The job market has always been competitive, but the competition is stiffer amid the global pandemic. Job searching is especially challenging for fresh college graduates. College seniors are competing against a larger-than-usual pool of job seekers when you include last year’s crop of graduates and the millions of recently furloughed employees.
To stand out in the Covid-19 job market, an increasing breed of young professionals and recent graduates are gravitating to video resumes. Many have successfully landed jobs with them.
What is a Video Resume?
A video resume is a short video made by a job candidate and published on the internet or emailed to a human resource recruiter for review. The candidate provides thorough information about their talents and expertise in the video.
The video is used to supplement, not replace, a written resume. Like a print resume, a video CV can be broad or tailored to a specific position or company. Some job search and networking services allow users to upload video resumes as part of their profiles.
Video Resumes are the Next Big Thing in Recruitment
As more and more visual resumes proliferate online, recruitment firms and job websites are taking notice. TikTok and LinkedIn’s recent launch of special visual platforms to connect job candidates with companies confirm that video is here to stay as part of the job application process.
LinkedIn Cover Story Video feature and Tiktok Resumes pilot program encourage job seekers to create short-form video resumes for open positions. And it’s working. From securing internships to landing interviews at Fortune 500 companies, people are posting and gushing about their job application successes.
Take, for example, 26-year-old Jay Beech, whose viral TikTok video resume landed him his new job as marketing creative at Crowdfunder UK.
He explains to Yahoo! Finance News, “You come at risk of becoming just another CV in a pile of CVs sitting on some recruiter’s desk, especially in the climate that we’re in now where there’s so many people competing for jobs. You’ve got to do something to get your CV off that desk and not let it collect dust.”
How a Video Resume Can Help
Depending on your industry, a video resume might be a helpful addition to your job application. It has the most value when applying for jobs in the marketing, visual, and creative industries.
Creating a video resume is an optional task for job applicants.
Companies seldom require or request candidates to submit a video resume. According to a Robert Half survey, 78 percent of employers prefer traditional resumes in Word or PDF format. Video resumes and infographics piqued the interest of only 3 percent of respondents.
But that could quickly change in a few years.
The impact of Covid-19 on the recruitment industry has changed hiring and human resource practices.
Remote working is the new norm, and this means most of the hiring and onboarding is done remotely. Video resumes play a key role for a recruiter and an employer to feel connected and confident about the candidate.
The European Business Review found that 60 percent of recruiters are using video resumes for hiring and 22 percent are considering using them in the future. 64 percent of recruiters are planning to continue with remote hiring even if Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Video resumes play an important role in recruiters being comfortable with remote hiring.
It’s also important to remember that a video resume will not land you a job. However, if done correctly, it may help you advertise yourself to potential employers.
Steps to Create a Video Resume
1. Choose a Video Style and Format
Unless the hiring manager asks explicitly for an on-camera video resume, you have the freedom to choose the video style and format. Not all video resumes require you to talk directly on the camera. Other styles include:
College graduate Maria Rodriguez’s video resume stands out for its seamless animation and voice-over work. Notice how she covers a breadth of topics—professional experience, personality traits, volunteerism, and language skills—to tell a story that portrays her as a holistic, well-rounded candidate.
Opt for a simple video presentation format when pressed for time or lacking in video skills. Full discloser- this is my video resume. Despite my terrible video editing skills, I was able to make a decent video resume using InVideo. The process was simple and only took me 30 minutes.
Stop motion resumes can give so much insight into the creator’s personality, something traditional resumes struggle to do. Even if you don’t speak French, you can get a sense of who William is as a person. It also showcases him as hard-working, detail-oriented, and imaginative to potential recruiters since stop motion animation is incredibly tedious and difficult to produce.
A whiteboard animation video is an excellent medium for simplifying complex information. Stephen Saunders used whiteboard animation to explain his varied skills and broad workplace experience spanning multiple countries and different industries.
Widely regarded as one the best video resumes online, Mark Leruste’s 2012 video resume successfully conveyed his confidence, humor, and professionalism in a 2-minute video.
2. Write a Script
First things first: Do not wing it.
Make a thorough plan for how you want the video to look and write a script detailing everything you want to say on camera. This will give you time to perfect what you want to say and phrase everything in the best way.
It’s best to memorize the script if you’re going to be on camera. You don’t want to be reading from it while filming, as this could come across as unprofessional and detract from how you want to portray yourself to potential employers.
Pro Tip: If you struggle with memorization, use teleprompter software to read your lines quickly and without mistakes. I plug my script into my iPad’s Easy Prompter app, position my device behind the camera, and read my lines accordingly. Another free online alternative is Telepromptermirror.com.
3. Prep Your Video Space
So, you’ve decided to sit in front of a camera and talk to potential recruiters on video. Great! It’s time to prep for the shoot.
Decide on whether you’ll do it yourself or hire a crew for the shoot.
Despite the additional cost, working with a professional film crew guarantees quality video footage and sound in a variety of challenging conditions.
The biggest advantage of working with a professional crew is that they can direct you on how to be engaging on camera. You won’t have to worry about the equipment since they will supply and operate the cameras, lighting, and sound recording equipment, and you don’t have to handle any video files.
DIY shoots are less expensive, but you’re limited regarding video and audio quality. Despite its drawbacks, you can still get amazing videos as long as you have decent to good-quality equipment on hand. Make sure to have these essentials on set:
- lighting and reflectors
- a teleprompter app
- tripods and lighting stands
Set up a room with a neutral background and pleasant lighting if you have images of you sitting and speaking directly to the camera. You can use objects that blend in with the environment without drawing attention away from you.
If you want to add action shots, ensure you have all the props and equipment. You could also limit the number of individuals in the background or in the frame with you.
4. Choose a Recording Device
Choose a recording device that can capture high-quality images and audio, such as a smartphone, tablet, computer, or camera, to guarantee that your face and other images, as well as your speech, are captured clearly.
Set the camera high enough to capture your face and shoulders but far enough away to get your entire profile.
If you’re using action shots in your video, make sure the camera captures you completely.
5. Record Several Takes
Using your script, record each segment of your video resume. Record it several times with different expressions and vocal tones. Throughout the video, you want to ensure you appear comfortable, engaged, polished, and professional.
Don’t worry about having to take multiple takes. It’s normal and expected.
When filming, it’s not uncommon for it to take several attempts to get it right.
Sometimes, even professional actors and actresses have difficulty getting their lines or actions satisfactory on camera. Actress Rooney Mara had to redo a scene 99 times while on set for the movie ‘The Social Network.’
Don’t be so hard on yourself when you mess up your lines or cues. Take a deep breath, smile, shake off the tension, and try again. You’ve got this!
6. Edit the Video
Gather and review all the footage you’ve captured and pick the best shots. Start trimming and assembling footage to fit the scenario you developed using your script or outline.
You can also include additional visuals under the audio of your speech, such as references to achievements or awards.
Use video editing software or an application that allows you to trim, organize, and save videos to put together the video. The most popular video editing softwares are Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, OpenShot, Lightworks, and Davinci Resolve.
7. Get Feedback
Review your final cut several times to make sure it is clean and organized. Have a friend, coworker, colleague, or mentor review your resume. They can provide you with constructive feedback to improve the video and make a better impression.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while you prepare and record your video resume:
- Dress Professionally. Dress as if you’re attending an interview. Wear neat, workplace-appropriate attire. Let the corporate culture of the company you’re applying to be your guide. A business casual outfit is generally acceptable. When in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of dressing formally, rather than too casually.
- Wear Camera-Friendly Attire. You want people to focus on you and your message, not your clothing. Some colors, shapes, and patterns are terrible on camera. I recommend solid colors over multicolored prints or patterns. Never wear tight, repetitive patterns like pinstripes, herringbone, fine checks, and houndstooth since these patterns look too busy and distracting on camera.
- Follow the Employer’s Guidelines. If an employer requests a video resume, be sure to follow the submission guidelines. Thoroughly read any instructions regarding content, length, and editing. Some companies may require you to follow a prompt, so make sure you meet their expectations adequately in your video.
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