How to Find Your First French Speaking Job or Internship in Budapest, Hungary

Dezso Papp
10 min readMay 9, 2016


Recently, my brother came to me with this question.

In the middle of a half an hour skype chat. Your attention immediately pops and your mind starts to raid when a relative or good friend asks these kind of things. People and names you know and may have something to do with giving advice and helping emerges. Then also things you would do, in their shoes, to make sure you fall asleep every night with a peace of mind.

The Basics

I am not a CV or cover letter writing expert. So I can only point you to some sound advice already available.

For CV writing tips Guardian has published a Top tips for 2015 article. While for cover letter secrets, the Forbes had this shorter and still sweet article ready baked piece for you.

Also, it is important to note that number often beats perfection. So, don’t limit yourself. Still, most company HR contact will tell you how they drop substandard or boilerplate cover letters with the CVs behind them. This is why getting an introduction may be crucial beside others.

The Approach

Call me opinionated. But the order of ways to find a new job comes down to the holy trinity of:

Friends > Company HR > Recruiter

Now, you can go more sophisticated about this model. Yet I bet any action beats sophisticated fussing around. When it comes to hunting down a decent job with a limited skill set. Such as no fluent English. For instance.


You have to approach any friends and friendly acquaintances to:

  1. recommend you — on LinkedIn, or elsewhere,
  2. introduce you — to company HR contacts and/or Recruiter), and
  3. give you leads and tips — to companies or industries.

This is where networking — if you would have done it all the way till now — would pay off. If you say “But networking sucks, man!” Then read this recent piece of research on HBR: Learn to Love Networking.

Company HR

They seem to be the obvious first choice but if you don’t know them it doesn’t make sense. So, research them. Then go back to the previous group (friends) to see how you can get through to them.


The last time I have tried to approach a recruiter to talk about a position. The process made a lasting impression. We were in contact on LinkedIn. Still I couldn’t manage to get through via LinkedIn messaging, nor email. Not even via phone!

I leave it up to you to pound semi-friendly or cold contacts in the recruiter world. I am sure there are professional recruiters out there. If you have time go and find them.

Les spécifiques — aka the Tools

Now that we have got the lawn moved. And you are past your facebook search. Let’s roll up the sleeves and dig deeper, més amis!

But first the bad news. Without a reasonable English your chances are slim to land a decent job. Some argues that the French is a language that can land you a job on it’s own- details in this article [fr].

Note that many would argue the best way to get hired is to research the company you admire to the bone or further. To boil them down to stock. So you would know them and their product(s), competitors, industry better than they do. Then nag them in a genuine way. If you have time then read Derek Sivers postabout this method. Not: Never tried it.

Here are the ways to research jobs already on the market:

  1. French diplomatic bodies and institutions
  2. French companies — with presence in Budapest (or Hungary),
  3. Recruiters with job boards
  4. Job portals with French filter
  5. French companies / start ups with remote working as an option

French Diplomatic Bodies and Institutions

You may not have a taste to work for the Government or an NGO. Yet it may be more fun than queuing for food stamps or waiting the postman bring your monthly benefit to go out shopping finally.

Here are the (semi)diplomatic bodies and institutions that first comes to mind:

I have already mentioned networking, but I have to bring the point home here:

  • Budapest Acceuil (Budapest Welcomes) — Networking events for new comers to get the right foot down from the plane. Worth to like their Facebook Page for the occasional job leads/ads.
  • DEFH Dirigeants et Entrepeneurs Francophones en Hongrie — You need to apply to get membership to access the page. This is the place where you would go networking to find your dream job with being a French speaker. Monthly networking events, also great for the self-employed.

II. French Companies With a Major Presence in Budapest, Hungary

Institutions, (N)GOs, networking — triple check! Let’s focus on the numbers and odds game now to keep the momentum. The top ten French companies (revenue and employee numbers combined and weighted) in Hungary:

  • Auchan Hungary — Industry: Retail and Finance (Oney). Glassdoor rating: 1.5 for Hungary, 3.5 worldwide. Their all Hungarian career site is here. N.B. the whole retail sector — or at least the non-Hungarian side of it — is under pressure. No LinkedIn company page for Hungary.
  • EGIS PharmaceuticalsIndustry: Pharma. Glassdoor rating: 3.6. They have an English version of their career site but only with jobs in Hungarian at the time of writing. Has LinkedIn page, but no job ad for Hungary at the time of writing.
  • Sanofi-Aventis — Industry: Pharma. Glassdoor rating: 3.5 worldwide, 3.9 in Hungary. Only an all Hungarian career page. No LinkedIn page for the Hungarian branch. Chinoin (one of the Sanofi/Aventis brands in Hungary) made it to the top 20 on the 2016 Randstad Awards.
  • Groupama Garancia — Industry: Insurance. Glassdoor rating: 3.7 worldwide, no reviews from Hungary. Has LinkedIn page, but no job ads yet. Only all Hungarian job board.
  • Michelin Hungária — Industry: Automotive. Glassdoor rating: 3.8 worldwide,4 for Hungary only 1 review though. No LinkedIn Page for Hungarian branch.Global career site has no obvious location filter function.
  • Sodexo — Industry: Restaurants, Bars & Food Services. Glassdoor rating: 3.2. Only Hungarian job offers on their local site.
  • GDF-Suez — Industry: Energy. Glassdoor rating: 3.7 and 2.9 for the new parent company (Engie). No local LinkedIn page, no job offers.
  • SE-CEE Schneider Electric — Industry: Electronics. Glassdoor rating: 3.0 for Hungary and 3.4 for the parent company. Only 1 internship advertised on their job board for Hungary.
  • Nissan Sales CE — Industry: Automotive. Glassdoor rating: 3.0 for Hungary and 3.5 globally. Global career board has no jobs for Hungary.
  • Lapker — Industry: Retail. Glassdoor rating: not available. They run an only Hungarian job board on their site.

The following companies are still interesting without being in the top list of French direct investments in Hungary.

I was looking at their profile for reviews from employees. If no Hungarian reviews or too few, then I have included the global ratings as a reference. Then tried to locate the most direct job listing. If possible in English or French.

In alphabetic order:

III. Recruiters with job boards and French filter

Deep inside I hope you don’t have to reach this stage, but still.

  • Manpowerby now you have to see you need to work on your English asnone of the 4 jobs requiring French (at the time of writing) would let you get away without it.
  • Randstad — more of a honorable mention for their user friendly listing for positions that need French speakers.

IV. Job portals with French filter

This is where you have started, ain’t you? You, naughty you!

  • Glassdoor.comof course they have more than just reviews (I bet that doesn’t pay as good a money), here are the Budapest jobs [fr/en].
  • — got a nice filter for French speaking jobs in Budapest [en]
  • — is another job board that does well on the French arena when it comes to jobsearch. [en]
  • — they are the biggest player in the Hungarian market. No, English de-localized site but has a filter option for searching jobs [hu]
  • EURES [fr] — the European Union, beside many perceived or real failings, has a useful job search portal. Beside information on the conditions of working in Hungary.

V. Remote working for French companies

The whole post was drawing on the assumptions that you are:

  1. Living or want to live in Budapest, Hungary
  2. Speaking French on a much higher level than English
  3. Looking for a paid job (instead of internships, aka VIE)

Budapest and Hungary is a great place for remote workers. Affordable housing and fine ambience. Here are the French Startup and/or remote working related sources to keep yourself busy on this part:

Too young to get a job?

For internships (read ‘Stages’ or ‘VIE’) you have a few options to look deep the rabbit hole as well, such as:

  • — had one internship position at the time of writing.
  • — nothing at the moment for French. Yet 91 internships available in Hungary without French as a filter.
  • Erasmus internship search — no inern positions available for Hungary at the time of writing.
  • — has got a fine job/internship search interface. I have listed it here as it is more of a graduate /entry level app. Has a few options with French from IBM, BP and GE.
  • CCI France-Hongrie — You can register your CV to be available to employers.


  1. You are my hero for reading all the way here. So you deserve a secret tip. You can get fine tuned list of jobs (if not always up to date) to find a new job with French in Hungary at the CCIFH website.
  2. If you want to dig a bit deeper you may want to try to browse the Framak (French Hungarian Trade and Insutrial Centre) listing of members to cover the non-French owned companies as well. Then just hustle and network your way to the dream position.
  3. If you have figured you don’t need a regular job at all — after sifting through the start up and remote work section. But you would like to be your own boss. The French Government has an entrepreneurial program just announced (19 Apr 2016). Find details of the Hello Tomorrow program here [fr].

Take away:

  • Make a good cv/resumé and be careful with your cover letter.
  • Start with friends and ask them for introductions, recommendations and leads.
  • Build a momentum and don’t forget that a job search is — like sales or other performance related activities: a numbers’ game.
  • Make sure you turn every stone and don’t stop till you’re there!

I have missed something? Please let me know.

To your success!

Dezso is a relocation agent with decade long experience. He digs: Move management, Corporate sales, Real estate rentals, Destination services provision. You can read more from him on LinkedIn Pulse, ask him on Quora.

Published earlier — without the internship parts — on LinkedIn as: How to Find Your French Speaking Job in Budapest.

Oh, and don’t forget to recommend it if you like it:



Dezso Papp

ex-Wantrepreneur, daddy, boulderer, writer, tinkerer.