There’s been quite a bit of buzz on business networking sites and blogs lately about video résumés. What are the pros and cons of such a concept?
Upon first blush, these types of résumés might sound like an ideal way to constructively and convincingly build a case to get hired, but there are some definite down sides to this medium.
Most people are not actors, and posing in front of an unflinching and non-interactive camera isn’t going to bring out the natural flow that happens when you are projecting yourself in an interview. Anything delivered to the hiring manager’s desk in video form can potentially received as flat and out of context. The advantage of an actual interview is the opportunity to have the natural flow and ‘give and take’ of a conversation. Video résumés don’t deliver this.
Another thing to consider is that in the American workplace, revealing your age before an interview might actually be a way for hiring managers to make subjective decisions about your ‘value’ to the workplace in the backroom, without having the accountability of having a face-to-face interview. Ageism and bias for many reasons are already a problem, and this could be propagated even further with a video résumé, which can reveal a lot of undesirable things about a person before their credentials are even revealed.
It also opens up employers for legal issues. In an online forum about this issue with MSNBC.com, a poster identifying himself only as “Greg in Texas” said:
“I am an employer and I have no plans to watch a video of any applicant. The issue is of a legal nature. Would someone sue me because I chose a better-looking applicant who was less qualified? A younger applicant who is less qualified? You betcha. I would be hung up in court forever and ever.”
Another thing to consider is the detail involved with producing the video résumé- is there going to be an interviewer, or are you going to just rattle off your background to the camera? How are you going to present the format? Is this going to be a formal production with edits and transitions? Or are you going to try and run the camera without breaks? If you don’t spend the money to get this produced professionally, any attempt to bolster your business image could come off amateurish, and could take you out of the running, let alone ending up on YouTube!
The best way to make yourself stand out from the crowd is to be extremely targeted with your résumé, and take the time to punctuate your accomplishments. Quantify, quantify, quantify. Show your value proposition, and do everything you can in your current employer to add to your skill sets, or if you are currently unemployed, volunteer and take continuing education to show that your résumé has traction and you have value.