Should You Create a Video Resume? When and How to Get Creative

The highly competitive job market and the growth of creative opportunities in the digital age have led many to believe that video resumes are the wave of the future. And when you think about it, it seems inevitable. Recruiters for some of the top growing industries are starting to go global, especially healthcare, where positions can sit unfilled for a year or more while the right candidate is found. Now, just by popping in a DVD, employers can get to know you as more than a name on a piece of paper even if they’re thousands of miles away. Many big companies have already embraced video interviewing, which helps them save 70 percent on hiring costs and cuts the time it takes to hire by half. Many of them are also poised to embrace the video resume. But there are also significant disadvantages, and you have to know when putting yourself on disc is really appropriate.

When to Choose Video

According to a recent study by online job site The Ladders, employers spend a mere 6 seconds looking at each resume. That can make standing out in a crowd incredibly difficult, and it’s one of the reasons applicants might choose to send a video instead. But be careful-many traditional businesses simply won’t want to take the time to watch your video, even if it’s only a couple minutes long. If you’re applying for a regular office job, it’s likely they won’t understand a video resume. But if it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for-if your dream job is in social media, digital production, or online marketing-a video resume can be a great idea to boost your visibility. And for jobs in television and the arts, a video reel is a necessity.

Tips for Video Resumes

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Of course, the number one most important rule with video resumes is to keep them short-two minutes or under, preferably. It’s great to give recruiters a thorough way to filter applicants that should get interviews, but a video resume is not a substitute for an interview, even one on Skype. So you should avoid telling your life story but also avoid just rattling off information from a paper resume. While it’s great to mention your relevant experience and education, you should frame it in a way that tells them why you’re the right person for their company. Beyond just deciding if a video resume is appropriate for the company, you should also decide what kind of video resume. While it may be tempting to apply with a YouTube video, DVD duplication is more affordable than you think and will add more professionalism to your submission.

Should You Be Creative?

If you’re constructing a video resume, it’s to show you can think outside the box and present yourself in an exciting and interesting way. So creative flair is preferable to sitting stiffly in front of the camera and reading off your credentials. It’s okay to use humor and personality, talk about what you’re passionate about, or use your editing or production skills, if you happen to have them. But as with everything, it’s a fine line. Don’t overshadow your qualifications with gimmicks or create something that could potentially be more embarrassing than professional. A good idea is to show it to friends or family before you send it out to get a good feel for how other people will react and whether your video really does present you in the best light.

Video resumes sometimes raise discrimination concerns with employers because you’re presenting them with your gender, race, and physical appearance on first contact. If an employer was to reject your resume, there is the potential for a lawsuit that many don’t like being in the position to consider. This trend is still fairly new, and there are no set formats or expectations for what should be included in your video. So think hard before you decide to send a video resume and make sure you’re doing it right. Still, it never hurts to have one on hand-in a few short years, they may replace paper altogether.

Gary Well is a writer for a DVD duplication site where you can have discs, flash drives and videos copied. Find out more here.

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