Video Resumes: Benefits Over Paper?

2 January 2019 Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dr James McQuivey of Forrester Research has suggested one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, and video resumes are increasingly being used instead of or alongside paper resumes. Younger generations of job seekers have embraced this technology-driven approach to applying for jobs. There are numerous benefits for both candidates and recruiters alike.

While paper resumes have long been the norm, employers widely accept video resumes too. We all still love the written word when it comes to applying for jobs, but here are just a few reasons you should consider using a video resume with your regular one now.

Ben Rosen, CEO of Inspiring Interns & Graduates, a UK-based graduate recruitment agency has been using video resumes alongside paper resumes since 2009.

“For time-short hiring managers, a video resume offers a great accompaniment to the traditional CV. They look professional, are quick and easy to watch, and give the candidate the chance to demonstrate their skills, experience and show a bit of personality”.

They Show You’re a Serious Applicant

A video resume shows just how much you really want the job.  One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is sending the same resume to different types of jobs. That means that recruiters are getting hundreds of applicants who are applying not because they want the job or are suited to it, but because they’re simply trying their luck.

Writing a good resume takes time and skill, but recording yourself takes even more time, effort and dedication. You will have to have studied the job description and written a script which is tailored to the position you’re applying for – what more could you do to show your commitment?

They Show Your Human Side

How much can a recruiter get to know a candidate from a simple written document? If it’s written well and you’ve been able to get your personality across, then they can probably glean quite a lot about you, but not written professionally and you run the risk of it going on the scrap heap.

As 93% of human communication is visual, a video resume lets your personality shine through and immediately grabs and maintains the viewer’s attention. A video is the next best thing to actually having you in the room, and when you do your piece to the camera you can switch on the charm, show enthusiasm, drive, even a bit of humor and actually come across as a human being and not a candidate number.

They Turn Down the Pressure

Interviews are stressful, but a video resume can lower the pressure. If you’re methodical in addressing all the key criteria listed in the job ad, you’ll probably answer the majority of questions they would be likely to throw at you should you be invited to an interview.

Preparing a video to submit beforehand means you can think longer and harder about your answers, rather than having to think on your feet in the heat of an interview room. That means if you are called to an interview and somehow manage to flunk it, you can sleep a little easier knowing you have your video resume to fall back on.

They Look Professional

Done well, a video resume can look incredibly smooth and professional. A stylish, well-scripted video shows you’re serious and have put a lot of thought into your mini production, perhaps more so than a paper resume which might contain spelling or grammatical mistakes, or be – let’s face it – just a little boring.

As long as you keep your presentation simple, it will shine, but get professional help or a second opinion on your text before the camera starts rolling. Just don’t record yourself with a messy background, muffle your speech or keep shuffling your script around. Try to learn your piece by heart and speak as clearly as you can.

They Show You Are Up to Speed

Many businesses are choosing to utilize video; whether for hiring, advertising or showcasing customer testimonials. Cisco has predicted over 80% of website traffic will be videos by 2021 and video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year. It’s easy to see that video is a powerful thing.

Therefore, using a video shows you understand the trend towards videos, and that you know how to use a camera and edit a video. That’s important, particularly if you’re going for a marketing or technology-driven role.

Any Downsides?

As with anything, there are some negatives to video resumes.  For starters, they can play to a recruiter’s unconscious bias. Lots of companies try to reduce or eliminate bias by blanking out names on resumes, but it’s hard to ignore a person’s ethnicity or gender when they’re up there on the big screen, so a video resume likely won’t be accepted in such companies (check their policies beforehand). This approach could also be more favorable to extroverted candidates who are more confident and comfortable behind a camera.

Although watching a video seems quicker than reading a CV, it could actually take longer and be more inconvenient. Instead of reading over a CV and picking out points of interest, the Hiring Manager might have to watch the video multiple times and needs the capabilities to load it up and listen to it.

Used Together

For the time being it is best to also submit a paper resume if you’re penning a script and firing off a video. On its own, a video resume can look weak and, perhaps, like the easier option.  Coupled with a professionally written paper resume, however, and you’ve done twice the work and shown off your written skills as well as your presentation skills.

There’s no danger of written resumes dying out any time soon, but more and more people are

choosing to combine them with a video resume. Written well, a paper copy can show you’re a great candidate with the verbal and communication skills needed to land the job, but so too can a well-penned video script. Embrace and use both, however, and you start to look like a very employable candidate indeed.


This article was written by Lizzie Exton. Lizzie writes for Inspiring Interns & Graduates, the UKs leading graduate recruitment agency.

Tatiana Rehmova

A glass half-full kind of a girl and a believer that everything happens for a reason. Loves writing, editing and researching the newest ways of doing things.

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