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Video Resumes of the Future (1989)

Imagine LinkedIn, with fewer networking tools and more VHS tapes of you performing awkward magic tricks. That seems to be the future of job-hunting according to this article from the October, 1989 issue of Omni magazine.

I mean, even Arthur Radebaugh's prediction 40 years earlier of interviews via videophone was closer to the mark.

A standard printed resume suggests little, if anything, about how a job candidate talks, acts, and looks. But now there is a video resume, giving a prospective employer the chance to size up the person before the interview takes place.

Advantages? An employer can judge how well personalities will mesh before subjecting himself or the applicant to the pressure of a face-to-face interview. Just pop the video resume into a VCR.

It's also advantageous for the job seeker. "Paper resumes screen you out. Video resumes get you screen in," says John B. Kelman, president of Res-A-Vue, a video marketing company in Connecticut. "You can really put your best foot forward - no interruptions, no smoke blowing in your face."

Video resumes run about five minutes and cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars. To prepare one, a job seeker tells about his abilities and ambitions before a studio camera. The tape is then edited, complete with on-screen titles and background music.

The video resume can be used to illustrate skills that might seem unimpressive on paper. For example, a human resources vice-president prepared a video resume in which he performed magic tricks. It was shot on location all around the country. The cost: $12,000. In another instance, a scientist gave a video to his boss to prove he was management material. Says Lise Christensen, a public relations executive who recently found a job by using a video resume, "Employers get to meet you. You have an edge over anyone with only a piece of paper."


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Reader Comments (6)

Video interviews were standard in TV through the 80's and 90's.

We didn't have anything to play the 3/4 inch beta on so we would take them out to the parking lot and hit them with tripods.

December 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaxwell Hammer

Although video resumés show that a person can use technology, a written resumé proves that you got an education. How many people can write a resumé correctly? The person has to either get professional help or spend hours of time revising and being creative in order to let their personalities show through. Video resumés are impressive and a nicer way to see the person before meeting them, but a well written resumé speaks more than just the words on the page.

December 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterprofessional resumes

I would think this would be an H.R. nightmare - who wants to have to sit through even one minute of video, let alone 5, before figuring out that the candidate doesn't have the right degree, or otherwise is clearly unsuitable - something that can be done in seconds by reviewing a paper resume.

Plus think of the anti-discrimination nightmare these create -- now resumes are largely blind (or at least soft-focused) as to ethnicity, sexuality, age, and even sometimes gender (e.g., "Kelly Smith" male or female?). So if someone is eliminated on paper, there's little ground for them to claim discrimination (and, in turn, little ability for a prejudiced employer to effect discrimination). Imagine with video resumes -- hit' play' - "A black woman?! That'll be the day" - hit 'eject' - "Next!". And conversely even if someone is eliminated on merit (such as lack of proper education), that person may always wonder if instead it was because of their race, or gender, or that they had grey hair, etc.

December 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

Until a few years ago, it was standard practice for animators (both 3D and hand-drawn) to send out what we called "demo reels." They weren't exactly resumes, but they may as well have been. They showcased the artist's work in a moving format, and were generally MORE important than the resume. It was standard procedure for an animator to have stacks of these VHS tapes around, and to send one out for every job opportunity. Eventually it became CDs/DVDs. This practice continued into the mid 2000s, when eventually bandwidth became ubiquitously generous enough for any artist to stream high quality video on his website, making the physical media unnecessary.

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May 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterget a deeper voice

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August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Lyle

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