by Joe Turner
Video resumes offer a new tool to get your foot in the door with a growing number of employers today. But are they an advantage for you the job-seeker?
A video resume is a short video of the job-seeker essentially selling himself or herself to potential employers. Contrary to its name a video resume is not your resume on video. It’s actually a short promo enticing the employer to take a look at your “real” resume online.
Typically these videos consist of a short sales pitch delivered on-camera answering the question “why should you hire me? Using a Web cam camcorder or digital camera most job-seekers film their own video. They then upload it to sites on the Web where potential employers might view them. You’ll still need your conventional paper resume though since video resumes are used primarily to attract attention helping job-seekers stand out among the rising competition on the Web.
Will This New Format of Resume Fly?
It remains to be seen whether this new format will take off with actual employers and recruiters or fall flat on its face. Some informal studies claim that considerably more than 80 percent of respondents replied that they would definitely look at a video resume if given the opportunity. And why not? Given a low risk on the part of the employer it’s easy to see how this unique format can add a new perspective to an old face — the paper resume.
For some time now early-adopting job-seekers have been posting their videos directly to Web 2.0 sites such as YouTube and MySpace.
Are video resumes worth all this fuss? Considering the huge dollar investments supporting this new technology by so many corporations video resumes may be worth considering on that factor alone. This growth wouldn’t happen without the potential for profit and timesavings for job-search sites and employers. Although some dissenting voices have been raised within the industry most notably around possible discrimination concerns acceptance has been mostly positive so far.
A Few Pointers for Video Resumes
Here is the way it works: As a candidate you are typically allowed from one to three separate video uploads to these sites in addition to uploading your conventional resume. You can link your video to your full bio including your real” resume. Employers can perform the usual keyword search and view the resulting videos before looking at the resumes. It’s an easy click for employers to view the full bio of candidates they wish to learn more about.
If you are thinking about creating a video resume of your own your main advantage will be increased exposure. The video resume also opens up a new visual element that can play to your advantage. The downside is that you can appear unprepared or even downright foolish. Last fall a Yale graduate sent his video to a major Wall Street investment firm and later found his video posted on YouTube mocked throughout the Internet for its preposterous bragging style.
Although all that’s required to record your own video is a digital video recording device that can upload to the Web it helps to know what you’re doing. Think of the video resume as a short trailer for a new movie. It has all the action elements necessary to entice you to see the movie itself. Same with your video. It should be brief and to the point.
Free advice is available but you may wish to invest in some education to guide you through the scripting and recording process. Some individuals in higher-level executive positions are hiring producers who charge up to $3500 for a professionally produced video. Most candidates won’t need such elaborate production but some forethought in planning and scripting would be well advised for this new technology still in the infant stage. No doubt the format will evolve considerably in the coming years.
Final Thoughts on Video Resumes
Video resumes are offering a new wrinkle to the job-search process because they offer both timesavings and a new dimension to candidate evaluation for employers and recruiters. Time will tell how widespread this acceptance will be within the industry. At this point though the added exposure you may receive could be reason enough to add a video resume to your job-search approach. The major caveat is to educate yourself to produce as high a quality product as you can. Remember your video may easily be viewed by thousands of people across the world. So put your “best face” forward.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college career and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
As a recruiter Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their career. He makes it easy for anyone to find and land the job they really want all on their own in the shortest time possible. Discover more insider job-search secrets.