Personal Branding Video and Bias in Hiring.

Personal Branding Video And Bias In Hiring Is A New And Complex Issue. The Advent Of New Ways For A Candidate To Promote Themselves, Has Intersected With The Age-Old Problem Of Encountering Bias In The Hiring Process.

There is bias in hiring. Many studies have focused over the years on how to eliminate, correct, show or otherwise develop training to overcome the HR professional’s personal inherent bias or corporate bias in hiring. Why? Because first, discrimination by age, gender, race, orientation etc is illegal. And second, and just as importantly, organizations that don’t develop a diversity of perspectives ie, don’t employ people with a diversity of backgrounds, are less able to be adaptable, less able to relate to the diversity of their customers or clients, and, ultimately less successful. In general, hiring with limited diversity, is bad for the candidates and for the company. The business case for organizational diversity has clearly been defined in past research. Benefits of a diverse workplace include greater innovation, higher retention, better decision making, higher quality employees, an improved public image, etc. (Villegas, LLoyd, Tritt, Vengrouskie, 2019).

Implicit bias – the preference or elimination of a candidate due to the desire to hire people similar to the HR professional/employer, similar to perceived past successful candidates or any other subjective criteria, and explicit bias discrimination using objective criteria – race, gender, orientation etc, does exist and will continue to exist.

Bias exists at all stages of the hiring process: recruitment, application, pre-interview screening, interview or negotiation and acceptance.  To focus on any one particular stage as an opportunity for bias, is to ignore the stages before and after where the candidate may have no opportunity to mitigate the bias.  Attempts have been made to address this bias in resumes or applications by eliminating name, schools, addresses and other personal data and using AI which focuses on keywords, job titles, GPA, degrees, institutions, and former employers.  This can produce its own unique biases.  (Cowgill , 2020)  Additionally, ‘blind’ interviews or scrambling a person’s voice – all in an attempt at de-personalizing the person, can fall short in revealing the true character, talents and benefits a candidate offers.  Regardless, at some point, someone along the hiring process will ‘see’ the candidate.

There are many views and trainings for employers on how lessen this bias and hire for the qualities an employer needs.  This article is not intended to to address the best ways to achieve this goal through the use of HR/Employer training, or new or innovative hiring procedures, nor is this article intended to say that is there any one single product or service available to the job seeker that can eliminate this bias or ensure that the candidate is judged solely on their merits – their experience, knowledge and the business value they can offer.

We do however believe that a job seeker’s voice – their message- is one of the most powerful assets that they have that can help them mitigate this bias and ultimately secure a position. Bias, based partly on the lack of understanding, lack of common experience, lack of broad perspective and limited personal experience, can have powerful sway on the employer’s perception of a candidate. Clear communication by the candidate of a job seeker’s value, is not the sole remedy, but rather a powerful factor in helping to limit HR/employer bias in hiring.  One way we address this is to create a branding video for the job seeker to convey their business value – their core business skills. ref: How can a professional branding video help a job candidate succeed?

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The importance of soft skills:

According to LinkedIn’s recent document re: 30 Insightful Behavioral Interview Questions, the top 6 core soft skills that employers are assessing are: adaptability, culture add, collaboration, leadership, growth potential and prioritization.  Even in a technology focused study :A Systematic Mapping Study on Soft Skills in Software Engineering. and others,   go even further and add communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills as criteria for assessment on the qualifications of a candidate.  It is these non job specific qualities that can help separate a job seeker from their competition.   Speaking directly to the “soft skills” – i.e., core business skills that a candidate offers, rather than those skills being inferred from a section of a written resume, can have an empowering effect on the perception of the viewer towards the candidate. 

A branding video can create a great first impression. A great first impression has two components: warmth and competency.  For a job candidate, presenting one’s authentic self in any situation (personal branding video, interview or live networking) helps eliminate the bias of stereotyping.  By presenting the verbal and visual actualization of who the job candidate is, the candidate controls the narrative, controls their presentation of the perception of who they are – (their warmth).  A video is a one way presentation, but far from being stiff and non-engaging, a well crafted message can draw in the viewer and creates an opportunity for an immediate connection between the job candidate and the viewer (HR professional or employer.)  And, what a candidate says can often be more impactful than what a candidate writes. NYT

Additionally, by directly addressing their core skills, a job seeker can control the substance of the message – the core business skills (competency) that they possess.   By prioritizing the elements that they want to focus on, they play to their strengths and are able to illustrate the most important qualities (their business value) that they can deliver for the employer.

A person’s core being can be their greatest asset and have a greater impact in battling bias than de-personalizing the process.  What a personal branding video affords the job candidate, is an opportunity to address bias at the beginning of the job seeking process by providing the viewer with a clear narrative of a job candidate’s motivation, adaptability, grit, decision making, communication skills and other core business skills that are not easily listed as bullet points in a resume.

Past work experience, achievements and education are important, and this information can be conveyed well in a traditional text resume and possibly better, if an experienced resume writer or career coach is utilized.  This is why the ‘video resume’ or TikTok resume fails in its promise to deliver a better resume format. It’s not the medium that fails, rather it is that the particular type of information that is desired to be conveyed, does not fit well into this format. 

A branding video however, is crafted to deliver some of the information assessed during an interview – along with addressing core business skills, the candidate’s communication skills, energy and presence can be presented, and, potentially, stereotyping bias can be overcome or at least mitigated. 

For additional information about personal branding and IntroVideo, check out  And to see other articles written about Personal Branding for Job Candidates, Tips on LinkedIn Profiles and Resumes, check out our Resources page

The team.

Bo Cowgill ,2020) Bias and Productivity in Humans and Algorithms: Theory and Evidence from Resume Screening

Moss, P., & Tilly, C. (2002) Stories employers tell: Race, skill, and hiring in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation

(Villegas, LLoyd, Tritt, Vengrouskie,  2019) Hu

Really, no.  However, times and fads change, so what is considered ‘unprofessional’ today, may be required tomorrow.


As one can see, there are a variety of uses of video in the job space, for the job candidate.  What is best is determined by the need.  Whether it’s a branding video with evergreen information for marketing, or making separate job application videos or video resumes, the use of video for the job candidate is necessary and expected.

At, we have an easy process that helps you craft a compelling branding narrative, deliver that message on-camera with a coached interview, and then is professionally edited and delivered on a customizable branding page and included in a signature for networking emails and cover letters.   We make it super easy and guide you at every step to end up with a concise, effective branding video for your career search.

For additional resources for a job candidate, check our our resources page with tips and info regarding career branding, importance of ‘soft skills’, resume writing and the current job market.

Post of Interest

Michael Sexton

Michael Sexton

Michael desires to revolutionize how we search for employment, project-based work, or promote ourselves within the digital age.

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