How to Find Everything You Want to Know in a Video Resume

Nov 10, 2015
This article is part of a series called How-Tos.

Aside from listing skills and past job experience, video resumes also give you a peek into how a candidate would mesh with the company culture, what soft skills they possess, and how they communicate and present information.

Here are five examples of video resumes and how to recognize everything they’re showing you about a candidate:

Look for signs of skills that aren’t listed in the job description.

In this resume, geared towards the company that created Snapchat, the applicant goes through and shows (albeit in a humorous manner) how he exemplifies the qualities asked for in the job description. But he shows he’s got even more talents to offer.

In a 2014 survey by CareerBuilder, 77 percent of the over 2,000 respondents said soft skills were just as important as teachable technical skills. Look for examples of these in video resumes. This candidate showed — by convincing strangers to be involved in his video resume — that he has good people skills, and that he is creative. Sure, deciding what to watch on Netflix isn’t a professional example of problem solving, but the way it’s presented shows he thinks outside of the box.

See what other people have to say about the candidate.

In most cases you want to hear what a candidate’s references have to say about them, and in this video resume, the candidate includes testimonies from his supervisors.

This allows you to not only see what he believes are his strengths, but the opinion of an objective observer as well.

However, be wary of quotes that sound insincere or coached. Pay attention to references’ body language and tone, to determine if they’re giving their honest opinion or repeating lines the candidate asked them to say.

Find evidence of what they’ve done in the past.

As any hiring manager can attest to, many job seekers embellish on resumes. Seeing examples of what they’ve done and how it impacted their company or community provides proof of what they are actually capable of, which is why this candidate features the programs he developed for local schools.

While it’s nearly impossible to include past projects or concrete data in a one-page resume, a video resume allows candidates to show their work, or at least include hyperlinks to examples. Hearing them describe projects in their own voice also allows you to judge their interest and excitement for the work they do.

Get an idea of cultural fit.

A 2014 study by Millennial Branding and found that 43 percent of HR professionals believed cultural fit was the most determining factor when it came to deciding to hire someone. But with traditional resumes, it’s difficult to get a feel for how a candidate will fit in at your company, until you interview them in person.

Video resumes, on the other hand, give a more in-depth view of a candidate’s personality and values. This candidate not only lists what she’s learned from her experiences, but also what she believes makes her special. Look for examples like that, to determine if a job at your company will be a good fit for a candidate.

Pay attention to how they are communicating and presenting information.

As this candidate says, communication skills are very important, but so is the way someone processes and organizes information. Since there really isn’t a formula to follow when creating a video resume, the finished product gives you a good idea of how a candidate naturally communicates and presents information.

Without the conventional headings and subheadings of a text resume, candidates have to decide how to organize the information in their background and communicate it to you in a way that shows they’re right for the job. If a video resume jumps around from point to point or leaves you with more questions than you started with, it’s a safe bet communication isn’t the candidate’s strong suit.

What other ways can you use video resumes to get a better idea about a candidate?


This article is part of a series called How-Tos.
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