IT hiring goes multimedia

Goodbye, boring curriculum vitae. Today's tech resumes are tricked out with video, social and graphic elements.

Tim Ondrey has glimpsed the future of the job-search market, and it's going multimedia.

One of his friends used a blog and a 30-second video to apply for a marketing job, and another, an IT colleague, interviewed via Skype for a developer position.

Ondrey figures it's just a matter of time before he -- and everyone else -- uses more than just an old-fashioned resume to land a job.

"I'm kind of nervous about it, but we're all going to be in that same boat, figuring out what works and what doesn't," says Ondrey, an active member of the IBM user group Share. An applications report specialist at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Ondrey isn't currently looking for a job, but, like a lot of people, he keeps an eye on the market.

What he's seeing is that video, graphics and social media are becoming part of the job-search landscape. Recruiters and hiring managers say younger workers, who grew up online and use FaceTime more than landlines, are more apt to show off their assets via personal websites, blogs, videos and online portfolios with embedded examples of current work and links to online communities in which they're active.

It's no coincidence that LinkedIn recently began encouraging its users to amp up their profiles with videos, illustrations, photography and presentations. And Toronto startup has attracted 200,000 users to its tool, still in beta, that turns text-based resumes into online infographics.

"People are open to new formats, new ways of presenting credentials," says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. "People are trying to figure out how to stand out in the crowd, how to bring life to their profile and experience, and they're using social media tools to do that."

Reed says that neither he nor his colleagues have seen many applicants submit videos yet. And the videos they have seen function more like cover letters than resumes. "The videos are, 'Let me introduce myself before you look at my resume,'" Reed says. "The companies look at it and say, 'That's cool, that's an interesting twist, that makes the candidate stand out.'"

That's the thinking at Hire IT People, a Washington-based staffing firm. Owner Dan Nandan says Hire IT People is turning to videos as a way to showcase its IT talent.

"We felt they'd have a more powerful impact if a video resume was submitted" in addition to the traditional paper CV, Nandan says. "And it's working," he adds, explaining that well-done videos presenting candidates' skills and background "definitely make a big impact."

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