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A Thumbs Up for Video Resumes

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The following was written by Colleen Aylward, Founder of as a rebuttal to my unapologetically negative rant on video resumes.  Every opinion has a counter and deserves to be heard.  Therefore, read the pro’s on video resumes below and decide for yourself if there is a place in recruiting for them.   And of course, let us know what you think.


I must agree with much of what you say about the nature of ‘video resumes’, but not for the reasons you state.
Video Resumes (a simple video taped recap of resume highlights) are the current “hot new technology” in recruiting.    But only for their novel high tech feel… not for the value they bring.   Once this newness and ‘coolness’ wears off on Employers – and it already is – then we will see the NEXT generation of products on the market that will fix the shortcomings of the stand-alone video resume.     Just as the first attempts at resume databases, search engines, and ATS systems needed to go through several iterations, so will this Video Screening Phenomenon.
The shortcomings of the current offerings include some that you mention, but the list is longer, and we might as well get some collaborative input on this now.   Here is a start:

  • A talking head that is simply regurgitating the text on a paper resume adds only one thing – the picture of what a candidate looks like.    Granted, there is some value in viewing their language skills, but they could have been ‘coached’ by a video vendor during the session.   So this leaves the very real paranoia within the HR community that video resumes are putting discrimination tools in the hands of hiring managers – and that video resumes are simply a clever way to put a face with a name, inviting all sorts of litigation.
  • A Video Resume is a stand alone piece of information about a Candidate that, so far, has no home in Applicant Tracking Systems, which are the lifeblood of the corporations’ hiring processes and compliance databases.    Until ATS vendors figure a way to present a video (meaning the storing, tracking, retrieval, and viewing) as part of the total due diligence on a candidate, it is still relegated to email sub-directories or separate files or stored URLs which become obsolete.
  • Video Resumes that are sent unsolicited to Employers and Recruiting Companies may be just as irrelevant to a job opening as an unsolicited resume.   At least with a resume, you can do a quick eyeball scan for Keywords, without wasting time listening and viewing 3-20 minutes of a video.
  • Video Resumes take up valuable process time for viewing, and cannot be compared on an apples-to-apples basis with other candidates for a job.   The key is to save time in the hiring process by utilizing tools that offer quicker and more in-depth due diligence so that decisions on applicants are closer to the mark.     If the videos don’t contain the candidate’s answers to the same questions for the same job, how do you compare candidates on a legal, compliant basis?  One step in the right direction is the HireVue product, which offers the Employer a structured video wherein the finalist candidates all answer the same questions submitted by the Employer.
  • There are those who will argue that only certain personality types will shine on a video – those with spark and energy and humor – since that is the YouTube template that is going around, and that is what is currently tagged as  “setting oneself apart from the masses”.
  • There is currently not a set of rules or standards for Video Resumes.  No one vendor in the sky where every candidate can go and easily produce a quality video in a meaningful “first interview” format.
  • Video Resumes take up storage space, yes.   The bigger issue is the intensive demand on servers when 20 recruiters bandwidth required to watch them, or for several hiring managers or recruiters to watch them at the same time.
  • IT Security & Firewalls.     We all know how diligent IT Departments must be these days regarding the downloading and/or opening attachments.    Even more so now with videos.    Some of the problems with old video resumes:
    • Files are too big to be easily sent around as email attachments.
    • Files recorded on a Mac often won’t play on a PC and vice versa
    • Employer’s installed version of software for viewing Rich Media Content on the web may not be compatible with all Videos.

Please feel free to add your two cents worth on the downsides to Video Resumes listed above.
NOW, here comes the positive side:

Like it or not, time marches on… Technology marches on… Tools get more progressive and disruption happens.   Change happens.      For about 50 years, the paper resume has ruled.   People are used to it… People are comfortable with it.

  • And then resumes became “soft-copy” (Yes there was a time when that was not a real word).      The online resume became accessible instantly to several viewers at a time, and storable and retrievable.
  • And then came text search capability and KEYWORDS along with that.  So today the comfort zone is not paper resumes anymore.   It is soft-copy keyword-searchable resumes.
  • The industry has deemed this as standard, and many vendor products have been developed to help parse, and poke, and rank and rate these KEYWORDS and their relevance to matching KEYWORDS in job descriptions, for instance.

The problem is that a lot of this technology has produced MORE work than less work for the recruiters.   Job Seekers can now populate the KEYWORD section in their resume to match a job description and submit it with a keystroke, whether or not they are qualified.    It is then incumbent upon the Recruiter to read through that mass of electronically “qualified” resumes to identify the truly qualified.

Screening technology has created some obstacles as well for the Job Seekers.   Now candidates with an electronic resume can shoot it off to an electronic job description with an electronic screening set of rules and take their chances that they included the right KEYWORDS and that the human who is looking through the “screened” resumes will understand all the jobs they’ve had in the past 15 years and what that could mean to a new employer.

Now, for the infrastructure employee, or those who will perform specific repeatable tasks, this is not a bad way to save time in screening.   But a search for anyone who can think outside the box, bring new and interesting solutions to old problems, create new revenue streams by discovering new channels, cut product development time by 50% by revamping the architecture, structure inventive alliance partnerships to get around old commerce rules… this KEYWORD recognition thing just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Let’s look at the real problems in the market.   Employers are still struggling to find and hire the right candidates… and have been doing so for the past 20+ years.   No keyword searching tool has solved the iterative process that is inherent in a thorough due diligence process.

Recruiters are still facing short time frames in which to find the perfect passive candidates and, further, to catalog them for later (on-demand) use.    So the market has added tools that can add more due diligence to the process, such as:

  • Latest Generation Comprehensive Assessment Tools such as Profiles International, PreVue, etc.
  • Skills Testing such as Brainbench,,
  • Reference Checking, such as SkillSurvey and Checkster
  • Background Checking such as OpenOnline,,, IntegraScan.
  • Credibility Scoring and Personal Validity Checking such as RelyID and newcomer Credibli

And further, we have infiltrated the human element of the candidate to get to the softer assets that they might bring to the table:

  • Their social network such as LinkedIn – who they know and respect
  • Zoominfo – anything they ever said in public that was quoted on paper or online
  • Facebook, MySpace, etc.   –  who they play with, date, and what they do in their spare time, what hobbies they enjoy, where they hang out.

Video Resumes are yet another progressive step to try to offer Employers a more complete view of the Candidate.   So far, they happen to be targeted NOT to metrics, or history, or specific job postings, but to personality, creativity, spunk and fun factors.

This is all as it should be.    In time (and in the not so distant future), Video Resumes, as all other new products, will enter the professional realm and become more relevant to specific jobs, more polished as a tool, and have more industry-developed rules around them.

BUT the clearly missing ‘glue’ is ONE PLATFORM that can combine all of this due diligence for Employers and Recruiters to access at once, not in a spoon-fed, step-by-step process over time controlled by no one.

Enter   (   This is our product, so I’m prejudiced, of course.    But we built it with the future in mind – the point in time where Employers grow tired of the “clever” YouTube submissions that are distracting and often detracting from the sender’s asset value – the point in the future where all the OFCCP and EEOC requirements can be met by a platform that includes a video.

We feel that there is NO reason for more tools, even video resumes, unless they SAVE TIME AND MONEY IN THE HIRING PROCESS.  If they simply are a fun distraction, they are not useful.   If they don’t give you valuable due diligence UPFRONT and QUICKLY and in a compliant format, they won’t save you time or money.
Video Interviews should emulate a real first interview so that Employers and Recruiters can forego the time and expense of that first phone screen or first interview.

  • How many times have you screened keyword-resumes down to a pile and then scheduled 1/2 –hour phone interviews with 20 candidates only to find language problems or attitude problems or resume inflation issues in that ½ hour?
  • How many times have you brought in the first round of candidates, and scheduled your team’s time for this, only to find they are not a corporate culture or job match at all in the first 5 minutes?   But, as a benevolent employer, you must give them the courtesy of the time you allotted for them.  How many employer man-hours are wasted this way?
  • What Employers need are tools that get them to HIRE DATE quickly, with a robust and comprehensive iterative process done more quickly in order to make decisions with more clarity – decisions that provide them with employees that will stay for years.

Imagine This… What if you could pull up a candidate record on Careerbuilder and click on a button that showed you not only a Resume, but also the candidate’s psychometric assessment results, skills test results, endorsements about the candidate from past managers and co-workers, reference checks, and a video interview… all right in one place … and on one platform that the IT department has screened and cleared?

Currently the recruiting industry uses an iterative process in hiring:

  • Post a Job
  • Find a resume
  • Phone Screen the potential candidate
  • Bring several in for first interviews
  • Test the candidates
  • Perform more due diligence (custom or generic testing or social network calling)
  • Narrow down finalists and bring in for final in-person rounds with interview team
  • Check References
  • Perform Background Checks
  • Make Offer
  • Negotiate Offer
  • Onboard

What if you could shorten that process by getting a lot of that information in an On-Demand basis?

What if the Candidates had already built a full profile for you with all of this information waiting for you?

What if you could view all this information UPFRONT and save yourself the time of the first phone screen and the cost of a flight or hotel?

This is what the industry needs.

We, as veteran recruiters, have addressed these needs by building a powerful platform that presents ALL of a candidate’s assets on one screen, in one place, at one time, like you can see here at

Each Candidate “Showcase” includes:

  • A professional Resume
  • The results of a 5th generation Assessment test
  • A Video Interview matched to a specific Job Function and its questions
  • Endorsements from co-workers and managers
  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Profile information regarding geographic and compensation preferences
  • Links to their blogs, websites, portfolios, demo reels, or other docs
  • Google information available on the candidate

So Video Resumes are really just a front-runner to complete platforms such as InterviewStudio.   There is little value for a stand-alone video resume since, on its own, it hasn’t been proven to SAVE TIME AND MONEY in the hiring process.

Here is what is Good and Useful about tools in the future that will include Video Interviews:

  • Videos are only one piece of the total due diligence on a Candidate
  • Video Resumes or Video Interviews are here to stay… they will not go away… they are too easy to produce now and too widespread in marketing and media to ignore.
  • The younger generations are growing up on video.
  • The technology is easy to use, and the equipment is inexpensive.
  • It saves time to look at a 2-minute video interview rather than do a 20-minute phone screen
  • It saves time to look at a 5-minute video rather than try to schedule a first interview to find out the fit.
  • It saves money to watch a 20-minute Interview rather than fly a candidate in and put him/her up in a hotel.
  • More and more Employers are creating branding videos of their own on their own Career Pages to attract Candidates.   It just follows that soon Employers will be accepting branding videos from candidates as well.
  • The industry needs some collaborative rules or accepted behaviors for Video Interviews.   This can be easily accomplished by blogs such as this.
  • Technically, most corporations are now pretty savvy in regards to rich media viewing software, and Flash is an accepted program that is widely installed.  Flash is cross-platform, meaning if it works on one computer, it will work on any other with Flash installed.  Flash is small and lightweight, but carries a robust video control platform.  You never have to leave your webpage to view the video. Flash can be embedded right into the page.
  • As technology marches, on, rich media viewing will become cleaner and quicker.
  • The bottom line is that currently, yes, there are downsides to the tools out there labeled “Video Resumes”, as discussed.    However, the Good News  is that vendors like InterviewStudio have now worked through the technology challenges  to aggregate all of these disparate (but important) pieces into a single robust, time-saving information platform for screening, due diligence and selection.

Ready or Not, The Future of Recruiting is Here.
Colleen Aylward, Founder,

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3 responses to “A Thumbs Up for Video Resumes”

  1. Original post:A Thumbs Up for Video Resumes The Spectacular Tricks Of Pingingby at Google Blog Search: video Blog tag: Video Technorati tag: Video

  2. ^!^wrote an interesting post today on Here’s a quick excerpt The problem is that a lot of this technology has produced MORE work than less work for the recruiters. Job Seekers can now populate the KEYWORD section in their resume to match a job

  3. Video Interviewing Avatar

    The one problem I see with video resumes is that they are too “static”. Rarely does one video resume apply for a variety of job openings. Its more of a push model of video enhancement in the recruiting process. I’m more inclined to think that the “pull” model of using video is better, where the recruiter is asking for a video interview (to a custom questionnaire) from the candidate instead of a video resume