Getting a job Work

Finding an Internship

Finding an internship in France is quite similar to any other countries. However, some specific rules may apply for pay and working hours.

Where to look for an internship ?

Several websites list offers such as L’étudiant, Welcome to the Jungle and Jobteaser

You can also check your school job board.

Convention de stage

In order to work as an intern in France you must sign a “convention de stage”. This document is your working contract and is also signed by the company and your school.

The important points listed in it are : 

  • Your supervisor (maitre de stage) : that is the person responsible for you during your stay in the company.
  • The mission (what you are expected to do during your internship)
  • The duration of the internship (beginning and ending dates)
  • The salary (see the section below)
  • The advantages you are allowed to (e.g. some companies pay up to half your transportation cost)
  • The social protection you’ll benefit from

Getting paid as an intern

In France, it is not mandatory to pay an intern that stays in the company for less than TWO MONTHS. This doesn’t mean you’ll not get paid, the company simply doesn’t have to do it.

If the intern stays in the company for over two months (or 309 hours), the company has to pay a salary. The current minimal rate is 3,90€/hour which amounts to 600€/month (for a full time job : 154 hours/ month that is 22 days of work, 7h a day)

Visa for an internship

EU nationals and nationals from countries like Norway or Switzerland do not need to get a visa.

International students studying in France can also work in France provided that the institutions in which they are registered participate in the national student healthcare plan.

For other interns-to-be, you’ll need a short-stay visa if you stay less than 90 days and a long-stay visa if the internship lasts over 90 days.

Getting a visa

Tips to bear in mind

  • Interns shouldn’t work more than 10h a day
  • Students can only work up to 964 hours per year
  • The cost of life in Paris is quite high and living merely on an intern’s salary can be difficult
  • As an intern, you don’t pay taxes if you earn less than 17 763€/year. You still have to do your tax declaration (link).
Getting a job Work



Writing a CV (curriculum vitae) or resume, is not specific in France compared to other countries, but a few sections may only appear in a French CV. Here is a list of the basics you should know to write a CV for a French recruiter !

What should be in your CV

  • Personal information
    • Picture
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Linkedin profile (with a clickable link)
  • Education
    • French people are very big on diplomas, so if you have one or more, mention it !
    • Mention the equivalent of your diploma in French (e.g. A-level or Abitur = Baccalauréat)
    • If you are a beginner or a junior, fill that section with your grades, favorite subjects, title of a research paper that you did and can be relevant…
  • Professional experiences
    • The most recent first !
    • Mention the name of the company, the dates you worked there, the geographical area 
    • Add a little description of the role you held and the tasks you performed and begin with active verbs 
  • Skills
    • Skills range from general IT (MS office, G suite etc…) to training/courses you may have taken (first-aider)…
    • Regarding IT, only mention the software that you actually handle. E.g : if you write “Microsoft Office”, it is very possible that you’ll be asked to perform some tasks under Microsoft Access, even though you’ve never heard of it.
    • Mention if you have a driving licence and what kind of vehicle you can drive
  • Language
    • As a foreigner, you can make a difference in that section. Keep in mind that French people are quite terrible when it comes to language. So mention as much as possible and precise your level.
  • Hobbies and pastimes
    • French recruiters are used to seeing this kind of section in a CV, don’t forget it, it could make the difference !
    • Mention the sports you practise, the instruments you play, how you busy yourself outside of work.
    • Keep in mind that French recruiters love a nice work-life balance, on paper.


  • Mention your soft skills too (team-worker, good listener, efficient under a deadline,…) !
  • Enhance your presentation with some graphical elements, but don’t go crazy

Mistakes to avoid in your CV

  • Spelling mistakes
    • Make sure you correct all of your mistakes before sending.
  • Incoherences in your work history
    • Make sure that the experiences you mention in your CV are explained in your cover letter
  • Sending a .doc file
    • You should turn your .doc file into a pdf before you send it.
  • Leaving blanks
    • Try as much as possible to fill all the gaps in your curriculum. E.g. if you did not work for a year, mention it as a sabbatical.
  • Mentioning everything
    • Don’t put your full work history on your CV, only select the most relevant experiences to the job you are applying for
  • No more than one page
    • a French CV should fit on one page
  • Chunk of the text
    • Lighten up your CV and bolden the most important words.
Getting a job Work

Cover letter


Writing a cover letter is paramount in France. Most of the jobs you’ll apply to will require you to explain your motivation, what excites you about the job and how you qualify for it. This can be a bit annoying sometimes, usually when you apply for a day-job, or temp-job.

Should you write the cover letter in French ?

Most of the job listings won’t mention the language in which you should write your cover letter. We can safely assume that being a foreigner applying in France, you can write this letter in English and mention that French is not your mother tongue. 

The Header

The header will help the recruiter to know you better and how to get in touch with you. You should add as much information as you can. It is usually recommended to mention your : 

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Linkedin profile (with a clickable link)

What should be in your cover letter

Your cover letter should underline your motivation, skills and ambition to apply for the job. I recommend you get these two sections in your cover letter : 

  1. The job offer and the way you understand it, what are your motivations, what is at stake for you in the job ?
  2. Your previous work history and how the experiences you had taught you the requested skills to perfectly fill the position.

Here are some suggestions to add to these two sections : 

  • Personal experiences and reasons why you fit the job description : it could be a previous project, a passion…
  • A global and refined, thought concise analysis on the company, market or product related to the job offer.
  • Illustration of your remote working skills and explanation of how you managed to organize your work through the COVID-19 pandemic

Mistakes to avoid

  • Don’t begin with “I’m writing to apply for …”.
    • Recruiters will prefer if you mention a few words about the company, the market or your studies.
  • Spelling mistakes
    • Make sure you correct all of your mistakes before sending.
  • Incoherences in your curriculum / copy/paste from your résumé.
    • Make sure that the experiences you mention in your CV are explained in your cover letter but not repeated.
  • Sending a .doc file
    • You should turn your .doc file into a pdf before you send it.
    • Also check the name of the attachment if the listing suggested one. Otherwise go for something classic like NAME SURNAME – Cover Letter.
  • Sending a blank email
    • If you send an email to the recruiter, write an abstract of your cover letter in the email. It can appeal to the recruiter and catch their attention.
  • Mentioning a weak point
    • If you have one (which is good, it means you’re human)  don’t mention it, it will naturally pop up in the interview.
  • No more than 1 page
    • Your cover letter must be short 
  • Chunk of the text
    • Lighten up your cover letter in short paragraphs and mark the most important words in bold !
  • Not explaining the acronyms
    • If you’re not talking about the UN or the FBI (which everyone knows about), you should write what the letters stand for.
  • Getting fancy in the end
    • French people are known to like literature and style. For a cover letter, it is better to keep it simple like “Hoping my application will catch your attention”.
Essential Getting a job Work

Looking for a job

How to look for a job in France

There are several ways to look for a job in France. Usually, people look for opportunities on job boards and directly on the company websites that they’re interested in.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for in this section, you can still make a spontaneous application (candidature spontanée) to the company you want to work at. Most of the companies in France have a section where you can post a CV and a cover letter.

Websites and job boards

You’ll find a lot of job boards in France, tailored to your needs. We’ve selected a couple of them for you here, the ones the French people use the most :

Student jobs : 

Early career :

Freelance :

Professional : Cadre

How to apply

The basic requirements to apply to a job in France are the same as in any other country and most of the time, they are mentioned in the listing.

Here is a checklist of the documents you should provide and update when you apply for a job in France :

  • CV
  • Cover letter
  • Recommendation from previous coworkers or employers (usually, in France, you can ask for a recommendation from the manager or coworkers of the company you just left. Just make sure you have a good relationship with them before you do so).