Finding a job

Advice and vocabulary

Applying for a job

You should send a letter of motivation which is hand written explaining why you are applying for the post, your CV can be printed. You do not have to include a photo.

Remember that the employment laws are very strict in France and that you must be employed with a signed and agreed contract, which will stipulate your functions, obligations, hours, holidays and salary.

All salaries must be paid by a bankers cheque, bank transfer or employment cheque. You should never be paid in cash.

Common abbreviations

The following list contains common abbreviations concerning employment and work

  • Pole Emploi : Job centre
  • A.N.P.E (Agence nationale pour l'emploi) : Job centre
  • C.D.D (Contrat durée détermine) : Contract for a limited period of time
  • C.D.I (Contrat durée indéterminé) : Contract for an unlimited period of time
  • C.N.E (Contrat nouvelle embauche) : Contract for a new employment
  • R.T.T (Récupération du temps travail) : Recuperation of working hours (from the 35 hour working week)


  • Les 3 - 8's (les trois huit)= 8 hour shift work
  • Le boulot = the work (familiar)
  • L(a)'allocation chômmage = the unemployment benefit
  • Le cadre = the middle manager
  • Le chômmage = the unemployment
  • Le chômeur/euse = the unemployed person
  • Le congé = holiday/ rest day
  • Les congé payés = holiday pay
  • Le contrat = the contract
  • L'employé/ée = the employee
  • L'employeur/euse = the employer
  • L(e)'emploi = the employment
  • L(e)'emploi saisonnier = the seasonal employment
  • L(e)'entretien = the interview
  • L(a)'embauche = to be contracted/employed
  • Le feuille de paye = the pay slip
  • La fin de contrat = the end of the contract
  • Les heures supplémentaire = the over time hours
  • La période d'essai = the trial period
  • Le préavis = the notice
  • La prime = the bonus
  • Le salaire = the salary
  • Le salaire brut = the salary before deductions and social charges
  • Le salaire net = the salary after deductions and social charges
  • Le travail = the work
  • Travailler = to work
  • Les vacances = the holidays