Believe it or not, the idea of a video resume is not at all novel. They have been around for a while; however, they have not been popular with mainstream hiring practices. So, what is the chance they become the norm? It’s probably fairly slim.
A Brief History of the Video Resume
The first well-known resume that was submitted in video format came about almost a decade ago. In 2006 a Yale graduate named Aleksey Vayner sent a job application packet to the investment bank UBS that included a seven-minute video.
The video, which is titled Impossible is Nothing, is broken into various segments, all of which are intended to self promote Mr. Vayner’s relentless drive to succeed.
You can see a copy of Impossible is Nothing here:
The video is well known more due to how it became a bit of a joke in the investment bank sector than for being a groundbreaking way to try and get a job. Apparently, it was a bit too over the top and could have used a touch of humility.
More Modern Examples
Though Mr. Vayner’s attempt did not bode well with the establishments he was seeking employment with, the idea of a video resume didn’t completely run aground. There are still some individuals who have tried to prove their worth not just on paper but also in video.
Nick Belling from Australia made this video resume a couple of years ago and had lots of success with it:
Shelly Cable hired a video production company to help her make a quality short self-promo:
Kassem Jamal took a different approach and used an animation style instead of a monologue format:
All three of these examples above are fantastically put together. So, what’s not to like?
Slow Down Before You Fire Up Your Digital Video Camera
Yes, Nick Belling got a job. Did Ms. Cable or Mr. Jamal? We’re not sure. And, let’s not forget, Mr. Belling lives in Australia.
If you live in the United States and you are considering testing out adding a video resume to your job hunting toolbox, you might want to think again.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, using and accepting job applications in video format could end up causing more problems than it’s worth.
They specifically state, “…viewing a video may trigger unconscious bias…” which is hard to argue against. They do go on to give some suggestions on how to avoid unconscious bias to firms that are okay with accepting videos as part of prospective employees’ application processes.
Are Video Resumes Useless Then?
Absolutely not. They won’t replace the standard paper resume anytime soon, but that does not mean they don’t have any uses.
Many freelancers and independent contractors use them to show potential clients that they are in fact real people. The contractor and client may never actually meet face-to-face, so in these cases a video introduction is a nice alternative to a traditional interview.
They can also be especially useful for people attempting to change careers or industries. In these scenarios they function more like a cover letter than a resume. They offer a way to explain why you are making the change while also giving you a platform to express what relevant skills will transfer from your old job to the new one.
The Bottom Line
Regular old paper resumes are still the industry standard. From English teachers to construction workers, a well written paper resume is going to be more than enough information for an HR department to determine if you’re the right candidate for them.
If a firm asks for some type of video recording, only submit one if you are comfortable doing so. Also, don’t make the assumption that all hiring departments want a video of you along with a paper resume. Many absolutely do not want one. Still, if you want to try your hand, we offer the authoritative guide on making video resumes. Give it a shot if you’re applying to a dynamic, open-minded industry or position. They might give you the edge you need.