Module 27 - Résumés
Can I use a video résumé? LO 27-8
Yes, if it’s appropriate for the situation and presents you in the best light.
Video résumés can be powerful tools for reaching an audience. They let applicants use sight,
sound, color, and motion to enhance appeals and demonstrate skills needed for the job. But video
résumés also leave applicants vulnerable to discrimination or ridicule, as was the case for
Aleksey Vayner, whose much- maligned “Impossible is Nothing” made the rounds on the
Internet and included examples of ballroom dancing, downhill skiing, and bench pressing
(hundreds of pounds)—all for a job in banking. Students should know, too, that we may
overestimate our strengths on camera, as TV shows like American Idol have made audiences
When job seekers have a choice, they should weigh the benefits of using video résumés against
the risks. Many potential employers, for instance, can scan through dozens of paper résumés in
the time it takes to view a single video résumé. Which résumé might they prefer? Consider using
a video résumé if it’s appropriate for the organization and job sought, such as one in
entertainment, motivational speaking, or face-to-face sales—and if it’s the best way to present
you. Stick to traditional methods otherwise.
As PP 27-31 and PP 27-32 suggest,
Learn if the employer wants a video resume.
Practice; record several versions.
Show why you’re the best candidate.
Keep to a few minutes – one or two may be ideal.
Enhance with imagery and sound, not distract.
Test your résumé, post or send it, and check it
periodically if possible.
In-Class Exercise: If you are in a computer-equipped
classroom, have students locate examples of video résumés and
critique them for 10-15 minutes. Which résumés are effective? Which are not?
Why? If opinions differ vastly among students, what does this suggest about the
potential effectiveness of a video resume with different audiences?
Last Word: Encourage students to envision their résumés as organic, rather than
think of résumés as “one-size-fits-all” documents. Each résumé should be adapted
for its specific reader, whether that reader is human or machine. By avoiding a
cookie-cutter approach, students are more likely to create résumés that will give
readers the information they wantCin the form they want it.
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