Looking for a V.I.E.
The job seeking
This step is quite classic. Like all kind of recruitment process.
Basically, all VIEs’ jobs offers are hosted on CIVIWEB, the official website for the VIE contract (you will find the offers but also the VIE support guide, and many other things). For the simple reason that BF will match your contract with the job offer’s reference number. You can also go to the French companies’ websites. Some candidates and VIEs already talked about finding VIE job offers that were not on CIVIWEB. I can’t confirm this information. And I found my VIE on CIVIWEB so…
You can also go to specialized fairs, organized by BF. All companies will have VIEs positions to fill.
Finally, you can contact companies and “sell” them the VIE contract. BF hires advisors and they aim to support and explain this contract to companies, especially the parts on invoicing and companies’ duties.
Write the application
I’ve seen a lot of questions about this topic. How should I write my resume? In which language should I write the cover letter? Should I write one by the way?
My first advice, is to read the job offer! It seems stupid but this solution can bring many many answers when we are a minimum attentive… Some companies are well aware of the difficulties the candidates meet in the process of writing the application, they use to recruit VIEs, and so they explain the recruitment process. Companies give details on decision making or the language the application should be written, for example.
Others precise the application will be dealt by the French entity and the translation will be made by the company. Or that you won’t meet the local managers. So you should do everything in French.
The language is one thing but the layout is also important. CV is universal. Well, not really. Its use yes, but not the layout. A French applicant won’t write a resume in the same way as a British applicant for example. Have a look on Internet on the way the local people write their resume. It also give a good impression to recruiters and managers.
With which degree can I have a chance to apply?
Lot of applicants ask the same question, and most of answers from other VIEs and candidates could be summed up in “you must have a Master’s degree, otherwise you’re dead, lol”.
Well, actually, no. It will depend on the position. On the country. On the company’s criteria. So I simply invite you to read the job offers you’re interested in, and see what are the criteria.
And the experience? And the languages?
“You must have less than 29 years old, ok, but this is impossible to find a VIE just after being graduated. All companies ask for previous experience… This opportunity is made for the young talents but it’s not even consistent with the fact we wish to do a VIE because we want some experience because we don’t have any… We’ve just been graduated!”
“Yeah and it’s the same for the language. We want to do a VIE abroad so we can learn a different language, but on the job offers, companies are asking to be fluent or bilingual…”
Wow, easy, little pony! Indeed, many companies ask intermediate skills in a specific language or some experience to have the chance to be in the shortlist. However, except some companies that are way off the mark, they won’t require 10 years of experience, as a manager, and to be native.
Recruiters know the VIE and its objectives. You are here to build an experience abroad and to develop your linguistic skills (unless you already fluent in this specific language).
BUT… but… but… You also have to understand companies that require just a minimum. Like internship, or apprenticeship, or the graduate programme. They take the risk to hire you. In a foreign country. And, unless you’ve worked for them before, like as an intern or apprentice for example, they don’t know you. The recruitment process is long and the companies need to fill a real need inside the organisation. And they also know it is quite complex to terminate a VIE contract.
Recruiters need some assurance. So they don’t have to recruit someone who doesn’t what he/she is doing, or someone who never experimented working environment.
And, nowadays, it is quite rare to see a graduate (Bachelor, Master, whatever) applying without any professional experience, even a single internship. As a recruiter myself, I would have a bad opinion about this kind of candidate. Today, almost all diplomas, all sectors or levels of education, offer internships during the course, and a lot make them mandatory to validate the degree.
Recruiters also ask for some experience because some countries will ask to justify on several years of experience to obtain a visa.
Talking about internship, I’ve also seen VIEs having their VIE contract during their training course and validate their internship (usually at the end of their studies) with a VIE! However, the school and BF have to approve this quite particular case. But this is not impossible.
I haven’t received my diploma yet. Can I start my VIE?
Proof that you can obtain a VIE just finishing your studies! I’ve seen many candidates asking this questions, and the answer is yes! Sometimes, schools give you the diploma only during the ceremony! But with different school pace, you can sometimes wait for others courses to finish their training before being invited to the ceremony, which can sometimes take 6 months!
Ask a degree certificate to your school or university. Certain companies can bother you because they absolutely want the diploma and up to you to firmly explain that this document has the same value as the degree itself! Indeed, you still don’t have the official registration number but this document proves you are graduated and you just wait for the nice paper with the beautiful logo and the School/University Director’s signature.
Your contract will end soon and you don’t want to come back to your home country.
The company doesn’t think about keeping you in a local contract. Why not renewing your contract?!
1st rule: your contract is renewable only once!
2nd rule: your contract can’t exceed 24 months. If your initial contract was already based on 24 months, you won’t be able to renew. Little exception for the USA: 18-month contract maximum.
3rd rule: you’re the driving force of your career so you will initiate the renewal but only the employer can ask to BF.
4th rule: the renewal request should be made in advance, between 1 and 3 month before the end date of your initial contract.
5th rule: it’s not because you agree and the employer agrees that everything will be automatic. BF also has to approve the conditions.