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.