Monthly Archives: April 2011

Do You Need a Video Resume?

Jerry Crispin, Editor and Publisher of CareerXroads summarized this topic beautifully. We hope he’s laid this topic to rest once and for all. Jerry is considered the guru when it comes to recruiting issues. His books and articles are published widely. Visit them at http://www.careerxroads.com

We have frequently been contacted by companies that create video resumes, asking us to feature their services on our various websites.

Jerry summarized it well: “Video interviews, yes. Video resumes, seldom if ever.”

“We just have to comment about this Editor and Publisher article congratulating their [print] industry colleagues on adding a new feature, video resumes, to their services. Basically these publications are now educating (and charging) job seekers to make videos and post them on the publication’s site.
Really?

Before the Internet, a job seeker could circle 30 job adverts from 30 companies in Sunday newspapers, cut them out, mount each on individual pages in their journal, type 30 cover letters, print them out, stuff them along with copies of their resume and mail them all out on Monday morning expecting they would reach their destinations by Wednesday. (The cleverest job seekers bought the Sunday classifieds on Saturday and got them in the mail 2-days early!) Start to finish, it took three to four hours tops. Really!

Today, finding and applying to 30 jobs in 30 companies isn’t fixed to a specific time but would take the average job seeker the better part of three days working around the clock. (Try it if you don’t believe us, we’ve timed it). Really!

And now publishers have come up with the bright idea that job seekers would like to spend even more of their waking hours over days, weeks and months learning how to properly project themselves to an imaginary audience of recruiters? Really?

Never mind that recruiters and hiring managers would be out of their mind to spend their days watching and comparing videos of potential candidates. Video interviews, yes. Video resumes, seldom if ever.”

This was a bad idea 20 years ago and will still be a bad idea 20 years from now or at least until a meaningful method of searching and extracting content from video is found. For job seekers to upload their video resumes for employers to view is either a) one more indication of how publishers have misunderstood and misused every technology since the invention of the printing press; b) an outright scam to bilk money out of job seekers since employers won’t give them any; c) a sadist’s answer to the question “How can we waste more time, effort and money of desperate people; or, d) all of the above.”

Getting Feedback After an Interview

Most of us have been turned down for jobs at one time or another. Most of us also ask what we could have done differently, or where our skills fell short. Most of us have probably been disappointed when we didn’t get answers that could help us in the future.

Why does this occur?

People we interview with are often uncomfortable telling us that we didn’t make the cut. They typically give the answer that another candidate was better qualified. What the heck does that mean?

How do you get helpful information after an unsuccessful interview? (The only successful interview is one that results in a job offer.)

Typically the Recruiter or HR Manager is the person that calls us and tells us we are no longer being considered. We can ask them, but often they have not been given any reason.

So who should you try to get information from?

Employment interviews typically include your interviewing with several people. Typically you have collected their business cards as you went through the interview process. (If person doesn’t volunteer to exchange business cards, ask them for their card, and give them yours. In leaving, let them know you have appreciated their time, and to feel free to call on you if you can assist them in any part of their job. Networking is key, let them know you are welcome to be a source when appropriate.)

When you have been turned down, go back over your business cards and notes. Who was the person you felt you “clicked” with best? Call them. Tell them you understand you are no longer being considered for the job. Then tell them you are trying to identify if there is additional training you should take, or some area of the interview you fell down in. “I can’t get better unless I have feedback on my shortcomings. Can you tell me anything I can be working on?”

Then shut up and listen. Don’t disagree with anything they tell you. The interview is over. Your objective is not to try to salvage the interview. (That will really tick off the person you called, and the odds are about 10,000 to 1 against it happening anyway.) If they don’t give you anything specific, you can try a couple of follow-up questions. “Were my answers easy to understand? Did I provide enough details?”

Accept anything the person says, thank them, and get off the phone. You may or may not learn anything. Some companies are very strict on not providing information. Others leave it to the individuals. You tried. Let it go at that. Don’t judge.

What should you do immediately after the phone call? Send the person a Thank You note. (After all, you still have some left after sending Thank You notes to each person you interviewed with no later than 24 hours after your interview.) Thank them for taking your call. If they did give you information you can use, mention couple of the points and that you will start working on them right away. Last, repeat your offer of assistance.

Remember, next time you interview someone for a job and have to turn them down. Try to give them information to help make the person better. If their dress wasn’t appropriate, tell them how other candidates dressed. If their answers were not specific enough, let them know that other candidates gave very specific answers. If it’s because the candidate failed to ask any questions, tell them about questions other candidates asked. There are many things that can be said that can help a candidate. When your answers tell candidates how other people answered the questions it helps the candidate who was turned down, without putting them on the defensive.

Summary

Most of the people we interview with want to be helpful. Some companies allow them to be, and others don’t. Failing to try to learn information assures you will likely repeat a mistake. You owe it to yourself to make the effort. It’s your career…optimize it!”

Your objective is to try to improve your interviewing skills.