By Shaye DiPasquale
It’s harder than ever (um, impossible) to get face-to-face meetings these days. Enter: The video resume. Here’s how you can create one that could make all the difference in landing that next job. (Not convinced? Read our post about why video resumes are trending now.)
Dress the part.
You may be wearing cozy sweats and lounging on the couch a lot these days, but we don’t recommend rocking athleisure or a messy bun while filming your video resume. At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put on a blazer either. Know your audience! Many startups, digital media and even traditional media outlets have ditched the pencil skirts and suits and moved towards a more casual dress culture. “Do some research on the brand’s culture, I like The Muse, and use your best judgment when putting together an outfit,” says Chandra Turner, founder of Ed2010 and Talent Fairy.
Still aren’t sure what counts as business casual vs. casual? Read this! Ultimately, you want your hiring manager to visualize you as a member of their team who will mesh well with the existing company culture.
You don’t have to nail the first take.
Even if you have media training as a TV guest, like a lot of traditional media editors do, or experience creating Facebook Lives, Snapchat or Instagram videos (as a lot of digital editors do), it can be trickier creating video promoting yourself. “Give yourself a break,” says Turner.
You don’t have to get it perfect on the first shot … or the second… or the third. You can do as many takes as you need to get it just right! Practice in front of the mirror before filming so you can get more comfortable talking through your points.
“Use your skills as a writer and write yourself a script and practice it till you feel comfortable,” says Turner. The beauty of filming and directing your own video resume is that you are in control.
Summon your professional self.
Your video resume is an opportunity to showcase your personal brand before a hiring manager or recruiter meets you IRL or on a Zoom call. You may not be in as many professional situations these days, but you need to channel your pre-pandemic professional personality. Yes, you can be colorful and creative, but don’t be too over the top. This is not a Tik Tok video!
“Try to see your video resume as the video version of an elevator pitch,” says Turner. “You’re passionate and persuasive, but not obnoxious or overbearing. You want the person to keep riding beyond their stop, not jump off on the next floor.”
Do employ facial expressions (a smile!) and inviting body language to express your personality and engage your hiring manager. And look them in the eye (er, camera!).
Avoid a laundry list of generic adjectives to describe yourself. Trustworthy, hard working, detail-oriented — with so many impressive accomplishments and experiences under your belt, any hiring manager can already assume you are all of these things. Been there, heard that!
Your goal is to tell a hiring manager something they don’t already know. “Use this opportunity to share your passion or expertise in a particular subject area like health, fashion, beauty, or say, personal finance,” says Turner. “Hiring managers in content want to hire specialists and this is an opportunity to showcase your specialities and interests.”
Tell a story.
You’re a storyteller, right? Here’s the chance to write your own script! Don’t just film yourself reading through your resume — boring! Talk about yourself and the type of employee you are going to be. Why do you want to work in [social media / branding / magazines / news / whatever]? What motivates you? What are you most proud of? Help a potential employer understand what makes YOU the right fit at their brand.
Keep it short!
We all have short attention spans, and hiring managers and recruiters are no different. Your video resume should be 1-2 minutes, max. As every good editor knows, short and succinct is the way to communicate with a distracted audience. Use that skillset to your advantage and write your script tight! You want them to leave them wanting more of you when the video ends, not less.
The Bottom Line
Just be yourself. Isn’t that what career coaches (and your mother) always say? Well, it’s true! The point of the video resume like a job interview or any other messaging about yourself, is to share who you authentically are. But just in case, we should note that even if you are authentically the type of person who would do any of the below, reconsider.
• Refrain from writing (and singing!) your own theme song. (yes, really)
• Leave out the graphics about your success and cheesy stock photos.
• Don’t talk to an imaginary person behind the camera. Cringe.
• Don’t copy Barney Stinson’s video resume style (!):
You’re welcome. And good luck!
Psst: We are collecting the best video resumes in editorial, marketing, and other content roles. Send us yours at [email protected] and check back for a link to our faves.
Shaye DiPasquale is the executive assistant and lead writer at Talent Fairy. She is also a freelance writer, social media manager, and content creator. She recently graduated from Elizabethtown College, where she studied Mass Communications and Women & Gender Studies. Her writing has appeared on Her Campus, HelloFlo, Her Culture, Substream Magazine, The Owl and more. She is also the founder of createHER Collective, a community for young changemakers and creators to collaborate on initiatives through creative exchange. Check out more of her work at shayedipasquale.com.
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