At first glance a video resume seems like a natural step in the recruiting process. But here are five reasons why video resumes will be a short-term fad:
1. Looking good on camera is a learned skill
Professional newscasters, anchors, and reporters, go to school for years to learn how best to present themselves on camera. Others of us have never practiced. We don’t know how to sit, we don’t know what to wear, we don’t know where to look, and nobody has taught us how to appear relaxed.
As I recently found out in a brief media training session, there are actually people who teach you all of these things before an on air interview. And, I can promise, they are not cheap! If video resumes become the norm, colleges will be forced to create semester long classes on how to present yourself on camera, and those of us out of school will need to hire personal media trainers just to get a job. For most people these are totally unnecessary expenses.
2. Written communication is more important
The majority of my co-worker interaction takes place via email or instant messenger. This is true for most large technologically advanced companies, and the trend is only going to continue. Phone calls are a rarity and face to face meetings are even rarer. Having face-to-face people skills is important when selling or giving live presentations, but in general, written communication is much more critical.
More and more companies are finding a wide range of benefits to promoting remote work arrangements. These new ways of working lead to decreased one-on-one communication and increased written communication. Occasionally I will receive an email with misspellings or terrible punctuation, and this typically makes me think the person is not up for the job or just plain lazy. So ditch the camera and create a blog to show recruiters what you’re all about.
3. Most jobs never require you to be on camera
How many jobs actually require you to be on camera? I can’t think of more than a handful. Unless you are a media professional, public relations expert or high-level figure in a large organization you will not be on camera. Even if you are in one of these positions, you better believe you will be professionally trained for hours before going on camera.
Further, lets face it, we are all different. Some of us are a little shy, some might panic alone in front of a camera, and some are energetic, charming and charismatic. These traits don’t necessarily have any bearing on how well we will perform our jobs as a desk jockey. If the average person will never be on camera during their career, why does it matter how they appear in a video?
4. Video resumes will lead to discrimination lawsuits
Most recruiters spend less than a minute looking at a resume. When receiving a typical paper resume, that one minute will be spent actually reading the words on the page and judging an applicant based on skills, prior experiences and education. If a recruiter spends less than a minute watching a video of a potential candidate, it will be impossible not to notice if the person is white, black, Hispanic, Indian or anything in between.
Whether they want to or not, this brief first impression will play a role in deciding whether or not to pursue a candidate. “Just don’t even deal with them,” says Dennis Brown, an attorney from San Jose, Calif. “This is one of those instances where a little bit of unnecessary knowledge is dangerous,” Rightfully so or not, somewhere along the way, video resumes will turn into a discrimination suit that recruiters and companies want nothing to do with.
5. You can see all my pictures on Facebook
If the real issue is that recruiters want to see pictures of their candidates, all they need to do is jump on Facebook or Myspace. Type in the candidate’s name and check out all the pictures you would like. I highly doubt that recruiters have the time or desire to stalk recruits on Facebook, but if it’s really important, you don’t need a video resume to get a sneak peak.
It’s the 21st century; the fact that we even consider a video resume to be the future of recruiting is almost laughable. It didn’t work in the ’90s, and now the success of YouTube has brought it into the public eye, but I’m sure we can get more creative if we try!
Ryan Healy’s blog is Employee Evolution.