No One Wants to See Your Video Resume ... Really!

video resumeDespite the career-crushing video resume of Aleksey Vayner that spread virally across the Internet a few years ago, it looks like more and more job seekers continue to jump on the video resume bandwagon, thinking that a video resume is a way to differentiate themselves in a competitive job market.

Stories on video resumes (such as the recent Hire Me video where a college grad sang a song to employers explaining his background and asking for a job) seem to be fueling the video resume frenzy.

But if you think that video resumes are a better alternative to traditional resumes, think again. These days we all want our information fast. Everyone needs to be a master scanner just to keep up with the incredible amount of information that is put in front of them each day.

And the process of reviewing resumes is no different. No one is actually reading them through. Hiring authorities are giving them a quick glance and/or using applicant tracking systems to slice and dice your data and determine a match between your candidacy and their open job. Hiring managers are looking for keywords and impact verified by strong metrics: the facts ma'am, just the facts. So in today's fast-paced world, why would anyone want to look at a video resume ... or video resumes from 500 applicants? Currently there is no real way to parse the information; few will take the time to view the video or even fast-forward through it.

Here's what several hiring experts have to say about video resumes:

Bill Gaffney, an executive recruiter for Amaxa Group:

"When I and many of my counterparts look at a resume, the second thing we look at after experience are the accomplishments. With a paper resume, I can find this information in less than a minute. But there is no way to quickly spot accomplishments on a video resume."

"In addition, HR departments are required to keep resumes they receive and accept. A video requires much more storage than a Word document and can prove more cumbersome for companies."

Gaffney viewed one video resume, and here is what he said:

"The job seeker doesn't tell me what he does. He doesn't talk about what he has accomplished for his former employers. Listing computer skills is a waste. Anyone from 5- to 45 can do a pie chart and most of the other things he talks about. Unless he is focused only on a leading-edge start up, this is too glitzy with no content. I doubt any HR person would look at this for longer than five seconds."

Tony Deblauwe, founder of HR consulting firm HR4Change:

"Most managers want to go through selection quickly. Video resumes require more time."

Deblauwe also offered feedback on a video resume:

"I don't 'get' his brand and I am not sure what he can do for the company. The presentation is disjointed and seems amateurish. Hiring managers would kill me if I made them sit through this."

Sheila Wyatt, of HR Geek 4U (and a former HR professional at several Fortune 100 firms):

"Unfortunately, there are still hiring managers out there who have biases because of age, sex, ethnicity, etc. To me, a video resume is just as bad as putting a picture on a resume. I want the hiring manager to initially determine the candidate's qualifications based on what is put forth on paper so they can be as objective as possible."

Here is Wyatt's input on another video resume:

"The video is choppy and not well organized and the references to other companies (Microsoft) and other people (Karl Rove) have nothing to do with Trent. To quote the video, no I don't really know Trent Willis at the end of the video."

Now, this is not to say that video and other rich media have no place in your job-search campaign. Very brief presentations that deliver a message of value can be created through tools like Visual CV, a personal Web site or blog, or a presentation on Slideshare that is linked to your LinkedIn profile.

But use these tools as an additional way to support your candidacy or as a follow-up to complement a first interview -- rather than as your initial strategy for getting the hiring manager's attention.

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I would like to know why you are using only white males in this piece on "how NOT to do something"? Where are the females and blacks looking foolish? Got an answer for that one?

March 06 2010 at 5:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The whole idea of the " video resume" just simply negates some of the advantages of a job seeker. When your resume is read,the reader is asking himself does this person get a second look, not does this person get the job, just a second look If your resume leaves enough questions then the answer is yes the longer your resume is under review the better your odds. The video resumes shown hear would not get past the screening process let alone be taken seriously. Might work for the creative fields but it'll get you knocked rite out of the box you were thinking out side of when you made it in most technical or professional fields.

March 06 2010 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice try Lynn....but its too late for you to fix your clever, but lazy nephew's reputation.

March 06 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stan Poe

--But wouldn't you agree that if-and-when "a resume" leads to an actual interview, you could have eliminated those interviewees that you later say, "WOW... what an idiot... they looked good on paper; but can't carry on a conversation or even put two words together"~ Have you ever experienced [even] one of those type of interviews??? -Where [they] looked good on paper, but wouldn't look me in the eye, can't "present" themselves well~? -Please consider that!

March 06 2010 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nobody is addressing the real issue here... WHAT A BUNCH OF TOOLS!!! ARE THEY SERIOUS?!?!

March 06 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Uh, the first one is MEANT to be a joke...just look at the person's other videos XP

And I'm pretty sure the second was meant to be one, too. Do research before writing articles.

March 06 2010 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well said Pop's.
As a father of 2 adult daughters, (22 & 25)
I really do "get it"
People are such critical A-holes most of the time.
Well wishes to you and Family.
Lou in Cali.

March 06 2010 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

first 3 postings are spambots
tell tale signs all over it

March 06 2010 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm not sure where Barbara got these videos, but I cannot believe these are seriously being cited to prove her point. I know at least 5 male friends of mine who could, would, and probably have made funny videos like this in their apparently infinite spare time (intended lovingly guys :)). These are obviously intended to be humorous. If she wanted to make a valid, well-supported claim she would have done a little more research and found some real videos to back her up.

March 06 2010 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The first he has that nasty looking beard thats untrimmed and looks like he has chronic bad breath. I couldn't imagine looking through these to find a prospective employee. A lot of nonsense. Well on to robbing and pillaging. It pays better more exciting and I pick my own hours.-- Jail, three hots and a cot and a vocational skill. .........till next time.

March 06 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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