Monday, February 23, 2009

On Video CV’s:

From an recruitment industry point of view, it seems that whilst everyone can appreciate the benefits of a multimedia CV, and there are even some enterprises out there promoting the practice, it didn’t seem to me to be gaining a lot of steam over 2008.

Post-financial crisis however and suddenly "talent" is a buyers market again and job-seekers will need to impress if they want to get a foot in the door.

Are we going to see more video CV’s in 2009 from applicants wanting to differentiate themselves? And if you are a recruiter…are you ready and willing to receive them? See what these recruiters think...

Multimedia CV: Put your best face forward
By Lia Timson
The Sydney Morning Herald
Published: 07 February 2009

Get in front of potential employers with your own video.

When Matt Niedzwiedz wanted a job in event management, he prepared a multimedia CV package to showcase his talents.

The party organiser had spent many years working on the music scene in Warsaw and London and wanted to demonstrate his skills to potential employers. So he produced a 30-minute presentation, burnt it to mini-CD and mailed it away. He also produced a shorter version that he posted on video-sharing website YouTube.

"I was quite known in Europe but here I would be nobody," he says. "I wanted to show potential employers my way of working."

Niedzwiedz is not alone. An increasing number of tech-savvy jobseekers, particularly generation Ys, are using webcams, camera phones, editing software and online video-sharing sites to promote their talents and stand out from a long line of hopefuls. While there are subtleties to the technique, it can pay off.

The human resources manager at accounting firm Pitcher Partners, Melissa Banek, says she likes to see CVs on video.

"It provides a great snapshot of the candidate's profile, experience and education in [their] words," she says. "I find it an efficient use of time. The employer can work out which questions they would like to
further probe in an interview and not waste time going over old ground."

However, Banek warns some employers could immediately exclude you from a face-to-face interview if they are unimpressed with your video CV.

A browse of YouTube, where many jobseekers post their CVs as a supplement to targeted mail-outs, shows the diverse range of video resumes being produced.

Some have very poor production values and feature applicants giving lacklustre performances. Others dazzle the viewer with their high quality and confident presentation.

The director of non-profit placement agency NGO Recruitment, Richard Green, says he is yet to receive a video CV but expects that day is not far off. He believes a video CV could work well for jobs where media skills and unconventional thinking are an advantage, such as head of communications at an organisation like Greenpeace.

The talent manager for advertising specialist recruiter The Ladder, James Greet, says job applicants considering a video CV should make sure it is primarily focused on their experience and capacity to do the job.

"It may be a very creative way of building excitement around [you], as far as it's well directed, informed and entertaining," he says. "Done badly, it could ruin your chances."

Mature-aged workers can also take advantage of the technology, according to Sam Leon, the principal of XMSolutions, an over-45s recruiting firm. He favours web conferencing and video CVs over phone chats and preliminary person-to-person meetings with jobseekers. He says employers also appreciate avoiding travel expenses for first interviews of interstate candidates.

"It gives a feeling for the candidate's personality and whether they are genuine," Leon says. "You can pick up body language, watch their eyes and get them to hold up things like diplomas.

"Over the next five years, video CVs will be as normal as printed or emailed CVs, without question."

When Tourism Queensland recently sought applications for a dream job on Hamilton Island, it insisted on video CVs in the first round to get a feel for the applicants. The role pays $150,000 for six months of work, living on the island and promoting it to the world. More than 8000 applications have been received.

The area manager for recruiter Drake International, Zipporah Szalay, says video CVs should be carefully prepared. Drake has a professionally staffed production studio to help candidates properly represent themselves. It regularly produces 30-second videos for candidates, especially those looking to work overseas.

"We've done it for Asian students going back to their countries to work, even doctors and nurses," Szalay says.

"You can demonstrate a cultural fit [with the company] by the way you communicate your passion and charisma and they can click on a link to your CV. But it doesn't work for everything. Professionalism is the key. You need to really take care because you only get one shot at it."

Niedzwiedz has learned valuable lessons from his video CV. He received just one response from 60 CVs sent out. He now believes his 30-minute presentation was too much of a demand on a company's time.

He hopes to make another assault on the job market soon, using the insights he has gained.

No comments:

Post a Comment