1) An adapted CV to French recruiters
In France, the CV only need to be one page.
- First, on the top left, you must write your contact informations (first and last name, address, telephone number, e-mail address).
- Then, on the top right, you can put a picture of you. French recruiters like to see a picture and it will galvanise your CV.
- Below, you will talk about your training/education (Schools, diplomas, training done...). In french this part is called "Formations".
- Then, you will talk about your professional experiences (professions or jobs you have done). In this part, if you want, you can write a little sentence that explains each profession. In french this part is called "Expériences professionnelles".
- Afterwards, you will talk about your skills (spoken languages, mastered softwares...). In french this part is called "Compétences".
- Finally, you will speak about your hobbies (passions, sports you do, activities that you like...). In french, this part is called "Loisirs".
Here, three examples of French CV. The first example is very classic. You can make a CV more design, more colorful (not too much), more graphic like the second or the third one.
2) A pertinent cover letter
In France, you must write a custom cover letter for each job application.
- Your cover letter should be simple, classic, relevant and accurate. Unlike the CV, fancy is not allowed on a cover letter.
- Your cover letter can be handwritten (if you have a beautiful writing) or electronic. It is up to you to choose, according to the company where you apply and your personality.
- It is necessary to create a different cover letter for each offer and each company. A French recruiter will read the letter by looking 2 points : your personal style and your motivation. You have to know the sector and the job and speak about the company.
Here, two examples of french cover letter. The first example is a handwritten one and the second is an electronic one.
3) Where you can find offers
In France, there are several ways to find offers.
- On LinkedIn and Viadeo. You need to update your online CV to have a good visibility on these two websites. Many French recruiters do their researches on these two websites (they search by keywords).
- On Twitter : you can post you CV with some hashtags like #CV #repost #PleaseRepost #RT #PleaseRT #retweet #emploi ...
4) The cultural differences
In France there are a lot of "rules" to know about the employability.
- In France, during the job interview, you have to stay simple and polite. Do not overdo it and do not be hypocritical with recruiters. This will not do anything and it will not be seen well. For example, in China, candidates do too much with many compliments on the company and on recruiters.
- In France, you have to put your professional experiences on your CV after your education paragraph. In Italy, this part is the last part of the CV.
- In France, at the meeting with the recruiter, to say hello, you must shake his hand, like in United States. Even in a professional setting, the physical contact is important, but don't be too close, keep the private zone free(around one meter).
5) The network
In France, the network is one of the most important things to find a job. Everyone recognizes the importance of the network. Many employees get their "best job" by being personally presented.
Companies often recruit on the basis of personal recommendations (by string pulling, "piston" in french). It is undeniable that word of mouth is of paramount importance.
- You can create your network with LinkedIn and Viadeo. In these websites, you have to update your resume (regulary), connect with people, share pertinent articles, maintain your professional relationship network by congratulating people for their new job for example...
- In addition to these virtual connections, many executives and employees spend some time in conferences and seminars where they meet other people to maintain their network. When you want to explore a new market, especially abroad, do not hesitate to go to networking events where professionals come together to share their experiences, learn more about professional environment and meet people who can introduce other people to them.
Absolutely French has its own network : the Club Absolutely. This network brings together all our students and our former students.
Obviously, we see all these 5 key points during our French trainings (more in detail, with personal goals). We help you to find job and work on these key points by role play and games.
We offer a real help and a follow-up to help you in this job search.
Notre site (en français) : http://www.absolutely-french.eu/
Our website (in english) : https://www.learn-french-in-paris.fr/