The Video CV

Why a Video CV might work, more likely, why it wouldn’t.

In this age of instant, well nearly, communication and high technology, shouldn’t we be sending videos of ourselves telling people about us?

Video CVs have been around for a lot longer than you would think. Just because we can now send a file as an upload or on a CD, miniCD, DVD or memory stick doesn’t mean to say it will get as much attention as our “old fashioned” paper CV.

Back in the days of Video Tapes, and it’s not so long since VHS tapes stopped being in general use, there were thoughts that all CV presentations should be taped.  It didn’t happen.

You need the hardware, a video player and TV set and it takes time to load a video tape into a player, watch a presentation, wind the tape back, eject it and file it. Although the hardware became more common the main failing was in the time taken.

A paper CV can be glanced over in about ten or twenty seconds, the reader knowing, probably well before the end of that time, if the candidate matches his needs.

Videos need to be played in real time, it can take three or four minutes to get the same information across in a conversational style.

So technology moves on and the video file can now be emailed or downloaded through a link to a site such as YouTube. That’s got to be quicker than fiddling around with tapes and discs?

True, however there is still the problem of compatability. It was bad enough when there was competition between VHS and Betamax. Think of the multitude of file types in which a video presentation could be formatted.

Some network administrators won’t allow “Flash” videos on their systems for fear of picking up a virus.

There is still the time element, though, and it’s not just watching the video, it’s making notes. The written word is still easier to access than the spoken word.  Will a recruiter go to the bother?

And what other information could be contained within the video, either accidently or on purpose, which could bias the viewer?  We know there are laws and rules about discrimination but you would reveal your age and nationality. Your accent could also work against you. The way you make your presentation,  a stilted reading from the CV, a stumbling “off the cuff” delivery or a professionally recorded production read from a teleprompter, all could give more information than you need to.

Granted there are times when a video presentation will work, mainly in the media and arts, where demo tracks or play discs are already expected and the norm, but for normal Job Seekers, the Video CV is not really a good idea.

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