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Job Hunting? Join the Resume Revolution With These Video Resume Tips

·7-min read
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Join the Resume Revolution With These Video Resume Tips
Join the Resume Revolution With These Video Resume Tips

With the COVID-19 pandemic introducing all kinds of disruption in the workplace, companies continue to rely steadily on virtual avenues for their daily grind. From remote, work-from-home schemes to hiring and conducting job interviews online, the workplace is now virtual—and so is the resume of the future.

Video resumes and virtual job applications have been on the rise, especially amid the pandemic. Young job hunters have even been using the social media platform TikTok to network and market themselves for recruiters.

While resumes on paper continue to be standard practice, video resumes could offer you an added advantage in the predominantly online landscape. With in-person interviews currently out of favour, video resumes can help you stand out more and become memorable in the hiring manager’s mind.

What is a video resume?

While different industries may follow various conventions, a video resume may help strengthen your job application, especially when you may be against a competitive talent pool.

Put simply, a video resume is a short video an applicant can send hiring managers or prospective employers that details their strengths, accomplishments, and how they can be suited to the company. While a video resume may not replace a formal CV or a paper iteration, it helps you further market yourself as a desirable talent by helping you articulate qualities that may not come across when writing a resume on paper.

When done right, a video resume can help you highlight various strengths: in a creative or media-centric industry, for example, it helps establish your multimedia production skills. In most instances, however, it can help give recruiters an idea of your personality and character, which are significant aspects in considering whether new hires would fit the company culture.

Creating a video resume also allows you more creative freedom in showing recruiters how you would like to be perceived. Where resumés typically follow a rigid format and a template that you need to fill out, video resumes are more flexible in structure—allowing you to frame and angle your accomplishments differently than on paper.

Video Resume Tips: How to Make a Video Resume

While a video resume may be more favourable for specific roles and industries than others, when done right, these could help give you an edge in marketing your skills and capabilities.

Before shooting

Know your audience.

Before anything else, it is crucial to know your audience and industry. Is a video resume acceptable or appropriate for your field? Preparing a video for a job application may be more suitable for a media organisation or in a role that requires external functions or client-facing work, such as a marketing manager or a customer relations executive.

In certain instances, it may boil down to your prospective employer — even if the industry may lean towards traditional, the company culture may encourage more out-of-the-box thinking and creativity, which could provide some merit for your resume.

Write down the main idea of your video.

It may also help to note or jot down your video’s main idea. Answer the question: what takeaway would you want the hiring manager or viewer to have from your video? It helps give your video a sense of purpose and distil the most essential and relevant information you want to impart.

Ideally, a video resume should run between 30 to 90 seconds—which means there may not be enough time to cover the entire gamut of your career journey. Having a core idea behind the video lets you provide a focal point and drives home the main message by providing the best highlights of your journey.

Write a video script.

After determining your video’s main idea, it’s time to work on a script. A script provides a structured flow for the video resume and provides a guide for your talking points so you can stick to your video’s most important messages. A script also ensures that you do not exceed your intended running time.

If you are concerned about sounding too rehearsed or stilted while shooting, you can write your talking points in bullets to give you room for some spontaneity without ad-libbing your way throughout the video.

Also, know that you don’t need to talk throughout the entire video. You can add various elements to break up the monotony as necessary, including photos of your work, video reels, as well as some text to emphasise certain information.

Prepare the necessary equipment.

Before planning your video’s logistics, ensure that you have the right equipment to create a professional-looking video resume. While smartphones these days certainly have adequate video recording capabilities, it would do you well to have a DSLR camera, a microphone and a tripod to ensure clarity and to avoid shaky camera work—which would give off the impression of amateurish work. A sloppy and unprofessional video can backfire and further hinder your chances of getting hired.

If you can’t mount this shoot on your own, then it may also be worth getting professional help to shoot and edit your video resume.

On the day of the shoot

Set up your backdrop.

Decide on your background and pay attention to the details. While a plain, white or neutral-coloured backdrop should be fine, you can also choose an area with more visual interest that is not too cluttered or busy. Details such as a plant, a bookshelf, or even a tidy and well-styled work desk can add personality to your video resume without being too distracting. Ensure that your area is free of sound to ensure clear audio quality.

Your video must also be well-lit. While natural light is preferable, you may also choose to further enhance this with a ring light or a studio light. It helps to take some test shots hours before or even a day before the shoot. This way, you can familiarise yourself with your lighting situation.

Look sharp and presentable.

Dress in a manner that is most appropriate for the role or industry to which you are applying. Corporate firms may expect a certain level of formality in how you dress, while creative companies may allow some leeway when it comes to the dress code.

While wearing bold hues can help you strategically project power and confidence, be careful of clashing colours or causing distraction. Keep it spare and as an accent.

After shooting

Aim for a professional-looking edit.

From selecting the footage to deciding on transitions and effects, remember that the goal is to convey a professional tone. Hence, avoid overly animated graphics, loud background music, and overly cluttered text. Keep the copy short and simple to emphasise important details.

If you lack confidence in your video-editing skills, it may help to ask the assistance of a professional or a more experienced editor.

Keep it short and sweet.

When editing, bear in mind that the ideal video length should be under 2 minutes. Any longer than that and the viewer may lose interest in what you have to say. Ensure that your video’s main idea is immediately discernible, while the most relevant details of your career further support your proposition—even if it means taking out certain information and leaving it on the cutting room floor.

Ask others for feedback.

After editing your video, feel free to show it to family and trusted friends for their feedback. Having fresh eyes look at your resume can help give you a different perspective and an unbiased view of what you may have overlooked. Their comments can also help you further improve your video.

The future of job hunting is here with the video resume. With these tips, you can stand out from the recruitment pool and position yourself strategically.

After you have created your video resume, log on JobStreet and apply for the #JobsThatMatter so you can find the best fit for your career. For other expert advice on job hunting, visit the Career Resources hub.

How to make the best out of the Resume Revolution
How to make the best out of the Resume Revolution
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