should take Spanish lessons, or improve your level.
The quality of job you could aspire to may depend
on how well you speak the language.
French or international
If your employer is a
French or international company you don't have to
worry about formalities. Usually the administrative
services deal with all the formalities concerning
the expatriate staff. Unless you are the only
representative of your company in the country
(sales representative, or in charge of a liaising
office ...), in this case you will have to deal
with the formalities yourself.
for your departure and looking for a job
You can start searching for information by writing
to French associations established in the country,
trade commissions, commercial services of foreign
banks in France and French banks abroad.
The French consulate usually has a service dealing
with jobs and training, student grants and
reinsertion in France, and they can put you in
touch with local enterprises who are willing to
accept French personnel.
(See also in the Practical Guide for the
The French Chamber of Commerce also offers
information about the job market, the most dynamic
sectors of the economy, and edits a bulletin for
French companies and local members. You could
publish a job application in this bulletin.
The Trade Commission in Mexico or the CFCE in Paris
can furnish you with a list of French companies
established in Mexico.
Documents about the country are usually available
in the cultural service of the Mexican Embassy in
You can however prepare your trip in a more precise
manner by making a personal appointment with the
Franco-Mexican Chamber of Commerce in order to
complete your information and get professional
While you are hunting for information you could
contact companies directly by sending a spontaneous
candidacy proposing your services.
The international departments of the Chambers of
Commerce and Industry often have information about
the country available. Directories and useful
dossiers from the country can be helpful in getting
information on sectors of activity and the local
to find job offers
In the French press (Le Monde, Le France Soir,
Figaro, Moniteur du Bâtiment,...) for French
companies sending people abroad.
In the international press,
in nearly all the bigger dailies there exists a
page or a selection of job offers (The European,
The Guardian, Vacature, Coriere della Sera, The
Geneva Tribunal ..)
Leading recruitment bureaus
in Europe, and interim companies sometimes offer
There are several data banks
specializing in job offers abroad on Internet which
are easily accessible.
your CV and covering letter :
Your dossier is a determining element towards being
recruited, it is the first step towards obtaining
The CV should be very clear,
typewritten, detailled, preferably written in
English and it should be accompanied by a
handwritten covering letter. Certain countries do
not accord much importance to handwriting, but it
is advisable to write the letter by hand whichever
country it is addressed to.
If the company is French or
the subsidiary of a French company, the CV and the
covering letter should still be written in the
language of the country.
Don't forget to attach a
recent photo, preferably one where you are
Your CV should be
detailled, and have the addresses and phone numbers
of ex-employers on it so that the company can
easily verify the main points of your candidacy.
This can save you from sending a pile of
photocopies and documents with it. You can always
present these documents later during an interview
If you are thinking of
sending a false CV, you should know that a study
from the Florian Mantione Institute shows that 45%
of the employers check up on CVs, that 34% of the
candidates are eliminated during this verification
and that 60% of the verifications are made with the
Whatever your reasons for 'adapting' your CV to
suit the ad, be warned that it won't help you
during the interview and could even cause you
questions to ask yourself before an
What exactly is the job?
What is the length of the contract?
Is it for the whole family or with bachelor
What kind of life will you have locally?
Have you thought about when you get back, how you
will manage financially to fit in again?
Do you have the necessaries qualities to be an
you need to succeed :
emotional stability (so you can react quickly
in any situation)
autonomy (you can make decisions on your own in any
being mobile and being available for your job,
being able to relocate quickly
being good at meeting people (don't forget that the
expatriate is also an ambassador for his country
whether in his professional or his social life.
being adaptable (you can easily adapt to different
cultures, climates and life styles. )
being able to accept and understand different
cultures and cultural differences
tolerance and respect of other people's way of life
and way of living should be a natural part of your
family and recruiting :
Your partner should have the same ambitions as
you. It is often an important factor in choosing an
In fact some recruitment bureaus or big firms when
they are recruiting, specially for long term
projects, insist on having an interview with the
wife to check that there are no problems in the
couple which could get worse abroad and maybe
disturb the mission.
Companies often propose that the whole family goes
together so that a good family balance is
Punctuality and precision are appreciated
everywhere. Be on time for your
Be well dressed for your
interview, whatever kind of job you are trying for.
Your appearance will weigh with the
First interviews are often
very short but can last several hours if your
candidacy is interesting, depending on the post
offered, and if you have to do any psychotechnical
(graphological analysis) or aptitude
Be careful not to appear
pretentious about your know-how and don't
exaggerate your professional competence.
Don't forget that nowadays
the job market is a chronic problem nearly all over
the world, so take an interview appointment
seriously, jobs are not easy to come by.
Emphasize your real
competence, your ease of adaption, your mobility,
your ability to work in a team, your readiness to
pool your experience.
company and the expatriate
A lot of countries abroad like to have, and to
show that they have, expatriates on their
International personnel often bring in experience
and knowledge which can be very advantageous for a
Salary requirements :
If the candidate doesn't know the prospective
country, it isn't always easy to negotiate a
salary, especially if the amount has already been
mentionned on the ad.
However, there is nothing to stop you from showing
your previous salary and from discussing the salary
offered. The recruiting agent or the employer may
appreciate knowing what for you is the minimum.
It is often difficult to compare salaries with
The standard of living that you find abroad is not
always similar to the one you know in Europe and
sometimes if the salary is much higher you will
find that the cost of living is also.
This is one of the reasons, and there are several,
including social security conditions, why it is
better to go abroad with a European company.
French companies sending people overseas budget for
differences in the cost of living. They can
reassure the expatriate that his purchasing power
will at least be the same as in France.
The 'basic French salary' can be paid either in
France or abroad, it is usually a choice, and an
allowance is paid for living expenses
(accomodation, food,...) This compensation is based
on the cost of living in the country.
(see the page in the expatriate guide)
If you are employed locally you will have to pay
taxes in the country.
If you have an international contract your salary
can be negotiated free of taxes.
In some countries income tax is deducted at source
by the company.
- company car - other fringe
It is nearly impossible to negotiate for a company
house if you are employed locally. Getting a car
depends on your job and your level in the
In a local company it will be very difficult to
negotiate a paid return ticket to France every
There again, if you are an expatriate working for a
French company you will get fringe benefits, a
house, car, travel allowance, return flights to
Usually international contracts give 15 days leave
in France every 3 months.
These are the local ones with all the attenuating
advantages and disadvantages if you are working for
a local company.
The expatriate is often considered as an immigrant
and has to deal himself with the local
On the administrative side
the expatriate does not have to worry about the
formalities concerning the police, customs,
immigration, income tax, visa or consular
declaration. French or European companies abroad
always have an administrative department which
completes all the formalities for its personnel and
deals with any problems which could
Foreign companies remain
subject to the laws of the country in which they
attitude towards the foreign
The law passed on 27th December 1997 and completed
on 8th September 1998 widened the number of sectors
open to foreign capital, fixed clear regulations
and made administrative procedures easier.
As the federal Labour law has still not been
reformed, legal provisions in case of conflict
still tend to be in favour of the employee.
Workers are obliged to subscribe to a health and
welfare organization to which both the employee and
the employer have to contribute.
Pension schemes are managed, since 1997, by private
pension funds which can be freely chosen by the
In 1998 Mexico came
in 55th place in the listing made by Transparency
International. In its Corruption Perception Index
2000 it came 59th out of 90, i.e. the 31st most
corrupt country out of the 90 studied. It would
appear to be much more corrupt than Salvador or
Brazil, but less than Colombia or Venezuela.
French expatriates living in Mexico claim that they
suffer from corruption on all levels : from the
policeman who insists on his banknote up to the
ministry where files can otherwise take an eternity
to be dealt with. Not to mention the problems with
the customs officers. But everyone who has been a
while in the country agrees that it is worth the
time lost the first time to resist "you are
considered a real nuisance, but the word gets
around, and quite quickly you stop being
(source Le Moci)
You need a passport which is valid for at least six
months after your return date. A visa is not
necessary for a stay which is less than 90
No vaccination is
obligatory to enter the country. However we
recommend that you get vaccinated against tetanos,
polio, diptheria, typhoid and hepatitis A and
It is also necessary to
follow an anti-malarial treatment before you leave
for the country if you are planning to visit the
There is a relatively high risk of malaria in the
following regions from May to October :
the central valleys, regions under 1000 m altitude,
coastal regions on the Mexican Gulf, from Tampico
to the Yucatan peninsula. The coastal regions on
the Pacific Ocean between Guaymas and the
Guatemalan border are risky all the year
Never drink tap water, avoid
ice cubes, uncooked vegetables and raw fish. Like
that you will run little risk of contacting
diarrhea, dysentery, giardiase or even
If you have to be
hospitalized, we recommend the following
- Hospital Espanol, tel 00 52
52 03 38 90/52 03 37 35
- Hospital ABC, tel 00 52 55 16 80 77/52 72 85
- Hospital Los Angeles Pedregal; tel 00 52 56 52 69
87/55 68 15 40
Insurance companies covering
health risks : Comercial America, GNP,