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Introduction to Video Résumés

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What is a Video Résumé?

A video résumé is a short, 1-5 minute video that can be sent to potential employers as a supplement to a standard, written résumé. While video résumés might not be a common requirement for all job applications, they can be a useful tool for marketing yourself to potential employers.

Why Create a Video Résumé?

In a competitive job market, many job applicants worry about how to set themselves apart from other applicants. A video résumé can help alleviate this problem by connecting your skills and abilities to more personal factors like your appearance, expression, and voice. A video résumé can also show off your creativity and a strong understanding of digital media. These implicit characteristics of video résumés can distinguish your application from a set of similar applicants.

Despite the benefits of video résumés, there are many employers who will not accept video résumés. For one, since many video résumés include images of the applicant, some companies worry that judging candidates based on video résumés opens them up to claims of discrimination. Others don’t accept video résumés because they take much longer to assess than traditional, print résumés. A print resume can be scanned for specific points of information in seconds, whereas a video résumé might take a few minutes to mention the specific piece of information the employer is looking for. Always check with the hiring manager at a company before trying to submit a video résumé.

Video Résumé vs. Paper Résumé

A video résumé should not be used to replace a standard, paper résumé. When a job application asks to “include a copy of your résumé,” it will usually be asking you for a single-page document that summarizes the education, employment history, and experiences for the job to which you are applying.

The OWL resources on traditional résumés can be found here.

Having a completed traditional résumé document can be a helpful first step toward creating a video résumé, however, as you can use the skills and experiences from your traditional résumé as inspiration for your video résumé.

A useful way to think about the difference between a traditional, paper résumé and a video résumé is that the purpose of a video résumé is to enhance key aspects of a traditional résumé. In other words, while traditional résumé formats may require you include all of your skills and experiences, a video résumé allows you to choose one or two skills or experiences and exemplify them in a visual, creative format.