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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

SJVC Rolls Out Video Resume & Portfolio Tool for Students

July 23, 2015

Optimal Resume SJVC Career ServicesIt is a new world out there for all of those about to begin a productive job search, as employers move toward a virtual recruitment environment. And SJVC is not about to let graduates show up to the party late and ill-equipped.

Optimal Resume was recently rolled out on all campuses as a new feature in the Career Services Seminar (CSS100), which is a course offered during each student’s last 15 weeks at SJVC. “Every student will be involved in this seminar toward the end of their programs, as they approach their graduation date,” says Adriana Ruiz, Career Services Specialist at the Central Administrative Office.

Feedback SJVC has solicited from employers has underlined the fact that video recruitment is on the rise.

“When someone applies online for a job with larger employers, the first thing they are asked to do is go to a link where they do a video resume,” says Adriana. “It’s also the first thing HR departments look at – even before looking at your resume.”

SJVC wants to make certain that all students are groomed to make a strong visual impact. That element may make the difference between an invitation to interview for the position and a place on the no-call stack.

Students will complete the course with everything they need to meet potential employers’ virtual job application process. They will also have developed a complete set of virtual components to attract interest from employers they have targeted.

Optimal Resume exampleThere are four primary pieces students will master and complete in the Career Services Seminar: Professional Resume, Video Resume, Electronic Portfolio and Professional Website. The course also includes a ‘virtual coach’ that will help students practice their interview skills.

“Students are very excited about the video resume,” says Adriana, “where students put together a 1-2 minute introduction, or ‘elevator speech’ we call it, that highlights internship information, qualifications, skills and a ‘close.'” Students can compose their script in advance and read off a teleprompter, and have as many ‘takes’ as they like, until they are satisfied with their video.

“I like putting it all together,” says Clive Galam, Respiratory Therapy student on the Rancho Cordova campus. “It makes you think about what you want your employer to see and how those qualities can be applied in the future.”

The Electronic Portfolio is also a powerful tool that allows potential employers to take a closer look at the applicant’s depth of skills, education and experience. It provides traditional hard-copies of work, certifications and awards, as well as samples of work such as essays, business plans or PowerPoint presentations – any course assignments in which the student excelled.

“The highlight for me was actually putting the portfolio section together,” says Clive. “It made me look back at what I’ve learned over these last four terms, and I thought, wow, I’ve learned a lot.”

Fellow Respiratory Therapy student, Kristina O’Brien has to agree. “I like the fact that I was able to lay out what the employer was going to see before I met them,” she says. “It is a way to make yourself stand out against all of those people who come in with just a paper portfolio. You’re not vanilla; they’re getting to see something different.”

The Professional Website is the all-encompassing piece that incorporates elements of all components.  After choosing a template from a hundred options, students select which resume style and version they have created and couple it with one video resume and one portfolio.

“They will receive a URL link that they will send to employers, as well as Career Services, so that we can work with them to help them find a job,” says Adriana. “Employers can see a 3-tab system of the students’ resume, video resume and professional portfolio – all accessible with one link.”

One of the advantages of Optimal Resume is that SJVC graduates can update their information over time. If new skills are added, work experience expanded, or if a new look is preferred, edits can be made to stay current or better fit employer criteria.

This method of employer approach also allows applicants to more successfully apply for positions that are out of their geography. “It helps you cast your net a little wider in sending them out to distant employers,” says Clive. “You’re saving time and researching them while they’re considering you – without having to go visit them.”

In a competitive job market everyone is searching for a way to stay ahead of the competition, while spotlighting their strongest qualities. Optimal Resume gives them that edge. It also gives SJVC’s Career Services an incredible tool they might give employers to better ‘see’ students before they go to the next step in their hiring process.

“We train advisors to push employers to grant students phone interviews so they can hear students’ voices; or a resume drop-off, just to remind them that these are people,” says Adriana.  “The brain does not make the connection that the resume is a human being and not just a piece of paper.”

Employers are going forward with video recruitment whether or not job seekers are prepared to meet their requirements with equal professionalism.

“Technology is really what employers are looking for,” says Adriana. “This is the wave of the future and if you want to stand apart, you have to get in front of the camera and move forward with it.”

SJVC students are suiting up, polishing up and showing up in a way that puts them on the short list for employment recruiters everywhere.