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Podcast transcript #18: a new solution that helps students improve their Chinese CV

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Find here the China paradigm episode 18. Learn more about Pauline Lahary’s story in China and find all the details and additional links below.

Full transcript below:

Matthieu David: Hello everyone, I am Matthieu David, the founder of Daxue consulting and its China marketing podcast: China paradigm. Today I am with Pauline Lahary, I met the first time Pauline in Beijing, I think it was 5 years ago, and at that time you were in between – I believe this digital agency called Zem at the time or Altima, I don’t know, it’s probably changed the name and building your business.

And I remember we talked about commerce and there was Thomas Graziani. Actually we interviewed on this China podcast – yourself and me talking to you about starting your business. And a few weeks ago, you sent me a message on LinkedIn asking me questions or telling me I am going to start in China. And I said yes that’s interesting, let’s check what it has become, and I checked online with SEMrush, and I see that you have 70,000 unique visitors or visitors. I mean it must have become quite massive in terms of traffic.

I don’t know if the numbers are right, but that’s what I got from Similar web. I was very interested in what you have done in just 5 years. And why you launch in China, what you want to do in China and your perspective on also the CV in China and the West and the differences. Thank you very much, Pauline, for being with us in this new episode of China Paradigm. I believe it would be a very interesting talk.

Pauline Lahary: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure for me to see you again. And I really am happy to be here. It’s true. Actually I think we saw each other five years ago when I just launched my CVFactory, and that time I was working for Altima, that’s true, and I finally decided to be 100% focused on myCVFactory and I started to work with this, probably right after we saw each other, I think. So, I worked for my CV, and I then came back to France a few years later because we chose to go back to Paris and then I decided to grow the business, not only B2C but also B2B which was pretty new to me. And well we will talk about it together probably later, but that’s the main story, 5 years in China and came back to Paris a few years later.

Matthieu David: I see so you are based in Paris because I saw a video of you talking to someone from Amiens on France 3, but you are based in Paris?

Pauline Lahary: Yes, well, Amiens is really close to Paris.

Matthieu David: Okay. Yes, you can go by train easily. That’s an interesting point about B2B and B2C, but first I would like to understand the size of your business. I checked on your web; I have an idea of your traffic volume. Could you share about some metrics about how many clients in a year or over the last five years – we saw on your LinkedIn, that you talked about one hundred thousand people you have helped or you had as clients for the CV, I don’t if they are clients or they are people who used your resources online. So, if you could give us an idea of revenues, a number of clients, the size of the team, the size of the people who work with you. And about 50,000 to 80,000 visitors on your website every month.

Pauline Lahary: Yes, exactly that’s right.

Matthieu David: Okay. When do you say one hundred thousand people using your website, you mean paying customers or people who actually use your resources?

Pauline Lahary: No, they are 100,000 clients we had actually paid for the service.

Matthieu David:         Okay, nice. Pretty good actually. And about your client acquisition, I looked a little bit on the web; you are pretty badass in terms of SEO – I mean search referrals and direct. People go back on your website if you like. I got about 30% of people going back to your website, 32% referrals, and 45% search. Could you explain to us about what you did and what worked and what didn’t work in terms of client acquisition or traffic acquisition at least?

Pauline Lahary: Yes. Actually, we used to be very well ranked on Google before, having a lot more traffic than we have today. I would say I stopped creating CV because before we were putting one CV per day on the website, to really grow the website. I have required a lot of patience which brought us a lot of pages and traffic. So, it was really working well, but then I started B2B business, I was still alone to handle things, so I stopped actually putting a new CV per day. That actually was a good thing for B2B because I got a lot of time to take care of other things, but then on Google, we actually didn’t rank so well after that.

Matthieu David:         When was it?

Pauline Lahary:           Maybe two years ago. Yes, two years ago and so this is I think a mistake we should have put still one CV per day online or bring traffic with new pages all the time, but it is a lot of time and work also, and sometimes you just can’t do everything. So that’s one advice maybe having a lot of pages on your website. I had to stand out on Google. Something that didn’t work for us is PPC – Pay per click on Google Ad words.  I never succeeded in being profitable on this tool, even though I got help with SEM agents or consultants. I don’t know; we probably didn’t have a lot of budgets to be doing this, so it was not really efficient. This way of getting traffic didn’t work for us, I’d say.

Matthieu David:         Who is buying it? Because if you say you didn’t have enough budget which is paying for it, because if you don’t have enough budget that means people are bidding at a higher price. Who is interested in the word CV, in the word resume? Is it like a website like indi.com or inchina.in?

Pauline Lahary:           It’s other competitors, I would say. Competitors are also big, big job boards websites like Monster or Indeed they want more and more traffic about CV, career, student, jobs this kind of requests so yes competitors and job boards.

Matthieu David:         I see. So, you said that you went big on search by publishing a lot of resumes, this I could guess by using Similar web. But I see that you have very little traffic on Social, and I feel that building your resume could be actually something you want to – you could share on Facebook and create some quizzes and engagement with people especially with students. Maybe because your business is more B2B now, but why do you feel that social has not worked?

Pauline Lahary:           Social – I mean we are on Facebook a lot actually. We put a lot of articles and stuff to engage our community. We also are a lot on YouTube making videos about CV, but also with webinars that now are private for our universities and schools. These kind of media are very good, and I am sure we should focus our energy on this. But again, it’s a lot of time, a lot of investments and for now Google has been quite ok with us and I know we could do better on YouTube and Facebook, but it’s a lot of time again.

Instagram is a very good media, and I am trying now to be very, very on top of everything on Instagram and getting a new audience. Thanks to the collaboration with influencers and stuff like that. So, for now, Facebook is a bit off I would say and Instagram is the best to focus, for now, I have an intern taking care of it, so we do everything we can for Instagram for now.

Matthieu David:         Interesting I saw by googling MyCVFactory I saw that you were active on Pinterest. What do you feel about Pinterest and Instagram, I know the uses are very different, but still, it’s about pictures?

Pauline Lahary:           Yes, exactly, it’s about pictures we sell resumes. We sell pictures, we sell attractiveness, and I feel that Pinterest and Instagram are very good media to share pictures in-universe. Pinterest is very good for sales because there is a lot of people going on Pinterest getting inspiration, and they are creating boards or CV’s like per color or per sector. So actually, Pinterest is a very good media to focus on, and we still are very active in Pinterest, and also showing our events, what we do. I mean it’s more than only CVs it’s also my life, the events we are going to, and the new deal we sign with universities or schools for example.

Matthieu David:         I see. I understand, so you are using Instagram to moderate and engage with your community and to give the news to people. It’s a bit like a feed.

Pauline Lahary:           Yes. Exactly.

Matthieu David:         Okay, and to come back on your website and statistics your bounce rate is 55%, I don’t know if it’s the actual rate, but it’s pretty low. You have a very good bounce rate, because the lower it is, the better it is for the bounce rate. How do you explain it, people actually are using a lot of your content going from one page to another and truly may not actually pay for your services? How do you feel about having such a good bounce rate?

Pauline Lahary:           Well, it’s mainly because it’s very targeted. Someone who is looking for a CV online usually is ready to pay for it. He is going to type and Google CV or design CV or attractive CV design or a request like this, and usually, he’s ready to pay for it before even taking a look at our website. So usually we have a low bounce rate because he is ready to do, he is ready to activate his credit card. So, this is a good thing for us because it’s a very specific keyword.

Matthieu David:         I see, so you’re saying there is a low bounce rate which is good meaning that people go on more than one page on your website because they go through the registration page which is counting as the second page. And moreover, people come back by writing directly MyCVFactory. You have so a lot of retention, I believe. I understand.

Pauline Lahary:           Yes, exactly.

Matthieu David:         Good. Talking about what you have done and tried in the past, we have seen videos; you shot a lot of videos like three years ago, what’s your experience of using videos to make people know about your business?

Pauline Lahary:           Actually, the videos were for each product page to show the CV in detail. How to edit the CV? How to change the color? How to change the picture. The main idea was more tutorial of the product page to show the client how the CV is in reality. I think the videos are very good, a user experience point of view on the product page, they bring a lot of reality, a lot of detail also. So, I think it’s a very good idea. For SU I think it’s also very nice because on each YouTube video you had a link and you have a unique text which is not a duplicate content of the course and is bringing a lot of traffic also to the website. But for this, you also need to have a Youtube community that is engaging also with you, and this is hard I think to create. Even if it must be entertaining and these kinds of videos are not. They are just to show the product, more like a tutorial. So, I would say the videos that are working best they are more like career videos, advice on your CV, advice on your picture, advice on everything about career tools and stuff like that. So, there are two kinds of videos for me, related to career videos and then UX experience on the website.

Matthieu David:         I saw these two videos. I saw this video where you were asking your clients to talk, especially a graduate from ENS ULM, which is a very proficient school – university in France. It was someone who is in the HR in China like Human Resource director or headhunter in China or Asia. I cannot remember exactly, but so I saw this kind of video, and there was a video which is about how can you adapt the CV you are going to able to download if you pay for it, if you subscribe to your services. I understand now; your strategies are very clear. And the videos are being used very often of short with the objective of doing Facebook ads or to go big on social. Have you tried to use the videos on social because we know those platforms try to push videos?

Pauline Lahary:           Yes, Facebook Ads works very well, actually. I could say it brings traffic, it brings sales, but it doesn’t bring too many sales. I mean it’s profitable but not enough, and I know that we stopped a video a few months ago also because I needed the budget, and I needed time for China and my launch in China. So, we stopped these kinds of system. But I think Facebook ads are perfect for junior programs, it works very well from 18 to 24 years old and a very nice thing about Facebook ads is like you can really target the audience, the interest of your audience in school and stuff. So, I think it’s a good way, but also you really need to focus your energy on something, and I choose to focus somewhere else.

Matthieu David:         I see. I understand. So that’s a very good transition to focus on China, what you’re going to do in China, I’d like to focus on one specific aspect which is common between the west and China because when we talk about searching, we talk about Google, you cannot scale on Google in China. You cannot use the same tactics, you cannot use the same search in China, and you know it very well because you used to live in China. But LinkedIn is a platform which can be used both in the West and in China and you have a service which is the optimization of your profile for LinkedIn. I believe this service will also be offered in China, as Chinese CVs optimization, I cannot check right now. I don’t feel you are already offering it. I don’t know if I am wrong or I am right, but could you tell us more about what you do on LinkedIn for your client, and how do you optimize the LinkedIn profile?

Pauline Lahary:           Sure. The LinkedIn profile optimization is really for people who want to get a job and get an edge; you know a reputation online. So, we are trying to focus on the content, that brings traffic on keywords. So, we optimize those keywords, we re-write the resume, summary, we comment a lot of things, and I mean, we form groups or debates or forum for you to integrate. We do pretty much everything for you because you as a candidate – you don’t have time, where you have kids or I mean there is always a reason, not to do it. So, we are here to take in charge, this optimization.

Matthieu David:         So, you do it for your clients?

Pauline Lahary:           Yes

Matthieu David:         Your clients give access to – okay, they give you the password, and then you change the LinkedIn profile. Okay, I see.

Pauline Lahary:           And after our intervention, we always ask them to change the password, so we don’t access anymore to the information. That is safer, but yes, he needs to give us his ID, and we go into the tool, and we do everything for him.

Matthieu David:         Okay.

Pauline Lahary:           And to answer your question, for now for the Chinese market, for the HR in China side, we only put downloadable products, only the Chinese CV templates and a couple letter templates, and review – I mean we do the CV audits, that means that we check your Chinese CV, and we say if it’s good or not and we give advice about it, but for now I chose not to put LinkedIn optimization or Chinese CV writing service for now, because I really wanted to focus on this kind of products and see how it goes and then maybe add the writing service later.

Matthieu David:         I see. So, what’s your strategy in terms of entering the Chinese market, in terms of selling CVs in China, because it will be very different, doing SEO on Baidu is very well seen on search, is very different in China. And maybe actually much more difficult to manage from Paris, from outside of China. What’s your strategy, are you going to rely more on KOL? And what about SEO on Baidu? Are you going to rely more on networks on B2B maybe?

Pauline Lahary:           First of all, B2B will be later. I really want to do as I did in France that means B2C first B2B then. For the strategy, I would really like to focus on WeChat, which would be our first way to sell. For example, association, alumni of schools that I have in my network, a lot of associations like Beijing Women in China. This kind of things, so more like people in my network to make sure My CVFactory gets noticed and gets to be known by people and forums, events – I would like to do and of course SEO on Baidu, I have someone who will help me do it. I know it will not be easy, but – and it’s also a very competitive market. I think there is a place for everyone, and I am trying to find the right element, right talent to help me do it.

Matthieu David:         Talking about search, I feel that your offer could actually rank on English keywords on Baidu and Bing. Have you thought about it this possibility and actually pushing the CV in English within the Chinese market?

Pauline Lahary:           Yes, why not, I mean every possibility should be considered, and of course it could be a great idea, but maybe step by step – I mean if we want to focus on WeChat, then focus on SEO on Baidu and then maybe a focus on Bing. I am sure SEO on Baidu I will, but together I might blow everything. So, I am trying to be organized maybe, but you have an expert eye, maybe you can add your advice on this and suggest how I can do it.

Matthieu David:         I feel there is always a bit of a niche to advertise your product in English in China because you have less competition and actually you can even emphasize more the asset you have to be international, and you already have a service working very well. So that’s why we are thinking of it as an easy go, an easy way to get the first batch of customers.

WeChat is a very interesting way of penetrating the Chinese market because it’s very social, you are going to get people following you. And the alumni or let’s say the business schools, the schools which could be actually a foreign school which could be like French school the US schools, they need to help the Chinese students to find a job in China, to improve their Chinese CVs, and they are poor doing that. I feel there is a very good match between your service and those schools who have difficulties in positioning their alumni, young alumni just graduated into those very big Chinese firms. So, I feel you could help a lot. Is it something you have explored and tried to talk to some people in the field, HR in China? 

Pauline Lahary:           Exactly. Actually, all our schools in France have – I don’t know why, but they all have a campus in China. In Shanghai in Wuhan in Beijing, everywhere, and I am trying to gather all my network in France, those schools and universities who can help us develop and expand in China. So, for example, Skema business school, which is my school, here is a client mix and they have a good campus in Suzhou, New Shanghai, and they clearly will help me develop and organize things, stuff like that. So of course, the investors that I have here will be very important and even key to my expansion in China.

Matthieu David:         When you are working B2B, do you sign a different contract? I mean, I guess the business schools are not asking the students to pay for it. So, I believe that you sell a certain volume of clients – how do you -what is the B2B contract?

Pauline Lahary:           Yes, the business model with B2B is quite easy actually. The university pays MyCVFactory for the service, but it’s free for the students. So, they have access to CV templates and CV audits, all year long when they want, anytime, anywhere. So that’s probably the main asset of the deal because it’s everywhere and anywhere and usually the universities now have a lot of students abroad and in exchange programs and stuff like that. And they want to satisfy everyone. 

Matthieu:        I see. So, do you have access to them? Did you develop an ERP or for them to get – to have specific access? And then every student has access, or they go through your platform mycvfactory.com?

Pauline Lahary:           No, they have access, private access for each university in SSO, and they connect from their intranet to our platform, which is integrated.

Matthieu David:         Within their intranet, right?

Pauline Lahary:           Yes.

Matthieu David:         So, you have to be on the campus to use the service?

Pauline Lahary:           No. But this system has links with their intranet. There is a nice connection between them. An SSO connect.

Matthieu David:         Okay. The question I forgot to ask you actually to go back on your current website – I mean the website you are initially mycvfactory.com. The software’s which you are using for engaging with your clients for building this website, I saw on the Chinese website that you have a chat box, and I would go back on this, what you expect from it? But what software’s have you used? I saw that you used Trust Pilot. I would be interested to understand what you use in terms of CRM, in terms of marketing alternation if you use Upstart or other software’s?

Pauline Lahary:           Sure. So, for emailing and marketing, it’s Mailchimp I think it’s very common and it’s working well everywhere. I am using Zoho as a CRM; I think it’s nice – a lot of different features and stuff.

Your next question, for the website I use a specific code it’s Django in Python, nothing particular but it works. My team is in Grenoble in France, and they are experts in that language. So, it’s nice. What can I add?

Matthieu David:         You don’t do marketing automation like you don’t have like active campaign or off spot pushing some messages depending on where people are?

Pauline Lahary:           Actually, that’s funny you asked because we just launched this marketing information company a few days ago. We thank new customers for their chase, and we put a video of me telling them how I am glad to help them in their employability. So yes, it’s one of our priority right now to do this marketing information, giving videos also about how we work, how we are, but a bit more like a company on what are our values, what we are looking for with MyCVFactory. It’s not only about French or Chinese CVs, you know it’s really about your personality, personal branding, how to pitch yourself in the interviews.

Matthieu David:         I understand. I watched a video on in French on France 3, and you talked about that, that CV’s should represent your personality, and that’s why you even designed a CV and I would maybe would could finish with that after some of the questions about a CV in a box with inside some chocolate – so I can’t remember exactly what it was but it was something to eat, and this person was sending it to some potential employers, and she was in this industry of food. But maybe we’ll go back on this later on if it’s really a trend or if it’s just an anecdote and some examples which I’ve not seen actually, I’d like to have your view on that. But before I would be very interested to know why you didn’t choose WordPress, so many websites are made on WordPress.

Pauline Lahary:           Yes. So, if there is one thing, I learned in Altima is never use WordPress for an e-commerce website, that’s the first thing, and the second thing is my developers were developing a pattern, so I had no interest in getting a thing at WordPress. But with that being said, WordPress is very nice that’s for sure. We use it for my blog, and it’s perfect for blogging I would say and may be less clever for e-commerce website I would say.  

Matthieu David:         I see, so you have WordPress for your blog and Django Python for your website. 

Pauline Lahary:           Yes

Matthieu David:         I see. I understand. Okay, talking about localization of your website, the website in Chinese, were you careful not to put Facebook font, Google font anything linked to Facebook or Google or anything which is forbidden, what did you have to adapt?

Pauline Lahary:           First thing to adapt was the logo, MyCVFactory, to translate it in a nice way that we can entertain and read easily, so that was the first thing, and I knew a designer that used to work with us in Altima and now he is living in Canada so I contacted him, and we did the logo together and trying to find out the best way to put things. So that was the first step. Then maybe the second step was to know where to put the servers. So, we put it in Hong Kong because I don’t have a mainland company in China maybe later, but for now, it’s not there yet. So, we are in Hong Kong near China, so we still should be working well, I’d say.

Matthieu David:         It works. I can tell you.

Pauline Lahary:           Of course. Facebook, Google, and stuff like that we erase it from the Chinese website. Even the Chatbot you mentioned it, we have a Zoho chatbox linked to the CRM on the French website, but it didn’t show up on the Chinese website. So, we decided to completely erase it and take something else. That’s the main thing. And of course, the CV’s we adapted the Chinese CVs. They are not really local, but they still have of course, Chinese language. But the style is not really Chinese. I think it’s very important to say that this market evolves very fast and I am sure the Chinese market today, HR in China, they don’t have a lot of beautiful Chinese CV’s, but later they will buy these kinds of CVs I am sure. The infographic, the digital, the icons, and mascots.

Matthieu David:         The resumes are still very, very traditional in China. The Chinese CVs we received last year was very traditional, with very old-fashioned pictures, where is a picture that they took from high school, or I don’t know universities. There was a blue background, and then I don’t even know if it’s good to put pictures actually. But it’s very, very traditional in that, traditionally in the Chinese way.

I have a question about the pricing; I feel you don’t have the same pricing between the west and China, there is a kind of arbitrage between the two websites. Do you – did you study the pricing before setting it up or is it your feeling you had to be more aggressive in pricing in China.

Pauline Lahary:           Actually, there are both, both answers are good. The first one is – I did a survey with the Chinese people I know, and usually they are not really ready to pay too much for these kinds of service, that’s the first one.

The second one is my competitors are very cheap, even free. So, I need to be competitive on my prices to get sales and be sure people come and buy on mycvfactory.com.

And the third one is also a feeling as you mentioned. I feel this is a fair price, the right price for the Chinese market but of course its less expensive than in France. Well, I am really in the mood of test and learn we’ll see how it goes like this

Matthieu David:         I see because you are basically half of the price in China.

Pauline Lahary:           Yes.

Matthieu David:         I see. Okay 

Pauline Lahary:           And then the last difference is of course payment. Payment way, we have Alipay and WeChat pay that we are going to add in a couple of months. So, these were also quite a lot affecting, because it’s not easy to open a non-pay account without living in China and all that administration stuff. 

Matthieu David:         So, have you been able to open a what we call it a cross border WeChat pay account?

Pauline Lahary:           Yes, I am into it. 

Matthieu David:         Okay.

Pauline Lahary:           So, the WeChat pay is not live on the website, but it should be in a few months. But it takes a lot of time actually to do.

Matthieu David:         So, when we talk about WeChat, what’s the status now on WeChat? I am checking my phone as well.

Pauline Lahary:           Yeah, It’s not live yet.

Matthieu David:         Okay, it’s not live yet.

Pauline Lahary:           The funny thing is, it’s my bank account in France who was getting trouble making this payment transfer to Tencent, and that’s because of them that we are still low and so slow on WeChat launch. It’s not even an alternative for French people.

Matthieu David:         I see because if the payment is very high, it shouldn’t be a problem with the amount of money to send. It’s more about sending it to the right account in Chinese characters, and so on, I believe.

Pauline Lahary:           Exactly. It’s a mistake in the name of the bank.

Matthieu David:         I got the same problem in Beijing. Talking about innovation in your industry, the CV resume industry, and HR in China. What I see from when I graduated from business school 10 years ago and what I see now in resumes – I would say good resumes – people have made an effort on resumes. They are much more colorful; it’s much more nontraditional, you have the picture even for western resumes which something all my professors in business school were saying don’t put a picture.

I believe when I was in the US, you shouldn’t put picture not to show where you are from if you are from a minority or else, and I feel there is a lot of innovation here. Then there is another innovation which is to send as a product of what you do is a box and so on, and there is another innovation what you did is my job box a few years ago for instance. I believe it got to receive some resumes every month, potential opportunities and so on. A bit like Birch box…  Do you confirm those innovation and then what are the other innovations?

Pauline Lahary:           Sure, first indeed our CV today are really more colorful and more attractive I’d say. But be careful because in this state it’s still forbidden to put a picture on the CV and they still have very straight rules about this.

Globally I’d say today the innovation in CV’s is like the digitization of the CV, that means that we still print the CV – it’s still a paper that we read in an interview, but also, we like putting a digital touch on it like a QR code redirecting it to your WeChat account or a QR code directing it to your LinkedIn account. That’s very nice to do. So, when we read your French or Chinese CV in the pdf, we can click on it and go directly to your universe online… and I think both universes can go together, the paper CV and the digital touch we can add to it.

That’s the first thing. And I think I can talk about CVs in China and France for hours and colors and meanings in colors. These are the main new things like icons, being creative if you are working in marketing or communications and stuff like that.

Matthieu David:         Have you thought about the differences between Cvs in China and the west? The good things to do – I wouldn’t say what is not good in China, what is good in the west or this or that, but what you feel has to be done on the Chinese CV that is not done and has to be because that is the way it works, and it’s the way the Chinese companies are expecting the CV in China to be, and the difference between the west.

Pauline Lahary:           I think first of all it will be the design. Usually, all the Chinese CV that I have seen are very, very sad and very black and white and we couldn’t tell the skills of the candidate. Usually, the design was sad and the content, really long with no synthetic aspect. So, usually, one page should be good with a focus on skills and abilities. And usually Chinese people really love putting educations and schools at first, I mean it’s a good thing to have a good diploma. But when you are a senior, maybe your skills and abilities are better than your university.

So, I really, I would say that European and Chinese have a lot in common actually. We receive a lot of people, a lot of profiles from French and Chinese network and usually, we could say almost the same things on it. Pictures are professional, content too long; these are not attractive enough. So, I’d say people are not that lost on their Chinese Cvs; they just need help as we did to French. 

Matthieu David:         That’s the thing I feel there are lot points in common between actually French people and Chinese people when it’s related to how to present yourself, what to do, what not to do and more differences may be with Americans and Chinese as much as more differences between American and French people. Your reaction to the differences between a Chinese CV and a western CV were to say they are very sad; they should adapt more to what we do. But have you found some patterns that work in China and would not work in the west? There is one which seems obvious for me, the picture, the picture is forbidden in the U.S, but actually, most Chinese students are going to put their picture on their resume. That’s one thing, for instance, which is not bad or good but is just the way it works in China. Do you have all the feedbacks about this is just the way it works and the way you are expected to write a resume? 

Pauline Lahary:           Very recently in China, I saw a candidate putting his political views or sexual orientation, this kind of stuff on CVs in China. Very very intimate and in France we would never see that on a CV. So that could be the main difference, or a can do in China, and a don’t do in France. Yes, the picture also, of course, a lot of Chinese put an unprofessional picture but also in France. So, it’s not really a case.

Matthieu David:         Okay. Also, in the video you posted on YouTube you say that one of your services is to provide shooting of photo and to do much more than just writing, I mean it’s not tough but just writing the resume and so shooting the picture and finding the right wording and talking about the personality and so on. Is it something you feel would be necessary for China as well?

Pauline Lahary:           It could be necessary, and I think it’s a very good asset on a Chinese CV to have a very good picture also to maintain a very, very nice picture. But you need a partner a partner’s network to have photographers everywhere in China, and China is very big, so it might not be our priority for now, but if we have many, many candidates asking us for this we might organize events where we photograph and stuff like that, but for now it’s not a priority.

Matthieu David:         Talking about the new type of resume, you mentioned it in the video. The video I saw on your YouTube channel, Job-box, is it something that people talk about because it’s original, or is it something which is effective?

Chinese CV podcast

Pauline Lahary:           Well my Job-box was a very nice project with my two associates, they were doing a CV video and CV shooting, and I was provided with the CV templates and all in a box that we could offer to someone. The pitch offered a job for Christmas or offer a job to your mother or offer a job. So, I think the idea was original, and that’s why we got quite a lot of press release and stuff like that, but in reality, the box was not expensive enough, and it was not profitable, so we stopped. 

Matthieu David:         I misunderstood actually what was my job-box? Was it that you send a box to some employers or you were sending opportunities to people?

Pauline Lahary:           You send a box to someone you want to help to get a job. Like your best friend is an employer. You are going to offer him the box. It’s like a kit, a package to get a job – like a picture, CV, CV video and an online page about yourself and you just offer the job kit.

Matthieu David:         Okay so by sending the box you send a service and then you were providing the service because in the box you didn’t have yet the pictures and videos because you have to shoot right?

Pauline Lahary:           Exactly. In the box, you were having a little booklet about career tools, how to pitch yourself, how to sell yourself, and stuffs like that.

Matthieu David:         I see, but do you feel people would offer this kind of gift? You don’t have a job then I help you to get a job.

Pauline Lahary:           Well, no, because we stopped it. Actually, we thought maybe 50 boxes, so that’s what people will buy in a few months, 50 boxes, but more in B2B actually, we sold these boxes to Allo Cadeau or Groupon these kinds of websites where you can buy gifts to people. Also, to companies who were organizing a licensing, I mean when you fire people, they were offering these boxes to the people they’re going to fire, to help them get a new job.

Matthieu David:         I see. I see. That could be a bit touchy right.

Pauline Lahary:           Exactly, very touchy. Well, the idea is nice but quite tough actually to do a good business model about it.  

Matthieu David:         I feel this idea could be a very good tool to get backlinked, to get PR, to get people talking about you and I think that happened.

Pauline Lahary:           Yeah, true.

Matthieu David:         Okay. Actually when I was asking you about the box, I was not asking about this specific business, I was asking about another type of box you showed in the video, which is someone working in the food industry, creating the box with some of the food she designed or she produced, to send to a potential employer. Did you feel like sending something which is a sizeable product to a potential employer is going to really make someone outstanding and unique, or it’s going to look a bit like – let’s say a bit joke, what’s your feeling on it?

Pauline Lahary:           I think if it’s well done it could be really nice. This candidate wanted to work in the food industry, so we created her Chinese CV in chamallow in the box that you can just offer to the employers with their coffee or something. Also when you go to the interview you can offer this box, and they can just eat you, you know, that was quite funny to do, but it worked because she had an interview and then a job and I think if its meaningful, then it’s perfect because there’s the food industry, you want to work in that sector, everything’s linked together, then it works. Of course, if it’s out of nowhere like you don’t want to work in the food or anything in finance and you just send this box of chamallow then I don’t understand the meaning so that it won’t work, and it would be considered as a joke. So it needs to make sense in the moment project of the candidate.

Matthieu David:         I see, I see. Okay. Thank you very much for being with us, we’re about 45 minutes. How did you feel about the interview?

Pauline Lahary:           Very nice. Very detailed, I must say.

Matthieu David:         Yeah we like to go into details in order to make people understand how business is run and what do we do, so thank you very much for sharing it in this episode of our China business podcast and we will be showing you your video I guess in two weeks, among our audience mainly in China, so hopefully it can be helpful as well for your launch in China.

Pauline Lahary:           Thank you.

Matthieu David:         Thank you and thank you, everyone, for listening to China Paradigm, the China vlog where we interview entrepreneurs in China.


China paradigm is a China business podcast sponsored by Daxue Consulting where we interview successful entrepreneurs about their businesses in China. You can access all available episodes from the China paradigm Youtube page.

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