Nowadays, traditional resumes are boring and don't say enough about you. 1-2 pieces of paper are so easy to forget under the stack of all the others. If you want to make a big impression, why not show them your face and really sell yourself? I'm here to tell you exactly how to create a killer video resume! A lot of these tips are actually very similar to writing a traditional resume: keep it succinct, cater to your employer, and put in maximum effort.
Keep It Short!
Many employers that allow video resumes will also state a time requirement of 1-3 minutes, but you really want it to be as short as possible. The employer likely has to go through hundreds of these videos and if you're talking about yourself for five minutes, I guarantee that they'll get bored. Keep the video short and succinct so that they get a sense of who you are and hopefully want to see more during the interview!
Helpful tip: After you finish your video, go through the entire thing and cut out AS MUCH as you can. It ALWAYS feels like every part is necessary, but you'll find that the shorter version probably sends the exact same message.
Keep It On-Point!
Now that your video is only one minute long, what should you put in that minute? I've seen videos where the first ten seconds are a slow fade in with the applicant's name and location. One minute is valuable, treasure every second! I've noticed that people tend to ramble in front of a camera (I do it too). End your sentences. Don't make your entire video a long run-on sentence. Say only the facts that make you the best candidate for the job, and mention one or two examples of your skill/talent (which, of course, requires you to know what the employer is actually looking for).
Helpful tip: Write a script beforehand. Preparing what you want to say allows you to hit all the important points in the short amount of time you have!
Keep It Original and Creative!
I've seen some videos where the entire minute is a clip from an old video that the applicant made. That shows the employer no effort was put into this application and makes them wonder if you actually want the job. Spend the time to make a video for this specific opportunity. You might be a great speaker, but just like paper resumes, many video resumes will sound the same. Do something creative and different! Do a short skit, a stop motion animation, rap your application, whatever allows your personality to really stand out!
Helpful tip: If the entire video is one or two cuts, then it probably isn't very dynamic. Even something as simple as walking and talking while cutting to a different angle shows a level of creativity.
Keep It high quality!
It's perfectly okay to not be a seasoned videographer (unless you're applying for a videographer position, then I hope you have a nice smile or something), but do try to make your video as good as possible! Sound is such a crucial thing. Poor lighting or inaccurate white balance can always be fixed in post to some degree, but if you have bad audio, it's extremely painful to watch. Ask that friend with a DSLR to help you! Don't worry about troubling your friend because every bit of effort that goes into making this video is worth it! Get your hands on every resource you can; lights, mics, cameras, lenses, editing software, music, etc.
Helpful tip: If you absolutely cannot get your hands on any equipment and you have to use your mobile phone, PLEASE film it on landscape orientation (horizontal instead of vertical). Computer, television, and film screens are all built to watch videos in landscape, not portrait orientation. Don't film it vertically no matter what! This is not a Vine!
For more from Arnold Lan, follow him on Instagram at @ArnoldLan, and visit his website at www.lantography.com.