Can A Video Resume Help Your Job Search?

Yes It May!

Can A Video Resume Help Your Job Search?


By Joe Issid
Monster Contributing Writer

Within the last year, I have started received an increasing amount of video resumes from candidates applying for positions within my company. Seeing that the vast majority of candidate applications are still submitted via the traditional “paper” route, I am always eager to see a candidate present themselves in a unique way. (Note to all job seekers: many hiring managers really like this).
For the most part, the video resumes are well-produced and provide an additional dimension to a candidate’s profile that is just not possible through a traditional resume. However, from time to time, I receive a particularly bad video resume that will, unfortunately, greatly hinder the candidate’s application. Given that the technology is readily available (and affordably so), virtually anyone can create a video resume as part of a complete candidate application. If you think you may be looking to put your profile on film, here are some considerations to take into account that will benefit your decision:
Know your Audience
Just because you have an iPhone and a strong voice doesn’t mean that you should produce a video resume. You need to consider the industry to which you are applying and if a video resume would be appropriate. If you are looking for a role in, say, marketing or online media, a video resume could be a great choice as it is certainly relevant to the position. On the other hand, if you are looking for work as an accountant, for example, it may not be the best idea. You need to very strongly consider your audience and the appropriateness of your chosen format.
The purpose of the video resume is to enhance your traditional resume; you should not be looking to entirely replace your “paper” resume. As such, you do not need to verbally summarise the most common components of a traditional resume (i.e. professional experiences, achievements, education etc). Take the opportunity to focus on elements that are not conveyed on paper: your personality, enthusiasm, strengths and weaknesses. In order to capture this information in a tidy package, you should consider writing a script that you can follow. Unless you have a lot of experience being in front of a camera, it is best to have a firm script that contains everything that you want to say.

And be brief. Anything more than 90 seconds is too long and will exhaust the patience of the viewer.
Be equipped
I’m not suggesting that you hire Martin Scorsese to direct your profile video, but you need to ensure that a reasonably good production standard is achieved. Most modern smart phones are equipped with video cameras than can ably film a short, basic video. Additionally, most digital cameras have a video function that can also take high-quality (even high definition) video. As such, access to equipment should not be too difficult for most. Just remember: nothing ruins a first impression faster than a grainy, poorly filmed video. If you can’t produce a quality reel, don’t submit it.
Save yourself the embarrassment
The best way to determine if your video is appropriate and is generating the desired impression, you should share the video with your friends and family and ask for their feedback. You will surely want to avoid the humility of sharing a video profile that could hinder your application or, even worse, embarrass you publicly. Those close to you should be in a position to determine if your film adequately captures your persona and if it is shareable.
Once you have your gear, you need to make sure that you are filming in an appropriate setting. Ideally, you want to set yourself up in a quiet place with minimal audio and interference. You want your voice to be the only one heard on film. It goes without saying that you should present yourself professionally and eloquently.
Practice, practice and more practice
Once you’re set up, try and film as many run-throughs as time permits. You want to make sure that you are familiar with your script and that you are able to deliver it flawlessly. A hesitation or a slight verbal stumble will stick out and make you look unpolished and unprepared. The key to producing a solid video is to be extremely well-prepared but to make it look effortless.

And the key to achieving all of this is practice.
Many people feel self-conscious in front of a camera and will not feel comfortable promoting themselves on film. And that is perfectly acceptable. Video resumes are far from being the norm in most industries and should be approached as a ‘nice to have’ addition to a traditional resume. With competition being incredibly fierce in most employment sectors, it could be a good idea if you are looking for an element that will help you stand out from the crowd.