While the video resume has not (as of now) overtaken its traditional, printed counterpart, it certainly is a great addition to one. Consider creating a resume video so that employers and/or recruiters can see your face and personality shine through as you speak to the camera and give this brief introduction to who you are and why you’re a good fit for the position at hand. It should not, however, feature you reading your resume.
The biggest challenge with video resumes is that a lot of people are camera-shy. But look at it this way—even if you are “afraid” to be on camera, this is not live television! You can practice and redo it over and over again until you’re happy with your resume video.
I encourage those having a hard time getting an interview to add a video component as a bonus. In addition to the video, you should have an expert or hiring authority review your resume. I helped a gentleman that was unemployed for a year due to a lay-off. He told me that he didn’t receive one response. Within a week after making changes to his resume, he started receiving calls and interview requests. A video resume may shed some light on who you are. The goal is for the hiring authority to see and listen to how you communicate.
Here are a few tips to get your started creating video resumes:
1. Where should your video resume live? Consider a video platform, such as Vimeo, where you can apply some privacy setting so that only those you give the link to can view your video resume. Include a link to your video on your traditional resume. As with all online content, make sure the video is something you wouldn’t mind sharing with other, though. You never know whose eyes will see it.
2. How long should it be? Important: Your resume video should not be more than 1 minute. In fact, it might be better off being closer to 30 seconds. Hey, just think of all those TV commercials out there that deliver their message that quickly. It’s possible. A too-long video can lose a busy recruiter’s interest.
3. How many video resumes should I create? I suggest you create a different video for either every job you are apply for (to really target your messaging) or at least make it relevant to the target industry and job category. You wouldn’t want it so broad that the same message is created for both a marketing career in the healthcare industry and a marketing career in the beauty industry, for example.
4. What should I wear? This will depend somewhat on the career you are going for—concert producer and advertising executive require different attire. However, always look clean and neat, and err on the professional side of things. When in doubt, dress up, not down.
5. What should my background be? Unless you are an artist and want to showcase your work in the background, for example, keep your video resume background as neutral as possible. Record it in a quiet place without any background noise that can distract from you, the main character!
6. What should I say? Don’t just describe your jobs. This is actually your time to brag—humbly and confidently, not arrogantly—about your accomplishments. Focus on an elevator pitch that tells why someone should hire you by providing past results. For example, if you were in sales, you may include “I’ve had a consistent 12% increase year after year;” if you are a manager, you might say, “I’ve saved the company XX dollars over the course of my term by doing X, Y and Z.”
Have a question about video resumes? We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.