Video Resumes

Written by Serena Berger
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Less than one quarter of open jobs are advertised. In today's fast-paced marketplace, employers want to fill positions quickly, and they often rely on recommendations from trusted employees to determine new hires. If they are promoting from within, then they trust the promoted employee to select someone he supervised to fill his former position, and so-on, down to the entry level position which will be left vacant.

If you are a highly qualified candidate, it can be extremely frustrating to realize that you never even had a chance at your dream job. Someone's college roommate or friend's daughter invariably has the connections to get an interview--and if that person is qualified for the job, it will be offered without ever being listed. Generally speaking, the better the job, the smaller the chance that it will be listed. The aforementioned figure of one quarter actually diminishes to about one twentieth when it comes to positions above managerial level.

If you are looking for an entry level position, hoping to begin a new career and perhaps be trained by your employer, you are fighting an uphill battle in the application process. There are many people who want the same job, and one of them will probably have more relevant education or experience. What can you do to make yourself stand out and get the coveted interview?

Making a First Impression--Fast

Your first impression has to go a long way, and you don't have much time to make it. HR directors and employers will look at a resume or letter for a matter of seconds before deciding whether to invite you in. You slave over the creation of these documents for hours--consulting your friends, reading how-to articles, even paying a resume consultant--and yet the product still gets someone's attention for a fraction of the length of a television commercial. Presentation is certainly important, but you really have to have some buzzword or key phrase on your materials which jumps out at the particular person reviewing the letter in order to get called in.

There is hope, however. Some statistics place employer satisfaction with employees selected through resume viewing and interview hiring at only about 10 percent. If an employer is really happy with only one in 10 of his employees hired through one procedure, he's probably going to be amenable to incorporating advances into that hiring procedures and using new technology to help him find better people.

Emerging Interest in Video Resumes

Some companies and applicants have been exploring the possibility of video resumes and job applications. Typically, they operate in conjunction--a company announces that they will be conducting their job search online, and that they will be viewing video applications. Then, candidates who are interested in the position(s) can create a video application which will be seen by the company if their basic qualifications fall within the employer's desired parameters.

Video resume sites can also operate like other online job search sites. You can post your video resume, and employers may come on online and search the site's database when they are seeking to fill positions. Conversely, they may list an open position, and you can click a single button to send your video resume (which is already on file) to them.

Opinions are mixed regarding whether, at his point in time, it remains best to consider submitting a video resume only to a company which specifically solicits them and engages in some sort of video conferencing. A video resume sent to a company who does not typically receive them may be overlooked simply because viewing it takes a little bit more effort than flipping through an otherwise uniform pile of resumes and letters. Then again, there are some employers who will be intrigued by the initiative and character shown by submitting a video resume and it will be just the thing you need to stand out from the crowd. If you are interested in making a video resume, you may find that the employers who respond to it are ultimately the best matches for you.

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