Hello guys and gals,

Since it’s Business Week, Jessica Djeziri, HR Manager at InterCloud.com, agreed to answer a few questions and give us some advice. Jessica has almost 9 years of experience in developing human resources, in varying sectors such as e-commerce and digital marketing. So, what should you never put on your resumé, any advice for a successful hiring interview? We’ll give you several lovely examples of resumés that the Lemonade Studio has received that really stand out thanks to their originality, their layout, their shape, etc… these resumés won’t leave you indifferent!

I remember that for a particularly stressful interview to be an assistant in a big Parisian photo studio. I was a beginner, I wasn’t very sure of myself, and to tell the truth: I knew nothing. It was during my first year in Paris, I sent a half-blank resumé and a horribly written cover letter. First I was interviewed by the boss, it was over in a few minutes, and then I was sent to the studio, which was in the middle of a photo shoot for a ‘trial day’. I panicked- I knew no one, everyone knew that it was my trial day and most of all: I wasn’t prepared (and to top it off, I had new shoes on, you know, the kind that go *click click* when you walk? There you go.)

In the beginning, they weren’t very kind to me, but I stayed strong and went with it. At one point, while I was quietly dying my slow death over in a corner, the photographer’s assistant came over to me saying “it’s URGENT, we need four mandarins”. In my head I was thinking “WTF, URGENT we need mandarins??”, not just one or two. Determined to get this right, I ran to the store down the street and carefully selected the FOUR most beautiful mandarins they had. I spent way too much time picking the most perfect, shapely, colorful mandarins, not too soft, not too hard, some with leaves, others without. The cashier looked at me funny, but I found the four most impeccable mandarins. I ran back to the studio, puffed up my chest, and walked up to the photographer (click, click, click) and proudly laid out the four fruit before him. “Here you are, the four mandarins you asked for! 🙂 “ Awkward silence. Everyone stopped and looked at me, I thought they were in awe to see such perfect mandarins. Then, laughter. I looked around, bewildered. The photographer turned around, rolling his eyes. His assistant ran over, grabbed the mandarins and threw thim in a corner and dragged me out of the studio by my arm. Then, laughing with tears in his eyes, he explained to me that in photography, mandarins are not a fruit but rather a type of lighting… embarrassed, I ran to the nearest emergency exit, never again to set foot in that studio.

Moving on, let’s listen to Jessica’s advice:

  • What should you never write in a resumé?

In France, you should avoid having a resumé with more than one page, it should be concise. The already-made models you can find on line won’t help you stand out. The worst thing you can do is give your resumé directly downloaded from LinkedIn. Be careful about the title you give your resumé, if it is too specific, this may limit your opportunities. You may need to change it for each job offer you apply too.

  • How should one submit unsolicited job applications?

Unsolicited or not, you should always check out the business, look online to see what kinds of positions are available and what kind of people they’re looking for. The cover letter should be very clear so that it helps the person that gets it understands exactly what you’re looking for.

I recently was contacted by someone who wanted me to look at their profile and find him a job. After sending a few messages back and forth, it turned out that he didn’t know that I had published job offers online and just looked me up on a professional website thinking that I would figure out what job suited him. It was completely counter-productive!

  • Five tips for a successful hiring interview?
-Prepare yourself. You have to be on top of what the business does, it’s projects, it’s values… and you should be able to reply to the question “why do you want to work here?”.
– Have questions to ask: it shows you’re interested in the business and job.
– Don’t simply read off of your resumé (it happens sometimes, don’t do it!)
-Be ready for basic questions like “why do you want to leave your current job”, “what would you like to improve in yourself”, “where do you see yourself in 5 years”. Be convincing by listening attentively.
  • As HR rep, do you take a candidate’s outfit into account? What do you think should be avoided?

Not at all! Your outfit may be important in some traditional fields (banking, insurance…) or for certain positions (account relations for example). I worked in telecommunications and e-commerce and there is no dress code. If you have a doubt, wear something neutral (no bright colors, no t-shirts with writing…). At my last job, no one wore a tie, not even the CEO!

  • I did an interview, should I send an email to thank them? How long should I wait before checking back in?

It’s nice but not necessary. If you want to, two days after the interview is good.

  • Do you look candidates up online before the interview? Do you take their digital personality into account?

That’s a myth! No one has the time to do that, we go through so many applications, we never do that. From time to time, we may to narrow it down or for a more ‘serious’ position. Plus, recrutement software does the work for us! When you apply with your email address, it links your application with your social media profiles… it makes life easier!

Thank you, Jessica, for taking the time to answer my questions, and I hope that you’ll find them useful! If you have anymore questions, or if you have a juicy anecdote (maybe about a mandarin) about a first day at work, please share in the comment section!

Hugs and kisses! Simoné

Translated by Whitney Bolin