Video resumes were first introduced in the 1980s for use and distribution on VHS tape, but the laborious technology dampened the idea and it never took off. However, with the modern capabilities of transmitting streaming video via the internet, video resumes aka visumés are taking on new popularity.
Creating a video resume can be just the thing you need to distinguish your application from all others. Whether or not you use a visumé will depend on the target company, the position you’re applying for ,and your video production and editing skills. A a poorly created visumé can deep six your best intentions of landing an interview faster than you can say “lights, camera, action.”
But, when the situation is right, a video résumé can be a powerful tool for highlighting skills and strengths that standard written résumés simply can’t fully convey. Visuals are processed 60,000x faster than text so a visumé will get your message across quickly and will be a welcome relief for the recruiter who has eye strain reading résumés all day.
A well-crafted visumé can show your confidence, convey your enthusiasm, demonstrate your ease with technology, and answer the hiring manager’s primary question: “Why are you the best candidate for the position I’m looking to fill?” And, if you’re in a creative industry, there’s even more reason to include a video résumé in your job search materials.
Here are some ground rules for creating a visumé:
- Don’t recite your résumé. Tell a story that your résumé can’t . Visually verify why you’re the ideal candidate for the job.
- Customize your video for the specific employer you’re sending your visumé to, just like you would do with a good cover letter. Use the job posting as a guide to the elements you want to emphasize. Focus on your transferable skills and achievements as they relate to what the employer is specifically looking for. Convey why you’ve selected this company to apply to.
- Work from a prepared script, time your presentation, and rehearse it as many times as necessary so you don’t have to read from it. Maintain eye contact with the camera. Avoid referring to an off-camera script as it sabotages your coming across as spontaneous when you look away from the camera to read notes.
- Your visumé is your video elevator pitch so keep it brief. A maximum recommended run time is 90-seconds.
- Look professional. Dress in corporate attire, as you would for a face to face interview. Maintain a professional demeanor throughout the video. Be sure the background is free of distractions and take a minimalist approach to making sure what’s seen behind you is simple and uncluttered.
- Summarize why the employer should choose you over other candidates.
- Thank the viewer for watching, leave a call to action by confidently stating that you’re looking forward to next steps, and include your contact information.
- Don’t submit your visumé to employers until you’ve shown it to family, friends, and coworkers to get their feedback and suggestions.
- Do your homework in checking out video résumé tools. Here are some sources: