As you begin to apply for new career opportunities, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to stand out among your competition! While this may be easier said than done, new and creative ways to make strong first impressions are becoming increasingly popular. One method in particular—video resumes.
If this is the first time you’re hearing of a video resume, you may be wondering what it is and why you would use one in the first place. Simply put, in addition to a traditional resume and/or cover letter (and occasionally in lieu of), a video resume is a video highlighting your skills, experience, and why you’re the most qualified candidate available. While this is a relatively new format, you may see some employers starting to ask for these as a way to gain a better idea of your personality and whether or not you would be the right fit for the role!
If you’re thinking about including, or were asked to include a video resume as part of your application package, here’s what you can do to make one that stands out:
Follow the employer’s guidelines
In the event that a potential employer is requiring you to send a video resume, you want to ensure that you follow their guidelines before applying. This means that if there are time restrictions on videos, certain information they’re asking you to include, etc., you must adhere to them before applying. If not, you run the risk of not being considered for the position at all!
Have a script
If you plan to submit a video resume as part of your application, you’ll want to start by having a script before you start recording. While you want to come off as natural as possible, ad-libbing could make you seem disorganized. Having a script, however, will make you seem more collected and efficient. When putting together a script, don’t forget to include:
- Who you are
- How you would benefit the company
- What makes you unique for the role
Unlike a traditional resume, a video resume can help a potential employer get a better feel for who you are as a person, so don’t be afraid to use this format to show off your personality and potential as a good cultural fit!
Keep it short
While it’s typically difficult to narrow down talking points, remember to keep your video short. In order to avoid losing the attention of the hiring manager, a typical video resume should be no longer than two minutes long.
Find a good spot to record
If you’ve ever been on a video interview before, you know just how important it is to be professional, both in the way you dress, and the space in view of the camera. While not quite the same, this is something you should keep in mind if you’re going to be recording a video resume. Before you film, make sure you find a quiet, tidy location where you’ll have few distractions. Additionally, you’ll want a spot with good lighting and acoustics, as well as somewhere where you know your technology will work correctly. Ensuring you have a quiet and attractive spot ahead of time will help you feel more relaxed and self-assured as you begin to record!
Include information that isn’t on your resume
Your video resume should not be an identical version of your traditional resume. Instead, your video resume should be used as a way to highlight the things that a traditional resume simply can’t do. This means that, instead of using this format to highlight skills and experience, use it to show off how much of an asset you would be to the company! This could mean talking about your personality, your values, and your work ethic. By doing so, you’re giving a potential employer an idea of what it would be like to have you as part of their company. This can give you a major advantage if you’re the only applicant sending in a video resume.
Be mindful of how you share your video
There are many ways you can share your video with a future employer. When specific instructions are not provided, avoid sharing large file sizes, and consider uploading your video to the cloud and sharing a link when possible.