Q. The job market is so competitive, and trying to stand out from all the rest is a real challenge. I have looked at a few of the on line job help sites and some of them are offering video resumes. They aren’t cheap, and I need to know if they work. Will companies look at the videos before they read a resume.
A. Trying to stand out as a candidate and differentiate yourself from other job seekers is a real challenge, and many people look for ways to get noticed and get hired. At the end of every academic year, there are stories about college students standing on major highways handing out resumes to try and get jobs. Every so often there will be a TV story about someone who rented a billboard to post resume information and a picture to try and get noticed and generate job offers.
Video resumes aren’t quite that outlandish, but they aren’t currently the most accepted method for companies to look for, or screen candidates, or for candidates to sell themselves. The complaint from companies often heard is video resumes are too time consuming, and hiring managers can’t get to the information they really want as quickly as they would like.
There are certain professions which allow for a broader range of creativity in the development and delivery of job search tools like a resume, cover letter, or portfolio. When hiring for television, performing arts, sales, marketing, advertising, graphic or web design roles and even other technology opportunities, hiring managers and human resources staff are more willing to review “innovative” presentations which highlight the skills they are looking for in a successful candidate. Yet even in these professions, organizations are looking for traditional information delivered in a traditional method.
Companies who are willing to use video resumes most often evaluate a paper resume first and are interested enough to take the next step of reviewing the video resume. The goal of the video resume is to generate a face to face meeting, and there are sites like those you are considering, which will help you develop and produce a video resume.
Video resumes also raise concerns about the potential for discrimination related issues which companies are eager to avoid. The video resumes are often compared with long ago resumes of returning soldiers with pictures, which fell out of favor for many of the same concerns. This issue can be overcome with effective human resources practices.
The use of video in the job search process continues to grow as retained search firms and companies choose to limit travel costs and the effectiveness of web video increases. As video enters more aspects of the selection process, (and business in general) candidates must strengthen their video presentation skills. Most people are not skilled in the basics of public speaking, and while video offers unlimited retakes the challenges of video presentation are significant. If you are planning to invest in the video resume itself, invest in making your presentation highly professional television anchor worthy!