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Video Resumes. Are they for everyone?

Video resumes are seemingly popular nowadays. Short clips are designed to show potential employers your skills and value.

If you are someone with a unique skill set, video resumes might be the way to go.  For example, if you’re applying for a creative or design field and have the skills to back up that claim, then video resumes might be best for you. But what about people who don’t have the same skills? They may not fare as well with video resumes. Xremo too has a place where you can make video resumes, but please treat it as a guide only because we have to say, it’s not ideal for everyone.

Here are some concerns.

  • You are not good in front of the camera. 

It’s not very suitable for the more reserved person as you will be self-conscious on camera. This will make it very awkward and defeats the purpose of a video resume in the first place.

  • Recording can be tedious and time-intensive.

Most of the time, perfecting a recording can take hours or even days or weeks just to get it right.

  • What if you can’t pronounce English words correctly?

Here’s a real test. Employers will get to see your language skills. If you feel that you are not there yet, then go with a written resume for now.

  • Discrimination.

Showing yourself on camera may reveal your estimated age or has the potential for possible bias.

  • Question: Do employers want to watch a video resume?

Answer: It’s still not requested by many employers as they still prefer text resumes.

Requiring a video resume along with a traditional resume doesn’t seem to be a widespread requirement. What is really widespread is a Zoom interview because of the pandemic.

Many employers see these videos as an extension of the candidate’s persona rather than as a resume. They don’t always show your true self because they’re edited and filmed by you. They want to see who you really are and how you work in person. Youtube has quite a few of these video resumes and most are quite long. Long in this sense is anything that goes beyond one and a half minutes or 90 seconds. 

We have to understand and appreciate or even manage the patience of our audience which is the employer. The employer has no time or patience to watch a long video of you. This is the reason why TikTok exists these days, to capture the impatient audience that leaves Youtube. For example, how many times have you grown impatient over a slow loading website that you went somewhere else and how many times have you saved a Youtube video to “Watch later” just because it was too long? You may have ended up watching that video after a month! Even Youtube understands this and has added the “Watch later” option.

Based on the above, we feel that videos can never replace the physical paper resume because employers are more used to the familiar format and have trained themselves to see and remember the key phrases and words. It’s also easier to remember a piece of the document on the table rather than to go looking for a video in an email.

We feel a video resume is suitable for:

  • Fresh graduates with some work experience but can show a body of work and academic achievements.
  • Again, it would also be ideal if the videos can be short and sweet, bearing in mind Marshall McLuhans’ famous phrase that “the medium of communication is the message”, job seekers should only use video resumes if they are deliberately communicating to the employer what they really need to know.

Therefore, a video resume is simply an opportunity for job seekers to briefly introduce themselves to the employer.

All these considered, what are the benefits of a video resume?

Before we talk about the benefits, please remember again that the most important attribute in a video resume is your language communication skill. If this is not executed to a good standard, the video fails. Now, onto the other benefits.

  • The employer can get a first-hand look at who you are. Their eyes and ears give them a better sense of you. 

So make this first impression count.

  • Your voice conveys confidence and good verbal communication skills. Your tone projects confidence and knowledge of your field. This is the point where the employer gets a sense of the value you can bring.
  • You can stand out from the crowd because not everyone is brave enough to make such a confident approach. Yes, a video resume is for the brave but more than that. You must be well-prepared.
  • Time is on your side. You can take as many takes as possible as sew the videos together. Cook till well done.
  • Your video demonstrates a much-needed skill that many are still struggling with. It shows your technical skills, extra effort, and creativity.
  • You’re in control. Yes, you have a short time to introduce yourself without answering questions, being interrupted, feeling intimidated or pressured.
  • The video resume is more like a cover letter introducing yourself rather than a printed resume. It should be known as Video Cover Letter with relevant information based on the industry.
  • Lastly, never post your video on social media because it’s not for everyone. Send them directly to the employer.

The way of the future

As remote work is set to become commonplace and with the advent of young employers who are tech-savvy, they are more likely to request video resumes or video cover letters in the near future. It’s best to be prepared.

Ask yourself if the company you are applying for has a culture that welcomes videos more than a normal resume. Therefore, if you plan to use a video resume, please take the time to make a simple, professional and relevant video that clearly explains why the employer should hire you.

A video resume can be a good option to help you find a job. If you have a lot of relevant experience, you might consider including a video resume to summarise your best qualities and help the hiring manager understand what exactly makes you a uniquely qualified candidate.

As Jony Ive once reportedly said, “The home computer should be a natural extension of oneself”, so it’s only natural to assume that video is the natural extension of an online job resume/profile. We have all our resumes stored on some job site, but where’s the video? 

It wasn’t an option till now.