QUINCY, Mass. -- First video killed the radio star. Then it threatened the future of political campaign flyers. Could its next victim be the 8 1/2-by-11 resume?

First video killed the radio star. Then it threatened the future of political campaign flyers. Could its next victim be the 8 1/2-by-11 resume?

In addition to the traditional pieces of paper outlining their skills and accomplishments, job candidates are now creating video resumes: a tool they say gives them a chance to offer a first impression without waiting for an interview invite.
"We're living in a world in which people speak video," said Marco Greenberg, founder of Reel Biography, a New York-based company that makes video resumes. "A video gives a professional the opportunity to show their passion, to demonstrate their communication skills, and to let people know the fire in their belly."
With the advent of YouTube, mainstream job seekers found an outlet to share their own homemade video resumes. As people's amateur videography skills improved, Internet job sites like CareerBuilder and Jobster decided it was prime time to add a video posting feature for their clients.

"We thought video resumes would allow candidates greater depth in conveying their talents," said Theresa Chu, a senior career advisor at CareerBuilder, which added the capability to its site in June.

The trend is slowly creeping into Greater Boston.

Sapphire Technologies, a recruiting firm based in Woburn, received their first video resume Tuesday. An Arlington applicant for a software engineer job sent her a YouTube link for a seven-minute look into his work history.

"I watched the whole thing. It was really, really well done," said Natasha Anderson, a recruiter and manager at Sapphire. "I think we're going to see a lot more in the next three years."
Anderson foresees some distinct benefits of video resumes for employers considering out of town candidates. Flying someone in for an in-person interview has gotten too expensive, and a lot of companies and candidates don't have the capacity for video conferencing. So they make many hiring decisions based on phone conversations.

"This will be a lot more comforting for them," Anderson said.

For the candidates, however, the video will neither make nor break them.

"In the end, his resume is what it is," she said. "His experience is what it is."

That fact leaves some recruiters skeptical about the new medium.

"It essentially comes down to where have you been, what have you done, and what relevant skills do you have," says Matt Noone, manager of the Braintree branch of Robert Half, an international finance recruiting firm.

Noone has seen a small number of video resumes trickle in but said the company has no plans to change its screening process. Recruiters still look at everyone's paper resume, and they still conduct hour-long interviews with people they move forward with.
His concern is the length of time it would take to review video resumes if the trend became more prevalent.

"It takes me 30 seconds to look over a resume," he says. "A seven-minute video is something I'm going to be apprehensive to look into."
This is why Maynard-based online job site Monster has yet to add a video feature to its job seeker profiles.

"We haven't heard a strong demand from recruiters for the ability to see video resumes," said Steve Sylven, Monster's spokesperson. "Recruiters are inundated with resumes every day."

The company is also hesitating because of potential discrimination issues that may arise from having job applicants' age, gender, race, and national origin laid out in a video.

"We've discussed the equal opportunity implications to all this," Sylven said. "We'll definitely factor that in to anything we offer."
Others argue that putting one's appearance on display works to the applicant's advantage. Greenberg recalls making a video for a seasoned event coordinator with white hair.
"It works in her favor," he said. "People know she's been there, she's done that."
If video resumes are the wave of the job seeking future, new video databases will have to come with them.

"Videos take up a lot more storage," Anderson said.

Questions of how to organize videos and store them safely also have arisen.

A Yale grad was subjected to widespread ridicule on the Internet after an investment banking firm leaked his flamboyant video resume showing him lifting weights, ballroom dancing and skiing.

But employers believe that new technology will eventually emerge to handle the volume and concerns of a growing bank of video resumes.

"If we see video resumes coming into prominence more and more, we'll make the necessary adaptations," Noone said. "For the amount of candidates we see daily, that would probably be a significant technical upgrade."

Regardless of all the concerns, Greenberg said, the video resume trend has officially begun. And with the current college-aged, Internet generation pushing the record button, there may be no stopping it.

"I think the younger generation is going to tell the human resources people to take a chill pill," she said.

April Dembosky may be reached at adembosky@ledger.com.