Hi, I'm interested in the Recruiting community's opinion about the wave of Web 2.0 sites that are letting job seekers create their own multimedia profiles as a supplement to (or even replacement for) traditional resumes. VisualCV is one example of this trend. You can see an example of my own VisualCV here:

Scott Herman's VisualCV

There are definitely pros & cons to the idea of a web-based resume. While it can definitely make a candidate stand out or help a recruiter differentiate his candidates with a client employer, there are questions around efficiency of searching (i.e. workload to review multimedia resumes), discrimination dangers, and ability to use these new web-based resumes with old legacy recruiting processes and systems.

I'm interested in your opinions, both good and bad. What do you think? You can see lots of real-world VisualCVs in the Examples Gallery (login required).

Scott (full disclosure - I work for VisualCV.com)

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Hi Scott,

I was initially concerned about the discrimination concerns continuing to be expressed by HR professionals. However, there does seem to a fast ramp -up especially in the recruitment community to source candidates using Web 2.0. I also have incorporated online identity management as part of my offerings and just signed up for VisualCV today. Sites like LinkedIn are being utilized by job seekers and hiring managers but VisualCV offers more robust information.

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the comment. We've thought a lot about this issue. What we've done is include a "switch" configuration setting that allows companies to view VisualCVs with all of the pictures turned off. Recruiters and hiring managers can still see work samples and other elements of the VisualCV, but the obvious "face" pictures are not immediately available during the candidate scan. We're hoping this feature will overcome objections from corporate recruiters and keep them safe from any potential litigation scenarios. The setting is on a company-by-company or recruiter-by-recruiter basis for maximum flexibility. Do you think that helps the EEO/discrimination issue?

Hi Scott,

I do think that will help overcome company objections. Targeting the recruiting community versus companies is a smart move in my opinion. Recruiters are already using cutting edge technology to source candidates. In a way it's funny that US employers are so funny about this considering they Google potential candidates. I will definitely support your site and offer any help you need.

I like the idea. But do not like that it includes interests. Your interests should be separate from your resume. Maybe include a section on professional affiliations.
Thanks for the comment Becki. "Interests" is an optional section, not mandatory. The job seeker can decide whether their interests are appropriate or not for their online bio.

One note - the ability to have multimedia portfolio items (vs. a flat text-based resume) means that interests can be included as an attention-getter or conversation-starter in a way that "Hobbies: Reading" on a paper resume won't. You're also not page-limited. For example, my own VisualCV has a small section at the bottom about my photography hobby that includes a click-through to a complete gallery of recent photos. While not directly related to my professional biography, it's been a topic of conversation brought up in introductory meetings lately. Helps me stand out from a sea of text-based resumes - "remember that guy...". You can see what I mean here: http://www.visualcv.com/scottherman.

Thanks - Scott
As a discrimination lawyer representing employers, I've certainly given this sort of thing a yellow light (at best) in the past. I like the ability to toggle off the picture. I'm not sure, though, why anyone from the recruiter/employer side would want to toggle the picture on (of course, young, good looking candidates want the picture seen).

I have a concern that instead of moving further down the road to an objective, legally defensible hiring process -- a process that absolutely includes recruiters, who may be independently liable -- we are sucking up all this wonderful technology in a way that allows much more subjectivity, and thus unconscious as well as conscious discrimination, both of which are illegal.

Many savvy job seekers were listening in their management theory class when the Prof. quoted Peter F. Drucker, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." They broke to code immediately.

Because their is no standard universally accepted resume format, this situation will continue, and even escalate as researchers, sourcers, recruiters, and HR pros will be compelled to only react. I can not think of any valid or reliable proactive alternative.

All the Best!

George, thanks for weighing in on this discussion. As someone who writes resumes, I have a keen interest in how the laws will impact these tools. It is interesting that the US is the only country that has these restrictions. When writing resumes for Europeans personality is not only encouraged by expected. Are we more bias in the US and as such have need for these laws, or are we missing a bigger picture? I'm also interested in any pending changes as it relates to workplace safety and liability. We could use your insight here, perhaps a blog post is in order?

Bumping - I'm still looking for feedback on VisualCV.com. Since I first posted the question we've added a ton of new functionality and seen membership take off. Thoughts?

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