Is a Video Resume Right for You?

How to know if you should jump on the newest resume trend.

Published: Oct 1, 2021

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When Keith lost his job, he started digging through career sites for creative ways to get his name and professional profile out into the world. But it was during a mindless scroll on TikTok that he got the idea to make a video resume.

According to reporter Alex Janin of the Wall Street Journal, “Video resumes have proliferated this year, as TikTok and LinkedIn launched special visual platforms to connect job candidates with hundreds of companies and recruiters.” And they’re not just being used to land creative jobs. Hundreds of job postings have been advertised on the Tik Tok Resumes pilot program, from sales roles to data scientist and financial analyst positions.

A video resume isn’t meant to be a filmed reading of your resume, and it shouldn’t even be longer than a couple of minutes. What a video resume accomplishes, rather than sharing your professional experience, is introducing yourself and making a human connection with the person hiring for a job you want.

Here’s how to determine if a video resume is right for you.

What a video resume accomplishes, rather than sharing your professional experience, is introducing yourself and making a human connection with the person hiring for a job you want.

Know the potential benefits of a video resume.

If you can execute it well, a video resume can be a valuable and unique asset that gives hiring managers a taste of your personality and story, so they can assess how you might fit into their team and culture. A video resume doesn’t just give you the advantage of verbal communication over a written resume, it also lets you express the nuances of nonverbal communication through body language and tone.

As a side benefit, career experts say the process of preparing a video resume or introduction can enhance your confidence, interview skills, and public speaking prowess.

Know your personality and career stage.

For a lot of people, making and editing a video of yourself is far more difficult than creating a written resume. However, if you have a gregarious personality and expressive communication style, a video could be the best way to display that strength.

Career experts also say that video resumes could be right for someone who’s been searching for a while and needs to revamp their strategy, someone who is making a big career transition or needs to explain something that’s hard to convey in writing, or someone just getting started in their career.

Know the type of company and job you’re going after.

“Jobs that require a lot of human interaction and relationship building with internal or external partners could find a video resume or cover letter compelling,” says Ryan Frechette, a career coach at Korn Ferry Advance. Such roles could include customer success, project management, sales, account management, consulting, human resources, etc. Or, if you’re going after any type of role in marketing, advertising, media, entertainment, or other creative fields, a well-produced and edited video with different sounds and effects could give you a leg up. “A truly well-done video introduction will benefit any job seeker,” Frechette says.

Know the potential pitfalls of a video resume.

Recruiters and hiring managers are humans, and they’ll inevitably bring various kinds of conscious and unconscious biases to the table when watching your video resume. Expressing yourself via a audiovisual medium like video can invite more potential biases into the recruitment process than a written resume. “It’s difficult to tell how your content will resonate with individuals, so seek feedback and comments from a diverse group of trusted friends and colleagues about how your video lands with them,” Frechette says.

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