29 May 2010

Lectrice Job Search Strategies

For any fellow assistants out there interested in making the transition to lecteur/lectrice d'anglais, I have detailed my job search strategy below. Would also like to give credit to Eileen Fitzpatrick, whose blog entry about the lecteur job search was very useful to me. Her blog can be found here:  http://eileen.likeafrog.org/

*Note: I began my job search in early March, but I think anytime after January is an acceptable time to begin the search.  Most universities won't notify you of hiring decisions until spring or summer.  Some will want an interview, while others hire directly from the CVs

1. Write your CV in French. Look online for examples. Surprisingly, French CVs must include a photo and information generally omitted from an American CV (marital status, age, number of children)

2. Write your cover letter (lettre de motivation.) Again, look online for examples, because the French way is not quite like the American way.

3. Have a Frenchie (or several) proofread your CV and lettre de motivation. The more the better!

4.  Create an email to present these two documents. Incorporate the typically ceremonious French lingo "Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, Madame, l'expression de mes salutations distinguées" or one of its countless variations.

5.  Decide where to send your CV.  This website is a great resource of universities by region:

You may have a region in mind, or you may be like me, with absolutely no preference as long as you're on French soil. The more flexible and open you are, the more likely you'll find a post. I also made a point to personalize my cover letter for each university, which shows I put the effort forth to research their school rather than blindly send out my CV.  This little detail is worth the extra time and effort.

6. On the university websites, seek out the UFR de langues, or département d'anglais. Send your email to the head of the department, if you can find him/her.  As Eileen mentions in her blog, most universities are very good about forwarding if you don't send the email to the proper destination.

7. Now is the waiting game. Expect rejections but don't lose hope. Make a goal to send out several a day, and keep track of who you've contacted, who you've heard from and their responses.  

This is a very long process. The creation of my CV and lettre de motivation from rough draft to final proofreading took several weeks of perfecting and rewriting.  The actual act of finding a university, personalizing the lettre de motivation, finding the correct contact within the university's website, and sending the email is quite time consuming.  For the 40 or so CVs I sent out, I received 5 invitations to interviews and 2 offers.  In the end, persistence pays! 


  1. I'm glad you found the post helpful Jamie! It definitely can seem like a mystifying process if you don't know how it works. And I'm glad you got some offers!

    PS Your blog is great!

  2. Thanks Eileen! I really have your post to thank for getting me into the job search... before that I just didn't know where to begin!

  3. Nice post,I really have your post to thank for getting me into the job search... Thanks sharing..

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Happy searching!

  4. Hi, I know it's been awhile since you wrote this, but I was wondering if you have any tips on interviewing for these positions? I have an interview for a lectrice de langue position coming up, and I'm wondering what differences I should expect from American interviews.

  5. Hi Jamie,

    did you send out your CV while you were still in France or back home? I'm thinking about doing the same thing and this blog has been such a great help!


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