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The issue of video CVs came up in the office recently, and with the familiar charge of that “recruiters should be utilising web 2.0 and social media technologies more”, it’s an interesting one. The topic came up in the 29/05/08 issue of NMA, where Dave Martin, who is MD of UK job board Allthetopbananas.com, said that they were getting positive feedback from candidates on the video CV upload feature on the site.

The benefits are apparent – employers would get the chance to pre-screen candidates based on a video clip highlighting their strengths and experience as per their CV, but would also be able to gauge presentation and communication skills. The value to candidates would be to do something to make them stand out above being just a piece of paper to a recruiter or a HR manager. This would be especially relevant to business development specialists, who should relish the thought of having a short space of time to pitch their product (themselves in this case), or any other client-side candidates.

Despite this, the video CV can’t replace a pre-screening interview. It’s important to be able to sell yourself well in a presentation, but a good probing first round interview is very useful in seeing how well that stands up to scrutiny. Conversely, a candidate who might not have seemed the sharpest on screen might come alive with an interviewer to bounce off. From an employer standpoint, David Henry (VP of New Business at Monster) says that they are scared that Video CVs would leave them over a barrel if someone were to bring a case of discrimination through based on religion or how they look – something the anonymity of a paper CV would protect them from.

Henry goes on to say that employers should be the ones using video; showing employees what its like to work at their company and the people that work there, such as this over posted chap:

Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo

There is definitely merit in using video as a recruitment tool, but I have to say that I do think the video CV has its place. While it might not be ideal for recruiting backroom staff (or Yale graduates if this video is anything to go by), it could be a great way for more outward-facing candidates to catch the eye and get noticed, or to give creatives a chance to showcase themselves. Also, my colleague rightly pointed out that the discrimination point is shaky – other potential indicators of race or religion can be taken from something as simple as someone’s name, which one would get off a traditional CV, or simply by googling the person and having a gander at their Facebook profile (highly unethical of course).

Personally I think it would attract an unfortunately high number of attention whores, but I would love to be proved wrong! Plus, anything is better than Second Life.

Video CV for the win