Last updated on 24th January 2022
The job market has changed considerably over the past couple of decades. If you ask one of your grandparents (or anyone over 70) how they got their first job, they’ll probably reply with a variation of: ‘I saw a sign in the window (or the local newspaper) and I walked in (or called up) and offered my services.’
Nowadays, the competition is tough and the process has changed. Technology has revolutionised every industry, and recruitment is no different.
If you’ve been asked to make a video resume (or video CV, if you’re in the UK), or if you want to make one to get an edge on the competition, then this article is for you. We’re going to look at video resumes in detail. What are they? Why should you make one? And how?
Let’s find out!
What is a video resume?
A video resume is a recording that outlines a person’s professional experience and qualifications. But it’s more than just transforming your paper resume into a video format. It’s a way for you to showcase your personality, create a great first impression, and emphasise your talent and skills.
Just like a paper resume, you need to cover the essentials:
And, above all, make sure you answer one simple question: Why should the employer hire you?
If you’re a little uncomfortable in front of a camera, no problem! Not all video resumes need to show a candidate talking directly to a camera. Other styles include:
Choose a style that is going to best represent you and your skills.
Why create a video resume?
A video resume can help you stand out in a competitive job market. In a world where attention spans are shrinking, video is the perfect way to get your message across succinctly and effectively.
With studies finding that visuals are processed 60,000x faster than text, a video resume will get your message across straight away and could pique the interest of a recruiter who has been filtering through paper resumes all day.
In addition to that, a video resume is likely to leave a lasting impression. According to a Wyzowl infographic about the power of visual communication, people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see and do. So, by watching your resume instead of reading it, recruiters are more likely to remember you when the time comes to hire a candidate.
If you’re in a creative industry, particularly one that revolves around design and motion graphics, then there’s even more reason for you to create a video resume. By showing potential employers a video that you’ve made, you’re not only presenting them with your resume but also a piece of work that they can use as an example of your talent.
How to make a video resume: 6 top tips
If you’ve never made a video resume before (or even a video before!) then it can be a little bit daunting, and you may not know where to start. Here are 6 top tips to help you along the way.
1. Write a script
First things first: Do not wing it. To ensure your video includes everything that you need to cover, write a script out first. This will give you time to perfect what you want to say and phrase everything in the best way.
If you’re going to be on camera then it’s also best to memorise the script. You don’t want to be reading from it while filming as this could come across as unprofessional and detract from how you want to portray yourself to potential employers.
2. Make it relevant
Just like a paper resume, your video resume should be specific to the role you are applying for. A generic video is unlikely to impress potential employers, but personalisation will show them how much the role means to you and will make for a more memorable application!
3. Keep it short
Recruiters are busy people. They have a lot of resumes to get through and they want to be able to do it as quickly as possible. If you send in a feature-length biopic about your life so far, it’s safe to say that they aren’t going to watch it in its entirety.
According to a study by Wistia, the ideal video length for maximum viewer engagement is 1-2 minutes, with 90 seconds being the sweet spot.
4. Get creative
Unfortunately, a video alone is not going to make you stand out. Tons of people are making video resumes now, so you need to make yours worth watching.
Think outside-the-box and get creative when it comes to filming your video. We’re going to take a look at 3 awesome video resumes a little further down so be sure to watch those to gain some inspiration!
5. Make it professional
This might seem like stating the obvious, but your video should be of a professional quality. Thankfully, most smartphones these days are capable of filming in HD. It’s fine to shoot it (or animate it) yourself, but make sure that the lighting, framing and editing are akin to that of a video made by a professional.
Also, make sure that your voice can be heard clearly–whether you’re speaking directly to the camera or recording a voiceover.
6. Collect feedback
Before sending your video resume out to employers, ask your family and friends to critique it. It’s always better to get feedback from others because they may spot a mistake that you missed, or they might even suggest a fantastic idea that didn’t occur to you.
3 awesome video resumes
Before creating your own video resume, it could help to gather some inspiration by looking at some awesome examples.
This is a filmmaker’s resume so, as you’d expect, it’s beautiful and professionally-shot. Aside from that, it gives an insight into the candidate’s past to let potential employers know more about him and his journey.
The video ends strong with the candidate’s contact details and also links to his other videos–so potential employers can view more of his work before getting in touch.
This animated video would really stand out in an employer’s inbox. It’s bright, colourful and fun, and it covers all points succinctly. The candidate covers her education, past experience, special skills, and also some of her personal interests.
Pay close attention to the script when watching it. A great script, like this one, can really intrigue potential employers and make them want to find out more.
You may think that making a comedic resume video is a little bit risky, and perhaps it is. But, after trawling through applicant after applicant, a recruiter might really appreciate some light humour to break up their day. Plus, it’s one way to get them to remember you!
This candidate does a great job of mixing humour with the facts that every employer wants to know.
Thanks for reading
A study by the recruitment software company, Talent Now found that video is already being used by 60% of hiring managers and recruiters, and 22% more are considering using it in the future.
Video resumes are fast becoming the new norm, so it’s important to make one and start sending it out to potential employers – Good luck!
For more tips, tricks, and ideas on all things video, head to the Wyzowl blog.