Video Resumes

In some ways, I'm a Luddite. I don't feel as if I can evaluate a candidate without a paper resume. So imagine my surprise when Keith told me about this video resume website.I have these problems with video resumes:

  • It's slow. I can read a resume much faster than I can watch a video. We can only effectively hear at about 30-60 words/minute. Most of us read at 200+ words/minute. Some of us read at 1000 words/minute.
  • I don't think it shows candidates to their best advantage, at least not the ones I saw. The people look flat, no one said anything that knocked my socks off. Maybe in time as the bandwidth increases, it will be better.
  • The video allows people to say no quickly — without real understanding of what the candidate can bring to the organization. But I'm opposed to anything that allows hiring managers to say no before they even read your resume. Videos for candidates are just like videos for speakers. Speaker videos are what allow decision-makers to say no. Videos rarely help people say yes. The viewers evaluate the person on the video by their appearance, possibly by their articulation, and almost never by their content. I can think of at least 5 developers I would never have hired based on their appearance or general articulation. But put them in front of a significant technical problem and all their unease disappeared. In the problem-solving context, they were articulate.
  • When I read a resume, I'm paying attention to the resume. I rarely watch TV or a movie at home without doing something else. I suspect I'm not alone. If I was a candidate, I'd want the viewer to watch me. And I bet that people reviewing videos don't pay 100% attention to the candidate.

How can a technical person boil down their experience or substantive content into a video? If I need a 30-45 minute phone screen to know whether I want an in-person interview, I don't see how a 5-minute video will help me make up my mind. I'm concerned that a well-produced video could distract a hiring manager from asking the necessary questions and be prejudiced for someone who speaks well but doesn't have the experience to back up the talk. I guess I'll try to keep an open mind, but I don't see yet how video resumes will help the great candidates. If you have had good experience with video resumes, please do let me know.

3 Replies to “Video Resumes”

  1. The hybrid resume is always best. Many employers require a paper resume, something that can be printed out and placed in a stack with hundreds of others. provides Private and confidential Free hosting and distribution for traditional (via upload or a nifty resume builder), video or photo resumes. The best of both worlds!

  2. Video resumes are starting to become a bigger and bigger trend world wide. Not only do they serve as an effective recruiting tool, a cleverly produced video can put you ahead of the competition, it shows that you have the confidence to put yourself out there and think outside the box. Employers and recruiters should learn to embrace technology; video resumes can be highly effective and may just revolutionize the job-search process as we know it.
    At the firm I work for, we certainly believe video resumes are the way of the future, and actively and spiritedly promote this new tool. The point is video resumes are designed to compliment and streamline the whole recruitment process. It can help you establish a more complete overall impression of the applicant without ever having to leave your computer. They can serve as a first interview as such, requiring minimal time expenditure on your behalf. As the technology improves and becomes more widely embraced, I am sure video resumes will be the norm…

  3. From reading the comments above I’d say that the video resume did exactly what it is designed to do: It gave you a strong opinion one way or the other on each candidate. The flaws you’re referring to aren’t with the system or concept of video resumes, but rather with the applicant’s themselves. If you can’t sell yourself, or if you don’t know what to say or how to create a video resume, research video resume tips before you sit down and “wing it.”
    I agree that a text resume is critical to evaluating candidates in any industry. However, coupling a solid text resume with a well thought out video resume, could be just the ticket to getting discovered by a great company!
    As more applicants learn the “do’s and dont’s” of how to create a video resume, we will begin to see more quality and creativity and fewer bland and lame video resumes!

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