated to hiring expat partners, like Absolutely Talented, or career fairs dedicated to PhDs like PhD Talent. Other specialized job boards for Tech talents include: Welcome to the Jungle, MaddyJobs, and Job4 specialized in startup recruitment. For IT & software, there are job boards such as engineersOneDev, Talent.io, and Welovedevs.
For all job offers based in France, it is worth noting that it is legally mandatory to publish the job offer in French. However, it is becoming increasingly common to find job ads advertised in English or both in French and English.
Since the job market and salaries tend to be differ from one country to the other, expats and their partners can find information on average salaries in their business vertical on Glassdoors, LinkedIn, Talent.com.
Create a Resume in French
Writing your resume in French might feel like a daunting task, especially if you do not speak nor write the language. However, most international companies recruiting in Paris Region will usually ask for a resume in English. Expat partners applying to work for a French company can access useful platforms tailored to writing a C.V. in French such as the ones on the Pôle Emploi and APEC websites or according to the EU standard.
Bear in mind that LinkedIn is also an important platform to show your education and skills to recruiters, so make sure to complete your LinkedIn profile in English and have your CV, in both, English and French, ready to identify keywords for the jobs you target.
Please note that certain professions are regulated in France (Lawyers, General Practitioners, architects etc.). If you would like to operate in any of these professions, you may be subject to a specific procedure (diploma translation, authorization to practice your profession, etc.). France Education International can provide you with more information about these professions and guide you through the process of having your diplomas recognized in France.
Reach out to specialized recruitment agencies
There are several public and private services you can resort to whilst searching for a job. Pôle Emploi and APEC are two public funded agencies that provide support to French and international job seekers. Pôle Emploi is the national public employment agency, and APEC (Association Pour l’Emploi des Cadres) is especially tailored for the recruitment of business executives. Both Pôle Emploi and APEC offer customized services that are free of charge.
They help job seekers draft a personalized action plan and provide advice to find a job opportunity in France and provide guidance on how to draft a C.V. and cover letter in French as well as offering support to prepare job interviews. Their multilingual teams are an excellent resource for international jobseekers and talents.
PhD/researchers or scientific profiles will find support through the Association Bernard Grégory (ABG), an organization that accompanies French and foreign PhDs in their career development and helps them identify opportunities within companies (internship, thesis, and job offers), or develop their professional network.
If you are an EU, Iceland, or Norway national, EURES (European Employment Services) - the European Job Mobility Portal - helps jobseekers to find jobs and employers to recruit from all over Europe. They offer a wide range of free services – information about the local labor market, job selections, placement support… - and financial support to cover the costs related to the job interview, relocation, language courses, obtaining recognition of professional qualifications, etc.
Finally, companies are increasingly aware of the need to facilitate the career of the partner in the attraction and retention of mobile candidates. If you have found a job in Paris Region, think about approaching your Human Resources team, and solutions for your partner may be offered. We also have a dedicated platform aimed at providing relocation services. Our partners Expat Communication and Absolutely French are experts in helping expatriate partners find a job and settle in Paris Region.
Build your network
In Paris Region, networking is key to finding a job. And that starts with getting close to the expat communities in the Region.
Networking does not necessarily mean attending events where you can meet professionals. It can start with getting to know people around you, for instance, your partner’s colleagues might recommend you or introduce you to someone. Joining expat communities, such as International Dual Career Network – IDCN, a non-profit association formed through the collaboration of companies, NGOs, and academic institutions facilitating the job search for mobile employees’ partners.
Going to trade shows and job fairs is also a great opportunity to meet professionals who will guide you in your search for a job in the Region. In addition to this, you can also ask open-ended questions in networking conversations to get informed on professional life in Paris Region.
Do not hesitate to contact recruitment agencies and headhunters to make your skills and expertise known, and thus feed their CV library, such as Adoc Talent Management for PhDs, 88jobs for Mandarin-speaking profiles, Catenon and Polyglot for international profiles, SP Search for experts in the field of innovative technologies, etc. Find out more about our partner recruitment agencies on our dedicated platform.
Practice your French and discover French culture
Learning French will help you discover the culture and make your job search easier. Even if you are joining an international company where English is the working language, knowing a few words of French will make it easier for you to communicate with your colleagues, your suppliers, or future clients.
To help you in the process, Paris Region launched QIOZ a free e-learning platform for language learning (French, English, Spanish, German), accessible to all residents of Paris Region. If you are planning to move here soon, contact us and we will be happy to give you access to QIOZ.
To facilitate your integration in Paris Region and get your head around French cultural codes, you will find a range of expert service providers in relocation services on Choose Paris Region’s website. They offer intercultural training, help in recruitment, support for expat partner and more.
Set up your own business
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you have come to the ideal place to set up your own business. If you would like to start your own business, it is worth checking the following websites:
- The regional association ‘BGE Paris Region’ offers a business creation support program called “Entrepreneur Leader”. This program applies to any project owner with a minimum proficiency in the French language and wanting support with his/her project: Business model, incorporation, financing, day-to-day management, first recruitments...
- The French government launched a website dedicated to internationals wanting to start a company in France: My Company in France, with all the resources you need to develop your business, from choosing the right legal structure to hiring talents.
Non-European nationals will need to obtain a residence permit that will allow them to carry out a professional activity.
To learn more about life in Paris Region, check out our dedicated guide Settle In. We also have a range of content that can be of use to expats here.
Choose Paris Experts
Olivier AllegretHead of Client Solutions