What’s the Deal with Video Resumes: Good or Bad?

video resumes pros and cons

These days it’s more important than ever to embrace personal branding videos for job search and overall career management.

Personal branding and having a robust online presence are no longer optional for you.

Video is one of the best ways to express your personal brand and build your online presence.

When you think video for personal branding in job search and career, your first thought may be video resumes.

But is this the best option?

Or is there another kind of video that works better?

First, let’s take a look at why you’re not using video and why you need to use it. Then we’ll look closely at video resumes, the problems they pose, and a better option.

Table of Contents

Reasons Why You Don’t Use Video

Why Your Thinking About Video Is Wrong

Data Confirms Why You Need To Use Personal Branding Videos

What About Video Resumes?

Why Experts Don’t Like Video Resumes

Video Resumes vs. Other Options

CareerBrandVideos™ Are a Better Option Than Video Resumes

Reasons Why You Don’t Use Video

Maybe you’ve been thinking about using video in your job search and career, but you’re turned off or resistant for a variety of reasons.

People are telling us they don’t use video for two major reasons, noted below, and because of several specific concerns related to those reasons:

1. “I don’t need to use video”:

  • It’s too self-promotional
  • I don’t see other people like me using video
  • My friend tried it and it didn’t work for them
  • I’ve never needed this before
  • I’ve already invested money in my resume and/or a coach
  • I won’t need this once I’ve landed a new job

2. “I don’t know how to make a good video”

  • I don’t know what to do and say in my videos
  • I don’t want to be on camera, looking foolish and fidgety
  • Video technology is too complicated
  • I don’t have the skills to produce a video
  • I don’t want to invest a lot of money
  • I don’t know how and where to use my videos

Why Your Thinking About Video Is Wrong

Let’s take a close look at the two major objections to using video from above.

“I don’t need to use video”

It’s too self-promotional

All of your job search and career materials (resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, bio, etc.) are, by their nature, self-promotional. That’s their purpose. To promote or market the value you offer the employers you want to work for.

Instead of “self-promotional”, think “educational”. Video is another, perhaps even more powerful piece in your toolkit to help employers see why they need you.

I don’t see other people like me using video

Think of it this way: Using video when others aren’t will help you stand out and above the people competing against you for jobs who only have a resume to market themselves.

Putting good quality videos out there positions you as someone who is savvy with social media and the new world of work. Employers are more attracted to candidates who are up to date with technology.

My friend tried it and it didn’t work for them

Your friend was probably using a video resume, which doesn’t work well for most people and is not the best option, as you’ll see later in this article. If they used another kind of video and it didn’t work, maybe they didn’t put it into use properly.

I’ve never needed this before

Just like with most things in life, job search and career management evolve over time. The optimal way to do things the last time you were looking for a job is probably not the best way today. Savvy people get on board with the proven “new things” for whatever the circumstance. In this case, that’s video.

I’ve already invested money in my resume and/or a coach

Video is meant to supplement your paper/digital resume, not replace it. The right kind of video helps convey more about you and your personality and therefore generates chemistry for you in a way that a resume can’t. Video takes you that step beyond what everyone else is doing, and even just in that way, helps you stand out.

I won’t need this once I’ve landed a new job

If you want to stay forever employable, even when you’re employed, you need to stay top-of-mind with the kinds of employers you will want to work for in the future. Staying active on social media and staying connected with the right people will lead people to think of you when they have, or hear of, a good-fit job for you. Using video pushes you even further into that realm of staying top-of-mind.

In effect, a resume is only used for job search, but the right kind of videos can be used for career-long personal branding.

“I don’t know how to make a good video”

  • I don’t know what to do and say in my videos
  • I don’t want to be on camera, looking foolish and fidgety
  • Video technology is too complicated
  • I don’t have the skills to produce a video
  • I don’t want to invest a lot of money
  • I don’t know how and where to use my videos

All of the above concerns relate to the kind of video you use. Avoid these real problems by avoiding the kind of video that comes with these problems.

Instead, choose a video system that:

  • Guides you to put the right information about you into your videos, so you don’t have to decide.
  • Doesn’t put you on camera, like a video resume, potentially tarnishing your professional image because you don’t come across well.
  • Is Done-For-You by professionals so you don’t need to know anything about creating video and you never have to touch complicated video technology.
  • Won’t break the bank, like custom-made videos by video production agencies.
  • Helps you put your videos into circulation by showing you how and where to use them.

Data Confirms Why You Need To Use Personal Branding Videos

According to LinkedIn research, video is a key channel for job seekers to stand out in the hiring process

  • 79% of hiring managers believe that video has become more important when it comes to interacting with or vetting job candidates, and 61% of job seekers believe a recorded video could be the next iteration of the traditional cover letter.
  • 62% of job seekers believe sharing more about themselves, their experience and career goals on video could help them land a job. And 80% of hiring managers agree.
  • 59% of job seekers believe video is becoming the new norm as part of the job seeking process, and 41% have used video to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers.
  • Job seekers feel sharing a video with hiring managers would be helpful because it allows them to better highlight their personality (57%) and showcase their true self (41%).

The following facts from various resources should further convince you to get on board with video:

  • Videos posted online rank higher in search engines (Google, LinkedIn, and others) than plain content alone. So videos do a better job of boosting your online visibility.
  • Videos are 10 times more likely to be shared than other content.
  • Video does a better job of conveying personality, promoting your personal brand and generating chemistry than plain content.
  • Video does a better job of vividly showcasing your subject matter expertise than plain content.
  • Video helps you stand out from the crowd and position yourself as someone who is up to date with technology and the new world of work.
  • Video gives life to your career story in a way that no resume or flat document can.
  • People hire people they feel they know and like. Video helps people get to know you better than other forms of communication.
  • People sourcing job candidates will Google “your name” to find out about you. Video is the fastest way (sometimes in minutes) to get your name into page 1 Google search results.

What About Video Resumes?

So now you’re realizing you really need to start using video. You’ve heard about video resumes, so you figure they must be the best kind of video for you to use.

The few job seekers and professionals who do use video at all mostly use video resumes. In these videos, the candidate appears and speaks on camera. Some people do okay with them, but they’re not ideal . . . and don’t work well for most people.

👎 A poorly done video resume – not scripted well, the subject looks uncomfortable and unprofessional, the overall look is homemade and clumsy – can keep you from getting interviews and embarrass you.

👎 You know how dull, dry, and lifeless resumes can be. Converting such a resume into a video will probably result in a dull, ho-hum video.

👎 Video resumes are VERY “job-searchy”. Put a video resume out there and everyone (including your current employer) will know you’re job hunting. That’s a BIG problem for most job seekers.

👎 You’re probably on your own creating a video resume. How much do you know about making a video?

👎 You will only have one video resume in circulation. This gives a one-dimensional view of you, not a well-rounded impression of you, showcasing what makes you a good fit for the employers you want to work for.

👎 There are EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) concerns for employers viewing your video resume. This can open up avenues of discrimination in the hiring process based on race, gender, gender identity, and age, as well as health and disability, that employers won’t see by simply looking at a paper resume.

In fact, this is so much of a problem for so many employers, that some will not even view a video resume when they receive one.

Sure, the headshot on your LinkedIn profile or elsewhere online can reveal some of these things about you, but seeing you moving and speaking on camera for a few minutes can also reveal things about you that can cause employers to rule you out unjustly. Things like how you sound and move, and your overall demeanor.

Still think video resumes are the way to go?

Why Experts Don’t Like Video Resumes

Read what a few resume writing, job search and career experts have to say about it.

Nobody is watching these videos

Career coach and resume writer trainer Marie Zimenoff advises against using video resumes:

“A video resume does not exist—it is a myth. Nobody is watching them. However, video is a substantial part of your overall branding package. It is not going to be on a resume. I would not encourage you to spend the time or money making a “video resume” where you talk about yourself for 90 seconds.

What does work is a video of you presenting something relevant to your field that you can upload to your LinkedIn profile. It can be a short video of you talking about a subject matter expertise. Sharing some knowledge and even a voiceover of a presentation can fill that video gap. You may share your knowledge and your story in the video, but not a verbatim of the narrative of your resume.”

Only good for some creative jobs

Career expert Alison Doyle says video resumes can work for certain creative jobs, but most companies aren’t interested in them:

  • If your role is not very visual, then a video resume might not help further your candidacy. You should also be mindful that it’s easy to miscalculate in a video resume—that is, there’s a high risk of the script, filming style, or location being inappropriate.
  • Keep in mind that, as with anything on the internet, once your video file is out there, you cannot control how it’s shared.
  • An unprofessional or inappropriate video resume can hinder your chances of getting an interview. In a worst-case scenario, a poorly conceived and executed video resume can knock you out of contention and embarrass you.
  • Some hiring managers will not even view video resumes since they fear claims of discrimination in the hiring process.

It’s difficult to make a good one

According to FlexJobs, there are a number of things to avoid when you film yourself, that point to how difficult it is to make a good video with you on camera:

  • Off-topic subjects or other verbal content that doesn’t focus on the job or your qualifications
  • Poor production, including bad lighting and shaky camera work
  • Little or no eye contact or engagement with the camera
  • Excessive hand or body movement
  • Clothes or random or distracting items strewn across the background
  • Children, other family members, or pets wandering in and out of the room
  • Distracting noises in the background (or at least those within your control)

Video Resumes vs. Other Options

What about DIY platforms or video production agencies?

Nearly anyone can make a video these days using their smart phone. The quality may be okay, but just like with video resumes, you’ll be on camera, speaking and probably uncomfortable. Many people don’t come off well in homemade videos. All the variables that go into making a video can result in a cringe-worthy, unprofessional piece.

The better option is turning to a professional to help you create your videos.

Professionally-made videos typically fall into two categories:

1) DIY Video Platforms

You’ll need to have at least some experience and understanding of the technology involved, and how to create a professional piece. You’re flying solo here, and often working with cheap-looking templates. Besides, do you really know what should (and shouldn’t) be in your video, and how it should look?

2) Custom-Made Videos by Video Production Agencies

You can hire a production company to do the work from start to finish. Of course, you’ll pay a pretty penny because a lot of time and expertise goes into making a fully-custom, quality video. Expect just one 30-45 second video to run from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. And, do these video creators really understand today’s job search and career management?

So, now you may have wisely ruled out video resumes, DIY platforms and video production agencies.

Is there another option for personal branding video for job search and career?

Yes. And this is exactly why we created CareerBrandVideos™ . . . to fill that void with a better option.

CareerBrandVideos™ Are a Better Option Than Video Resumes

CareerBrandVideos™ uses animation with kinetic typography, which does a much better job of communicating your personal brand than videos with a job candidate reading from her/his resume or a dull script on camera.

How much do you really know about video creation, and what should and should NOT go into them? Our process provides the professional guidance you need to be sure the right information about you appears in your videos.

With CareerBrandVideos™ you get:

✅ Captivatingly appealing videos, with movement, color and other compelling features. You don’t appear on camera and your voice is not used, like with video resumes, so no one sees you fidgety and performing poorly. And this rules out potential EEOC issues for employers.

✅ A set of 3 different videos zeroing in on the 3 critical components of personal branding: Personality, Subject Matter Expertise and Testimonials.

✅ A Done-For-You customized video system. You never touch complicated video technology. You or your career practitioner provide the right information, we do the rest and we know how to make you shine! Just sit back and relax until you get your 3 videos.

✅ Super fast results (sometimes within minutes!) with online visibility. Get “your name” into page 1 Google search results and remain highly visible in your field of expertise.

✅ Videos crafted to fit the preferred short format of about 1 minute:

  • Short videos are memorable and convey a lot of information fast. They capture attention in a short attention span world.
  • Viewers are far more likely to watch a short video through to the end. Studies show that 5% stop watching after one minute and after two minutes, you lose 60% of viewers.
  • Some social media platforms do not accept videos longer than 1 minute.

✅ Videos designed for career-long personal branding, whether or not you’re actively job hunting, to help you stay forever employable. They don’t “out” you as a job seeker, like video resumes.

✅ Our in depth ebook, Video Promotion Strategy and How-To Guide, a step-by-step guide on how and where to use your videos for maximum impact.

Are you ready to accelerate your job search and career with CareerBrandVideos™? Get your set of 3 videos now.

Author: Meg Guiseppi, personal branding and job search strategist, and founder of ExecutiveCareerBrand.com. Meg is also a co-creator of CareerBrandVideos™.