Attaching a video of yourself with your job application

16 Jun 2011 - 6:37am
2 years ago
11 replies
1829 reads
Ali Naqvi
2008

Hello,

There are tons of UX, Interaction design jobs in North America and Europe. I have many times thought about applying for jobs in Canada. Since I am based in Europe the recruiter may not be able to "invite" me for an interview, so everyting has to be done via a long distance call.

My creativity lately wants me to send a video of myself where I present myself and maybe even record the current work location and get some recommendations from current colleagues.

The idea is that this videofile can be attached to the email along with my resume.doc file and cv.doc file.

What do you guys think? I am not a reqruiter but I have a feeling that having information about a candidate in a visual format, may be accepted by reqruiters? Any reqruiters present?

Ali

Comments

16 Jun 2011 - 10:06am
Sean Pook
2008

Hi Ali,

It's a very nice idea and certainly wouldn't detract from your application (assuming you have some clothes on in the video haha), but the value (for a recuiter) lies in being able to quickly scan a resume, jumping to the relevant sections as needed. In a video you'd have to wait for it to run its course.

But it would certainly make you stand out for sure.

16 Jun 2011 - 10:26am
Gilles DEMARTY
2005

Hi Ali,

Reminds me of this awesome Resumé with "vidéo embeded" ( http://mashable.com/2011/04/26/qr-code-resume/ ) .  Actually it's turning quite popular. There is even a wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_resume )

What to remember is : 

  * make it short and just introductory, like an extra creative touch"

 * Put it online. Instead of having a  20Mo High res video or a 1Mo crapy one.  

 * If you make it a bit longer, Maybe you can bundle youtube's timecode shortcuts with sections in your resume.  ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_UyVmITiYQ#t=1h13m05s ).

 * I would not personally do it.

 

Gilles

16 Jun 2011 - 2:05pm
a2slbailey
2010

Also keep in mind that many corporate environments block the receipt of very large email attachments AND block access to YouTube. The world is changing, but that change is exceedingly s-l-o-w in most corporate IT environments. Prob not as much of an issue if you're looking for work with a startup/boutique design firm but will be an issue if you're interested in big companies.

sb

16 Jun 2011 - 12:05pm
dmitryn
2004

Hi Ali,

While I think this is a fun and creative way to get noticed, I do wonder about the return on your time invested in making such a video.

I'm not a recruiter, but I'm currently involved in hiring for a couple of positions for my team, and I have to say that I'd prefer to see a case study or a few solid portfolio samples over a video, especially if the latter doesn't really tell me anything I can't find out from your resume/cover letter/LinkedIn/Twitter/etc.

Showing evidence of solid design skills and experience relevant to the position is IMHO the best way to ensure that your application stands out. I'm not sure a video is necessarily the best way to do that.

I hope this helps,

Dmitry

---

Dmitry Nekrasovski // Mobile UX Design Lead, OpenText // dmitryn.com // twitter.com/dmitryn

17 Jun 2011 - 1:41am
Ali Naqvi
2008

Hello Dmitry,

thanks for responding. You had some really good points.

I am searching for portfolio samples and case studies online in order to get inspired. Do you know of any good ones?

/Ali

16 Jun 2011 - 5:54pm
adutko
2011

I think a video resume is a great idea under certain conditions...

First I would recommend presenting your work through images, screencasts and voice over narration. A brief intro from a talking head is great to put a face to a name, but then the focus should be on displaying work and verbally narrating the design problem and how you arrived at the solution.

I have a background in video so I love this idea and will probably do it myself at some point! I agree that short and sweet is key, if a video resume saves the recruiter time in trying to decipher work samples and in figuring out who you are it could score big points.

Just like anything if you have the time to do it and the resources to do it well I think it's definitely worth a shot!

 

23 Jun 2011 - 3:05am
cfmdesigns
2004

Some companies try to zap out as much ethnic and gender content from a resume as they can, so that you are being judged purely on your merits, not on what you look like or what sex you are. A video may defeat that, making them unable to reduce that impact and thus leading to them disregarding you outright. Any video should thus be secondary, not primary; you need to be judged without it.

18 Jun 2011 - 6:50am
Mark Richman
2006

Hi Ali,

A search for 'Case Study User Expeience' does turn up dozens of agencies that present case studies. Looking at these should give you sopme ideas.

Some obvious guidelines:

- Keep them short and to the point

- Make your case study about the most interesting part of the work as you see it. That will get your enthusiasm to show

I personally like Project 202's portfolio pages at   ... projekt202 com/work/portfolio 

And I have case studies on my company's site at websosmart com

Good Luck, 

Mark RIchman

27 Jun 2011 - 8:03am
AW
2011

I would do it to get yourself noticed and to showcase your creativity and video skills, esp if you're interested in doing that type of work on the job. 

28 Jun 2011 - 12:05pm
Kevin Fox
2005

Having been on a hiring committee for 4 years, I would say attaching a video is of dubious value for several reasons:

  1. A lot of US employers are wary of having headshots, marital status, age or ethnicity included in a resume for discrimination reasons. It's fairer to judge someone based on their accomplishments and experience rather than their physical attributes, and explicitly adding information about physical attributes when applying for a position where those attributes aren't core to the job (such as modeling or acting) forces an employer to deliberately block them out.
  2. Resumes are looked at in a variety of contexts, including in a big stack of other resumes in a resume review meeting or hiring committee meeting. This is not a venue where they will pull out laptops or project your video, so make sure your resume doesn't need one for full impact.
  3. In most cases, the job of the resume is to get you in the door to the next level, be it a phone screen or on-site interview. The job of a resume is to convince the employer that you're worth meeting in person. If you can't convince them to take the next step via a resume, a video probably wouldn't (or shouldn't) convince them that you're worth talking to, unless they choose to for the wrong reasons. On the flip-side, a video could hurt your chances if you have a borderline resume. Without a video, the employer will often feel compelled to 'get to the bottom of your story' with a phone screen or interview, but if you give them what feels like the 'whole picture' by attaching a video they may feel they don't need the phone screen or interview to fully understand who you are, and you should absolutely value the opportunity to talk with a potential employer more than the opportunity to have a one-sided conversation in the form of a video presentation.

The exception is in cases where the final decision will be made without an interview in any case. The best example is applying to college. In many cases applicants never get the opportunity to interview with the admissions committee, and a video helps give a better picture of who they are, a lower-fidelity peek in to what the committee could have gleaned from an interview. In that case, a video may be useful. (Also, in that case, a lot more applicants attach videos, so it's not as much trouble for the committee to incorporate it into their process.)


tl;dr: Your job as an applicant is to get the phone screen or interview. Submit a resume that makes them want to ask you questions, not one that tries to answer all of them off the bat.


-Kevin

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28 Jun 2011 - 4:05pm
tonyzeoli
2008

I would agree with that statement. At 44, I would rather let my resume and experience speak for itself and then get the interview and present yourself. This morning, I met with someone on Skype, but that's a bit different than sending in something that is set in stone, which you can't take back. The interview process, I believe, should be fluid. If you send something that cements your personality, you could risk blowing the opportunity. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't companies out there who want only a video interview. Maybe they are then new paradigm, but we're probably no where near a tipping point to say that you should just sling one out there, especially if it was not asked for.

On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM, Kevin Fox <kevin@fury.com> wrote:

Having been on a hiring committee for 4 years, I would say attaching a video is of dubious value for several reasons:

1) A lot of US employers are wary of having headshots, marital status, age
  or ethnicity included in a resume for discrimination reasons. It's fairer
  to judge someone based on their accomplishments and experience rather
  than their physical attributes, and explicitly adding information about
  physical attributes when applying for a position where those attributes
  aren't core to the job (such as modeling or acting) forces an employer
  to deliberately block them out.
2) Resumes are looked at in a variety of contexts, including in a big stack
  of other resumes in a resume review meeting or hiring committee meeting.
  This is not a venue where they will pull out laptops or project your
  video, so make sure your resume doesn't need one for full impact.
3) In most cases, the job of the resume is to get you in the door to the
  next level, be it a phone screen or on-site interview. The job of a
  resume is to convince the employer that you're worth meeting in person.
  If you can't convince them to take the next step via a resume, a video
  probably wouldn't (or shouldn't) convince them that you're worth talking
  to, unless they choose to for the wrong reasons. On the flip-side, a
  video could hurt your chances if you have a borderline resume. Without a
  video, the employer will often feel compelled to 'get to the bottom of
  your story' with a phone screen or interview, but if you give them what
  feels like the 'whole picture' by attaching a video they may feel they
  don't need the phone screen or interview to fully understand who you are,
  and you should absolutely value the opportunity to talk with a potential
  employer more than the opportunity to have a one-sided conversation in
  the form of a video presentation.

The exception is in cases where the final decision will be made without an interview in any case. The best example is applying to college. In many cases applicants never get the opportunity to interview with the admissions committee, and a video helps give a better picture of who they are, a lower-fidelity peek in to what the committee could have gleaned from an interview. In that case, a video may be useful. (Also, in that case, a lot more applicants attach videos, so it's not as much trouble for the committee to incorporate it into their process.)

tl;dr: Your job as an applicant is to get the phone screen or interview. Submit a resume that makes them want to ask you questions, not one that tries to answer all of them off the bat.

-Kevin

((

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