Video Resumes: Yea or Nay?

This question was posed on LinkedIn, receiving unanimous “no way in web 2.0 hell” replies from recruiters and HR people. Among the top arguments against video resumes were viewing time, discrimination issues, downloadability, and storage, but I think there’s a much more important and insurmountable factor to consider.

As a resume writer, I’ve examined several companies doing video resumes and even considered starting my own company but after a few interviews with HR folks and some introspection (having been a recruiter myself), I realized that the #1 thing that’s preventing these things from taking off is that they force the screener into a passive role.

Paper resumes reign supreme because the reader is in control. The look where they want. They stop reading when they want. They laugh when they want (or cry), depending on the candidate.

Videos–even 10 second videos–shovel information into the screener’s head, a largely unwanted transaction on the part of the screener since it puts the candidate in control.

Ask any seasoned resume reader out there about what they do when they’re looking through resumes, and they’ll say something akin to “read between the lines”. A savvy reviewer will look for what’s not written in the bullet points, or at least look for general patterns strewn across the resume. With videos, it’s impossible to get this 50-foot angle that tells the real story in its entirety.

For this reason, videos will never work. Even when the day comes where you can download a video faster than opening up an envelop or unfolding a nice piece of off-white 24-lb linen paper.

Sorry YouTubers. You’ll have to stick to hamsters on the piano.

Stay on the BrightSide.

5 May 2009 | Resumes | Comments