Web startup features video résumés

Web startup features video résumés

Ed Taylor, Tribune

In today’s world, a written résumé may no longer be sufficient to grab the attention of a prospective employer.

Today, trendy next-generation job-seekers prepare video résumés to state their qualifications while giving would-be employers insights into their personalities prior to an in-person interview.

VIDEOS AND JOBS: Nick Murphy, left, and Travis Cloyd, both ASU graduates, founded WorkBlast.com, an online recruiting tool for both employers and prospective employees.

Jennifer Grimes, Tribune

WorkBlast.com, a Tempe-based company being started by two former Arizona State University football players, hopes to ride the wave of video popularity by becoming a one-stop Web site for both jobs seekers and employers to post their videos.

Although other Web sites permit users to post online video résumés,
WorkBlast founders Nick Murphy and Travis Cloyd say their site, which
launched on Sunday, is the first built around the concept.

"We live in an on-demand world where people want the most detailed information to make a decision as well as the ability to make that decision quickly," Murphy said. WorkBlast will "minimize the screening process" and help employers and applicants "get down to the business of hiring the best candidates and finding the best jobs."

The Web site builds on technology that has made the production of videos a relatively simple task. Video résumés can be made with Web cameras built in or attached to computers, with camcorders or with some digital cameras that have video capabilities, Murphy said.

"What you can do is create a profile that is unique to you," he said. "And you can do it yourself."

A 30- to 60-second pitch is all it takes to get the attention of a potential employer, he said.

Job seekers will be able to post their videos at no cost. WorkBlast will be compensated by employers who will pay to post their job openings, search the candidates’ videos or advertise. "Employers will get a feel for who (the job candidates) are," Cloyd said. "It saves the employer time and money."

Beginning Sunday the pair embarked on a tour of Southern California in their recreation vehicle wrapped in WorkBlast advertising to promote their service at job fairs.

Murphy, 27, and Cloyd, 24, who met when they played on the Sun Devils football team, got the idea for the Web site as a result of their personal experiences. As an owner of his own real estate appraisal business, Cloyd sometimes had difficulty judging job applicants from their paper résumés.

"When I called them in to have a personal interview, I would know immediately that I didn’t want them to represent the company," he said. "I felt I had wasted my time and was back at square one. I said there has got to be an easier process to get to know more about a person before I actually met them."

Murphy for his part had experience as a football player dealing with the media and always felt he came across well when he had a chance to meet a prospective employer in person. But his paper résumés sometimes would up in the trash if the employer didn’t believe he had the right experience.

"If I could get in to see them, I would almost always be considered," he said.Video résumés promised to help with both problems. The partners were able to raise startup capital for their business from angel investors who were also convinced the idea had merit.

Dustin Sparman, director of marketing for Scottsdale-based Bliss Beverages, which makes the Socko energy drink, said he plans to use the site to help recruit employees because the videos are likely to reveal the applicant’s personality to a greater degree than a written résumé.

The major disadvantage he sees is if someone is well qualified for a job but is shy or doesn’t come across well in front of a camera. But he added "we’re looking for new thinkers and creative new ideas. (The WorkBlast site) seems like a good fit for the business."

Charles Foley, a north Scottsdale accountant, thinks video résumés will help him make better hiring decisions.

"Sometimes the person you hired ends up not being the same as the one you interviewed," he said. "I think this could help in getting a better employee. … We deal with the public all the time, and we want people who are personable and professional and come across well."

Some critics have warned that videos could be used by employers as tools for ethnic or racial discrimination. But Foley said an employer who was inclined to discriminate could still do so after meeting the candidate for an in-person interview.

Paul White, a Gilbert resident who is seeking a new job, said he plans to post his own video résumé on the Web site as well as pursue a job in more traditional ways. "I’m the kind of person who thinks the more hooks you have in the water, the more possibilities you have," he said. "This is another tool that may help me get in the door."

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