In this article I would like to share 30 top tips for creating an impressive video resume. Let’s be honest, if I would have to hire someone, I would ask potential new hires to submit a video resume (as a replacement for the cover letter), apart from a resume on paper. If I don’t like what I see in that video resume, good bye! I would not invest any more time in looking at the person’s resume, no matter how well qualified they are.
Are you wondering why I would choose that approach? Let me tell you: The first benefit would be that I would only deal with candidates who are seriously interested in that particular position. These jobseekers are those, who are prepared to make an additional effort to create a video (or even to ask someone for technical help in getting it very professionally done ,if they can’t do it themselves!). Let’s be honest, most of the candidates at that stage would already turn to other job offers instead and submit their CVs and cover letters electronically and be done with it! So, by inviting candidates to submit video resumes, I would be able to deal with only those jobseekers that are prepared to go the extra mile. Secondly, I would already get an understanding of the way a person communicates, behaves and presents themselves by watching the video before I meet them eventually in person. Thirdly, if the position that I’m trying to fill is marketing related or requires creative skills, I would already get an idea of their skills level.
I would ask myself:
- Is the video resume particularly original?
- Does it stand out?
- Does the video resume catch my immediate attention straight from the beginning?
- Does the person know what to focus on in that limited time of 2-3 minutes in which they are supposed to promote themselves as effectively as possible?
- Does it make me pick up the phone instantly afterwards to invite them to a face to face interview?
Discussions about video resumes have already started many years ago. However, I feel that companies are still very reluctant when it comes to this new approach. Even though people love to watch videos and the trend for videos is still growing, the corporate world has still not fully embraced the video aspect in their recruitment practises. Recently a friend from Italy asked me how she could possibly stand out in her job hunt. I gave her this advice “Try it with a video resume and I will tell you more about the do’s and don’ts of creating an impressive video resume.” I would like to use her dilemma to give also other jobseekers some advice with these 30 top tips for creating an impressive video resume, which will help you to land your job quicker and more effectively.
If you want to get proof of the fact on how you can stand out from the crowd by using a video resume, watch this video by Microsoft India. I found it a brilliant example!
30 Top Tips for creating an impressive Video Resume
# 1 – Don’t replace your traditional CV with a video. You should still add your CV and eventually replace the cover letter with your video instead.
# 2 – Tell the employer why they should hire you (work on your elevator pitch and make clear what makes you stand out from the crowd).
# 3 – Use every second that you have to promote YOURSELF and remove all the unnecessary information. You need to promote yourself, so forget the interesting background of your family members, pets and interests that might not be related to the job! (Watch this video sample).
# 4 – Be confident in delivering your pitch. Present yourself in a professional and enthusiastic way!
# 5 – Add something that you can’t present in your resume (about your personality) and get the interviewer interested in your candidacy. At the end you can invite the employer to check out for more information on your application.
# 6 – Keep it simple, short and concise. The duration of 2-3 minutes would be appropriate. It should not exceed five minutes. Your goal should be to get the interviewer’s attention in order to be invited for an interview.
# 7 – Be aware of your body language! Don’t fold your arms across your chest or have your hands on your hips, etc.
# 8 – Make sure you dress appropriately for the job and the sector you are applying for. First impressions count. Avoid possibly wearing a white shirt or blouse on a white background (like in this image on the right side).
# 9 – Pay attention to the environment. Make sure the interviewer will not be distracted by a messy background such as a cluttered desk, a dirty wall or a beach. Choose a tidy, presentable background. A bare wall would also be fine. Avoid any kind of noises, too. Many video resume samples include music which is often louder than their own voice. Do you want your interviewer to focus on you or the music? Watch this video sample and avoid making the same mistakes!
# 10 – Test the lighting.
# 11 – Don’t forget to smile occasionally. Don’t show yourself as a totally serious person!
# 12 – Write a script, but try to sound conversational and listen to yourself. Ask yourself: Would you hire yourself?
# 13 – Don’t speak too fast!
# 14 – If you want that your video resume willo be watched by selected people only, make sure you password protect it. In this case choose a provider that offers this feature.
# 15 – Review some video resumes of other job applicants. Try to figure out what works well and what doesn’t. Learn from them, it’s a very effective way. Get inspired, take the best bits from other video resumes and create a truly unique and creative video CV for yourself.
# 16 – Ask family and friends to give you constructive feedback. Work so hard until you are absolutely sure that you created the best video! They will be able to notice things that you never dreamt of!
# 17 – Look at the camera!
# 18 – Prepare yourself well in advance. Don’t make it obvious that you are reading from notes. See this video sample.
# 19 – If you want to promote your video resume then include a link to your professional profile on various networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter etc. at the end. Many employers use to check out candidates’ social media profiles. Make it easy for them to find you and make sure your online presence is impeccable.
# 20 – Make sure you create a good quality video. Quality (from a technical as well as content aspect) might make or break the chance of getting an interview.
# 21 – Volumes count. Make sure your recording volume is not set higher than 75 % of maximum and you can hear your voice clearly.
# 22 – Be natural and real. Show yourself how you really are and not how you think other people would like you to be.
# 23 – Don’t make any spelling mistakes if you include some text in your video resume. See this sample and see if you can spot the mistake! No matter how professional the video looks like, make sure that you don’t make any spelling mistakes. That little mistake might make the difference whether to hire you or not, in comparison to other applicants. If you are applying for a job in which attention to detail is important (e.g. web designer, accountant, proof reader, etc.) this would be considered a “big” mistake. It would proof that you don’t care for the little details.
# 24 – Don’t just flip papers with notes written on it. Be a bit more original and let your voice and character shine through. Watch this video sample in order to be aware of what you should not do.
# 25 – Take your job application serious, it’s about getting a job interview not finding a date. Avoid any kind of flirtatious gestures. Watch the following video sample.
# 26 – Include some testimonials and endorsements in your video resumes. This would show that other professionals would surely recommend you. Every employer wants to hire someone who is recommendable. Watch this video example.
# 27 – Don’t just talk about your skills, show real proof of it by mentioning results that you achieved for companies. In this case Shelly talks about her 30 % increase in enrolments which she is proud of. Watch her video resume.
# 28 – Add your social media profile IDs to invite them to check out your online presence online too.
# 29 – Include some further material which undermines your skills and competencies. For example, copies of your certificates/diplomas/degrees, pictures which highlight your achievements, video excerpts which show you in action (e.g. as a public speaker) etc. Make it a highly interesting multimedia experience that the recruiter will enjoy watching.
# 30 – Thank the interviewer for watching your video resume.
Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.