It seems that just about everything is moving to an online medium, and this is no different in the field of recruiting. LinkedIn is a great electronic resume, and other social networks can really add a new dimension to the hiring process. What could be better? As it turns out, video can be better.

More and more companies are asking for video resumes from candidates if possible. This is of course not necessary because not everyone has access to video equipment, but many candidates are given the option nonetheless. Some predict that video resumes will be the norm in just a few short years, yet others aren’t so accepting. This led me to wonder: Is a video resume really a good idea?

Video Resume Pros

  • Interview – Many times a company looks at a resume and then decides if they’d like to meet for an in-person or VoIP style interview. Although interviews are a great time to ask questions and interact with someone, they are also a time to get a feel for the attitude and demander of a person. Someone could look great on paper, but be completely different in person. A video resume would save a company by time getting that over all at once.
  • Identity – Hundreds of resumes can start to blend together after a while, but videos are a bit more personal. They really identify the person as unique, so hiring managers would have a better time keeping candidates straight.
  • Re-Evaluation – Most candidates feel uncomfortable when a potential employer wants to video-tape an interview; however candidates are usually more comfortable when they can edit their answers and create the video themselves. This makes it easy for employers to go back and remember each candidate.

Video Resume Cons

  • Technological Issues – This almost forces someone to fill out an application online and then attach a video. This could potentially lead to attachment issues or other technological issues. This is not fair to a candidate, yet in some instances they may not even realize that the video wasn’t received.
  • Availability – As discussed above, not everyone has access to a camera that takes high-quality videos. Although creating a video resume won’t be required, it is tough for someone on paper to compete with someone on screen. You feel like you know someone much better when you can put a personality to a name, so the playing field isn’t quite level.
  • Nerves – Some people might get very shy in front of a camera. If you’re hiring for an accounting position, chances are you’re working with candidates who haven’t had a lot of public speaking experience. If you judged by video alone, you may be missing a whole side of someone that you’re not getting to see.
  • Judgment – You always run the risk that an employer will judge someone based upon looks alone. This could happen consciously or unconsciously by the potential employer, but it can get messy nonetheless. It’s important that a company owner look at both the video and a list of a candidate’s qualifications; not just the former.

Although video resumes haven’t taken off just yet, it is important for a company to consider both the pros and the cons so they can be prepared for the day when this does become popular. Are you going to offer the option of a video resume? How are you going to make sure it is a good decision?

Photo Credit: athome.allentate.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to business credit cards. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including credit card processing to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.

Views: 2826

Comment by Amanda DiSilvestro on March 26, 2012 at 5:29pm

First of all, you look great! Second of all, I think that thought enters everyone's mind. Part of the reason I wrote this article was because I just don't know how I feel about it. Unfortunately, I do think people are going to be judged based on the way they look. This of course will not happen everywhere, but I think you're right--it will happen. It's going to be very interesting to see if more businesses adopt this approach. 

Comment by Amanda DiSilvestro on March 26, 2012 at 5:41pm

Definitely let me know! I'd be interested to see how it went.

Comment by Ben McGrath on March 26, 2012 at 6:48pm

@Denise & Amanda,

If you are not going to be considered based on your looks (good or bad) then it will happen the first time the potential employer sees you.

The video could save you a trip going to an office.

I'm undecided on how I feel about the trend and usage. In some instances it would be a good tool. In other instances it may not be applicable. In still other scenarios, it could be part of the entire interview/hiring procedure, with no particular weight put on any of the segments.

How are you in person? How are you on camera? What do your qualifications look like on paper? How do you relate to 3 or more people at a round table Q & A? Many, many facets are rolled into the hiring process.

Good discussion topic.

All the best,

Ben McGrath

  

 

Comment by Amanda DiSilvestro on March 26, 2012 at 6:52pm

I like to think that those who may have initially judged someone based on looks could change their minds once meeting someone and talking with someone face to face, but I think you might be right. In 95% of situations, it's going to happen whether it's on video or in person. I say think of it this way--if they don't want you based on your looks, you don't want to work for them anyways. 

I think you make good points as well about some of the different scenarios. I still don't know how I feel! I think that I would like having this option as an employer, but I don't think I would like it as a hopeful employee (hypocrisy at its finest!) 

Thanks for reading!

Comment by Jerry Albright on March 27, 2012 at 10:38am

Unless you are a model - or TV personality - you’re not hired based on how you look. You are hired based on your experience, ability to communicate effectively and interact with others. Being able to highlight those skills, in conjunction with your resume, puts you in a league of your own when competing with all the other hopeful candidates for the decision maker’s attention.

Though video resumes may seem interesting on the surface, their application has not been widely accepted (and won't be for the foreseeable future) in the industry.

In my opinion though - resumes have got to provide a better idea of the person being considered. We developed a tool that - in my opinion - hits the sweet spot between "too much" and "not enough". My clients don't want to see someone. They DO want to hear how they communicate though.

Here's an example of how we present candidates to our clients. Just click the play button on top of the resume.

The use of audio in conjunction with a well constructed resume is the happy medium hiring managers are looking for. I have not run into any objection whatsoever from my clients. They love it - and it's been a game changer.

Note: I am only bringing this up when the topic surfaces. :)

Comment by Amanda DiSilvestro on March 27, 2012 at 10:54am

Really interesting strategy. I've never heard of that before, but it sounds like it really works. Thanks for sharing :)

Comment by April on March 27, 2012 at 2:26pm

We use video resumes from TalentRooster and our clients love them! Especially the clients with high volume since it does help to remember the applicant. Every time a hiring head says "Who?" we send them a copy of the applicant video and the light bulb goes off. Some clients still request the traditional resume, but video is definitely the new trend in our industry.

Comment by Christopher Poreda on March 27, 2012 at 6:40pm

Agree with Sandra...no benefit.  Too much time, sans the legal ramifications of discrimination claims.

Comment by David DeCapua on March 27, 2012 at 9:42pm

@ Chris - bringing up the discrimination claim is as baseless as making a child wait 30 minutes to swim after eating. It makes the recruiting industry look uninformed and stuck in the past. Virtually every Fortune 500 company is using video to recruit - it just makes better sense. 

Comment by Christopher Poreda on March 28, 2012 at 7:33am

@David...You mean my mother cut heavily into my summer pool time?  As for video, video to recruit, "YES"...video resumes..."NO".

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