5 Tips for Finding an Internship in Paris
1. Learn the Language
In many European cities, it might be possible to live and work without speaking their local language. However, it’s a bit different in Paris. Companies usually prefer to look for someone who knows the language when it comes to working. You don’t have to be perfect but at least you should know the basics written and spoken in the French language.
There are companies which open to an international internship. But they will expect you to improve your language skills, which might be a good reason for you to learn it in advance. It can also lead you to a positive treat since you’re trying to learn the local customs.
You can learn the basics with an app like Duolingo or you can also take formal classes with a private tutor. If you want to practice, you can try to watch French TV, listen to a French song or talk to one of your French friends.
2. Do your CV the French way
CV in France tends to be more concise. Meaning it shouldn’t more than one page or two is the maximum. It’s also common to put your professional picture at the top of your CV documents. Note that it should be a professional one, don’t put a picture of your selfie, if that’s the only one you have, it’s better not to include one.
It’s also very important to check your spelling. Every time you reference the document, make sure to use the correct French grammar. Some international companies may ask for job applications to be submitted in English, so you should have your application ready in both languages.
Once again, make sure you’re concise, avoid buzzwords, and only list your most relevant experience for the position.
3. Visit job sites
There are many websites that you can look up to. Start with big employment sites like LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed. There are also Paris-oriented sites for placing students to find internships. Here are some of them:
The Local (specifically listing English-language jobs)
4. Use Your University Career Resources
Almost all universities have a career site or department. You can take a look at that and see if they have any programs for an internship in Paris. If they do, they can also give you advice on how to take care of all the documents, facing an interview, and they might have a relation for accommodation as well. Applying through it could help you take some stress and uncertainty of the whole process.
Career and internship fairs can also be a good place to find as they allow you to connect face-to-face with hiring decision-makers. You might find your dream internship by attending one!
5. Reach / Broaden Your Network
Try to reach out to your friends, family, professor, or alumni, and see if they know anyone hires. It could also lead you to a personal recommendation. Another strategy is to look up the companies you’re interested in and reach out to employees working there and ask if there is any information about interview or internship position available.
Another great way to find an internship is to go to Paris. You can visit the company you’re interested in and ask them directly. Joining a networking event is also a good option. A good place to start can be local expat communities. Try to find them through Facebook by typing “Paris Expat” or you can find them on Internations. These can offer many professional networking events and also the opportunity to make friends and to leverage your network.