Job Resumes 2.0: Creating a Video Resume

Mar 26, 2008

A video resume can allow you to get you face-to-face with potential employers and may give you the edge you need to get your foot in the door. Learn the ins and outs of creating a video resume here.

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How to Create a Video Resume

Getting Started

The first thing you should do when creating a video resume is figure out how you want to showcase yourself on camera. In other words, what do you want employers to take away from your video?

If you're in business, you may want to demonstrate your leadership or speaking skills. If you are in the performing arts, you'll probably want to showcase your talent. No matter who you are, you should state your name and mention what industry you work in at some point in the video.

Production Quality

Anyone with a web cam or a cheap video camera can make a video resume. But if you want professional results, you are going to need more than just your mother's old camera.

Since it can be expensive to buy lights, cameras and the other equipment that is needed to turn out a quality production, you may want to consider renting equipment or hiring a professional to shoot the video for you.

Style

Obviously, you'll want to look your best in your video resume. Get a haircut and dress as you would for a job interview. Also, make sure you carefully consider your background. The best choice is a neutral backdrop or a location that is appropriate to your industry. For example, if you are a chef, your resume could be shot in a kitchen; if you are an accountant, your resume could be filmed in an office setting.

The Finished Product

To turn out a quality video resume, you'll probably need to do some editing once you've finished recording. There are a number of different software programs to help you with this. You may also wish to hire a graphic designer to edit images and text into your video images.

Video Resume Tips

A few tips to keep in mind when creating your video resume:

  • Keep your video short. One to three minutes is best. More than five minutes is too long.
  • Be professional. If your video doesn't look professional, it will not be taken seriously.
  • Take time to prepare. Researching other videos and planning your video ahead of time will make the end product better.
  • Practice. Since you will want to look as comfortable as possible in your video, it may be a good idea to get some practice in front of an audience or a mirror prior to making the actual recording.
  • Don't fidget. Fidgeting looks bad in an in-person interview, but it is even more noticeable on camera because the viewer has nothing to look at but you.
  • Make a storyboard. A storyboard or cue cards will help you organize your video and save you from memorizing a long monologue.
  • Get help. If you don't know what you're doing, get someone to help you. There are many film, design and editing professionals who provide video resume services for reasonable fees.

Where to Post Your Video Resume

Your video resume can be burned to a DVD and sent out with your paper resume. You can also post your video online:

  • YouTube - Thousands of people have already uploaded their video resumes to YouTube, the clear leader in online video.
  • Vault.com - Registered Vault users can upload their video resumes and profiles to the Vault site and participate in video resume challenges.
  • Jobster - Registered Jobster users can post YouTube hosted video resumes and other types of video to the Jobster site.
  • Vidres - Registered users can post video resumes that highlight personality traits and talents.
  • ResumeBook.tv - ResumeBook.tv has developed a resume management system that will help you make your video resume accessible to employers. When you use ResumeBook.tv, you get your own web address to pass on to recruiters and hiring managers.

Sample Video Resumes

Viewing a few sample resumes will help you get ideas for your own video resume:

  • Bad Video Resumes - Video resumes that can help you learn what NOT to do.
  • Good Video Resumes - Video resumes that won the Vault.com video resume contest--includes an analysis of the winning videos.

A Special Note on Video Resumes

Not all companies are willing to view video resumes. In fact, some companies have policies against it based on the advice of their attorneys. There is a fear that video resumes could lead to lawsuits if jobseekers feel they have been discriminated against based on their appearance (i.e. age, weight, gender or race.)

No matter how much time and effort you spend on your video, it might all go to waste if your desired employer has no interest in seeing a visual representation. To save yourself some disappointment, you may want to contact the human resources representatives of the companies you plan to send your video to and inquire about their policy.

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