Video Resume: To Do Or Not To Do?

I noticed approximately two years ago that more applicants were relying on the video resume format. I am torn about the usefulness of this format. First of all, I think it’s important not to rely solely on the video resume, but to also include a hard copy resume when applying for roles. I also feel that for a majority of roles, a video resume is not only unnecessary, it can be harmful. How well do you know the culture of the company you’re applying to? Is your video in step with that culture? Are your values aligned with theirs and is that evident in your video? If you can’t answer those questions, it may be prudent to forgo this method.

There are a lot of good examples of bad video resumes online. There is the notorious case of Aleksey Varney, who was applying for a role on Wall Street, but became the joke of Wall Street. Workopolis has a spoof video resume (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88g12mflK1s) which demonstrates why a self-serving, unprofessional individual should never make a video resume (or read the dictionary too much!).

Having said that, I do believe there are roles where this format would be beneficial. Any role that requires creativity – marketing, advertising, television, radio – would be a good match for this method. Bear in mind that your video needs to be interesting and hold the interest of the observer.

The general advice seems to be to keep the video resume to three minutes or less. In addition to that, I would suggest making your first 60 seconds very interesting. Engaging a recruiter for three whole minutes is going to be challenging, when in fact we can scan print resumes in a much shorter time. In order to keep our interest while watching a video resume, we must be engaged immediately.  Also, be sure to have your video critiqued by people whose opinion you trust and value. Ask them to be blatantly honest with you and stress the importance that this video plays in finding a new role.

Still interested in creating a video resume? Make sure you do the following:

  • Dress professionally – business attire is necessary.
  • Talk clearly and slowly.
  • Look directly into the camera.
  • Discuss how you would be an asset to the company. Talk about your key attributes.
  • Edit your video until you get it right. Have others critique it.
  • Do your homework – watch examples of both good and bad video resumes until you get the idea of what makes a solid video resume.
  • Include a link to your video resume on your resume.

Lori-Anne Cunningham is a Continuing Education Student currently studying within the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. MCACES offers a comprehensive Employment Advisement program for our students. For more information about Employment Advisement, please visit the MCACES website, www.mcaces.ca or contact Lidia Siino, Employment & Communications Specialist at Lidia.siino@mohawkcollege.ca.

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One thought on “Video Resume: To Do Or Not To Do?

  1. Excellent Story Lori-Anne!

    I believe that this method can be taken one step further, by conducting a video interview with a qualified recruiter (or career consultant). in our recent course on counseling techniques, led by Carol Sweeney, I saw the potential of using this tool as a means of further promoting an applicant.

    It allows for a controlled method of information delivery, by having a interviewer build a conversation through questions, which would normally be asked in a “live” interview.

    Once several runs (takes) have been reviewed and edited, the final copy can be uploaded to a secure site (You Tube), where the applicant can invite (upon request perhaps) to view the interview, after being sent an ID and Password. Control of the video, means that unfortunate incidents such as the one Lori-Anne mentioned can be averted.

    Chris Grice.

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