Should You Send a Video Resume?
This past July 2021, the social media site TikTok launched its pilot program for TikTok Resumes. Partnering with brands like Chipotle, Target and Shopify, TikTok stated the creation of the program was to enhance “TikTok as a new channel for recruitment and job discovery.”
Currently, nearly 70% of the site’s users are age 39 or younger, with more than 47% being age 29 or younger. TikTok likely had its demographic in mind when introducing this feature, but what does that mean for workers who have already been working for years?
If you go on the job hunt, you may be wondering, “Should I create a video resume?” That depends on the employer and the type of job you’re applying for.
Where the State of Video Resumes Stands Now
First, let’s talk photos on resumes. In our experience, most recruiters don’t want pictures on resumes, because it opens the doors for discrimination allegations. Adding a photo to your resume could be enough to land in the discard pile, even when you’re qualified for a job.
The same may be said for videos. If you send a video resume when an employer hasn’t asked you to, you may find yourself disqualified from the pool just so the employer doesn’t risk anything related to discrimination.
An interesting trend, however, is that once the initial interview process has started, it’s becoming increasingly common for employers to ask candidates to record a 5-minute video for a particular topic. These videos may serve as a way to introduce yourself, for example, or to show off your personality to see if you’d be a cultural fit, or for you to talk about your specific experience and skillset the company is seeking.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, recruiters see the potential for video resumes being more supplemental, sort of like how you could show personality more in a cover letter, compared to a resume. But expect most employers to continue to require applicants to complete an application that largely repeats what’s on a resume, for compliance reasons.
Our recommendation: Do not send a video of yourself when you’re applying for a job unless the employer asks you to. The best practice with submitting a resume is to always focus on following directions. Send in what’s required of you. If you have questions about supplemental additions, like a video resume, ask before you send.
When Video Resumes Are Appropriate
Even though video resumes are currently in their infancy stage across industries and jobs, tools like #TikTokResumes may help job seekers in certain situations. For example, if you’re on the job hunt and you’re having trouble getting noticed, you could submit a video resume on a site like this to potentially get connected with an employer.
Employers may use programs like TikTok Resumes as a sourcing or lead generation tool, but then still proceed with traditional resume analysis when narrowing down the candidate pool.
For roles where personality is a relevant deciding factor, video resumes may become more prevalent in the hiring process. For example, employers in creative industries may ask for video resumes for roles like:
- On-air talent
- High-volume customer-facing roles in hospitality, retail and sales
If you currently work in a creative or customer-facing industry, or you want to, it’s helpful to be mindful of the video resume trend. You may be asked to create one for future applications.
Video Resume Creation Tips
If you are creating a video resume because an employer requested one, or you want to add yours to a site like TikTok Resumes, you can follow many of the same tips we outlined in our post How to Prepare for Virtual Interviews. Keep these general tips in mind.
- Follow directions. Carefully read the directions so you can outline your video before you shoot and edit it. Pay attention to:
- What content you need to include
- What the employer is looking for in candidates
Most employers want to know you can follow directions and pay attention to detail. That applies to a video resume, too.
- Use high-quality equipment. For a video resume, it may pay to invest in equipment like a ring light for better light quality or a microphone for better sound quality. You’ll also want to test your software to make sure your microphone and camera work and the recording process goes smoothly. You don’t want to fail to capture a perfect take because of a software malfunction.
- Capture yourself professionally. This tip applies both to the quality of the video, as well as how you and your surroundings appear in it. You may want to use a tripod for your recording device so your video doesn’t come off as shaky. You might consider enlisting someone you trust to be behind the camera so you look great. Wear an outfit that reflects the position. Clear away clutter from your background.
You may want to practice your video before you film it and ask someone for feedback before you send it. Remember to follow directions and only send a video resume if the employer asks you for one.
Need Help on Your Job Search?
Talking with a potential employer can be nerve-wracking, wherever you are in the hiring process. We offer interview preparation services, so when you get to that phase, you’re ready and confident to nail your interview.