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Video Resumes

We're journeying through the YouTube era, and our resumes may be coming along for the ride. A New York Times article from April 21 looks at the rise in popularity of video resumes, among employers and job-seekers.

We’re journeying through the YouTube era, and our resumes may be coming along for the ride.

A New York Times article from April 21 looks at the rise in popularity of video resumes, among employers and job-seekers.

According to the article:

“Today’s executives not only have to be photogenic, but also telegenic for anything from basic blogs to podcasts,” said Rachel Weingarten, author of the coming book “Career and Corporate Cool” (Wiley, July 2007). “Since this information is also more widely available and accessible, there’s less of a chance to impress people, and the concern is that the immediate sound bite, video loop or MP3 be dazzling.”

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Vault Inc., a career consulting firm, informally asked employers if they would watch a video resume if it were submitted to them, and most said yes. Employers also said video resumes would become a common addition to future job applications.

“We live in an on-demand world where people want the most detailed information to make a decision, as well as the ability to make that decision quickly,” said Nicholas Murphy, 27, the co-founder of WorkBlast.com. The site, which made its debut last week, aims to help users create online video resumes. It also allows employers to videotape themselves so they can advertise to prospective employees.

One media trainer in the story charges $3,500 for each “two-and-a-half-minute visual resume” he creates for clients. Other media trainers in the article underscore the need to make a lasting and favorable impression, to stay calm during interviews–sound advice.

Still I don’t think video resumes are necessary for job applicants in all fields. Certain professions, such as acting and TV news, are well-served by video resumes: they give applicants a chance to showcase their skills. But for other careers, such as writing, and print and Web journalism, video resumes don’t demonstrate an individual’s dexterity with the written word.

And while I’ve never watched a video resume, the concept seems too glossy, too staged–there’s a human element to feeling “naked” during a job interview, as one source in the Times story suggests. Excessive sugar-coating diminishes that human element; and what if, on interviewing, you don’t perform quite the same as you did in the video resume?

Speaking off-the-cuff is part of interviewing, part of the working world and part of life.

What do you say: Yea or nay on video resumes?

Matt Schneider
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