6 Tips for Building a Job-Winning Video Resume


By Chomparani Ali

In a tough job market, there’s no denying that your application needs to stand head and shoulders above others to have a chance of landing that dream job. With recruiters spending little more than seconds on the average resume, there’s not much time to make a good impression.

One of the ways to achieve this is to create a video resume. More than simply transforming your paper resume into a video one, a video resume is a way to let your personality, creativity, and skills shine through. According to studies, visuals are processed faster than text, meaning that a video resume will get your message across more rapidly and succinctly than a paper resume and could grab the attention of recruiters, tired of sifting through paper resumes all day.

Why make a video resume

In publication relations, effective communication skills are of the essence. Not only do you need to be a confident speaker but you also need to have a compelling stage presence. As far as making a strong first impression goes, there’s no better way to grab the attention of recruiters than with a video resume, when applying for a PR role.

According to research, a video is worth 1.8 million words, meaning a video resume could be a great way to show off your personality, creativity and presentation skills. And because you’re spending time polishing your video until you get everything from your body language and voice to the timing right, you’ll showcase other skills such as use of digital tools and video wrong, increasing your chances of landing that interview.

Read on for tips for producing a winning video resume.

Plan out your content

Firstly, planning is key. While you want to appear authentic and natural, this isn’t something you should be filming on the spur of the moment. The last thing you want to do is ramble on without honing in on specifics.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to write out a script so that you can perfect what you want to say and factor in   any existing film clips or photos you want to include in your video resume to ensure that you get the timing right.

You also don’t want to be reading while filming; memorizing your script beforehand prevents you from having to read from an autocue or notes and helps you keep on track of what you want to say.

Dress appropriately

As you’re essentially marketing yourself to potential employers, making sure you have the right attire is a must. This means dressing as you would for an interview in accordance with the company culture and brand, which can be gauged from conducting a little careful research on the company website.

As a rule of thumb, over-dressed is always better than being under-dressed, therefore, opt for a business casual dress code and steer clear of vibrant colors.

Prepare the filming area

Preparing the film area is crucial for creating a clear and polished video. Avoid harsh lighting and keep the filming area free of clutter and anything that could detract from your message. You want to make sure that you’re the focus of your video.

Also, remove everything from the backdrop that may not convey a professional image, unless there are props or furniture that are a natural part of the background. If the hiring manager gets distracted by anything not relevant to the video, you’ll lose their attention and any chance of landing an interview.

Set up your camera

It goes without saying that your video should be of a professional quality. Therefore, web-cams or other low-res cameras that may make your footage look grainy are a no-go. Thankfully, most smartphones come equipped with a high-quality camera, but for a professional touch, it’s best to use a decent DSLR camera.

Now, you’ve settled on your recording device of choice, you next want to think about the angle you want to film from. Shaky footage will make any video resume look unprofessional, therefore, make sure that the camera is placed at a flattering angle – slightly above eye-level is best, which can be achieved with a tripod.

Record several takes

While you want to make sure that you sound and look relaxed, professional, and confident, the first take will rarely be perfect. Don’t be afraid to film from different angles or with a different background until you get it just right. You can also test different vocal tones and facial expressions to see what works best.

If you make a mistake while filming, rather than stopping and restarting the video continuously, it’s a good idea to keep the flow going and edit out the mistake once production is out of the way.

Edit your video

Finally, you’re ready to edit your video. Review all the clips you’ve recorded and select the best takes of each; this is where you can also throw in extra visuals and animations.

If shooting or editing videos isn’t your forte, you may want to use a video editing program, but make sure you don’t leave a watermark on your video resume. Alternatively, you may want to leave the editing to professionals if you have the budget to ensure a polished product.

Ask for feedback

Once you’ve got your video resume into shipshape, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from family and friends to make sure that you come across as professional and authentic. Unless you’re used to being in front of the camera, it can be hard to determine whether you look and sound natural. A third party can provide constructive feedback and let you know whether you’re creating a strong impression.

Chomparani Ali is a content designer based in Birmingham, England, passionate about all things content, from blog writing to UX. In 10 years of working in the content field, she has written blog articles for tech startups, created content strategies for academic publishers and gaming companies, and translated content from German and French into English. As an advocate of content design, she is a member of the Content Design London community in order to promote best practices.

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