Video CVs: Embrace or Avoid?

The process of sifting through CV after CV that all seem to start with ‘I’m a target driven team-player’ can start to get a little tedious after a while - someone’s got to do it, haven’t they?

But what if there were a different way to view and review candidate’s resumes without clicking through endless emails from the ‘solution-focussed’ masses? Well, there just might be.

With modern technology allowing people to connect and distribute media like never before, a new format of CV is starting to crop up more and more - The video CV.

Ok, so it’s not something some sort of Star Trek-esque piece of technological ingenuity, but the idea could make recruiters' jobs a little easier when it comes to sorting through so many different people’s working histories in a short space of time.

Of course, for an idea like a video CV to take off, it has to be done properly (just like it’s email counterpart) otherwise it could just end up wasting the time of those viewing it. 

So just what are the pros and cons of this new type of CV and will it help us sort out the ‘dynamic creatives’ from the real-deal candidates?

Pros

They add depth

How much can you really tell about someone from a document? Yes, you’ll be able to see their skills and work history, but a video CV could also give you a feel for someone’s personality - a factor that’s also important when putting a candidate forward.

Expressions, body language and confidence can all be taken in by viewing a video, giving you a better overall feel for the person. It also puts a face to the facts, adding a little a little more depth to the individual.

Clarity

Many people can overcompensate on the language front when writing a CV because they think that fancy words and an elaborate turn of phrase will impress the person reading it.  However, most of the time this can just get in the way of the core information that a recruiter wants to see, especially if you’re not getting it spot on.

Video CVs could reopen this issue as candidates are far more likely to keep it plain and simple when recording it. The last thing they want is get tongue tied tripping over tricky syntax.

Forward thinking

Having the confidence to make that little bit of effort to make a video could also be an indicator of the individual. It suggests forward thinking and it also gives the recruiter a good idea about a candidate’s presentation - kind of like a miniature pre-interview.

Cons

Lack of guidance

Because this idea is fairly new, it could lead to a little confusion to what a candidate should put into these videos. Obviously, time will be an issue, so the best ones are likely to be those that are short, sweet and to the point. 

However, there could be a tendency for some people to go overboard with the length of their CV, which could be detrimental from a recruiter's perspective.

Time wasters

Like anything else in life, you could end up with a few people who have just made an irrelevant, quirky video in the hope that it makes them stand out from the crowd. While there’s nothing wrong with trying to create something original, it still has to get the message across that said person is right for the job.

Someone delivering their skills in a fresh, unique way is great, but a person doing their best impression of Lady Gaga is not.

The verdict

If done correctly, the video CV could play a big part in the recruitment process. However, it may also require some effort from the recruiters themselves. For example, if you’re willing to accept a video CV, it could be wise to outline a few things that you expect to be in it. State the length, content and file format beforehand so that candidates have a good idea of what is expected of them.

There are good arguments for both the pros and cons of such an initiative, but one thing is for certain, you’ll definitely get to watch a couple of interesting videos if you do give it a go!

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