Picture or perhaps video this: a prospective job candidate walks into an interview for a career and casually hands in a blank sheet of paper as a resume to the hiring manager. The hiring manager is shocked, but then the prospective candidate pulls out a laptop presenting a video resume that showcases his achievements and abilities and demonstrating what he could bring to the table if he were hired. Sounds like he made an impression?
Of course, but it doesn’t have to be that dramatic. The point here is that handing in a video resume can make you stand out amidst a sea of other resumes that hiring managers have to go through daily. Video resumes are not new and have been around for a while now. Yet even today, it’s rare to see the method used by job applicants. There could be many reasons why job applicants feel discouraged to use video resumes, such as not knowing how to start creating one or feeling like they’re not good in front of the camera. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated to be well done. And with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to nail the perfect take.
The main objective of a video resume isn’t really about telling employer’s why they should hire you, but to make a memorable enough impression to secure an interview in the first place. Giving an employer the chance to see you, hear you, and get a sense of your personality will make you stand out amidst the pile of written resumes they have to go through.
Why Use a Video CV / Resume?
If you’re still not convinced about using a video resume when applying for jobs, consider the fact that the job market is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive. Moreover, with the Covid-19 pandemic decimating economies and shrinking company resources, it means that there will be fewer positions available in the job market. If you’re an active job seeker, here are a few other key reasons why you should start using a video resume.
1. Show off your personality
A video resume is perfect for showing off your personality and communication skills. Non-verbal communication i.e. body language, makes up the larger part of the way people communicate, and a video CV is the perfect platform to demonstrate that. Not only can an employer see you, but aspects of your personality such as your mannerism, your tone and your professional demeanour can be on display as well. Having a video resume also gives you the chance to bring out certain personality traits you may have, such as humour and a positive attitude.
2. Highlights abilities and skills
If you’re applying for a job that requires you to possess good communicative skills or creative abilities, then a video resume will be most helpful in showcasing those skills. There are many other examples of jobs where you can demonstrate your abilities through video, such as an application for a teaching position, visual arts, acting, or public relations. Video resumes will spotlight these abilities in ways that a written resume can’t do.
3. Helps Hiring Managers
It certainly helps you get ahead of the curve when you ease the process for an employer who has to go through tons of written resumes and cover letters that all look the same. Watching someone talk about themselves in a video is nice for a change and will most likely be appreciated. Plus, it shows that you’ve put some effort and thought into your application.
Tips on Creating a Great Video CV / Resume
1. Sound quality
Pay attention to the sound quality of your video recording After all, it’s not going to create much of an impact if the employer can’t hear you well. It may be a good idea to invest in a lapel microphone or any other decent quality microphone if you don’t already have one on your laptop. Make sure to also record in a quiet location and avoid any noise interruption.
2. Backdrop matters
The backdrop to your video resume tells a part of your story too. Use it as an opportunity to make an impression and showcase your interests, your character, and professionalism.
3. Highlight only the essential areas
Not sure what to say in a video resume? Remember, the aim of the video resume is to help you make an impression in order to secure an actual interview. Summarize the important parts of your work experience, personality and skills without giving away too much. Don’t make it boring by tediously going through your entire life.
4. Keep it short and snappy
Again, you don’t want to overload the employer with too much information. Save the details for the actual interview when you secure it. Ideally, you should keep the duration of your video resume to approximately 5-10 minutes long. If you can make it shorter and snappier, even better! Be brief, but also be specific.
5. Add a touch of humour
Imagine a hiring manager coming across a video resume that made him or her laugh after a long day of going through piles of written resumes. Making someone laugh is one sure way of creating a great impression, besides letting them know what a fun person you can be. Use it with caution though, because you don’t want it to backfire by doing something distasteful.
6. Rehearse your takes
The great thing about recording a video resume is that you get the chance to do multiple takes until you are satisfied with the final take. Be sure to rehearse as many times as you need and write down a video script if necessary. But also, be sure that you sound natural rather than sounding like you’re reading off the script. Practice makes perfect.
Creating a video resume will immediately establish a direct interpersonal connection to your potential employer and gives you a good advantage over other applicants. Making a video resume that’s outstanding doesn’t have to be a complicated process either. Focus on the goal of creating a memorable impression, and use it to secure the next stage of your application: the actual job interview.
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