There was an interesting piece on Good Morning America today, also online as Which Job Search Trends Help, and Which Ones Hurt?”. Since I basically agree with what they said, I thought I”d point it out.
Video Resumes, while trendy, are an idea whose time is not yet here. They are exceptionally hard to do well, as the tons of poor quality videos on YouTube proves. Furthermore, they open a company to charges of selecting applicants based on looks, race, etc. instead of qualifications. Unless you are applying in a field where presenting yourself well on video is a key part of the job, you’re much better off focusing on qualifications and a traditional paper resume.
From the other side, videos produced by companies to recruit people are a much better idea. Companies can generally afford high quality productions that really let candidates see what it’s like to work there, and attract the type of people they want to hire. Candidates can make a much more informed decision before applying, and go into the interview really knowing what they’re going to get into.
The article also discusses several other ways to stand out – using odd sized business cards, printing your resume on strange paper, sending gifts to recruiters, etc. In most cases, these are a bad idea. Yes, you may be remembered, but not how you would like to be remembered. You want to impress a potential employer with your qualifications and professionalism, not some odd gimick. Spend your time instead figuring out what you do well, what you really want to do, and where will let you do that. It will take the same amount of time as thinking up trendy gimicks, but you’ll be much happier in the long run.