Lights, Camera, Action! How to Create a Video Resume That’s Out of This World

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Ninety percent of recruiters say they'd watch a video resume. Here are the tips you need to create a killer, but professional video resume.

I’ve just arrived on this planet, my space currency is running low and it’s time to snag a gig before I have to pawn my saucer.

An earthling tells me that I need to create a resume, describing it as an essential document that contains my educational background, employment history and the skills that I can apply to a new role.

He also tells me this document must also be printed on resume weight paper, of course.

Related Article: What Really Makes Videos Go Viral?

This approach might work for the average earthling today, but in the 21st century, not all resumes are hard copies—many are electronic versions sent through the vast channels of the Internet. 

Additionally, with modern technology, recruiters and hiring managers are seeing more and more video resumes, and some organizations and industries are actually making them a core requirement. In fact, in a recent survey by Vault Inc., almost 90 percent of employers said they would watch a video resume.

With recruiters and hiring managers being highly receptive to this medium, now may be the time to break from the norm and give your producer skills a try. Here are some tips for creating an exceptional and otherworldly video resume:

Pitch the Script 

Before you run out and buy the latest and greatest in cinematographic equipment, make sure the organization you’re applying to accepts video resumes. While there is a growing trend, the use of video resumes is not completely mainstream. Sending in your picture-perfect (pun intended) resume to a hiring team that’s expecting a piece of paper may not be the “happily ever after” you were hoping for.

Cut 

Just like the traditional resume, there are some constraints to remember when creating a video resume. While this is your chance to showcase yourself, it’s not the time to pretend you’re Steven Spielberg. Time length on the big screen typically lands somewhere between an hour and a half to two hours; your video resume shouldn’t exceed two minutes. That may seem abrupt, but consider the original intent of a resume: to give a quick snapshot (or clip, if you will) of what you have to offer. Don’t worry: If your resume has them standing for an ovation, you’ll have plenty of time during the interview to wow them with the second and third acts.

Embrace Improvisation 

We’ve all been there—the B-grade movie, local play or the classic after-school special. Sometimes the perfect script is laid prone by the quality (or lack of quality) of the actors. You should not be reading from your resume, recounting from cue cards or anything of a similar nature. Don’t be afraid of the authentic you—that’s the person who impresses the bigwigs and lands the jobs.

You don’t need to pull out the gag reels, but make sure you’re being genuine. You should have a basic synopsis of the topics you want to cover and the order that they fall in. However, if you start to deviate, do not panic! Finish up the recording, and you may be surprised in the end at your Oscar-worthy performance.

Keep It Rated G 

When creating your video resume, remember what I like to call the “Grandma Rule.” If you would be embarrassed showing your resume to your grandmother, you’ve gone too far. Be dashing, be daring and most certainly be creative, but above all, remember that this is still a representation of you as a professional.

Preserve the Plot: A Resume 

Whether delivered via a good old piece of 8 by 11 heavyweight paper, digital PDF or video—should encompass the same tenet: It needs to showcase why you embody the skills, talents and experiences the employer is looking for. Of the video resumes that I’ve been privy to, far too many deviate from the original purpose. Remember, you will still need to summarize what you’ve learned through your experiences, explain what you did in certain roles and detail any educational credentials you’ve earned along the way. 

Related Article: A One Minute Video Is Worth 1.8M Words: Content Marketing's Newest Weapon

It may not be the norm today, but with the advent of modern technology and an increased focus on remote positions and telecommuting, there is a very real possibility that resumes delivered via video will be the staple of tomorrow. If you’re in a position to craft a video resume, keeping these tips in mind will help ensure you get the reaction you want from recruiters and hiring managers. So get out the video gear and remember, as the loveable movie protagonist E.T. once said, “Beeeeeee goooooood.”

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