Ms Grace Chan worked in the biomedical field but wanted a marketing job. But she went beyond the usual route of posting a resume and cover letter on a jobs website.
The 24-four-year-old posted a simple three-minute film presentation, eventually trimmed to 90 seconds, where she talked to the camera about her work experience and the type of job she was looking for.
An employer soon noticed her 'visume' or video resume, on job portal Prevview and got in touch.
Ms Chan, now a marketing executive with a recruitment agent, says the job interview 'was very straightforward be- cause they already knew my background, qualifications and experience through my visume'.
She is among the first here to catch on to a phenomenon now common in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom.
Employers and human relations companies here tell LifeStyle they receive few video resumes, if any. Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of corporate services at recruitment firm The GMP Group, says it receives only one visume for every 1,000 job applications.
But one website here hopes to change that. Prevview (www.prevview.com), which was launched in March this year, claims to be the first job portal in Asia to use video resumes in an interactive manner between employers and applicants.
Applicants upload visumes, together with traditional resumes and cover letters, free of charge. Employers then receive their job applications and click to view their visumes.
Marketing manager Zune Lim, 27, filmed a four-minute visume with her iPhone that got her noticed by her current employers.
She says: 'Visumes allow employers to find out more about you, compared to just a stagnant print resume.'
Video resumes were first introduced in the 1980s via video-cassettes. But making and distributing them is a lot easier now with the advent of digital and phone cameras, as well as social media websites such as Youtube and free software such as Windows Movie Maker.
Prevview gives tips on how to do your visume. For a fee ranging between $100 and $2,000, it can also do a professional visume. 'It's just like Facebook, but for work,' says its business development manager Venus Ng.
So far, 36 employers have signed up for Prevview, including F&B chain Febulous. General manager Vincent Lim says three candidates have been hired through Prevview so far, filling positions ranging from assistant restaurant managers to service crew.
He says: 'Visumes streamline the recruitment process. Rather than meet 30 people, we can preview the candidates and shortlist suitable ones before we meet them.'
He adds: 'It gives me a better understanding of a potential candidate and his personality and presentation skills. This is especially important for an F&B business as he is in the frontline and interacts directly with customers.'
But other employers are less enthusiastic. Editorial and PR specialist Fiona Cheong of recruitment consultancy Robert Walters says the company discourages the use of video resumes, adding: 'It could potentially put the candidate in an unfavourable light if done incorrectly.'
Mr Goh of GMP adds: 'The novelty of video resumes can give job-seekers an edge over others who submit traditional resumes. However, it would not be useful if candidates do not have solid credentials in the first place.'
But Ms Melissa Norman, managing director of recruitment firm Kelly Services, says visumes are suitable for job positions in industries such as the creative arts, IT and hospitality.
She adds: 'There is a growing understanding among all generations, but particularly younger workers, that an online presence is an important part of 'personal branding' that helps them to stand out and advance their careers.'
However, she says visumes are used by employers only as a sourcing tool. 'They will still select and hire employees after conducting a face-to-face interview.'