To Video or Not to Video? Resume Videos are they going to help or hinder?

Back in 2003 while reviewing submitted hardcopy resumes, there were a number of new submissions that came in with mini-CD disks. Unsure as to what they really were, and concerned of potential viruses our IT department scanned them and once given the approval it was my turn to check them out. To my surprise they simply held the soft-copy of the documents that had been submitted – ok thanks but not needed.


During the Global Career Brainstorming Day (held Dec. 3, 2010) and at least a couple of times a month since then the topic of “Video Resumes” has come across my table. The discuss with peers and clients got me thinking back to 2003 and those little disks and how those candidates almost had something different, but not quite – now had the mini-CD disk held a brief video intro with a few extras that may have made quiet the impression.


In contemplating supporting video resumes, I absolutely see the benefits but can also see limitations or potential consequences:



  • Enables you to target and highlight your experience areas and skills that are specific to why you will be the best candidate for the job
  • It helps create a presence when considering your resume, recruiters/managers will be able to see you presentation, communication and body language skills first hand and quickly
  • If posting it live on the world-wide web, it opens up the breadth of audience you can reach in the industry you are targeting



  • A poorly created video resume will have just as much of a negative impact as a well made one has a positive impact. Be sure to plan out your video resume!
  • Keep it under 2 minutes; Ensure you are in an environment without interruptions, remove any visible clutter, better yet set up a clear background or one that looks like an office setting
  • DO NOT read off your resume; Know what you want to say and have it memorized – if that means multiple video takes that’s part of the process 
  • Be aware, not all organizations function “above board”. Video resumes can be discriminated against
  • Also, some organizations may frown upon or refuse to accept video resumes. Why? The potential of being accused of discriminatory practices. For example in a video resume one’s ethnicity may be assumed visually, and potential judgements made from there on one’s belief systems etc.

What is your take…are there more benefits than consequences to video resumes?

Views: 205

Comment by David DeCapua on February 3, 2011 at 5:08pm
I've been in search, recruitng and staffing for 15 years. Like you, I noticed job seekers becoming more savvy and using technology to their benefit. It occured to me that the paper resumes days are numbered whether I chose to admit it or not. The concerns you noted are spot on - your video must be consistent, professional and short! That's why I created - we've addressed all the concerns and made it very easy. Check it out - I'd love to hear what you think.
Comment by Penni Barefoot on February 4, 2011 at 11:20am
I don't like this idea at all. I feel companies are opening themselves up to a potentail lawsuit from the candidate. How easy would it be for a candidate to say "X company viewed my resume video and didn't hire me because I'm overweight, a certain ethnic group, not a certain ethnic group, I'm a woman, etc, etc. The list could go on and on.
Comment by Karen Lynn on February 4, 2011 at 12:14pm

Way to stay current David!  A 60 second blink is a value bonanza for busy professionals who want 'to get on with it'.


I can't believe we are still bemoaning the legal risk of public visuals like pictures, videos, on-line presence, etc. in this postmodern digital era. If someone is looking for young, pliable professionals and decides I'm not a good fit because my face reads as over 40, then I say, "Thank goodness they didn't waist my time with an interview cause working for that mindset wouldn't be a good fit for me."  I think the majority of today's candidates value the right fit too!  From a candidates vantage point: Video resumes might be a great way to weed out folks not likely to hire them anyway.


Video simply speeds up the process for everyone serious about meaningful work.

Comment by Lisa Switzer on February 10, 2011 at 12:36pm

Here's a twist from a peer who posted on my wordpress blog to the same entry:

R. Cullison wrote: ......"

As far as discriminatory practices, the EEOC said you are allowed to learn the ethnicity, age, or gender of a candidate before meeting with them. The theory being of course that whatever criteria you might discriminate against them through a video is the same you would use upon meeting them. Plus you can determine often someone’s ethnicity from their resume by the school they attended and certainly their age by noting how long they have been in the workforce."


My response - INTERESTING - How about:


In Canada each Province has its own Human Rights Laws that are slightly different from eachother. Some jurisdictions protect workers from discrimination on additional grounds, such as language, social status, or previous convictions for which a pardon has been granted.

I am in Alberta, within our specific Provincial Human Rights Act, Section 7 and 8 address discrimination re: employment practices, and goes on in Section 8 to address applications and advertisements re: employment.

I agree – discrimination can occur based on judgements resulting from reading an applicant’s name, educational background (country credentials were attained in), previous work experience etc.


The question then is, will Video Resumes increase the frequency of discriminatory practices?


For example: An applicant’s name on a paper resume leads the employer to think they may have a language barrier challenge (i.e. English as a Second Language), the employer still brings them in for an interview because their experience has their interest. Versus, the employer receives a video resume from the same applicant and finds the applicant’s accent in the video to be cumbersome and think their customers will get frustrated if they had to deal with that applicant as a representative of their company. So they decid

Comment by Lisa Switzer on February 10, 2011 at 12:39pm


....So they decide not to invite them in for a face to face interview...regardless of any relevant experience that may have caught their interest at first...


Would this example become more common and is it discriminatory?

Comment by David DeCapua on February 10, 2011 at 3:45pm
Lisa:  Please don't mention that the EEOC is ok with video resumes (although you are 100% correct)!!  I love the fact that so many people are stuck behind that paradigm - it's been a huge competitive advantage for TalentRooster!!  Did you also know that you shouldn't swim for 30 minutes after eating.... 
Comment by Suzanne Levison on February 24, 2011 at 1:34pm
My Search Market, many prospects are involved in some way with, presenting of resume is just an extension of "walking the walk, talking the talk" to them. Senior Exec's seem to be OK  when presented with a video resume of a presented candidate. Still, one must be clear, concise, brief, to the point with content


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