Career Tip of the Day: Video Resumes

So…. video resumes… not a new thing, really. The recession brought with it an unending series of unorthodox strategies to find work, from walking around with a sign board offering services to starting up websites with quirky video clips designed to catch a company’s attention. Did these tactics work in the end? There are the major news stories, the video resumes that went viral, of course, but let’s think of some obvious pros and cons of video resumes to see whether it’s the right way to go for the average job seeker, should anyone stumble across that poor fellow:

Pros
1. A chance to flaunt engaging qualities (like creativity) in a visual way that a paper resume can’t capture.
2. They used to be original and thus you would stand out from the crowd (this is less the case today).
3. Demonstration: If you are applying for a skill-based job, what better way to show you’re qualified than by actively demonstrating your abilities in front of a camera?
4. The process of taking and editing the video (if you do it on your own) is in and of itself a useful skill to learn.
5. It might skip you past the first interview, as companies will get that first impression of you without you even having to come into the office.

Cons
1. Cost: Sure, you can do it with your little webcam, but if you want it to look good, it could cost thousands of $$$$!
2. There are compliance issues with federal anti-discrimination guidelines (so recruiters and hiring managers often avoid them to stay away from the headaches).
3. They have no place in a standard applicant-tracking system (unless Taleo and Oracle take over the world and turn us all into discreet job profiles).
4. They take too long to watch: you’re constantly told HMs take only 10-20 secs to scan your resume… how much can they glean from 10 secs of video instead?
5. It could backfire… imagine a somewhat embarrassing take ending up on YouTube and going viral.

So, what do you think? Are video resumes the wave of the future? Or just a temporary fad for the YouTube generation? Feel free to comment.

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