Video resumes making comeback

May 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
With more people competing for jobs every day, many are turning to technology to give them a leg up. One solution is a new kind of resume driven by innovations in online video. One San Francisco company is making it big with video resumes.

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"I think we're still kind of in this new stage," says Matthew Hurwitz of San Francisco. "Not so much of using video, but the video resume and being able to send it out in a professional manner."

Hurwitz was recently working in the Presidio studio of a company called Interview Clips. He was doing more than just adding a video clip to his resume for a position in Public Relations.

"Think of it as a job interview, that you're actually in there already, even though you haven't gotten the call," he explained. "So, you do it exactly the same way when you go into the job interview. You're just doing it one-on-one in front of the camera."

Townley Paton, founder of Interview Clips says, "Video resumes go back to the mid 80s. And, back then, you'd try to get something on a VHS tape and you would expect an employer to go find a deck and plug it in. And then, CD-ROMs and DVDs. It was too cumbersome."

In the last year, the technology of broadband Internet and video changed all that dramatically. The field is so new that there is not much research on it, but comments from hiring professionals and Interview Clips' boom in job placements indicate that resume video can be a valuable differentiator.

Videos are intended to set you apart, not to replace text resumes.

"I think we're still in the early stages of that," observes Hurwitz, "that not everyone has gotten on board yet."

Some employers feared charges of video-enabled prejudice. So, the company fashioned client agreements to forestall that. For $300-$500 it provides the production, coaching, counseling and a secure Web page that ensures only the people you want to see your video will see it.

Paton even foresees technology to customize a presentation for every prospective employer.

"But wait a minute," you say. "I've got a camcorder or webcam. I could put myself on You Tube!"

Paton cautions, "Though you could do it on your own, and people do, video resumes could hurt you if they're not done properly. You may not look your best on a webcam. And, some of that stuff still looks like the witness protection program."

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