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IT hiring goes multimedia

Mary K. Pratt | Nov. 5, 2013
Goodbye, boring curriculum vitae. Today's tech resumes are tricked out with video, social and graphic elements.

Keep it short. Hiring managers who don't have time for multipage resumes won't have time for lengthy videos or rambling responses.

Pick a professional, quiet spot. Stay out of Starbucks. And your bedroom.

Have a solid or bland background. Check behind you for distracting artwork, offensive material and unkempt home offices. (Hiring managers say they have indeed seen all of those during video interviews.)

Maintain eye contact by sitting still and looking into the camera. Don't fidget or multitask. Such behavior wouldn't fly in an in-person interview, so it wouldn't be acceptable in a video interview or presentation.

Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview. For those who need reminding, that means business attire suitable to the position and the company's culture.

Guard against interruptions. Shut off your phone. Give the dog a bone, and make sure no one comes knocking at the door.

Don't forget to smile.
- Mary K. Pratt

On the other hand, some point to potential problems with using video to screen candidates. Some employers wonder if it would leave them more vulnerable to charges of discrimination, since they could more easily see traits (age or ethnicity, for example) that they shouldn't use to eliminate candidates. Other IT industry watchers worry that use of videos could lead hiring managers to favor job candidates with good presentation skills, even if they're filling jobs that don't necessarily require such skills. After all, coders don't need to come off well on camera to do a bang-up job.

Reed says such concerns keep many employers from using video. "Companies don't want to be susceptible to accusations," he says. He points out that candidates, too, often hesitate to use these tools because they're worried about where their videos will reside and for how long.

Resumes With Graphic, Social Flourishes
Those concerns aside, video is undoubtedly becoming more prevalent in the IT hiring process. It's just one of the multiple new formats and platforms that job hunters are beginning to utilize. "The resume hasn't changed in 40 years. It just feels like it's time for it to evolve, and technology is at a place where it's helping us evolve it," Pollock says.

Pollock says he's seeing candidates successfully use graphics to represent skill sets, responsibilities and accomplishments on, or as a supplement to, text-based resumes. Some IT professionals, particularly Web designers or UI and UX professionals, maintain online portfolios or submit links to their work.

Others, such as developers, point to their contributions to open-source communities like GitHub. And, of course, job hunters ignore at their peril the reach of LinkedIn and, to a lesser extent, other social media sites like Facebook, Google+ or even Instagram.


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