Video Resume FAQs

Q:  What is a Video Resume?

A video resume is a 1-3 minute video where you tell the potential employer about yourself by introducing yourself, giving your 30 second elevator speech, talking about or showcasing your skills and expience, and inviting the viewer to contact you.

It is not intended to replace the standard resume, it enhances it.   Include a link to your video resume from your standard resume and cover letter so employers can click and view.   It gives employers a taste of who you are that can’t be seen in your paper resume.

A good video resume can assist job seekers to effectively market themselves if it’s done right.

Q:  Why is having my video resume done professionally better than doing it myself?

CN Video has done extensive research on what it takes to make an effective video resume that benefits you, the job seeker, and the employer.  We use high definition video, high quality stereo audio, studio lighting, and a teleprompter to help you make good eye contact.

We have experience in the hiring process from both sides of the table, and we help you use the STAR methodology for behavioral interviewing to tell your story in a way that’s interesting and gives a good impression.   We also coach you on the use of confident body language.

You don’t have your uncle with the camera shoot your wedding photos, you hire a photographer.  It’s an important event, and you can tell the difference.  So why wouldn’t you hire a professional to do your video resume?  Don’t send something less than professional to a potential employer.  They can tell the difference.

Q:  What do I need to do to prepare for a video resume?

CN Video assumes you know nothing about preparing for a video resume.  We provide you with everything you need and guide you through the process.  No worries, we make it easy!

Q:  How do I get employers to view my video resume?

There are several good ways to distribute your video resume.

CN Video uploads your video to the internet and provides you with a link that you can distribute to others.  We give you a copy of your video, along with instructions on how to upload it to some of the more popular social media sites, and suggest ways to get others to view it.  We recommend adding a link to your resume and cover letter so potential employers can click the link to view your video.  We also suggest adding your link to your email signature block so anyone who receives email from you can view your video.

There are several things that can be done to get your video viewed by the right people, but no worries, we help you with that.

Q:  How long should my video resume be?

A good video resume should be between 1 and 3 minutes long.  Most people will watch up to 2 minutes without losing interest.  Anything over 3 minutes, and you risk the viewer giving up and not watching the entire video.

If your video resume is close to 2 minutes or more, we recommend adding a few features to add interest, such as background music, bullet points, splash screens, and photos of your work.  This helps to keep your viewer’s attention.

Q:  What do I say in my video resume?

Your video resume should be about 1 to 3 minutes long.  You’ll want to introduce yourself, give your elevator speech, describe your experience and skills, summarize why you’re a good candidate, thank the viewer for their time, and invite them to contact you.

All of our packages include an interactive video workshop that walks you through the process of deciding what to say.  It includes instructions and help writing your script, good examples of others, ways of keeping it interesting, and how to practice with confidence.  It’s important to include information that’s useful for the employer, and state it in a way that’s interesting for them to view.  We help you with that.

This article and more information can be found in our Resource Center.

Social Media and Building your Personal Brand

83% of recruiters say they search the web for information on potential candidates.  As much as 43% are dropped because of undesirable information found on social media sites.

When searching for a job, it’s important to build your personal brand.  This not only helps you to get the job, but also strengthens your negotiating position, even in this tough economy.

The fact is, your social media and social networking sites will most likely be viewed by potential employers.  You need to make sure your personal brand sends the right message.  Proper use of social media is necessary to accomplish this. 

Below are suggestions to help control how you are viewed by potential employers:

  1. Do a web search on yourself and see what comes up.  Go to www.google.com and enter your name in “quotes”.

  2. Control findings by setting up your own social media and social networking sites.  Some of the more popular sites are FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.  They’re very popular with search engines.  Content must be interesting, professional, positive, and genuine (see suggestions below).

  3. Blog about your industry.  WordPress is fairly easy to use and has a great “help” site for those less experienced bloggers (support.wordpress.com).

  4. Be patient.  It does not happen overnight – but when it does, the results are amazing.  Don’t get frustrated and give up if you don’t get immediate results.

SIDE NOTE… when preparing for a job interview; consider doing a Google search on your interviewer.  It might be useful to know if you have any acquaintances in common.

Suggestions that are a MUST for job seekers building their personal brand:

FaceBook (www.facebook.com)

  • Recruiters learn a ot about you by reading your wall posts.  Make sure visible postings do not contain profanity or anything that could make you look bad. 

  • Hide any inappropriate pictures or video.  Fun pictures of you and your friends are great (and expected).  Just don’t display anything you wouldn’t want your mom (or a recruiter) to see.

  • Include information about any volunteer work or organizations you’re a member of.  Also, create a note for any blogs you’ve started.

  • Post a video resume or video biography (2 minutes or less).  Potential employers want to see the real you.  Talk about your skills, experience and include any honors, organizations, volunteer work, and even relevant hobbies.  (see the section “About your Video Resume” below)

MySpace (www.myspace.com)

See suggestions for FaceBook.  Video Resumes can be longer than 2 minutes on MySpace, however videos longer than 3 minutes are not recommended.

LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com)

  • Make your headline enticing.  (example:  “Innovative Marketer with a Drive for Results”)

  • Information from your profile shows up in search results so it’s important that your profile is complete, detailed and set up for “full view”.  Include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.

  • Ask friends, former co-workers and supervisors to connect and recommend you. 

  • Join groups that are relevant to the type of work you’re seeking.

  • Link to any blog posts you’ve started as well as your other social media sites so potential employers can really see you.

SIDE NOTE:  If you’re interested in working for a particular company, search that company to find people who are connected to people you know.

Twitter (www.twitter.com)

  • Use your real name as your twitter name (or at least include it), it helps search engines find you.

  • Create a professional profile with a good “One Line Bio”. You can also create a background image that includes more information about yourself or your skills.

  • Follow other twitter users who are leaders in your industry, as well as companies you’re targeting for employment.

  • Employers know that people tweet about things that are important to them. make sure to tweet about any work or industry related projects you’re doing, articles you’ve read, or anything else positive that you want employers to know you care about.

  • Don’t post tweets that may be seen as too controversial or contain information that may reflect poorly on you to a potential employer.

  • If you have a video resume or video profile, you can share it by simply posting a tweet with a link to your YouTube video (use tinyurl to shorten the link), or you can use tools like TwitVid, Twiddeo or several others.

YouTube (www.youtube.com)

  • Always upload your video resume or video biography to YouTube, even if you’ve already posted it on your other social media sites.  This improves search engine results, and allows you to give potential employers a link directly to the video in your resume and cover letter.

  • Started any good blogs?  You’ve taken the time to write it, now use it as a script to create an informational video for YouTube and your other social media sites.

About your Video Resume

Your video resume or video biography is one of the most important parts of your personal brand.  Below are a few tips on how to really get the most benefit.

  • Make sure your video is 2 minutes or less if you’re posting it on FaceBook (MySpace and YouTube do not have the same restrictions, however, a video resume should never be more than 3 minutes long).

  • If you’re on LinkedIn and have been recommended by others, make sure to reference it in your video resume. 

  • Don’t just read your resume on video.  A good video resume should show who you are, not just list your credentials.  But be careful to keep it professional.  Barney Stinson’s video resume was very amusing, but would NOT get you a job.

  • Make sure to send out a tweet letting others know that you’re creating the video, and again to let them know once it’s available.

  • Like a traditional resume, your video resume must be professional.  Don’t post something that looks like it was done on your laptop web cam.  If you can, get some help from a professional.  CN Video offers professional services, helpful information, affordable solutions and partial “do it yourself” options, and will give you a free consultation.

Good luck!  And keep in mind; managing your personal brand properly is an important step in developing new opportunities.

This article and more information can be found in our Resource Center.

About Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method

Behavioral Interviewing is a style of interviewing that more and more organizations are using in their hiring process.  The basic premise is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation.  It focuses on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related.

The STAR method simply provides a logical approach to answering questions by providing a guided approach to using one of your past successes in responding to the question.

What is STAR

STAR = Situation or Task – Action – Results

Situation Describe the situation that you were in.  You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past.  Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand.  This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.
Task Let them know what task needed to be done to improve the situation.
Actions you took Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you.  Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team.  Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.
Results you achieved What happened?   How did the event end?   What did you accomplish?   What did you learn?

This article and more information can be found in our Resource Center.