How to Make a Good Video Resume
In today’s competitive job market, it pays to look for new ways to stand out and make an employer take notice. Along with your traditional resume, hiring managers are becoming more interested in viewing videos from prospective candidates to get a better idea of their personality and warmth, especially in the hospitality industry.
The whole point of the video is to showcase you… not to focus on the details of your past experience or education. It’s meant to convey the intangible traits that make you a great fit and highlight your interpersonal skills.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Your video resume should be tailored to a specific job or “type” of job you’re pursuing. In the hospitality world, it’s a great idea for customer-facing roles such as front desk agent, concierge or restaurant host to showcase your personality.
- Be professional. That means dressing as if you already have the job and paying attention to your grooming… clean and pressed clothes, combed hair, appropriate make-up, etc.
- Prepare a script, but don’t read directly from it. That will come off as robotic and boring. You want to cover the main points of why the company will benefit from hiring you, but don’t just read a list.
- Consider who will be viewing your video. Be sure to use the appropriate industry terms, address the needs of this position and demonstrate the value you’ll bring when you’re hired.
- Keep it short. Don’t go beyond 90 seconds. No one has the time or interest to watch a 5-minute video. You can make a great impression and show your personality while keeping it short and sweet. This isn’t the time to present an exhaustive list of accomplishments or experience.
- Edit your video. You can download free editing software here. Of course, you can also use iMovie, or Movie Maker as well as Final Cut Pro. You don’t have to have a lot of experience to make small changes that will go a long way to improving your final video. If need be, check out some tutorials on You Tube to show you how.
- Choose the right format. If you’re good at speaking directly to the camera, you can do that. If not, consider staging a “mock interview” with a friend asking you questions or chatting about an experience that’s relevant to this job. You can also do a voice-over using graphics if that’s appropriate for the position. It is often best to mix up the formats to keep the video interesting.
- Use a high-quality microphone. Even if you have to borrow one, be sure to have a strong, clear audio – this is where most video resumes fail.
- Make sure you have good lighting. Find a spot near an open door or large window with soft, natural light.
- Check the background. Remove any objects behind you that will be distracting. This is a common mistake and it’s totally avoidable. Clean up anything that doesn’t belong there.
- Make sure you have an introduction, a brief presentation and a strong conclusion. You want to come across as warm and friendly, show potential for leadership (authority) and keep your script short and focused. Make sure the conclusion is memorable and showcases what you have to offer.
- Music and graphics. It’s nice to “dress up your video” with music and graphics, but this can be tricky. Music should be soft and light so it doesn’t drown out the audio. Graphics should add to what you’re saying and add clarity, not distraction. If in doubt, don’t.
Remember, providing a video is a supplement to your written resume, not a replacement. You are giving the hiring manager an opportunity to get a feel for your personality how you might fit into the culture/team environment. Feel free to shoot several takes to ensure you get just what you want. Watch your video and ask others give you feedback. Edit, edit, edit.
By using your written resume along with your video, the odds of getting that all-important interview become much higher.