In my job, I counsel a lot of college students (aka Millennials) during their job search. One question that frequently comes up in my course for seniors, “Marketing Yourself for the Job Search,” is how creative you can be with your resume. Students ask if putting a QR code on an otherwise blank sheet of paper will suffice, if their resumes can have various colors and fonts, and if they can submit video resumes instead of paper versions. Typically, my answer to all of the above is a resounding “no.”
I recently read, however, that by 2024 Millennials will make up three quarters of the United States workforce. This has led me to ponder whether or not employers should become more Millennial friendly. When the question of video resumes came up again, I gave it some serious consideration.
Things to consider before creating a video resume
- If you’re thinking about filming a video resume, it’s important to ask yourself if this would be appropriate for your career field. Accounting firms, for example, are highly unlikely to spend time watching video resumes—they’re much more concerned about your accounting abilities. Marketing firms, online organizations, and social media sites, on the other hand, might appreciate or even require a video resume. They want a glimpse of your personality and an idea of how well you can sell a product.
- You must also consider how likely it is that an employer who doesn’t require a video resume will even view one. On average, hiring managers spend less than thirty seconds looking at a resume. And these are typed resumes, probably printed out by their assistants. If a hiring manager spends less than a minute on a standard resume, what are the odds that they will take the time to watch yours?
- When thinking about who will be looking at your resume, you also have to consider company culture. Are you applying at a tech-savvy start-up or an old-school legal firm? If you think you can produce a well made video resume that allows your personality to shine, do so. But keep a paper version for the potential employers who only want to know what skills you’re bringing to the table.
- In my opinion, the goal of a resume is to showcase your skills and experiences, not your personality. The resume’s purpose is to illustrate to the interviewer that you can do the job. The actual job interview is where you expound upon your skills, answer any questions they have, and determine (for both parties) whether or not you’re a good fit for the company.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think that a live, in-person interview (or even a phone or Skype interview) is the best place to show off your personality—save the YouTube videos for your vlog.
Have an opinion about the video resume? Tell us in the comments!
Ask Levo Mentor Elaine Meryl Brown, VP Creative Marketing Executive and Brand Content Producer, her opinion on the video resume!