I used to believe that video resumes were the next greatest thing to hit the job-seeking market.  Imagine, you can put your best foot forward by highlighting your charisma and your wit – all in a simple three-minute video profile!

As a matter of fact, I found a video resume, G’s video resume, on YouTube which I thought was brilliantly done!


This past week, a Wall Street Journal article profiled several online video resume companies where you can pay to have a video resume created and hosted.  They found varying results in terms of the quality of the end-product.

Bottom line?

From my research, video resumes are still a waste of time, generally.

There are a few niche creative fields that would consider a video resume, in context of the body of a creative portfolio, but the HR professionals I’ve spoken with say that there are several problems with video resumes.

1.)  They don’t have time.  There’s a glut of resumes that comes across for one job posted.  The HR department has already programmed an Applicant Tracking System to help screen qualified candidates.  The traditional resume/cover letter still has to do the job of convincing a recruiter you have the skills/background and experience to qualify for the job and an interview.  There’s just not enough time to view a video resume.

2.) The laws are sketchy on video resumes.  HR recruiters are afraid that they would be accused of judging a candidate’s video resume based on if they are pretty/ugly/female/male/white/asian, etc., etc.  Yes, they could be accused of that at any time during the interview process, but weeding out people in the initial round of consideration based on a video resume could open a hornet’s nest.

3.) Unless a video resume is done professionally, it will not help you, it will hurt you.  There is a great level of skill to creating a video of any kind.  Professionals in TV News, PR and Advertising understand the intricacies of video; you need to consider what you will say (and how it comes off), know about lighting and video angles, understand what type of clothes are attractive on screen, know how to speak in front of a camera, the use of makeup to cover up oily blemishes, etc., etc.

Do you want to include creative editing to show visuals of projects you’ve worked on?  Do you want your video to tell a story that emphasizes your accomplishments or do you just want to look in the camera and give a passionate plea to be hired?  Using your hand-held video camera or webcam is a risky and many times fatal strategy.

There may be a time in the near future in which video resumes are an accepted practice, but for greatest impact, spend your time researching the companies you are applying  to and customize your resumes and cover letters to the jobs being posted.

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