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by Joe Turner | March 10, 2009


Video resumes offer a new tool to get your foot in the door with a growing number of employers today. But are they an advantage for you, the job seeker?

Also called visumes, it remains to be seen whether this new format will take off with actual employers and recruiters, or fall flat on its face. Some informal studies claim that well over 80 percent of respondents replied that they would definitely look at a video resume if given the opportunity. And why not? Given a low risk on the part of the employer, it's easy to see how this unique format can add a new perspective to an old face - the paper resume.

For some time now, early adapting job seekers have been posting their videos directly to Web 2.0 sites such as YouTube and MySpace. Now, video resumes are hitting the mainstream as many of the major job and career sites are offering video resume hosting, and several new companies are dedicated solely to hosting both employers' and job seekers' videos. In most cases, employers shoulder the costs, and the service is free to candidates.

Are video resumes worth all this fuss? Considering the huge dollar investments supporting this new technology by so many corporations, it may be worth considering on that factor alone. This wouldn't happen unless there were profit and potential timesavings for the job search sites and employers. Although some dissenting voices have been raised within the industry, most notably around possible discrimination concerns, the acceptance has been mostly positive so far.

Here is the way it works: As a candidate, you are typically allowed from one to three separate video uploads to these sites, in addition to uploading your conventional resume. You can link your video to your full bio, including your "real" resume. Employers can perform the usual keyword search and view the resulting videos before looking at the resumes. For the candidates they wish to learn more about, it's an easy click to their full bio.

If you are thinking about creating a visume of your own, your main advantage will be increased exposure. Employers will be more likely to view a short one- to two-minute clip than paw through hundreds of paper resumes. Also, it opens up a new visual element that can play to your advantage. The downside is that you can appear unprepared, or even downright foolish. Last fall a Yale graduate sent his video to a major Wall Street investment firm and later found his video posted on YouTube, mocked throughout the Internet for its preposterous, bragging style.

Although all that's required to record your own video is a web cam, video recorder or digital camera, it helps to know what you're doing. Contrary to its name, a video resume is not your resume on video. It's actually a short promo enticing the employer to take a look at your "real" resume online. Think of it as a short trailer for a new movie. It has all the action elements necessary to entice you to see the movie itself. Same with your video. It should be brief and to the point.

There is a certain amount of free advice available, but you may wish to invest in some education to guide you through the scripting and recording process. Some individuals in higher-level executive positions are hiring producers who charge up to $3,500 for a professionally produced video. Most candidates won't need such a production but some forethought in planning and scripting would be well advised. This is a new technology still in the infant stage. No doubt, it will evolve considerably in the coming years.

Video resumes are offering a new wrinkle to the job search process because they offer both timesavings and a new dimension to candidate evaluation for employers and recruiters. Time will tell how widespread this acceptance will be within the industry. At this point though, the added exposure you may receive could be reason enough to add a video resume to your job search approach. The major caveat is to educate yourself to produce as high a quality product as you can. Remember, your video may easily be viewed by thousands of people across the world. So put your "best face" forward.

As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. Known on the Internet as "The Job Search Guy," Joe has also authored how-to books on interviewing and job search. He's been interviewed on several radio talk shows. Discover more insider job search secrets by visiting:


Filed Under: Job Search

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