The concept of video résumés is becoming mainstream with the help of the YouTube generation. Not just an applicant reading his or her written résumé to a camera, video résumés serve as a “short promo enticing the employer to take a look at your real résumé online,” according to Joe Turner, a career expert from CareerBuilder.com. “Think of it as a short trailer for a new movie.”
The new medium is supposed to act as an additional element during the interview process, meaning it goes along with the written résumé and cover letter. Mark Oldman, co-president and co-founder of Vault, a media company focused on careers, says a video résumé helps employers gain a new perspective of each applicant, serving as the living and breathing part of the written résumé. You can communicate your ability to speak as well as your passion for the job. And it steps in when distance prevents you from coming in for an interview. “It gives a window into an applicant’s personality,” says Rod Kurtz, senior editor at Inc.com. “A dynamic personality can’t be conveyed in a creative application on paper.”
One drawback to the new résumé is that some employers hesitate when introduced to the new concept. Going through the videos could serve as a time-waster for managers, especially when they aren’t familiar with the video format. And if a jobseeker isn’t interested or passionate about the job, it is more obvious in a video due to a stiff delivery: terrible body language and poor facial expressions.
Some employers are concerned they’ll be accused of discrimination. Because the employer can see the candidate, there is a possibility he or she can judge based on the person’s skin color, ethnicity or disability. But Brian Kruger, president of CollegeGrad.com, says there is no bigger risk to discriminate in a video versus a live interview. He says a greater disadvantage is the inability to adapt your responses on the video to fit each employer’s needs.
No established rules exist to explain the proper outline for a video résumé. Todd Raphael, editor-in-chief of ERE.net, an online source for recruiters and human-resources professionals, believes many employers have reservations regarding the fairly new interview method. Because employers aren’t sure what classifies a good or bad video résumé, most don’t require job applicants to submit one with their written résumé and cover letter.
That doesn’t mean managers aren’t open to the idea, Oldman says. Eighty-nine percent of employers say they would look at the video résumés, according to a Vault survey. “Because video résumés are such a new phenomenon, there aren’t yet universal guidelines for their creation,” says Oldman. “We conducted this survey to give jobseekers a better idea of what works best in video résumés.”
Peggy Fleming, president of High Tech
Market Inc., a career company in San Diego, Calif., that provides video résumé software for Internet users, says video résumés are more common in Europe and Asia and they are making their way to the United States. She claims her company’s two-year-old program is the most innovative video résumé software available. “We make sure jobseekers use the software in the right way and companies don’t misuse it,” says Fleming.
Once the user has purchased a webcam, he or she is ready to start the process. Using a personal e-mail address and the option of password protection, users can create their video résumé by using a Web-based version or a downloaded version. The software at www.gocvone.com  provides different sections in order to help structure the video. Allowing users to go back and review the recorded sections gives applicants the opportunity to edit it until they are satisfied with the results. And there is even a teleprompter function. Jobseekers can return to their video résumé account for 12 months in order to make changes.