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Posted December 13, 2016 by

The pros and cons of video resumes

Are you a recent college grad looking to get ahead of the competition by creating a video resume? Be cautious before thinking a video resume is the golden ticket to landing an interview, or getting a job.

That’s because even in today’s digital world, success on the job hunt still often depends heavily on an old-school document, according to The Creative Group (TCG), a company that specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis.

Nearly eight in 10 executives surveyed by TCG said they prefer receiving traditional resumes in Word or PDF format over video or infographic resumes. Some employers won’t even accept video resumes and in the TCG survey, released in May of 2016, only three percent of executives indicated they prefer video resumes over traditional resumes.

That’s no surprise to Tom Thomson, managing partner of Sanford Rose Associates, a recruitment firm in Nashville. “The recruiters I discussed this with do not want video resumes,” says Thomson. Here is why, he says:

  • Recruiters and hiring managers see these as highly produced marketing pieces.
  • Most people are not comfortable or feel natural in front of a camera. “You may not want this to be the first impression a potential employer has of you,” says Thomson.
  • It can easily be used to discriminate against highly qualified candidates based on their appearance.

Arlene Vernon, a Twin Cities-based HR consultant, agrees. “When you see the person on a video, there’s an increased risk of discrimination from a legal perspective, because you can see race/ethnicity before you get to hear about their skills/background.”

Time is also a drawback of video resumes.

“I can scan a resume to see whether I like the candidate in five to ten seconds,” says Vernon. “I don’t have time to watch a video. I might do it after seeing a resume I’m interested in, to learn more about the person, and see their presentation skills. But I don’t think the convenience of a ‘paper’ resume will disappear.”

That being said, there are instances when a video resume may be requested, or used to help stand out from the competition, says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.

“If you’re applying for a job that requires multimedia or presentation skills, a short, one minute video resume that highlights key skills and accomplishments can be effective and set you apart from the competition,” says Domeyer. “If you have creative skills, you can even put together an animated short about why you’d make a good addition to the team. That said, always have a traditional resume ready in case one is requested.”

According to the team at SparkHire, a company that provides video interviewing, resume and technology solutions: “Video resumes are a way for candidates to go beyond traditional methods of applying, such as submitting only a resume, cover letter, and work samples. Lasting typically 60 seconds, these videos are your shot to make the best first impression to an employer. A video resume lets the employer literally see you and hear your case (via your communication skills, personality and charisma) as the best candidate for the job – all before the interview takes place.”

When to use a video resume

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, says the experts from Robert Half Technology. 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 avoid video resumes

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

  • 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.

There are pros and cons of video resumes. Recent college grads should be careful when creating one, and make sure it’s right for your industry or job application before sending one.

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Posted April 04, 2016 by

Using social media in your job search

Photo of Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Whatsapp, and Instagram homepage on a monitor screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Gil C/Shutterstock.com

College students and recent graduates who are passionate about social networking should consider finding internships or entry-level jobs via social media. In order to secure one of these opportunities, they must know what it takes to get one. Diane Domeyer-Kock, Executive Director of The Creative Group, shares tips college students and recent grads should apply when searching for jobs and internships via social media.

“Competing for a social media internship or an entry-level job can be difficult because many candidates are on a level playing field; they haven’t yet acquired the skills or work experience that will make them stand out. But there are steps college students and recent grads can take to increase their chances of landing an internship or job:

Start the search early. Research companies of interest, work with your university career center, scour job boards, and reach out to members of personal and professional networks to uncover leads well before the school year ends.

Get marketing materials in order. Nail down your personal brand and apply it consistently across all channels, including your resume, social media profiles, and portfolio or website. Consider the look, feel, and content.

Polish your online presence. A strong digital presence consistent with other promotional tools can be a big career asset, attracting the attention of prospective employers. Make sure the information posted online showcases your expertise, passion for social media, and ability to communicate effectively. That means pushing out interesting content and engaging with contacts consistently.

Demonstrate strong social skills. Work teams communicate in many different ways today: via email, instant messaging, social media, conference calls, and in-person meetings. Show you know how to collaborate effectively and professionally both online and off.”

Looking for more information on social media for your job search? Check out our blog and learn more on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Photo of Diane Domeyer-Kock

Diane Domeyer-Kock, Executive Director of The Creative Group

Diane Domeyer-Kock is Executive Director of The Creative Group (TCG), a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals. When she’s not managing operations for TCG’s locations across North America or speaking and Tweeting about career and workplace trends, you can find her on a bike or spending time with her husband, five kids, and grandchildren.