The modern job market is rather complex and competitive—so much so that it’s becoming increasingly challenging to grab recruiters' and employers' attention. One way to successfully do this is with professional and engaging video resumes.
This format allows you to make stronger and more personal connections with your future employers and give them a more impactful summary of your skills and experiences. On the other hand, creating video resumes doesn’t come without complications—it’s generally more challenging than submitting a written document and calling it a day.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of video resumes and give you step-by-step instructions on how to make them, where to publish them, and what to avoid doing while making these recorded resumes.
Let’s get started.
Video resumes are concise and personalized videos that present your skills, experiences, and personality to potential employers.
There are pros and cons to using video resumes over traditional ones, so you should do your research to figure out if you should make one.
A video resume should have three parts: an introduction, experience and skills, and an ending.
The best way to make a video resume is to prepare a script, rehearse it, film it in an optimal setting, edit it, and ask for feedback before submission.
You can upload it to your LinkedIn profile, social media, video-sharing platforms, or personal website or even send it directly to the potential employer.
You should avoid going off-topic in your video resume, using inappropriate language, making it too long, neglecting the technical details, or focusing on yourself too much.
What is a Video Resume & Should You Create One?
In today’s digital age, job seekers are increasingly turning to video resumes as a way to get ahead. A video resume is a short, personalized experience that gives potential employers a brief overview of your skills, experience, and personality. It can be a powerful tool that conveys more information than a standard resume.
But is a video resume right for you? Let's explore the pros and cons.
The Pros of Video Resumes
One of the biggest advantages of a video resume over a traditional one is that it allows you to showcase your personality. Moreover, you get to directly demonstrate your communication prowess, which is one of the most important soft skills in many industries.
Video resumes also allow you to use visual and auditory cues such as body language, hand gestures, and facial expressions. They can help you make a stronger and more personal connection with recruiters and potential employers immediately. This can be particularly helpful in communication-heavy fields such as marketing or sales.
Another upside to video resumes is that you can demonstrate your creativity and technical skills. You can show your experience in editing software and related apps by creating an engrossing experience. That can be rather useful if you’re applying for a job in the field of media or technology.
The Cons of Video Resumes
As for the downsides, keep in mind that creating video resumes can be a time-consuming and potentially expensive endeavor. It involves investing in equipment and editing software (though smartphones are often a capable replacement for many of those), writing, rehearsing, filming, editing, and more.
Then, there’s the concern that some employers might prefer traditional resumes to avoid any potential legal issues and discrimination claims. As a result, if you’re applying for a more traditional field or you’re short on time and resources, a traditional resume might be a better choice.
What Should a Video Resume Look Like?
Regardless of whether you’re creating a video resume as a student or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to follow a verified format for the best chances of success. So, let’s find out how to structure your video resume.
This is the first part of your video resume, where you should introduce yourself to your potential employers. Your introduction is important, as it establishes the tone for the rest of the video. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, which is why you should be confident and engaging right off the bat.
Start by stating your name and your current or previous position. Then, follow up with a brief summary of your qualifications. Similarly to an objective or summary in traditional resumes, you want to grab the viewer’s attention by putting your best foot forward. Mention some of your strongest skills or most prominent achievements relevant to the position that you’re applying for.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep your introduction brief and to the point. Only give your future employers the most important details, and try to keep this part under 30 seconds.
Experience & Skills
The second part of your video resume should be the one that provides the most information. This is the time to go into more detail about your experience and skills. Use this opportunity to briefly describe your work history and education and mention any certifications and awards you’ve got. Remember to keep everything relevant to the position that you’re applying for.
You should also use this part of your video resume to talk about your most prominent skills and accomplishments. One of the best ways to do that is to provide specific examples of how you’ve utilized your abilities to obtain notable results in the previous positions you held. This will quantify your results and make them pop.
This should be the longest section of your video resume, but don’t overdo it. Aim to keep it between one and two minutes long.
The goal of the final part of your video resume is to leave a lasting impression on recruiters so that they keep thinking about you even after they’re done watching the video. That’s why you should briefly summarize your key points and then restate your interest in the position.
You can then finish the video by thanking the viewer for their time and including a call to action. Invite them to contact you for more information, for further discussion, or for an interview. To ensure that you have a strong, impactful ending, keep this section under 30 seconds.
How to Make a Video Resume
Now that we’ve examined the structure of a video resume, let’s go through a step-by-step process on how to make one.
#1. Prepare a Script
It’s vital to have a concise, engaging, and professional script before you start filming. It should contain all the elements that we previously discussed, from the introduction through your experience and skills to the ending. By using it, you’ll ensure that you don’t forget to include some important details when filming your video resume.
Writing a video resume script might seem like more work initially, but it will save you time in the long run. Without a script, you’ll likely do a lot of reshooting to make corrections or add details that you forgot about.
#2. Tailor it to The Job
Once you have a draft of your script, you should tailor it to the specific job that you’re applying for. That means highlighting those skills and workplace accomplishments that are most relevant to the position.
Instead of talking about every skill or achievement from every previous job, focus on those that recruiters actually want to hear about. You can find out what abilities they favor by reading the job description you’re interested in.
Once you know which accomplishments and skills hiring managers are looking for, you can use those words as keywords in your video resume to increase its likelihood of catching their attention.
Before you start filming, it’s important to rehearse your script. You should practice speaking clearly and confidently. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the pacing and flow of your presentation. All this will help you deliver your speech cleanly and professionally.
The goal of rehearsing is to do it until the performance feels natural. Since you want to establish a personal connection with the viewer, you shouldn’t read the script in front of the camera. Instead, speak into it as if you’re conversing with them.
One of the best ways to practice is in front of a mirror or with a friend, so you can get feedback on your delivery.
#4. Choose Appropriate Setting
In essence, video resumes are visual experiences, and you want to make sure that you’ve created the best one possible. That’s why it’s crucial to choose an appropriate setting. Make sure that the background is clear and uncluttered so that nothing distracts viewers from listening to you.
Moreover, you want good lighting and sound quality. In general, it’s best to film your video resume in a quiet room with no outside sounds. You can also look for video resume examples online for inspiration on how to create an appropriate setting.
Experts recommend LED light bulbs, LED light panels, or LED ring lights for video recording.
#5. Deliver With Enthusiasm
One of the main benefits of video resumes over traditional ones is that they give you the ability to show energy and enthusiasm more easily. Therefore, you should aim to deliver a lively and dynamic presentation.
Speak clearly and confidently, and use body language to convey your excitement. That will help you stand out among other candidates by showing that you’re passionate about the job.
#6. Shoot & Edit
When recording your video resume, you want to make sure that it’s well shot. The picture should be sharp and not blurry, and if you’re moving the camera, try to maintain quality and not end up with a choppy video.
Once the recording is done, you can use editing software to polish it to perfection. You don’t have to be a video editing expert and spend hours fine-tuning everything, but you can cut out any mistakes or awkward pauses. In some instances, you can also add music or other sound and visual effects.
However, make sure not to go overboard with editing. Your video should end up looking precise and professional, and it shouldn’t exceed 2 minutes.
#7. Get Feedback
Finally, after your video resume is finished, it’s a good idea to get feedback from others. You can show it to friends and family or upload your video resume sample to a video-sharing site like YouTube and ask for comments. Another pair of eyes might spot some mistakes or identify areas of improvement to make your video even better.
Where & How to Publish The Video Resume
Once you have created a video resume, you may be wondering how and where to publish it. Some employers give clear instructions on how to deliver your video resumes, so you should follow those closely. Otherwise, here are some options:
Upload it to your LinkedIn profile to give potential employers the option to view it directly from there.
Share it on your social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. This way, you can increase the visibility of your video resume and even get discovered by potential employers.
Publish it on one or more video hosting sites, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once your video resume is there, you can simply send a link to recruiters and potential employers.
If you have a professional, work-related website, you can upload your video resume there.
You can also send your video resume directly to employers and try to grab their attention by showing that you’re serious about the position.
What Not to Do in a Video Resume
While creating a video resume can be a great way to showcase your skills, experience, and personality, there are some things you should avoid doing. For this reason, we compiled a list of video resume tips on what not to do, so let’s have a look at it!
Avoid rambling or going off-topic. Your video should be brief and focused. It’s important to make sure that everything you say remains relevant to the position that you’re applying for.
Refrain from using inappropriate language or humor, and avoid using slang or jargon. While it’s fine (and even desirable) to inject a bit of personality into your video, remember that it’s going to be used in a professional setting.
Don’t make your video too long. Ideally, it should be under two minutes long. Anything more than that, and the recruiters and potential employers might lose interest.
Don’t neglect the technical details such as sound quality, lighting, and background. These aspects of your video resume can be just as important as the information that you’re trying to convey.
Refrain from focusing on yourself too much. While you should highlight your skills and experience, the focus of any resume should be on what you bring to the employer. Try to put more emphasis on all the ways that you can contribute to their organization.
To sum it up, video resumes represent a unique and effective way to stand out to potential employers. They give you more opportunities to showcase your skills and personality, which is why you should take advantage of them whenever possible.
With this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about how to keep your video resume focused and concise while avoiding common pitfalls. All that’s left for you is to research the job ad, create an engaging video resume, show it to your potential employer, and land that dream job!