This company turns your boring old resume into a dynamic video that will set you apart from hundreds of other job applicants. The job market is changing and with the tough economy comes heightened competition. A video resume may not be ideal for every industry, but you’ve got to be innovative in your job search! If you’re not looking for a job, we still want you to read about the woman behind this new company, Luciana Brown, for some tips and inspiration on starting your own venture.
What is The Digital Dossier?
The Digital Dossier is a product and service offered by L. I. Brown Productions. A Digital Dossier is a concise multi-media presentation of a client that demonstrates their presentation styles, creative talents, achievements, accomplishments, skills, etc. The scripted interview can be distributed to potential employers, clients, or used for self promotion. Our products and services give the client's resume personality while enhancing job search and/or recruitment efforts.
The Digital Dossier site will host client Digital Dossiers and be a hub for job seekers and employers. Clients will sign in, view their video and send the link to whomever they wish. Employers/recruiters will be allowed to register and have access to our client's database.
What inspired the idea?
I first had the idea for video resumes in 2003 after a job interview that took a lot of effort on my part to coordinate (travel, timing, etc.) It was clear when the interview started that the person conducting it had not read my resume. I was asked the classic opener - "tell me about myself". After the interview, the thought came to me that if the interviewer could spend 2 minutes watching a DVD of me instead of 5-7 minutes reading a resume about me, we would have already taken care of the first screening and been able to more productively use the in-person interview. I wrote a business plan that was mostly dormant for 10 years. The Digital Dossier, (formerly Digital Video Resumes) recently incorporated under L. I. Brown Inc. in September 2013. We opened our doors in October 2013.
What were you doing before you launched this business?
My background is in healthcare where I enjoyed working for many, many years. The last two full-time positions I held were up to that point significant achievements for me. I was the Business Administrator/Administrative Coordinator for a research program in Toronto, and most recently the Corporate Clinical Professional Services Officer when I worked in the Middle East at Abu Dhabi Health Services Co., known as SEHA, for over four years. While there I was accepted into the executive MBA program of Athabasca University and began taking courses. In the fall of 2013 I received my post baccalaureate diploma in management – phase 1 of the executive MBA and looking forward to the earning the executive MBA in 2014.
What has been the biggest challenge to starting/running the Digital Dossier?
The challenges are on multiple levels. Personally and professionally I’ve had to develop skills and take on new roles and responsibilities in areas I’m not comfortable with and know are not my strengths. Tasks seem daunting at times simply because I don’t know where to start. In the business world, it was navigating through the requirements for starting a business; from the government forms and filings, to finding and leasing space, to getting a web site created, creating work contracts and setting up banking and networking opportunities, to list a few crucial and necessary things. Another challenge is promoting the concept of digital dossiers and translating interest into sales. The type of Digital Dossier we create features the client promoting themselves and their achievements. Undoubtedly it may take time for the mass market to embrace the concept, however with the wide-spread use of social media and functionality of the Internet, this type of self promotion is made that much easier and accessible.
What helps you get through difficult times?
The foundation of my strength is being grounded in my faith and beliefs. Having a broad view of life helps keep things in perspective and identify what really matters in the long run. I find it helpful to allow myself to be OK with the fact that I don’t know everything or have all the answers, and in fact I don’t need to because there are experts to reach out to for answers and guidance. I’m fortunate to have a network of business associates, friends and family as a sounding board when necessary. Another helpful tool is having a plan in place for getting done what needs to be done as it helps keep me grounded, focused and feeling in control. When I get discouraged I remind myself that this is a process and will take time. In the end I want to be able to say that I did my best and gave it my all. Life is a one-way street and I want to enjoy the journey.
How long did it take you before the business was profitable?
We are still in the start-up phase having just been open a few months, but look forward to realizing some returns in the first year.
What do you know now that you wish you knew before starting your business?
Two things resonate with me about starting a business. 1) Every mistake you make will cost time and money to correct. Dwelling on them and not learning from them just increases the cost. See them as what they are - growing pains and lessons learned - and carry on. 2) As hard as you worked to reach the point when you are open for business, it will take the same, if not more effort to keep the new start-up going and growing. For me, starting and running a business is the continual process of theory translating into practical application.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start a business?
Dreams can materialize, but it takes careful thought and planning and a solid grounding in reality. Yes sometimes decisions are made based on emotion, but to help ensure success, a lot a practical, analytical thought has to go into any new venture as well as seeking guidance. Success is not guaranteed and perhaps won’t come quickly. Starting a business is risky and you have to be comfortable with taking risks.
Check out what a digital dossier looks like here!