Different Video Resume Styles

Today’s topic… Video Resume Styles.

I get a lot of questions about different styles and features for video resumes so I’ve broken it down to 3 categories (really 2, but we’ll call it 3).

1. Standard
2. Interview
3. Custom

The Standard video resume is basically a person (typically head & shoulders) telling about themselves. This usually includes an introduction (your 20 second elevator pitch), a minute or so about your experience and skills, a short summary (why they should hire you), and your contact information.

The Interview style is different, in that the video is more like a conversation. You have someone either on or preferably off camera asking standard interview questions like “Tell me a little about yourself”, and “What is your favorite accomplishment and why”. The subject then answers the questions much like they would in a job interview, only with the benefit of knowing the questions in advance and having the opportunity to do re-takes. :)

The Custom video resume is very similar to the standard video resume in that the subject typically recites a script (pretty much the same as described above). However, portions of the script are used as a voice over, while a photo montage and/or additional video clips are used to showcase what the subject is saying.

There are also features that are often used in a video resume, such as background music (great if you lack enthusiasm in your tone of voice), green screen background images (adds some pizzaz that you don’t get with a plain background), scrolling summary (perfect for emphasizing your credentials if you have a lot of experience), displaying contact information (a must for everyone) and many others.

So what’s the best style for you?

Recent graduates or those who have less on the job experience in the field of work they’re applying for do well with a standard video resume. Discuss organizations, projects and other accomplishments. Throw in a few features for something really impressive.

People who have more experience or do creative work would do best to create a more custom video resume with video clips and a photo montage that showcases skills and accomplishments.

Anyone having difficulty coming up with a script they like, or prefer to talk about their projects and accomplishments (that can’t very easily be shown with photographs), would benefit from the interview style video resume. This gives them the opportunity to talk about and describe their accomplishments in a conversation style setting.

Regardless of what style you go with, ALWAYS remember to thank the viewer for taking the time to watch.

I hope this helps.

Confident Posture – why and how

Today’s topic is on Posture.

You can tell so much about a person, (how they’re feeling, how they feel about themselves, their surroundings…). It can even effect how others respond to you, so A confident posture is imperative when recording your video, during a job interview, or networking with others.

To help achieve good posture while looking relaxed and confident:

Take a deep breath and pull your shoulders back while sitting (or standing) up straight. Then relax your shoulders and exhale. Do this more than once if you’re particularly nervous. It gives you a burst of confidence and allows for good breathing. It can also help you to avoid or reduce feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

While attended a huge networking event in St. Louis at Bar Italia in the central west end, I ran into a friend I’ve known for a while, but have never met in person. He suggested that you take both arms and put them straight up in the air while taking a deep breath. (come on, those of you reading this… get those arms up). Now slowly drop your arms down to your sides while exhaling. (feels good, doesn’t it?). This is also a very effective way to relax and show good posture, though you may not want to do this one in the lobby while waiting for your interviewer. ;)

Video Resume Standards

I was researching social media trends, hiring practices and how video resumes fit into the picture over the weekend and found one recurring complaint about video resumes… a lack of standards.

When you submit your resume to an employer, there are certain guidelines that you follow to ensure your resume is effective and taken seriously. For example, you probably wouldn’t stick a big purple crossword puzzle in the middle of your resume, nor would you talk about grandma’s big BBQ family reunion. You list your skills and job experience, probably give some examples of successful projects…

Even at an interview there are certain standards. Bring copies of your resume and a pen. Dress up. Don’t talk about controversial topics such as politics or religion. Research the company and be prepared to ask a few questions.

However, people do strange things in video resumes in the name of “standing out”. First of all, simply providing a video resume IS standing out. There’s no need to write your own sitcom for the company’s viewing pleasure.

Below are a few Do’s and Don’ts for producing a video resume that will allow you to stand out, without wasting the viewers time (and yours).

DO

Create a script;
A storyboard or script will help you organize your video. Reading it from a teleprompter can save you from having to memorize, and allows you to make good eye contact.

Introduce yourself;
Start by mentioning your name (first & last), and then tell a little summary about yourself. Let the employer know who you are and why they should continue watching this video.

Focus on results;
Tell employers what QUANTIFIABLE RESULTS you’ve delivered for other companies or on other projects & what you can do for them.

Focus on your professional endeavors;
It’s ok to talk about volunteer work you do in your spare time or recreational hobbies if they show positive qualities that the company may appreciate, but focus primarily on your professional skills and experience.

Be concise;
Keep your video between 1-3 minutes long. (Less than 2 minutes if you’re posting your video resume on FaceBook). Time flies when you are taping it, but not when a potential employer is watching. Anything over 3 minutes is just too long!

Be thankful;
Don’t forget to end your video by thanking the employer for their time and consideration.

Provide contact information;
If they liked what they saw, make sure they can contact you.

Practice, Practice, Practice;
Get used to talking about yourself with confidence. If you don’t sound natural, change the script. Practice in front of a mirror to get a feel for your facial expressions.

DON’T

Do Not Just start right in;
Take a moment to establish who you are & why they should continue to watch. The first 20 seconds are the most important.

Do Not Tell your life story;
Keep the video short and the information relevant to the job & industry you are applying for. One of the worst things you can do is ramble on or try too hard to make the person get to know you.

Do Not Use Run-on Sentences;
When speaking, a higher level of enthusiasm occurs at the beginning and end of the sentence. Using long, drawn-out sentences eliminates voice inflection and may not keep the viewers attention. Use short sentences when writing your script to keep enthusiasm and interest high.

Do Not Forget to thank the viewer for watching;
And invite them to contact you for further discussion

I hope this helps.