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It seems like for certain jobs (e.g., Sales, Consulting) soft skills are critical. Video resumes, in addition to paper resume seem like a good fit.

Why are they not more popular? Are their any concerns recruiters have?

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    This seems entertaining at the very least. I can see having a bad resume popcorn viewing on Friday afternoons. What would the people do on the video? Rap their skills? – blankip Apr 15 '15 at 0:58
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    Talking to a camera and being able to come across as natural in that setting is a unique skill in itself -- it's not the same as soft skills. It's very possible that you're quite good at talking with humans but lousy at talking to a camera. – Brandin Apr 15 '15 at 6:57
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    possible duplicate of Why do some recruiters ask for Word format resumes? – gnat Apr 15 '15 at 7:26
  • see also: Should I include images / icons in my resume? "not all employers evaluate resumes in the same way. Sometimes, creating a visual resume is incredibly successful..." – gnat Apr 15 '15 at 7:33
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    @gnat I think the question of video resumes is not a simple matter of difference in document file formats (the Word format question). A video resume is also far different than adding some graphic elements to a traditional resume. It's a distinct topic IMO. – Brandin Apr 15 '15 at 8:28
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A variety of reasons...

Most jobs end up attracting a rather large number of resumes, sifting through them to figure out who to follow up with is a rather tedious chore. A hiring manager can take a reasonably standard paper resume, spend 15-30 seconds scanning for a handful of bits of information, and have a pretty good idea whether a candidate is worth inviting to the first round of interviews. A video resume or other non-standard resume would take much, much longer to review which makes it relatively impractical. If you're getting 100 resumes for an opening, most of which are obviously underqualified, spending an hour to wade through paper is annoying but spending a day to watch a bunch of videos would cause most hiring managers to go a little bonkers.

Conventionally formatted resumes are ideally suited to allowing the reader to pick out the tidbits of information they want at the moment while allowing for a deeper dive later. If I'm looking at a resume to make an initial decision on whether it's worth doing a phone screen, for example, I'll probably do a quick glance at the education profile to see what the person studied, scan the job titles and dates, and maybe read the first couple of sentences of their most recent job description. If I'm preparing for a full face to face interview, I'm going to look over the details much more closely so that I can ask good questions. Different people hiring for different roles will look for different bits of information at different times. That's all very easy with conventionally formatted paper. It requires a ton of time and effort if you're trying to skim a video.

Distributing videos is a difficult technical challenge in and of itself. There are a number of different video formats and codecs and people have different devices, browsers, and plugins. Plus videos tend to be large so there is the issue of how you transfer them from person to person. Then figure out how to do that while avoiding viruses and without using hosting sites blocked by the employer firewall or thumb drives that are blocked by IT security restrictions. It's hard enough when a reasonably sized company decides that they want to find a way to let everyone in the company watch a video newsletter which generally involves trying to generate a video that is compatible with the "standard" software that is on "every" machine (which is never actually standardized and never actually at the same version on every machine) and still generates a flood of helpdesk calls the first few times. It would be a huge headache to get a video resume to a hiring manager, ensure that everyone could actually watch it on whatever device they happened to be using at the time, ensure that it could be forwarded to the right downstream people, etc. Sure, a company could run an internal YouTube and come up with a way to let people upload their videos from outside the firewall. But that would be a ton of infrastructure to solve a problem that a piece of paper or a PDF solves today.

Plus there's the issue of infrastructure on the candidate side. Almost everyone can either produce a vaguely reasonable paper resume even if they need to go to the public library, an internet cafe, or a friend's house to get a computer (or, heck, even a typewriter). Not everyone produce a video that's pleasing to the eye rather than a wobbly mess that starts off way too soft and spikes up in volume just as the listener pushes the volume to the max. Not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera which is very different from normal social interactions. Then there is the question of editing software unless you expect the candidate to get through their entire presentation in a single take. And publishing software to convert the raw video to the appropriate version of the appropriate format with the appropriate codec for a particular employer's needs.

Then there's the fact that computers need to be able to manage resumes. If you send in a resume today and a position opens tomorrow, employers want to be able to do a keyword search to see if the new position happens to be a better match for your skills or to quickly cut the field to a managable number (i.e. only send me people with a college degree that show "Java" on their resume). Computers are pretty decent at doing that for text. Not so with video.

Even if you solve all those problems, it doesn't really add anything to help you assess soft skills. Your resume only exists to get you the interview, not the job. Employers are going to invite in a number of candidates to interview often going multiple rounds before making an offer. That's multiple hours of time to assess soft skills in a much more realistic environment (though even that is imperfect-- some people get nervous in interviews others manage to hide their bad side for a few hours). Even with imperfect information, though, those conversations are going to give you far more insight into the soft skills of the candidates than a brief video would. It's unlikely that someone whose paper resume failed to make the cut for the first round would manage to display any sort of skill in a video resume that would carry them through multiple rounds of face to face interviews.

  • Yup, your first paragraph is exactly what I thought when I read this earlier today. You can't skim videos well at all.. – enderland Apr 15 '15 at 20:07
  • Yes. Presenting examples of your actual work is what portfolios are for. – Kai Apr 16 '15 at 16:38
  • Yes. I often browse news web sites. And I routinely skip the videos and go to the text, because with text I can skim to the parts I'm interested in. If something is really interesting or puzzling I can slow down and read carefully. With video, that's hard. Sure, some things work better in a video than in text, like some how-to instructions, music, sex scenes. :-) But a resume ... doesn't. – Jay Jun 13 '16 at 22:57
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One very important reason is that a lot of resumes today, especially in big companies, are not read by humans. First, they are processed by computers to check for some key skills and eliminate a lot of unfit candidates before they waste a recruiter's time in an interview.

Even when there are no computers involved, recruiters often skim resumes in a few seconds for those key skills before discarding them.

Video resumes make this filtering process nigh-impossible.

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Logistics. How would someone send a video? Email wouldn't fit, and most companies have restrictions about accessing sharing sites. Also, skimming a resume is quite fast, not so with a video.

  • There are ways around it like sending a link instead of an attachment. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 15 '15 at 14:46
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Employers have to comply with the equal opportunity laws, so they are leery of you including your picture with your resume because your picture shows what you look like ethnically or racially. A video resume would show more than a few pictures about you.

If you are an actor going for a part, you are expected to include a picture with your resume,but that's the one exception that I know of.

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Every position I have applied for in the last 10 years have required me to cut and paste the resume to fit into the text boxes on the website. Having a video resume would not be useable. I don't dictate the format of resumes the employers do.

Also, when you figure out how to cut and paste the video into the text boxes on the webpage let us know.

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