Tips for creating a great video resume
Changing times demand changing responses. Today, many recruiters look forward to video resumes. A great video resume can set you apart and inject some personal flair into your job application, highlight important skills, and gain the hiring manager’s attention.
But first, it’s important consider whether a video resume is the right choice for you: take note of the industry you are in, the role you are seeking and the companies you are applying to before you create one. A video resume might not be ideal for all industries and roles!
One obvious benefit of using a video resume is that it conveys your personality in a way that no written resume can. This gives you an advantage if you’re applying to jobs where excellent communication skills or adept interpersonal skills are necessary, such as in sales.
Should you believe a video resume is right for you, here are seven tips to make it stand out:
- Tell a story
Don’t simply read out your qualifications. A video resume gives you the opportunity to contextualize your work experience so that it resonates and sticks with recruiters in a unique way. So take advantage of this opportunity and use your video resume to tell a convincing narrative about yourself, rather than just recite your traditional resume.
Explain how the job you’re applying for fits into your career and ambitions, as well as why you’re excited about the opportunity. Your goal is to give the hiring manager a picture of who you are and why you, personally, would be perfect for the job.
- Tailor it to the employer
Every company will have a certain level of formality, work culture, and expectations. Likewise, your video resume should reflect these differences and address them specifically.
To accomplish this, read through the job posting closely, and note any specific skills and qualities that are emphasized. Then, make sure to mention these skills in your video resume. Not only will your video resume be eye-catching, but it will also demonstrate that you’re a fit.
- Make it professional
It sounds obvious, but your video resume should appear professional. Dress as you would for an interview, and maintain a professional demeanor. Pay attention, too, to the background of shots, and make sure it looks tidy. Also make sure there are no distracting noises in the background. The hiring manager must be able to easily hear and see you, so that they ultimately come away with a positive impression.
Fortunately, these days plenty of phone cameras can record professional-quality videos on even the tightest budget. With some effort, a high-quality video resume is not only affordable but easy to make as well.
- Prepare a script.
You want to seem natural, but you should have a sense of what you want to say, and how you want to phrase it. Do not read directly from a script, or from your resume, since that leads to a dull video. The key points to express in the video are what you’ll bring to the company, your major goals, skills and accomplishments. Think of the video as being a pitch for why the company should hire you.
- Show, don’t tell.
Use visuals to illustrate what you’re saying in the video script and showcase your talents and skills. For instance, if you’re applying for a job where presentations are a major part of the role, you can film yourself assembling a PowerPoint. Or, if any of your presentations were recorded, use that footage in your video resume.
- Keep it brief: ideally around 90 seconds.
With so many resumes to review, hiring managers typically spend just a few seconds looking at each one — and your video resume is no exception. Ultimately, that means your video resume should be immediately engaging and no longer than 90 seconds. This should give you enough time to touch on your most relevant qualifications, without wasting anyone’s time with fluff and unnecessary flourishes.
- Edit what you make.
Shoot many takes. Programs like iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and Movie Maker are intuitive and easy to use, and there are plenty of free video editing programs you can try.
You don’t have to be a seasoned editor to make small changes that go a long way. If you can’t figure something out, there are a myriad of YouTube tutorials to show you how.
Remember, the video resume does not replace your traditional resume, you still need the 2-page resume to complement it. A video is an extra opportunity to show a company why you really would be an excellent addition to their team, so have fun and take advantage of it.