What To Do With Your Hands and Arms When Speaking

85% of what you communicate is not with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends.

Stand up straight… that’s easy.  Smile… also, hopefully not too difficult.  But one of the most awkward problems people have with confident body language is what to do with their hands and arms?!?

  • Clasping your hands is a signal that you are closed off.
  • Putting your palms together with one thumb over the other says that you need reassurance.
  • You should never cross your arms over your chest, since this gives the impression that you are not in agreement, closed off, defensive or insecure.
  • Open hands and showing palms show that nothing is being concealed.

To come across confident, have your hands open and relaxed on the table or at your side. When your body is open, you project trustworthiness and will actually feel more confident. It is ok to use some hand gestures while speaking, as long as they’re in sync with what you’re saying, and not too wild.

What Does Your On-Line Presence Say to Potential Employers?

83% of companies say they use Google search (or other search engines) to compile information on potential candidates. Some admit they’ve eliminated candidates based on their findings.

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

– Have you ever used Google to search your own name? You may be amazed at what you find and what hiring professionals are finding as well. Go to www.google.com and type your name in “quotes” to search.

– Control findings by using your own social media and social networking sites to show the best of you. These will appear on page 1 of the search results when employers google you. Some of the more popular sites are FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. (make sure content is interesting, professional, positive, and genuine).

– Blog about your industry and area of expertise. Your posts will also show up when employers search for you, and showing your expertise and knowledge makes a great impression. I use WordPress… it’s fairly easy to use and has a great “help” site for those less experienced bloggers (support.wordpress.com)

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.

Something else to consider… when preparing for a job interview; do a Google search on your interviewer. The more you know about them, the better.

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 the candidate (typically head & shoulders)

  • introducing yourself (20 seconds of who you are and what you’re looking for),
  • explaining why you do what you do (20 seconds of why you love the type of work you’re looking for),
  • giving an example of a successful assignment or relevant project (30  second story that describes the situation, what you did, and the result), and
  • giving a short summary/call to action (15 seconds inviting them to contact you, check out your LinkedIn profile…)

The Interview style is different because it’s more like a conversation. You have someone either on or preferably off camera asking  questions about the things you would discuss in a standard video resume.

  • “Tell me a little about yourself”, and “What kind of job are you looking for?”
  • “Why are you looking for this type of work?” (or what interests you in this type of work)
  • “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 candidate typically tells their story (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 previous projects and experience.

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.