I read an outstanding article by Megan O'neil over at Social Times entitled Are Online Video Resumes The Wave Of The Future? Using a great example video, she wonders aloud if it might become the standard moving forward.  Is video the next big evolution in the world of employment-seeking? And I was so motivated by what she had to say that I decided to write my own article answering her question:  absolutely it is!  

The author shares a few silly video resumes from the TV show How I Met Your Mother and actor Michael Cera, but then she gets to the video that spurred her article.  It's an online video resume from a PR specialist named Graeme Anthony.  It's professional, charming, and pretty short--with links added at the end of the video for those who wish to find out more information about Anthony or his work.

Take a look:

50,000 views in three months for a personal video resume is pretty impressive--even more so when you realize the video is unlisted, which means the only people who can view it are the ones that have the link.  And the response has been all positive.  Says Anthony:

"The response has been mind-blowing with offers of interest ranging from small start-up businesses all the way through to large multinational organizations.  I've received requests to go work abroad and some high-profile individuals have suggested that I start-up on my own which was extremely flattering.”

O'neil concludes that video resumes, which were once only the realm of comedy material, could possibly see a new wave of popularity in the professional world.  And I think she's right--actually, I think she's more right than she knows.

Video is changing everything, and is being embraced as the current "it" form of content.   I wrote recently about Google has begun using YouTube embeds on almost all of their official blog posts offering an additional type of content for their users.  We've seen how aggressively IBM is embracing video for all facets of their business, from email to conference calls to staff meetings.  Even the NFL has added video as a key component to their free online fantasy football game, allowing users to see video of their players' performances instead of just text-based stat lines.  Teachers put videos of classroom lectures online.  Colleges like Tufts University actively encourage prospective students to submit YouTube videos as admissions applications.

I'm hard pressed to think of any type of website or business that wouldn't benefit in some way from using video.  It's creeping into a lot more realms beyond just "personal entertainment."  It makes perfect sense to create video resumes.  If you're a young professional looking for a new job, I would enthusiastically encourage you to create one for yourself.

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Think about the advantages:

1. Stand out from the crowd. 90% of all resumes have the same format--dry verbiage and bland, impersonal data.  Boo.  If yours is the only application for the position that included a link to a video resume, then what do you think the odds are that you set yourself apart from your competition?  I'd say they're pretty darn good.  A small percentage of applicants have been getting unique with paper resumes, using witty copy, images, or even a creative layout or font choice.  Video is just a natural extension of that sort of thinking.  And in the current economic climate, it's more important than ever to give yourself any advantage you can.

2. Show your personality. If you've ever been the hiring manager at any of your jobs, as I have, then you know that after the first handful of resumes or job applications, you eyes gloss over.  They all run together after a while, and you're left with 50 pieces of paper that have no clear distinction among them.  Video shows a potential employer what you look like, sound like, and act like.  It's almost like an initial screening interview.  Just like email can never reproduce the nuances of nonverbal communication or vocal inflection, a paper resume can only show employers a small portion of what you have to offer.  Video, however, can give a much clearer picture.

3. Demonstration. If you're applying for a skill-based job, video gives you a chance to actively demonstrate your abilities.  A traditional resume only lets you brag about yourself.

There are more benefits to video resumes, obviously, but these are the biggest in my opinion.

As video continues to soar in popularity, and the economy continues to struggle, the unemployed or underemployed are going to be looking with renewed intensity for a means of standing out from the crowd. A video resume allows just that.

We used to just make phone calls, now we can Skype with video.  We used to type into chatroom boxes, but now we have video chat and Facetime.  Video is becoming the dominant way to communicate, and I don't see any reason why resumes should be any different.  In fact, I'd say it's inevitable.

  • Heather Johnston Brebaugh

    I've seen Graeme's video and it's a stand out among the 14k plus video resumes on You Tube. What's available to show the job seeker how to create a professional video resume at home. Most aren't going to be able to create something like Graeme's, but they could certainly learn how to put together a video resume that would help them. A lot of the ones that I viewed online were terrible and would probably eliminate them rather than help them get an interview.
    I'm definitely looking for a way to provide this option for job seekers in a professional and economical way.

  • http://www.TonyRichardson.com.au Tony Richardson

    That is the best CV I've ever seen and possibly one of the best videos too.

    Nandoes / Nan doze - Comedy Gold!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=557324656 Bernard Dino Bonomo

    great article.. Thanks for posting Jeremy. In this technology era, the idea of a piece of paper being the tool to sell yourself is ridiculous.. As a media producer, we've developed the Ultimate Video Resume called Mini-Movies.. I'll be in touch shortly.. :-)

  • https://mobile.twitter.com/CathyGoodwin Cathy Goodwin

    I absolutely agree. Video resumes have to be planned. And while video resumes may be gaining in popularity and may help the hiring manager, we need to remember that they're not kind to people who are older or just less attractive. Some people do well with cameras. Some don't. Otherwise we could all be models.

  • Doug

    A great little example. Thanks for sharing. A good start with going from video to video, but we must really think about how we can use all the tools out there to put together a stellar video resume. One of the things we do at Veeple Interactive is provide the content creator the ability to put a downloadable PDF CV right inside the video, information panels to learn more about the person, ability to contact the person right from the video, and more - A true interactive video resume. Check out what one of our Veeple.com users is doing: http://www.veocv.com

  • rowena simpson

    I agree totally that the value of home grown video online in marketing anything, be it a brand or an individual job seeker, is without doubt one of the most exciting things happening online at the moment.

    A natural, honest and appealing portrayal of a person can be created with little more than a flip cam, microphone and facing natural light. However, ask a cross section of people to sit in front of a camera and talk about themselves, and the results will be mixed. Those who struggle in a two way interactive interview situation may find themselves a fish even further out of water in front of a camera - flapping around wide eyed with their mouths open comes to mind.

    There is without doubt a skill to writing an effective paper CV, one that won't be binned 10 seconds into the read. The absolute same can be said of the video CV, and an understanding of the medium will be important to have the desired effect.

    I agree, video resumes are on the way, people love video content and it definately drives traffic, however treat with caution if you are going to use this medium to promote yourself. Be super critical of your finished product, get some objective appraisal from others before you launch yourself on the small screen, and remember just because your Granny likes it, doesn't mean you're in line for a Grammy.