As one of the top three European economic leaders, France has a highly developed economy and a free-market business orientation. Tourism, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals dominate the country's diverse economy. There are numerous job opportunities in these professional spheres for French and international candidates. Other employment opportunities are found in industries like energy production, public transport, and defence. Among the 500 largest companies and corporations in the world, 31 are based in France.
As a result of all these factors, many KEDGE international graduates chose to stay in France and gain their professional experience there. Should you decide to continue your career or open your own company in France after graduating, you will need to learn more about the benefits of working here and the required documents.
Advantages of working in France after studies
Working conditions in France are among the best in the world, as the French work culture is well-known for its healthy work-life balance, with flexible hours prioritised and employees’ personal life considered highly important. Employer and employee are free to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment relationship in the work contract. However, an employee has various minimum rights under the law, regardless of any contrary language in their employment agreement. Some of the advantages that may motivate you to get a job in France include:
- A fixed work schedule of 35 hours per week, with additional hours compensated by the employer either financially or with a number of paid leave days (RTT);
- Five weeks of paid holidays annually;
- From 16 to 48 weeks of maternity leave and up to 28 days of paternity leave;
- The minimum wage of €1,539.42 a month (June 2020);
- French “13th-month” pay;
- The right to disconnect, the ability of French employees to disconnect from work and not to engage in work-related e-mails or messages during non-work time;
- Restaurant vouchers for employees;
- Health insurance as part of a permanent employment contract;
- Social security benefits if you are staying in France for more than three months;
- 50% of your monthly public transportation expenses compensated by your employer;
- Family allowances;
- French pension system;
- French workplace culture, guided by principles of hierarchy, traditions, and attention to detail;
- The employment rate in France, increased to 68 percent in the first quarter of 2022.
Read the article to find out more about living and working in France as an international student.
How to stay and work in France after graduation?
If you wish to stay and work in France once you have completed your business studies at KEDGE Business School, you will have to take care of some administrative formalities such as visa/permit application. There are several ways for a foreign graduate to find a job in France, depending on your nationality.
Students from the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland may stay in France after graduation to search for a job and do not need to obtain a visa or a residence permit. They are allowed to stay as long as they want.
As a non-European student, you have three options to stay and work in France after graduation:
- You need to have a promise of employment or a work contract from a French employer/company and be paid at least one and a half times the minimum salary in France (2,220 euros gross per month in 2017);
- You can request a Temporary Resident Permit (APS - Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour) if you come from a country that concluded a bilateral agreement with France. The countries concerned by APS are the following: Senegal, Gabon, Benin, Tunisia, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Lebanon, and India. This residence permit allows foreign students to stay and work in France for 12 months after the end of their studies, and it is non-renewable. During this one-year period, they may look for jobs or prepare for the creation of their own company in the field corresponding to their professional training;
- If you are not from the above-listed countries, you will need to apply for a residence card called “job search/company creation”. It has been created specifically for people who graduated with a French higher education diploma. It shares many similarities with the APS residence permit, but it also differs in some ways. The “job search/company creation” residence card also allows you to stay in France for 12 months to complete your professional training and get your first work experience or create a company in the field that corresponds to your training. The main differences between this permit and the APS are health insurance that is required, and the possibility to work in any field without a minimum time limit (instead of 964 hours with APS).
Depending on your country of origin, you have a different process to follow and other documents to provide to submit your application for a work permit/student visa in France. You can find more related information on the official Campus France website: https://www.campusfrance.org/en/how-to-find-work-France.
Some practical advice for getting a job in France
- Start learning the French language. You will be significantly limited in your job choice if you do not speak the language, and you will be unable to enter most of the French companies.
- Determine the type of job position you want to get before you start looking for available jobs in the desired sector.
- Take your time to write a CV. Check whether it corresponds to a "European-style" CV pattern, which may include some personal data that is not considered appropriate in other countries. An employer may inquire about your family situation, including your age and date of birth, nationality, marital status, and the number of children. If necessary, you must indicate that you hold a visa that allows you to work in France (e.g. non-European).
- Write a cover/motivation letter for your job application. This demonstrates that you are familiar with the job market. Your letter should be highly official and targeted to the specific jobs.
- Keep an eye on different sites with job vacancies and save your search criteria to receive email updates on available jobs. For instance, Pôle Emploi (French Employment Centre) collects job offers from all the sites. You can create your professional profile there and make an appointment with one of the advisors to get help with your job hunting in France. You will also find some work opportunities on the APEC (Association Pour l'Emploi des Cadres) website.
- Do not hesitate to modify, update and adapt your CV to the job offer you are applying for.
- Send in spontaneous applications to companies that interest you so that they may learn more about your profile.
- Be cautious of your online reputation and the information about you that is publicly available. Employers are increasingly using social media to get a sense of the candidates they are considering calling in.
- Attend job fairs and forums to communicate with employers. With your CV and cover letter in hand, you will be interviewed multiple times in one day. Make sure you are well-prepared because you will not have much time to win them over.
- Start your own company in France. From gite owners to artists, craftspeople, innovators, IT gurus, authors, and artisans, there is always something for everyone. Some people start a business doing what they know, while others embark on a new and long career path.
For further information, do not hesitate to contact our Career Centre, which supports the personal and professional development of all Kedge students and alumni throughout and after their studies.