Whether it is training senior C-suite executives during a career transition or producing award-winning news segments, there is one thing we have learned: Everyone has an interesting story to tell. For top executives looking for their next role, how they tell their stories can be more important than what their stories are. In other words, we are huge proponents of what we like to call “live resumes.”
A major issue for many HR and recruiting professionals is sifting through hundreds of resumes where everyone’s background looks the same. At a certain level, there is little differentiation because most candidates have similar attributes in terms of pedigree, experience, and education. Internal and external recruiters need to know much more to winnow down the number of attractive candidates.
Based on our research, nearly 50 percent of all executives recruiting for an open executive position would much rather watch a video than read another resume that only provides a two-dimensional profile. There are so many intangibles that only come across on screen, such as executive presence, confidence, and leadership qualities. These are all communicated through body language, voice, and other visual cues through a video interview.
Not Either Or
When studying the differences between paper resumes and live resumes, we realized it isn’t about using one or the other. Each serves a different purpose. The paper resume focuses on quantitative matters—facts, what the candidate accomplished, when he or she did it, and performance metrics. The video resume connects the recruiter with the candidate on a human level and tells the story of the person behind the facts and figures. Candidates tell their personal stories in unique ways and the personality comes through. This can begin to answer questions about cultural fit, such as respect for team contributions, communication skills, and empathy. When you watch multiple candidate videos, you can determine your final choices to interview in person in a matter of minutes. The candidate moves from two-dimensional to three—and recruiters sense they know the person before they have officially met.
Another benefit of a “live resume” is that it allows candidates to demonstrate they are on the cutting edge of technology and social media. Technological savvy becomes part of their brand. The video becomes a critical part of a personal marketing tool kit that is highly differentiated and powerful.
A “live resume” is much more than a simple Q&A; instead, it is a deeper, structured conversation that allows people to tell their stories in the most compelling way. The process of preparing for the video resume itself is helpful in terms of helping a candidate organize key information, decide how the story will unfold, and to think through responses. This training has a tremendous impact on improving interviewing skills.
Every executive deserves to have a high-end, first-class video resume to showcase his or her talents. And if they are going to do it, they need to work with professional interview trainers and coaches and a skilled production team.
To be sure, the live resume will never take the place of an in-person interview. But it moves the hiring process forward much more quickly and equips recruiters with the insight to ask targeted questions in the interview itself. This is a technology whose time has come, and the executives and hiring companies that are early adopters will be way ahead of the game as the war for executive talent escalates.