Is a Video Resume Right for You?

Video Resume

Everyone is looking for ways to stand out in the job market. One option that some have embraced is the video resume. Thanks to smartphones and sites like YouTube and Vimeo, creating and distributing a video resume is easier than ever.

The advantage of a compelling video resume is that hiring managers can get a better sense of the person behind the traditional paper resume. If done well, it can showcase your personality and potential fit with an employer’s work environment. However, video resumes do have drawbacks. A poorly executed video resume can actually make it harder for hiring managers to get a sense of your skills and characteristics. And some companies automatically bypass these resumes in order to avoid potential discrimination claims.

A video resume isn’t for everyone

Before you make a video resume and hit the upload button, think carefully about whether it will help or hurt your chances of getting a job interview. Professionals in the following industries are likely to see the most success with a video resume:

  • Marketing, advertising and public relations. If you’re applying for a job that requires killer presentation skills, a video resume can help you show off your abilities and professional polish.
  • Public speaking. When applying for jobs that require a lot of public speaking — for example, in sales or training — you can use a video resume not only to introduce yourself but also to include clips of yourself in action.
  • Multimedia. For professionals who create multimedia content, a video resume can be one more way to demonstrate your editing or motion graphics skills.
  • Broadcast. Candidates for jobs as newscasters, television hosts or film professionals have long used video show reels, mailing out old-school VHS tapes of their best clips years before the Internet came along. If this is your field, consider starting your show reel with a video resume to introduce yourself. 

When to stick to the traditional format

Of course, there are times when it’s best to stick to a traditional resume:

You’re not comfortable on camera. People who are shy may want to reconsider a video resume. One big goal of this format is to show employers your personality. If you tend to get nervous or clam up as soon as a camera turns on, you obviously won’t achieve this objective.

The employer asks for a standard resume. A job posting might have a very specific application process, for example, or require job candidates to paste their resumes and cover letters in an online form.

A video resume won’t help you sell yourself. For many job seekers, a video resume simply won’t add much value. If you’re applying for a position as an accountant, for instance, employers will probably find it easier and more convenient to review your skills and work experience on paper (or, in a PDF or Word document, to be more accurate). 

You prefer to remain private. Even though it’s possible to make your video private, you’re still putting details of your life on the Internet, and there’s a chance your video resume gets wider distribution than you anticipated. As always, make sure that what you post is something you won’t later regret.

Resumes aren't the only things migrating to video. More employers are using video interviews to meet with job seekers. Be sure to watch our video below for video interview tips.


How to Make the Most of a Video Interview

Tags: Resume