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The Pros and Cons of Video Résumés

Aug 24th 2010 at 4:09 PM


The Pros and Cons of Video Résumés

These days of modern media technology some people are using the internet and CDs to create a digital résumé. Some job applicants include a short clip in an email they forward to prospective employers. Here are some pros and cons.

Employers can search through video resumes to find qualified candidates to fill their positions, while job-seekers can post their video résumé, making their skills available to the world.

Video résumés are beginning to catch on in the job search community. They are more of a self-promoting commercial than a list of past work experiences. The video résumé allows employers to see aspects of a person's personality that don't translate well to the traditional paper résumé such as verbal communication skills and enthusiasm. That is why this new format is increasingly becoming popular.

It could be very difficult to produce a professional video résumé. There is plenty of software to assist in the editing process, many of these new digitalized applications may appear poorly done low budget films with bad lighting and bad scripts….yes, you would need a script to make a video résumé.

A video résumé should not be done cold without prompts. It may take several attempts and shouldn't be done in only one sitting. Plan the dialogue to avoid rambling on or drawing a mental blank. This is why multiple takes might be necessary. After all, employment applicants are not trained actors. You would want to appear professional so use cue cards, but come across as conversational as if you were on an employment interview.

As with a traditional résumé, employers have a limited amount of time to view your video résumé so keep it brief and to the point. An employer will use a video résumé to get a better idea about the candidate's personality so this is not the time to show off your karate trophies or coin collection or anything else that does not pertain to the job.

Considering the creative talent that can go into a good video resume, some feel that this format may be biased against those who lack in technical abilities. Another concern is that video resumes maybe used by some prospective employers as a means to differentiate candidates using completely non-work related criteria such as gender, race, or physical appearance.

Remember, if an employer does this, then these individuals would likely fall victim to such judgmental behavior at the job interview. In circumstances such as this, the same anti-discriminatory laws that protect applicants in other situations should still be in effect. But, how would you know?

Employment seekers who do create and send video résumés while they're still something of a novelty may have an edge over the competition. While e-mailing a video is more creative than a paper résumé, employers are more likely to click on a link to check out a video than to open a Word doc with someone's unsolicited résumé.

If an employer liked the presentation coupled with a traditional résumé, the candidate with the video would find themselves differentiated from the rest of the candidates in the pool. It would give them an advantage from a screening process standpoint.

*CIO Business Technology Leadership

 

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