Smile - you're on video

Mar 29 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

First the paper resume gave way to the email and online version, now it seems American workers may have to get themselves groomed and buffed even when just applying for a job, as the "video resume" starts to become more commonplace.

The survey by career information company,, comes as more evidence has emerged that British employers are increasingly judging job applicants on their internet reputations.

The Vault survey has found that nearly four out of five employers would be happy to watch a video resume if one was submitted to them.

But, before workers start to break out in a cold sweat, fewer than a fifth of managers polled – 17 per cent – said they had actually viewed one, so far.

Half of the 309 employers polled said they were keen on the idea because it would potentially help them to assess a candidate's professional presentation and demeanour.

A total of 14 per cent felt it would help them to get a better sense of a candidate's job experience and 9 per cent said they would use it to gauge a candidate's speaking manner.

Much as with conventional CVs, the rule of thumb for video resumes appears to be long = bad.

More than three-quarters of the employers polled advised candidates to keep their video resumes down to below two minutes, with nearly half recommending getting the job done in less than a minute.

While the use of such technology remains embryonic among employers at the moment, the chances are that it will catch on more widely, predicted Vault.

More than half of employers surveyed believed such CVs would become a common addition to future job applications, it said.

The British study, by business social network organisation Viadeo, found that one in five employers had searched for and found personal information about candidates on the web.

Ominously, nearly six out of 10 said what they had found had subsequently influenced their recruitment decision.

A quarter of the employers had rejected applicants because of the personal information they had found online.

Peter Cunningham, UK country manager of Viadeo, said: "These results should act as a wake-up call to anyone who has ever posted personal information online.

"Millions of people are inadvertently contributing to their internet reputations everyday by leaving personal information online much of which is cached and remains available via search engines even after the author has removed the web page.

"When people who are not the original intended audience – such as potential employers – find this information it can have a major impact on their decision making process," he added.