Video resumes are increasing in popularity among job candidates looking to stand out from the crowd.
You’re not trying to delude yourself. You know you’re not the next Daniel Day-Lewis or Julia Roberts.
And you don’t want to be.
What you do want is to land an interview for what sounds like a great job. The problem is so do several hundred other people.
You usually take the traditional cover letter and resume route. But this time you’ve decided to try something more progressive. More creative. An approach that will showcase your unique personality.
A video resume.
But where to begin?
Enhancing not replacing traditional resumes.
During a recent webinar for Saint Leo’s online degree program students, Katrina Wahlstrom, career services advisor in the Center for Online Learning, discussed the advantages and limitations of video resumes and provided tips for creating one.
While most employers do not require a video resume, Katrina says they have been gradually growing in popularity over the past six or seven years.
In 2009, 24 percent of employers accepted video resumes. Today, 60% of employers are willing to accept video resumes and do video interviews as a way of screening candidates, she said.
“Video resumes are definitely gaining in acceptance because they are a great way to enhance your current resume and add value. They let employers see and hear why they should hire you before the interview occurs. You can highlight your skills and give a taste of what you can bring to the company.
“But they are by no means replacing traditional resumes.”
Proceed with caution.
In addition, just because you’re not camera shy does not mean that a video resume is the right tool in every situation.
“You want to be sure its relevant to the job and the industry,” said Katrina. “Traditional companies might not understand or appreciate the more inventive approach of a video resume as much as a more creative organization.”
For example, if you’re looking to land a job in marketing where your creativity is key to helping a product or service stand out, a video resume could be beneficial.
Another situation in which a video resume could be beneficial could be if you’re in the military or living overseas. A video resume could be an effective first step, followed by a video interview.
If you decide that your job search could benefit from a video resume, here are some things to keep in mind when developing one.
Tips for creating a video resume
- Don’t recite your resume. Rather, give an overview of your skills and experience, citing a specific example or two. Employers can read traditional resume.
- Have good eye contact. But don’t stare. (That’s just weird.) Strive for a natural balance between the two.
- Use a script. You could ad lib if you wanted to. But for most of us, that’s not a good idea. It just opens you up to rambling off topic. Speak slowly and clearly.
- Practice in front of a mirror. This will help you to get a sense of your demeanor and posture. Smile.
- Dress professionally.
- Clean up your visual area. Be aware of your background. (Remove water bottles and any other clutter including yesterday’s laundry.) Make sure there isn’t any distracting background noise either.
- Keep it short and sweet. Remember, most of us have the attention spans of ants, so 30 seconds to one minute is perfect. Any longer is just too much for screening purposes.
- Be creative but also professional. Know your audience. If it’s a company that’s known for being edgy and out-of-the-box, go for it. Otherwise be more conservative.
- Personally view your video. If you’re going to be embarrassed to show your friends and family, you probably don’t want anyone else to see it either.
- End with punch. Conclude by making your excitement for the job clear. Include an invitation to call you, to meet in person, the best way to contact you, and a sincere thank you.
Creating a video resume won’t earn you an Oscar or the opportunity to step in wet cement on Hollywood Boulevard. But then that’s wasn’t your goal in the first place.
Under the right circumstances, however, it could bring you one step closer to a ‘personal appearance’.
A job interview.
To access an archived version of the COL Career Services webinar on video resumes, click here, and select webinar number 2.
Have you ever used a video resume? Was it effective?
Image Credit: Images by John 'K'
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