Video Resumes in the HR Point-of-View

All of a sudden, video resumes have become a "cool" thing to do when applying for a job. These two- to three-minute clips show a prospective employee introducing himself and answering questions that usually appear during job interviews. More and more job seekers are actually making their own video resumes, complete with professionally-done editing, thinking that it makes them noticed more. The question is: how do employers respond?

In an employer survey conducted by Vault Inc., 89% of employers revealed that they would watch a video resume if it were submitted to them. However, most of them are not yet used these visual resumes as an evaluative tool. In fact, only 17% of them have actually viewed a video resume.

As much as employers are trying to adjust with this new technology, they have some complaints about the concept of video resumes. For one, a lot of the clips they receive are unprofessionally-made and could actually turn them off to a potential candidate. If not properly done, employers can also point out a lot of weaknesses in the job seeker when he giggly talks about his list of skills or discusses about hobbies that are unrelated to work. Prospective employers who also appear casually dressed or present ineffectively can also result to a thumbs-down.

Employers also complain about the length of the videos, which should be at two minutes tops. Remember that they have so little time in scanning through hundreds of applicants, and they would only watch an applicant’s video after they have reviewed his cover letter and resume. However, since they only read each resume for a few seconds, viewing the whole video resume seems like asking a lot.

They are also concerned that video resumes would spark a debate on subtle discrimination based on age, gender, ethnicity, and disability. United States laws discourage applicants from sending photos and personal information in an attempt to equalize employment. Employment lawyers also envision several job seekers suing a company for "disparate impact." For instance, the company requires applicants to submit a video resume, but some applicants would claim they lack access to video cameras and broadband-equipped computers that are needed to make a video resume.

There are, however, companies that allow applicants to submit video resumes especially with jobs that require presentation skills such as teachers and newscasters. Video resumes are also helpful to applicants who might have to travel for an interview, which teleconferencing, virtual meetings, and even telephone calls can also minimize the distance factor.

In the end, employers should create a policy on whether or not to accept video resumes. Companies can either accept these video clips to view the presentation skills and capabilities of prospective employees; or reject them outright as part of practicing non-discriminatory actions during the hiring process.

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