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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.