How to Make a Video Resume: Tips and Examples
A video resume allows you to speak directly to your potential employer about what makes you uniquely qualified for the role. It can be a strong addition to your application and help you better distinguish yourself from other applicants, through your personality and creativity. In this article, we discuss what a video resume is and explore how to create one that is effective and engaging.
What is a video resume?
A video resume is a short video you to introduce yourself to the hiring manager or recruiter. It is often submitted in addition to a resume and cover letter. You can use the video resume to highlight a skill or experience to show you are a perfect fit for the position. It also lets you show how your creativity and personality are a match for the company’s culture. An effective video resume is between 30 seconds to two minutes long.
You may consider including a video resume in the following situations:
It’s required by the employer. Some companies may ask you to submit a video resume to provide an “elevator pitch” for why you are a strong candidate for a role. This method also helps to demonstrate your personality that they may not otherwise get from other elements of your application.
You have an extensive resume. If you have a lot of relevant experience, you may consider including a video resume to briefly summarize your top qualities and help the hiring manager understand what specifically makes you a uniquely qualified candidate. After seeing your video resume, they may keep those top highlights in mind while reviewing your traditional resume, cover letter and other materials.
You want to personalize your application. Though other companies may not require it, including a video resume can personalize your application, helping it stand out from other candidates. Seeing your face, hearing you speak and watching you demonstrate your skills may leave a lasting impression on hiring managers.
How to make a video resume
Making a video resume is a different process from designing a resume or writing a cover letter. It requires stage preparation and technical skills, such as visual storytelling and editing. Here are the steps to making a video resume:
1. Write a script
In this first step, make a plan for what you want the video to look like. Consider whether you want to just sit in front of the camera a speak or if you’d like to add action shots of you demonstrating skills. If you incorporate action, write out each step of the video so you understand its chronology.
In addition to what the video looks like, you should also outline what you want to say. If you want to sound more conversational rather than rehearsed, consider writing bullet points of the specific skills, experiences and qualifications you want to highlight. If you’d prefer to sound rehearsed and be a bit more polished, write out exactly what you want to say.
When writing your speech, consider using strong action verbs you might include in your traditional resume to increase the impact of your words.
2. Prepare a filming space
If you have shots of you sitting and speaking directly to the camera, set up a space with a neutral background and attractive lighting. You can include props that seem natural to the environment and do not distract the viewer from you. If you plan to include action shots, be sure the necessary props and equipment populate the space. You may also consider limiting the number of people in the background or those that appear with you in frame.
3. Set up a recording device
Choose a recording device—either a smartphone, tablet, computer or camera—that can capture high-quality images and audio to ensure your face and other images, as well as your speech, are clear. Set the recording device high enough to capture your face and shoulders and far away enough that your whole profile is in the frame. If you are incorporating action shots into your video, be sure that the device captures you fully.
4. Record several takes
Using your script or outline, record each segment of your video resume. Record your video several times using different expressions and vocal tones to ensure you appear comfortable, engaged and polished throughout. If you are stationary while speaking, consider splitting your speech in shorter segments so you can easily restart or try something new. This step can help you select the best takes and may streamline your editing process.
If you are recording action, you can record a longer segment of repeated actions without having to stop and restart. This step allows you to select a single area of your action footage to include, and it may also make the action seem more natural rather than rehearsed.
5. Collect additional visuals
Depending on the content of your video resume, you may consider including elements such as informational slides, infographics, photographs or clippings. Before or early in your editing process, consider collecting all of the materials you may want to include in addition to the footage you shot. These elements can provide additional information in a dynamic and engaging way.
6. Edit the video
Review all of the footage you’ve captured, and select the best takes. Using your script or outline, you can begin cutting and assembling footage to fit the story you created. You can also add in the additional visuals, such as references to achievements or awards, under the audio of you speaking to visually demonstrate what you’re discussing.
To compile the video, you can use editing software or an application that allows you to cut, organize and save videos. Some computers, tablets and smartphones come equipped with video editing capabilities as well.
7. Get feedback
Review your final cut a few times to ensure the video is clear and organized. You can also ask a friend, coworker, colleague or mentor to review your video resume as well. They can provide you constructive feedback to improve the video and make a stronger impression.
Tips for making a video resume
Here are some tips to consider when preparing for and recording your video resume:
Focus on a specific experience or skill. Because your video resume will be so short, it’s most effective to choose a single topic to focus on. You may talk about a specific project you did very well on or demonstrate a specific skill, such as coding a website. Complement your resume and cover letter by addressing an element only discussed in one of those documents.
Discuss an element not in your application. If there was an element that you left off of your resume or cover letter, such as a volunteer experience or specific skill, consider demonstrating it in your video. You can consider talking about a hobby or interest. Make sure you show how your interest is related to the position, company or industry you are applying to or how the skills you learned through your hobby help you excel at work.
Dress professionally. Consider dressing like you are going to an interview. Wear neat, workplace-appropriate attire, such as business casual clothing. You may even consider wearing the attire you would while at work. Try to wear colors that complement the background or setting in which your video takes place to ensure you and your speech remain the focus of the video.
Review the employer’s guidelines. If an employer asks for a video resume, be sure to follow any instructions they provide for content, length, editing or submission. Some employers may ask you to follow a prompt when making your video resume, so be sure that you adequately address their expectations in your video.
Video resume script example
You can use the following video resume script sample to help you craft your own.
Hello DataSense, Inc.
My name is Valerie Akiyama, and I want to become your new social media specialist. Since DataSense is newly active on social media, I want to apply my experience in online community engagement to help your company get more involved in the lives of its customers.
In my spare time, I run the social media accounts for my friend’s book review podcast. I use the sites’ analytics to determine when his listeners are most active on his social media pages, and I schedule posts to publish at the ideal time every week and when a new episode goes live.
I also create monthly polls to ask his listeners what books they liked the best and ask them to provide recommendations for him to review. With this fun side opportunity, I’ve successfully created an online book club around my friend’s podcast and increased his social media engagement—and his listenership—by 15%.
I am confident that this experience has prepared me to transform DataSense’s online presence and build a strong community of customers.
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