I read an outstanding article by Megan O'neil over at Social Times entitled Are Online Video Resumes The Wave Of The Future? Using a great example video, she wonders aloud if it might become the standard moving forward. Is video the next big evolution in the world of employment-seeking? And I was so motivated by what she had to say that I decided to write my own article answering her question: absolutely it is!
The author shares a few silly video resumes from the TV show How I Met Your Mother and actor Michael Cera, but then she gets to the video that spurred her article. It's an online video resume from a PR specialist named Graeme Anthony. It's professional, charming, and pretty short--with links added at the end of the video for those who wish to find out more information about Anthony or his work.
Take a look:
50,000 views in three months for a personal video resume is pretty impressive--even more so when you realize the video is unlisted, which means the only people who can view it are the ones that have the link. And the response has been all positive. Says Anthony:
"The response has been mind-blowing with offers of interest ranging from small start-up businesses all the way through to large multinational organizations. I've received requests to go work abroad and some high-profile individuals have suggested that I start-up on my own which was extremely flattering.”
O'neil concludes that video resumes, which were once only the realm of comedy material, could possibly see a new wave of popularity in the professional world. And I think she's right--actually, I think she's more right than she knows.
Video is changing everything, and is being embraced as the current "it" form of content. I wrote recently about Google has begun using YouTube embeds on almost all of their official blog posts offering an additional type of content for their users. We've seen how aggressively IBM is embracing video for all facets of their business, from email to conference calls to staff meetings. Even the NFL has added video as a key component to their free online fantasy football game, allowing users to see video of their players' performances instead of just text-based stat lines. Teachers put videos of classroom lectures online. Colleges like Tufts University actively encourage prospective students to submit YouTube videos as admissions applications.
I'm hard pressed to think of any type of website or business that wouldn't benefit in some way from using video. It's creeping into a lot more realms beyond just "personal entertainment." It makes perfect sense to create video resumes. If you're a young professional looking for a new job, I would enthusiastically encourage you to create one for yourself.
Think about the advantages:
1. Stand out from the crowd. 90% of all resumes have the same format--dry verbiage and bland, impersonal data. Boo. If yours is the only application for the position that included a link to a video resume, then what do you think the odds are that you set yourself apart from your competition? I'd say they're pretty darn good. A small percentage of applicants have been getting unique with paper resumes, using witty copy, images, or even a creative layout or font choice. Video is just a natural extension of that sort of thinking. And in the current economic climate, it's more important than ever to give yourself any advantage you can.
2. Show your personality. If you've ever been the hiring manager at any of your jobs, as I have, then you know that after the first handful of resumes or job applications, you eyes gloss over. They all run together after a while, and you're left with 50 pieces of paper that have no clear distinction among them. Video shows a potential employer what you look like, sound like, and act like. It's almost like an initial screening interview. Just like email can never reproduce the nuances of nonverbal communication or vocal inflection, a paper resume can only show employers a small portion of what you have to offer. Video, however, can give a much clearer picture.
3. Demonstration. If you're applying for a skill-based job, video gives you a chance to actively demonstrate your abilities. A traditional resume only lets you brag about yourself.
There are more benefits to video resumes, obviously, but these are the biggest in my opinion.
As video continues to soar in popularity, and the economy continues to struggle, the unemployed or underemployed are going to be looking with renewed intensity for a means of standing out from the crowd. A video resume allows just that.
We used to just make phone calls, now we can Skype with video. We used to type into chatroom boxes, but now we have video chat and Facetime. Video is becoming the dominant way to communicate, and I don't see any reason why resumes should be any different. In fact, I'd say it's inevitable.