Used to hate video resumes. Now I heart them.

During the dotcom years, a lot of staffing firms had video resume capabilities for their candidates, but it never really caught on.  Then, a few years later when YouTube was really starting to blow up, it seemed like every job board was rolling out a video resume feature.  I don’t know what percentage of job seekers on job boards (monster, careerbuilder, etc.) have video resumes, but I always looked at this from the job board and recruiter’s perspective and thought it was pretty useless.  Too hard to query, too hard to organize, too much liability (racial profiling, for instance), and too time consuming.  As I’ve been talking to some candidates lately, however, I’ve changed my tune for one simple reason.  Here’s why.

 If a candidate is going to take the time to create a video resume, that means they are going one step beyond those other candidates.  Just like candidates who take the time to make a follow up call after submitting their resume may get their resume to the top of the pile, a video resume gives the candidate another way to get in front of recruiters and hiring managers.  Obviously the substance of the video is paramount, but I give props to anybody who takes the time to craft a professional video and get it in front of me.

I understand not all candidates have a webcam, but let’s face it, not all candidates have email either (I get requests for my fax number daily.  Sorry, I haven’t had one since…ever.)  For that reason, I’m not saying video resumes will ever replace standard electronic/paper resumes, or that they’ll even replace 1% of traditional resumes, but it is a good tool for candidates to use if they want to use another angle to make an impression.

That being said, I think the candidates are the sole (or at least primary) beneficiaries of video resumes, not recruiters or job boards.