The Video Resume
The latest trend in the employment marketplace is the video resume. These presentations waver between homemade versions from job seekers equipped with Web cams and movie-making software to versions that are professionally produced by videographers, executive search firms, or special video resume services. While the popularity of such resumes is growing, they remain uncharted territory for most job hunters and employers, many of whom are wary of the potential discrimination based on race, age, or other factors that would not be obvious from a more traditional resume.
You can view a variety of video resumes online by doing a simple search. You will also find sources for these productions in Appendix B. Be sure to view several samples before creating your own so that you have a good idea of what works and what doesn't and whether this format is a good fit for you. Many of them seem a little bit like infomercials, but it is usually the individual's overall appearance and comfort level speaking on camera that give some candidates leverage in their job hunt.
Eighty-nine percent of employers said they would watch a video resume if it were submitted to them, with the primary reason being to better assess a candidate's professional presentation and demeanor. Only 17 percent admitted to actually having viewed this kind of job search technology.
No doubt the usage of video resumes will continue to grow as technology permeates all facets of our workplaces, but just like the traditional resume, you may want to have several versions depending on your target audience. What can you convey in video that would not be possible in print? Are you truly making yourself a more desirable candidate on screen or will your credentials be better represented in a traditional format? Be careful not to get caught up in a trend that isn't advantageous to your personality or skill set. You don't want your video resume to seem like a bad TV audition. However, if you are comfortable on camera, speak well, and have good stage presence, a video resume may give you a leg up on the competition.
Tips for preparing an effective video resume:
Dress as though you were going to the interview
Talk into the camera; make good eye contact
Smile and speak clearly, without pauses, and not too fast
Introduce yourself by your first and last name
Outline your skills, experience, education, and what you can contribute
Eliminate background noises or other distractions
Keep it short — two to three minutes maximum
Conclude with a thank you and your contact information
Some of the major job boards and specialty sites now have sections for you to upload your video. You can also create your own page and link to your video resume. Have others screen it to get their opinion. If the reaction is favorable, include a link for viewing on your e-resume.