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How to Create a Video Resume

A video resume/CV is an effective means of pitching yourself as the perfect individual for a job vacancy. By allowing you to speak directly to your potential employer, a video can strengthen your job application and distinguish you from other applicants. However, it would be best if you remembered that a video CV doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a job, but may offer a competitive edge over other applicants.  Additionally, with today’s environment of social distancing, it may be the only way to get your foot in the door, as recruiters may reduce the amount of face to face interviews.

This post offers an in-depth guide on how to make a video resume as an add-on to your employment application. Before we delve into that, let us first understand what a video resume is and why you need it in the current competitive job market.

What is a Video resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A video resume is a brief video made by a job applicant that highlights their work experience and skills. They then upload it online or send it to the hiring company by email for review by the recruitment manager.

Do not use a video resume as a replacement for your print resume but as a supplementary platform to further market your work skills, experience, personality, and the value you’ll bring to the hiring company. Several job search websites have a video resume section, and you can leverage that chance to create a short video CV to bolster your chances of landing a job.

When Should You Create a Video Resume?

A video CV is not a compulsory component of a candidate’s job application. Rarely do companies request job seekers to have video resumes. According to statistics, 78% of companies prefer print CVs as compared to 3% who were interested in video CVs and other types of visual graphic presentations.  Again, this may change with the current environment of quarantine and social distancing.

Several industries do already require the use of video CVs. For instance, performance arts such as on-stage acting, instructing a class, or graphical representations of statistical data. You can also use a video curriculum vitae (CV) when applying for a job that involves meeting clients directly. It will help you articulate your personality and communication skills to woo potential employeers.

If your field does not require a video resume, it may be a waste of time and not be of great help. You also need to understand that there are risks of a video resume going awry as there are several delicate aspects that need consideration, such as filming style, script, and location, among others.

Practical Tips to Make a Winning Video Resume

(i) Have a Script

The first thing you want to do is to write a script. It helps in portraying yourself as natural and “sharp” as possible. The script gives you an understanding of what you want to say and how to phrase it. Preferably, memorize the text so that you maintain a steady look at the camera. Reading from the video resume script makes a candidate seem unprofessional and harms the effectiveness of how you portray yourself to a prospective employer.

The purpose of a video resume is to market yourself and express why a specific company needs you. Hence, your primary objective should be to the benefits and value you’ll bring to a particular company, including your skills, work background, and achievements.

(ii) Keep It Short and Engaging

Professional recruitment experts advise that any video resume should not go beyond a minute. That’s the length that can spark the most engagement. Anything beyond that, a viewer’s attention drops off and makes the video seem cumbersome.

Think of your video CV as an advertisement video: the same rules apply to both. If you upload the video online, ensure it is brief because people have short attention spans. They tend to quickly switch to something else once they get bored with the ongoing activity. Confining yourself to time limits compels you to think critically and weigh between the details that need to be included and those that do not qualify. With that in mind, you can create a goal-oriented and effective 3-minute video resume.

(iii) Maintain Professionalism

Treat a video resume as you would a job interview. That goes without saying that you need to stick to a professional look and demeanor. Additionally, avoid curse words and slang at all costs—practice caution when it comes to jokes. What you may find hilarious or funny may not necessarily elicit laughter in others.

Other practices that may lower the effectiveness of the video include folding of arms, inappropriate postures, fidgeting and other unnecessary movements. You might gesture when necessary, but don’t overdo it. Your video presentation is also non-verbal, so you need to ensure any action you take relays the intended message.

(iv) Keep it Relevant

Ensure that your video resume is specific to the job vacancy you are applying for, as you would when drafting a print CV. What you want is to show the recruitment panel what the job position means to you. Instead of developing a generic video, make a personalized video that shows the love for what you do. Further, it makes the resume more memorable and impactful.

(v) Set Up the Background

You don’t have to create a 4K -resolution video resume to get a job, but you should ensure that it has decent clarity. With a blurry video, a prospective employer will experience challenges watching, something you definitely want to avoid.

So ensure you have a clean and unobstructed camera lens, your smartphone or computer is up to date and that no barriers are preventing the audio capability of the microphone.

Next, select a location that has ample lighting. Try to find the perfect spot by shooting the video at different places to check how you look. The background and setting should resonate with your personality.  Dress up the location as you see fit but remain professional. While adding elements to the set, ensure they integrally fall in line with the purpose of the video.  Check out videos of other professionals to see how theirs looks for ideas on background, dress, etc…

A video resume may mean the difference when applying for a job. Before you make a video resume, find out whether it’s applicable in your field of work. Write a script that details how you’ll add value to a particular company. Make it short and goal-oriented to grab the attention of the viewers.  Ultimately, though, it needs to showcase who you truly are and give that employer a reason to meet you in real life!


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