Video Resumes: Everything You Need To Know

Video resumes can help job candidates stand out in highly competitive job markets, demonstrate professionalism, creativity, initiative, and help job seekers land interviews. It’s important to avoid mistakes, however, because a poor video resume can cause prospective employers to cross you off their lists and can harm your reputation in the industry you want to work in.

What is a video resume?

A video resume is a short–usually 60 seconds or less–video introduction that job seekers submit with their cover letter and traditional resume. In most cases, the candidate uses the video resume to introduce himself or herself and explain skills and experiences that make the candidate especially qualified for the job. Some job seeking services allow candidates to upload videos directly to their accounts; job seekers can also provide the video on a CD or DVD with paper materials or put a link to it in their cover letters.

When are video resumes appropriate?

Video resumes aren’t always appropriate. Not every employer is willing to look at a video resume. In advertising, marketing and other jobs that require Internet knowledge and creativity, employers often appreciate video resumes. However, more “traditional” employers may not look favorably upon candidates that submit a video resume, especially if they aren’t sure how to access it. Always check out the company before submitting a video resume to see how appropriate it is to do so.

Advantages of video resumes

If your prospective employer is willing to consider video resumes, there are several advantages to sending one.

  • The employer can get more of a sense of who you are than he or she can get from reading a paper resume and cover letter.
  • You have the opportunity to demonstrate both your creativity and your professionalism.
  • You can make the job seeking process a little more personal.

The disadvantage to video resumes

The major disadvantage to video resumes is that if your video is poorly done or is unprofessional, it can hurt your chance at landing a job interview. Plus, if a poorly done video resume is hosted publicly and other employers gain access to it, it can hurt one’s reputation.

How to create a successful video resume

If you decide a video resume is appropriate for your industry, there are several things to keep in mind when creating your video.

  • Professionalism is most important. Dress professionally and make sure the video’s sound and picture is professional quality. Don’t submit a video resume that has glitches or background noise.
  • Express confidence. Sit up straight, look right into the camera and talk clearly. Don’t talk too fast or too quietly.
  • Make sure you give your full name at the beginning of the video and again at the end so your prospective employer remembers who you are.
  • Don’t talk about personal experiences; keep the focus on your professional life.
  • Thank the job recruiter for his or her time at the end of the video.

Once you’ve created your video, have some friends or family members review it. You may need to re-film several times before your video is ready. Then, upload it and give the link to your job recruiter. Make sure you submit a paper resume as well – the video resume should supplement your traditional resume, not replace it.

If done correctly, video resumes can enhance your chances of getting a job. Take the time to create a professional and polished video, make sure your prospective employer accepts video resumes and submit it with your application materials in order to have the best chances of landing your dream job interview.

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