Video CVs killed the paper resume

Remember when CVs were once carefully compiled and presented in leather-bound folders? Then we moved on to the electronic résumé and the old hard copy CV was left to collect dust on the shelf.

Now, the next-generation video CV has arrived, and with the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.  

For some time now, recruiters in the US have been hiring dedicated staff to scour outlets of online creativity such as YouTube to find “the next big thing”.  Four in five employers in the US are receptive to receiving visual CVs, and like most workplace trends, we can expect they’ll soon hit our shores.

Video résumés are not new.  Visual presentations have always worked well for web designers, artists, animators, graphic designers and, of course, actors, who can showcase their skills and portfolio in a matter of minutes.  Elijah Wood is said to have won his role in The Lord of the Rings by demonstrating his Hobbit-like qualities on video.  But for the mainstream employee, video CVs were never going to be popular, simply because they weren’t easy to store or distribute. 

Then YouTube arrived on the scene.

A quick search of YouTube for “video résumé” throws up thousands of hits.  And it’s no longer just budding film actors who are selling themselves on video  – everyone from sales manager to business analysts are shooting their own video CVs to give themselves the best shot at their dream job.  That’s right – even in Australia.

While multimedia-savvy Gen Y candidates are the most likely to fly the video résumé flag right now, it’s only a matter of time before we all grow accustomed to the concept.

But before we do, we must recognise that the video CV brings with it some challenges, as well as some opportunities.

For the employer or recruiter, the video CV offers the chance to assess a candidate’s compatibility immediately, which leads to a faster and more streamlined selection process.

And in any professional role, where presentation and communication skills are an integral part of the job, a video résumé will quickly demonstrate a candidate’s strengths.

However, this method of recruiting does have its downside: employers can see a candidate’s age, gender, race and appearance at the very first stage of an application, which may increase the risk of discrimination claims.  But don’t forget the upside: candidates who may not be so impressive on paper can add some real oomph to their application with a video CV.

At Ross Julia Ross, we are currently trialling a video CV application which will be particularly useful to interview overseas candidates, and make fast decisions about their suitability for a role.

Video CVs are a snapshot of a potential employee and serve as another layer of filtering before recruiters settle on their preferred candidates for face-to-face interviews.  They’ll never replace paper CVs entirely, but let’s not forget humans are visual creatures.  We absorb much of our information and communication non-verbally, so it’s a fair bet that video CVs will become the way of the future.

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