5 Steps To Make A Video Resume That Gets The Job Done
I’m a writer at my core, which is why it’s painful to admit that sometimes, a video can be more engaging than words on a page. Those of us who have stumbled down a YouTube rabbit hole before know this firsthand.
It’s not hard to imagine why hiring managers might be compelled to hire someone who submits a strong video resume with their job application. Video resumes, contrary to what they sound like, are not a video equivalent of the black and white bullet points on your resume. Rather, much like a cover letter, they offer a clever way to supplement the story told through your resume.
Have any gaps on your resume that you’d like to clarify? Want to explain to a hiring manager why the role you’re applying for speaks to you on a personal level? Video resumes can be an ideal way to do either of these things. Not only does a well put together video resume showcase tech savviness, it also highlights a candidate’s willingness to put in the extra time and effort for the role – a good indicator that they’ll be willing to go the extra mile for the company, should they get hired.
It’s a well-known fact that recruiters only spend six to seven seconds looking at a resume. While a lot of info can be absorbed in these few seconds, much is left off the table, including a candidate’s confidence, personability and wit, to name a few. The video resume, in addition to providing employers with a 60-second respite from staring at traditional resumes, discourages hiring managers from taking your name off the table before having insight into your personality.
So, how do you go about creating a video resume that makes the job application you’re filling out your very last?
1. Consider whether a video resume is relevant to the position.
The key reason for submitting a video resume is to showcase a talent, skill, or aspect of your personality that makes you stand out from other candidates. Ask yourself: What attributes might someone hiring for the position be looking for?
Needless to say, hiring managers looking for candidates solely based on skills not related to videography, editing, public speaking, confidence, or interpersonal communication are less likely to be influenced over video resumes. Going out of your way to submit a video resume can, in these situations, take time away from honing the aspects of your application that are more worthy of your attention.
2. Speak Deliberately.
Keep your video resume under the two-minute mark. Anything longer than that, and you give yourself too much room for rambling, pauses, and filler words.
Go into the filming process with no more than three points you’d like to communicate to the hiring manager. While you don’t need to read off a script – and I would suggest you don’t – have an idea of what you want to say before you start recording. Impulsive, last-minute additions to your main points usually distract the hiring manager from what you’re actually trying to say. It’s better to submit a video resume that feels brief than than one that drags on.
3. Say what your resume and cover letter can’t.
Reiterating your work experience and background in a video resume is a waste of time for the hiring managers who watch it. Aside from giving recruiters a better idea of who you are through your body language and demeanor, video resumes create two opportunities: to communicate your interest in the role or to explain a gap on your resume. Go into the process with a goal already in mind and you won’t fall into the trap of repeating unnecessary information at the end.
4. Double-check the aesthetics.
Contrary to wishful thinking, looks do matter – especially when you’re trying to gain a leg up on another job candidate. Dress professionally as if you’re attending an in-person interview and check your background for any messes or distractions. Having the right lighting is also crucial when it comes to making a good first impression. Avoid recording yourself in backlit or dim areas. If you don’t have a place with good natural lighting, consider investing in a ring light.
5. Energy is everything.
No one wants to work with someone who hates their job. When given the choice between two equally qualified candidates, a hiring manager will almost always offer a job to the candidate with the better attitude. You’d be surprised how far enthusiasm can carry someone in the hiring process. Excitement is by no means everything, but in many cases, it does count for a lot.
A video resume that lacks energy and excitement is almost guaranteed to fall short at holding a hiring manager’s attention. Check yourself before you wreck yourself! Record yourself talking before you film the video, and ask yourself: do you sound interested in the position? Speaking with enthusiasm may require you to use more energy than feels natural. Do it anyway. Now’s your chance to sell yourself to recruiters – what do you have to lose?
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