Video Resume: Should an Older Job Seeker use it?
In a competitive job market, it is extremely important for job seekers to stand out from the crowd of qualified applicants, which is why many professionals are turning to video resumes to effectively market themselves to potential employers. Video resumes are especially helpful for candidates who can effectively sell themselves on camera, but don’t necessarily have extensive experience to put on a written resume.
Many times, job seekers only get one chance to make a first impression on an employer. In the past, this impression was in the form of an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. As video resumes become more mainstream, professionals must re-think how to effectively portray themselves as an attractive job candidate on paper and through a video resume. Below are the top ten tips candidates can use when making a video resume:
1. Keep it short and simple. Video resumes should be one to three minutes in length and should not exceed five minutes. It should entice employers to want to interview the candidate without giving too much information. It is important to stay focused and remember sometimes less is more.
2. Be professional. It is okay to infuse the video resume with personality and humor, but it is best for the candidate to stay away from outrageous on-camera antics (such as dancing or playing a sport) that would not be applicable characteristics for the position of interest.
3. Let your personality shine. Candidates should have an idea of what they would like to say in their video, but they should try to keep it as natural as possible and not sound scripted. Professionals should use the video resume to show off their personality and soft-skills that may not be tangible on a written resume. Remember to maintain eye contact and to smile throughout the video.
4. Plan ahead. Think of your video resume as a story. It should have a beginning, middle and end. Job seekers should remember to introduce themselves at the beginning of the video and give employers a reason to continue watching. It is also important to remember to thank the employer for their time and to reinforce interest in the position at the end of the video.
5. Dress appropriately. A video resume should be treated like a preliminarily interview, so it is important to dress professionally and be aware of the background before taping a video resume. By dressing in casual attire, it may send the wrong message to potential employers.
6. Honesty is the best policy. The same rules apply in a video resume as a written resume. Candidates who lie about skills or past employment history to impress employers will likely experience let downs and job dissatisfaction in the long run. Lying on a resume is also the fastest way to become disqualified for a position once the employer discovers false information.
7. Do a practice run. Candidates should film a few practice runs of their video resume to make sure they are comfortable in front of the camera. Once they are confident with their video, they should play it back a few times to make sure the lighting, background & sound are okay. It can also be helpful to get feedback from others to make sure nothing was missed. Practice on a friend!
8. Highlight top qualities. It is important for candidates to highlight their top qualities and demonstrate how they would bring value to an organization. Remember to use quantifiable results when possible and highlight any specific accomplishments or special abilities that relate to the open position.
9. Watch for wild gestures. It is acceptable for a candidate to use their hands during a video resume, but they should keep it to a minimum and also avoid any other gestures that could distract the employer, including tapping their hands or using slang or filler words repeatedly.
10. End with a call to action. The point of the video resume is to land an interview in person, so candidates should end with an invitation for the employer to learn more about them in person.
Once the video resume has been created, job seekers should start developing a plan to promote their video to potential employers. The first step is to upload their video resume online and research available sites that offer a video resume feature, FREE Online Career Portfolio. A video resume can also be distributed to networking contacts and should be included when applying for future positions.