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IT hiring: Your text resume is soooo last century

Mary K. Pratt | Sept. 4, 2013
Old-fashioned resumes may not work in future.

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

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. You don't want to fidget or multitask; such behavior wouldn't fly in an in-person interview, so it won't suit a video interview or presentation either.

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.

Others say video interviews — either live or pre-recorded — help by winnowing out candidates who might have Googled answers while on a phone interview, as well as those who lack interpersonal skills, which are of particular importance for IT professionals who interact with customers, executives, board members or the public.

On the other hand, some point to potential problems using video when screening candidates. Some employers wonder if it will open them up to claims of discrimination as they can more easily see traits (age or ethnicity, for example) that they shouldn't use to eliminate candidates. Other tech industry watchers worry that video interviews could unfairly prioritize presentation skills for jobs that don't necessarily require them. After all, coders don't need to come off well on camera to do a bang-up job, the argument goes.

Reed says such concerns keep many companies from adopting video as part of their candidate search and screening process. "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 gain graphic, social flourishes
That said, video is nevertheless becoming more prevalent in the IT hiring process, just one of the multiple new formats and platforms that candidates are beginning to utilize for job searches. "The resume hasn't changed in the past 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 their text-based resumes. Some IT workers, particularly Web designers or UI and UX professionals, maintain online portfolios or submit links to their work.


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