If a picture is worth a thousand words then so too is the first impression the candidate has on a prospective employer. Unfortunately the problem with the first impression is that 900 of those 1000 words are likely very wrong! This only gets more complicated when the candidate decides to include a video snapshot.
Unfortunately most of these video productions are extremely low budget home grown efforts utilizing insufficient technology with an el-cheep-o digital camera that included a video feature, poor lighting, terrible audio and the scripting is something akin to a police interview. The end product is not something that usually helps the candidate; in fact it is something quite different.
A number of agencies jumped on the video bandwagon and quickly discovered it was not nearly as effective as they first believed. The agencies operational cost went up significantly and the outcome was not measurably improved over the traditional method of presenting a candidate. In fact video often ended up shooting the candidate in the foot.
Here are some examples of what can go wrong with a video:
- The candidate is struggling with a weight issue (like most Americans) and the camera only adds to this image. If the hiring company is looking for someone who has the stamina to do whatever it takes to succeed in the job, the video image may suggest something quite different.
- The candidate has a poor command of language with poor word and phrase use. They may stutter or slur or mumble in their speech. They may have an MBA or a Ph.D. but they end up projecting something quite different.
- The candidate may be viewed as too senior for the job.
- The candidates clothing suggests a fashion of a bygone era. Worse yet their clothing suggests a future era!
- Etc Etc Etc
What is a hiring company looking for?
When a hiring company is looking for candidates they typically end up weeding through dozens of resumes and usually narrow it down to a small handful of candidates to select to interview. The weeding is another way of saying the candidate goes through a filtering process by the hiring company that lines up with what attributes the hiring company is looking for in a candidate. The filtering includes relevant experience, age, sex, education, location etcetera. The video ends up being added to the filtering process and considering what I just mentioned above, the video is not likely to add to the candidates success in getting the job interview.
As always there are exceptions to all rules. If you are going to include a video with your resume to prospective employers I encourage you not cut any corners in the production area and be sensitive to the possibility that your video could end up the reason why you didn’t get the interview not the other way around.