HR=Humans Represent: Lights, Camera, Resume

Initially it sounds like a great way to land a job – creating a video resume to get you the interview. I know it shows creativity, communication skills, and your fashion sense, but is it a little TOO much information too soon? I think so. If you’ve read some of my other job search blogs here on GovLoop, I usually am touting new innovative ways to get that next job, but this approach seems like a not-so-great idea, and here are the reasons why:

  1. Thousands of unemployed people are doing it. This makes the idea less innovative, first off. Secondly, just go to You Tube. Many of these video resumes are located here. I understand how one may be going a little crazy being unemployed, but you don’t want to look like it, and many of these people do!
  2. The money it costs. They run $50 (for guided tutorials) up to $7,000 for an “executive Web portfolio package”. Who knows what the ROI will be.
  3. DIY typically isn’t an option. I know it’s tempting to get out the video camera, but I’m sure that for most of us, the effort put in shows a result that’s gone horribly wrong. The lighting, the sound, the background, the lack of your smile (the appearance is that of being mad or bored) and the rambling of thoughts are forever documented (or the editing job is lacking).
  4. Who wants to be a narcissistic self-promoter? Can you honestly think of someone who looks good trying to sell themselves? Why risk being cheesy, or coming off as a used car salesman (unless of course, you are one!).
  5. Who has the answers to the Video Resume etiquette questions?I don’t think even Emily Post can answer most of these – the proper length of the video, how to distribute your final product, should you include references (by the way, does this mean they should provide a video testimonial along with your resume?) and most importantly, where to post your creation on the World Wide Web so that recruiters will find your video resume and review it?
  6. Who actually views video resumes? Not many people involved in hiring! If you put your video resume on YouTube, expect the world to watch and be entertained…not necessarily compelled to call and subsequently hire you. Discreet job hunters post their video resumes on walled-off recruiting websites, where viewers who are serious about hiring are more likely to watch.
  7. What do recruiters actually do with video resumes? Hiring managers, headhunters, and recruiters say they avoid these videos. There are a number of reasons: no time to watch them, the compliance issues with antidiscrimination guidelines they create for employers, and how do you include these in the standard applicant-tracking system anyways?
  8. The hiring manager’s perception. Why not wait until you receive the phone call and have past the resume review process? Recruiters who haven’t viewed video resumes say that if they did, they would use it as a method to screen candidates out. Kind of sucks not getting an interview because they didn’t like your mustache, or your power suit didn’t quite cover up that tattoo of yours. I say play it safe, and wait until it’s too late to say no to you!

I understand that desperate times call for desperate measures. If I haven’t convinced you to scrap the idea, (or you work in a field that requires social media savvy and creativity) and you still want to pursue this – contact me here on GovLoop, and I’d be happy to give you a few guidelines from the hiring manager’s perspective.

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Avatar photo Bill Brantley

@GovLoop – I love this story! I would use it in my courses when I was teaching Communication students how to market themselves. This was the section entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Lie On Your Resume.”

Remember, Impossible is Nothing! 🙂

Kathleen Smith

Tricia thanks for this! It is interesting the video resumes have been around for awhile and there seems to be alot of interest in promoting them; namely from the companies that create them! This along with a few other “must haves’ in the resume/job seeker/hiring industry really seem to be about the vendor rather than the job seeker. Good strategy, implementation and follow through are some of the unfangled ways to find a job.

Sterling Whitehead

Has anyone ever here ever sent in a VHS video resume? If so, please share it on YouTube. It would be immensely gratifying (for me at least).

Jay S. Daughtry, ChatterBachs

I hadn’t heard about this trend, Tricia. You certainly make a logical argument against this practice- particularly if the people one is most hoping to impress are simply not watching. Thanks for posting.

Carol Davison

One creative thing that I did was when I realized that a high level leader had written a book (which demonstrated that his organizaiton was a 21st century leader in HR, my field) I emailed him regarding it AND ACTUALLY READ THE BOOK. I am going back for my second developmental assignment interview soon.


Oh noes! I can’t watch the YouTube video! It says the associated account has been terminated. (sigh) And I really needed a laugh today. 🙁

Kay Garth

Tricia, this is my favorite post. I think video resumes are very annoying unless you’re looking for an acting job. This would be more for a casting director. l:) Good Point