Can multimedia enhance your resume message?

I'm admittedly reluctant when it comes to bells, whistles and unecessary "pieces of flair" on a resume. As a recruiter, I understand how the recruitment process works, and I know that few of my corporate clients are open to video resumes, infographics and other snazzy alternatives to the resume. Not to mention, the snaz can get all caught up in an applicant tracking system (ATS) and put you at risk for never making it through the review process.

HOWEVER, I do see value in multimedia marketing tactics in some instances, including when targeting positions within creative, media-intense career fields.

I invited Kyle Lagunas, an HR Analyst at Software Advice, an online resource for reviews of HRMS software and applicant tracking software, to chat about what he's seeing trend-wise with resumes. Here is a quick guest post from Kyle:

What the heck happened? One minute recruiters and hiring managers were super stoked to have a tool for quickly processing the floods of resumes received when a job was posted. But before they knew it, they'd created a monster! Qualified candidates are still being overlooked—and for the simplest of reasons: they didn't plug the right combo of buzzwords into their resumes. Quick fix, right? Mmmm... not so much.

Candidates are taking things into their own hands. In an attempt to circumvent the keyword-laden resume game, job seekers are adopting a more creative approach to captivating recruiters. Rather than dropping the resume altogether, the trend seems to be more focused on breaking away from over-automation and a return to the heart of what makes a good hire.

Laurie Barkman of The Resumator explains, “We’ve been told for a long time, ‘This is how you do recruiting, and here’s what matters,’ but organizations are now more interested in interactions that help to determine a good fit. And more nimble organizations are looking at people beyond the resume.”

All of that sounds nice, sure, but what’s working and what’s not? There are certain guidelines that you should always follow when submitting a resume regardless of mode of delivery, but are candidates simply covering up mistakes with aesthetics? If you ask me, resumes and the mulitmedia techniques being used are essentially marketing tools--and the function they serve isn’t changing. As Barkman states, “The question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Can multimedia enhance that message?’” If the answer is yes, there are four channels a candidate can tap into to accomplish this:

  1. Adding a Face and Voice with Video. By replacing a cover letter with a quick video pitch, job seekers can showcase skills and abilities lost in translation in a traditional resume. As Bruce Hurwitz of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing says, “Video can increase my confidence in a candidate's ability to successfully interview--Is she professional? Is she articulate?--or eliminate a candidate from consideration.” Of course, time is money, and candidates need to give recruiters a reason to keep watching. My advice: personality is great, but don’t get too cute. Balance is key.
  2. Bringing Flat Resumes to Life with Infographics. Breaking out of the traditional resume template isn’t easy without a degree in design. But presenting a recruiter with a more visually stimulating overview of experience and qualifications can go a long way in setting a candidate apart. Thankfully, it doesn’t take an Adobe Illustrator savant to turn a boring old resume into an interesting infographic. Not only are these easy to create, but they’re easy to share across multiple channels.
  3. Providing Insights into Culture Fit via Social Media Profiles. It’s no secret that recruiters investigate candidates’ social media profiles to obtain a more rounded picture of the individual. Job seekers are responding to this shift in recruiting pracitces by beefing up their networks, expanding their professional profiles and adding recommendations on LinkedIn, driving conversations and connecting with thought leaders on Twitter, and cleaning up their Facebook profiles.
  4. Showing Off on Personal Blogs. Blogs are an excellent platform for candidates to showcase their hobbies, writing and communication skills, and general interests. Think they’re just for marketing candidates? Think again. Even a meat cutter at Whole Foods can run a successful butcher blog to establish expertise and share experience with an avid audience. And candidates for and candidates for artistic positions can showcase their portfolio of work.


(I, btw, completely agree with Kyle's #3 and #4)

I'm interested to know who among our readers has used some of the techniques above, and how they've worked for you? Please share your comments, and many thanks to Kyle for his input!

About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice, an online resource for reviews of HRMS software and applicant tracking software. He blogs about technology, trends, and best practices in human resources and recruiting. For further reading,check out his HR blog.

Jenny Foss1 Comment