While they do have a service that helps one search for jobs, the types of jobs that I’m interested in weren't usually advertised on pole emploi and so I’d been using other services.
Luckily, a friend of mine told me that if I’d sign up at pole emploi to declare myself à la recherche d’emploi (looking for work), I would receive an unemployment card that would give me free access to most of Paris’ lovely museums.
Suddenly dealing with French bureaucracy seemed worth it.
After signing up online, I received an appointment for about two weeks later to go to the pole emploi offices closest to me.
Knowing how these things go thanks to all my trips to the Prefecture, I brought the documents that pole emploi asked for (ID, pay stubs, CV), plus every other sort of document they could possibly need from me (copy of my birth certificate, proof of having graduated from a French institution, etc.).
I also brought along reading material to keep me busy for at least an entire afternoon, and I showed up to my appointment about ten minutes early.
There was a very, very long line for the accueil (welcome desk) for people without an appointment, and a relatively short line for people with one. Arriving at the front of the line right when my appointment was supposed to start, I signed in without a hitch.
I found an empty chair, sat down, and was starting to pull a magazine out of my tote bag, when my name was called to go back and meet my counselor!
Not only were they super prompt, but my counselor was super friendly, didn’t need random documents that weren’t listed on the official documents list, spent time looking over my general CV and cover letter, and despite confirming that they don’t receive many job offers for the work I’m interested in, gave me a lovely packet full of tips for people in my field.
My crumpled up pass that I keep in my wallet for emergency museum visits
She also gave me my get-into-museums-free pass, and I have been using it up a storm.