The Carter administration has selected career diplomat Arthur A. Hartman to be ambassador to France after at least three prominent outsiders turned down the job, informed sources said yesterday.

The administration also has decided to renominate Malcom Toon as ambassador to the Soviet Union. Toon, a career diplomat with a reputation as a hard-liner, is currently in Moscow, but the White House had earlier withdrawn his nomination, which was sent to the Senate late in the Ford administration. Now the President has decided to resubmit it, the White House announced yesterday.

Hartman, 51, has been assistant secretary of state for European affairs since 1974. He served in Paris for seven years at the beginning of his diplomatic career and was deputy chief of the U.S. mission to the European Economic Community in Brussels.

Before settling on Hartman, the administration had offered the Paris embassy to George Ball, former under secretary of state and now an international investment banker; former Gov. Terry Sanford of North Carolina, president of Duke University, and Barry Bingham Sr., publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal and Times.

Hartman's departure from the State Department will create a vacancy in a key position. One source said Secretary Cyrus R. Vance is looking for a distinguished outsider to succeed Hartman as assistant secretary for European affairs.

One of the deputy assistant secretaries in that office is also about to be nominated as an ambassador, sources said. He is James G. Lownstein, who will be nominated as envoy to Luxembourg.

The administration was reportedly unsure how to deal with the Moscow post and decided to leave Tonn in place there after considering a variety of alternatives. According to one informed source, the Moscow job was offered to a noncareer diplomat who turned it down. The source did not identify the individual.

The Soviet Union displayed displeasure with the Ford administration's selection of Tonn last year by refusing to approve his appointment for several months. Traditionally, countries give each other the opportunity to reject a proposed envoy.

The Soviet finally approved Toon at the end of the year, then Carter withdrew the nomination - as he did in other cases of pending Ford administrat on nominations. With the nomination now resubmitted, Toon still will have to confirmed by the Senate.

The White House also announced these ambassadorial appointments yesterday:

Mable Symthe, 59, vice president of the Phelps-Stokes Fund of New York and a member of the Council of Black Economists, to be ambassador to Cameroon;

Lowell B. Laingen, 54, a career diplomat, to be ambassador to Malta (a post to which former President Ford had nominated him);

Donald R. Norland, 52, a career diplomat, to be ambassador to Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (he, too, was originally nominated by Ford).