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Scope and Future of Video Resumes

March 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 89

Let us first understand what a video resume is. Quite simply, a video resume is your resume recorded on camera. Instead of your accomplishments on paper, in a video resume a candidate would dress up formally, sit/stand in front of a camera and begin a verbal essay on herself, who she is and why she is the best person for the job listing all her accomplishments, education and experiences in a 1-2 min video. You can make it as a very formal speech or you can include some parts of flash animation into it. Of course it should not be like Barney Stinson's in How I Met Your Mother!

So, what are the pros and cons of video resumes?

1. First and foremost, Accent Issues. A video resume (paper or video) will invariably be made in English. That poses the double problem of grammar and accent in countries which do not speak English as their first language. Grammar can still be corrected with the use of a teleprompter behind the camera while a candidate speaks. But accent will always be a challenge for a working population which will always be divided among varying accents. Some will try to speak with an American accent, others with a British accent and the rest will be those whose native language isn't English and thus do not know how to speak the language properly!

This poses another hazard to the talented lot who are not proficient in English. As a resume is the first step towards creating that valuable first impression, how about a candidate who cannot speak well? Will an HR manager hire her? Will the employer even wait for the part in the video where the candidate tells the manager about the awesome skills she possesses or the terrific projects she has done?

2. Time and difficulty of location of data. The second but more important factor which goes against a video resume is, 'Who has the time?' A video resume typically varies from 1 - 3 minutes in length. A video longer than that is never going to be viewed for obvious reasons. The thing is, who even has that 1 minute?! It is a proven statistic that HR managers scan a paper resume and decide whether or not to spend the next 2 minutes reading it in the first 20-40 seconds. How do you do that in a video resume? You cannot, simply because all the information is hidden. It keeps coming to you but at intervals and then goes away into oblivion.

Again, what if an employer is specifically looking for a person with excellent academics or say, a particular skill set in Telecom Business Analytics? In a paper resume, such a filter could be applied almost instantly (by jumping to a particular section or skimming). In a video, you just need to wait and see when the candidate actually talks about this skill of his or if he even decides to mention his university grades or just skip that part altogether; which brings us to the next difficulty...

3. No Format. There can never be a standard format for a video resume. If there is, it would have destroyed the very purpose of a video resume - creative representation of data. Now, because there is no standard way of vocalizing your resume it becomes difficult to locate data in a video resume. As I said before, you got to wait till the candidate 'decides' to throw in the information the HR manager is looking for.

4. Beautiful vs. Ugly. It is a natural tendency for a human being to look at faces which are pleasant to see, while turning away from the ones that are ugly. Again, the average human being's obsession with fair skin is ubiquitous. This scenario does not leave any room for a poor faced or even a physically handicapped but extremely talented individual to publish his video resume. Because as we are talking about first impressions here, in a video resume the first impression will always be your face value (which includes how well you are dressed). Now although in an ideal situation this should never happen, but unfortunately as we are talking about practicality here, in a video resume there will almost always be biasness in favour of the fair skinned and smartly dressed. Talent and skills will only find the second row seat.

5. Who will make a video resume? Even if video resume begins to catch up to paper format, there will still be a very large number of senior and mid-level professionals who may not go with the idea. Reason - a mental block. Even if they do, is it possible to recreate the entire database of say a well established job portal in a video format? I don't think so. Then there is the problem of tagging a video file. Of course there will be meta tags associated with each video, but who writes them? Candidates themselves will try to include as many tags as possible, which in many cases will be misleading for the HR managers. A third party tagging is possible though at the expense of some really good technology. But such an attempt will again face a lot of difficulty because of accent issues!

6. During the Interviews. This should not even be discussed. An interview panel will always question the prospective employee on her resume. A video resume does not make sense on the interview table. Then again, HR managers generally look up a candidate's paper resume and make their markings and highlights before sharing it with the management. The management then decides who to call for further interaction. What happens in a video resume?

7. Video conferencing. After all these negatives, I feel video resume does offer a good parallel approach - Interviews through video conferencing. Although this is already in place in many organizations, interviewing candidates at the first level of screening through video conferencing can save a lot of time (and time is money) spent in calling them at the company's offices.

At best a video resume can serve a purpose by being an add-on to the traditional (and more useful) paper resume. Overall I think if video resumes do try to make a mark, the reception will best be lopsided.

Visit for more insightful articles on careers, interviews, employment trends and of course resumes and cover letters.

Rajat (Founder,

Source: EzineArticles
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