Article: Video resumes: Shoot yourself into that dream job

Talent Acquisition

Video resumes: Shoot yourself into that dream job

For jobs where communication skills are critical, video resumes are turning out to be an important tool for recruiters
Video resumes: Shoot yourself into that dream job

Video resumes has turned out to be a cost-effective and efficient medium that has helped recruiters deal with major recruitment constraints


Video resumes could be treated as a 'sales pitch' to make one's case


Mathew Epstein, a 2008 graduate from the University of Central Florida, wanted to be a part of Google’s marketing team. In 2011, to make his pitch, Epstein made a website by the name ‘Google Please Hire Me’, and uploaded on it a quirky video resume requesting Google for an interview opportunity.

The campaign went viral. Epstein’s LinkedIn profile says, “A week after launching my campaign, I received over 400,000 unique visits and 430,000 YouTube views”. Moreover, his candid video resume earned him interview calls from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce and Google.

A part of Epstein’s success can be attributed to the widespread acceptance of video resumes in the US. There is a reason for this popularity: keeping the quirky or uber-creative experiments aside, the regular video resumes (VCV or Visumes) give the employer an idea of the potential candidate’s communication skills, over and above the regular information about his experience and education. It has also turned out to be a cost-effective and efficient medium that has helped recruiters deal with two major recruitment constraints: cost and time.

In India, video resumes gained currency for the first time in 2006-2007. This was the year when launched the video resume feature for its users. The trend, however, has caught on only in the last couple of years.

Saves costs and time

Says Arunn K Asthaana, MD and CEO, Vvidia India “Nowadays, even at the stage of preliminary screening, candidates are judged on the basis of their personality and communication skills. Video resumes give recruiters a chance to analyse a candidate’s skills during screening. It helps them save a lot of the cost and time consumed in organising a number of one-on-one interviews.”

The Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, has made the video essay an essential part of the admission process. In a video address to aspirants, Shubhen Sarangi, Senior Associate Director, Admissions, at ISB, explains that the video essay helps one understand a candidate’s “articulation skills and communication skills”. Further, by enabling the recruiter to see a candidate, a video resume helps increase the efficiency and speed at which recruitment decisions are made.

However, though video resumes are gaining acceptance, this varies across industries. It is more popular in sectors that require candidates with good communication skills and pleasant personality. Jyotica Dhawan, co-founder and director of Helix HR, an executive search consulting firm, believes that right now there is only a limited audience for video resumes. She says, “IT companies and global MNCs welcome this form of screening; but for the others, unless the position is for top leadership or for a creative role, wherein the skills can be demonstrated, video resumes have had limited success.”

Locating data is a challenge

One of the limiting factors is the difficulty of locating data in a video resume. Unlike text resumes that HR professionals browse to zero in on the data that they require, in a video resume, the recruiter has to access the information as thrown in by a candidate. This requires one to watch the entire video, which may range from one to three minutes. Secondly, it becomes a little hard to filter these resumes on the basis of some specific requirement without watching the entire resume. Despite these shortcomings, video resumes are a better bet as compared to in-person interviews of all the candidates in the screening process.

Zubair Ahmad Chauhan, partner at Video Resume India, a video resume service platform, says, “Video CVs are more preferred by BPOs, KPOs, hospitality, aviation and other related industries, where command over language is given more weight. Retail is another sector that is opting for video resumes, as they need smart people with good communication skills.”

Large IT companies lead the change

The change is mainly led by MNCs and large IT companies. Many service providers have started upgrading their services to tackle the changing nature of demand. For instance, Helix is about to launch a portal of video resumes for the leadership candidates that they hire. Throughout this portal, candidates will be able to record and submit their key credentials, job history, and personal responses to the employer’s pre-secreening questions.

Asthaana sees these changes as a sign that video resumes will become the next big thing in the recruitment market in India. Manisha Kushwaha (name changed), a senior HR professional with an advertising agency based in Delhi, shares her experience. “More and more candidates are sending us their video resumes, as it makes a stronger impression. In the last few months, we ourselves have started asking for video resumes. However, it turned out that only good video resumes leave a good impression. Lots of video resumes are badly done. Now we shortlist candidates on the basis of the text resume, and then see their VCVs before calling in a candidate for interview.” This is probably the reason why consultants suggest reviewing the video resume along with the text resume. Video resumes could be treated as a ‘sales pitch’ to make one’s case. Says Dhawan, “Video resumes can add to the text resumes, but replace them? Perhaps not!”

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Life @ Work

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