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I get a lot of queries on video resumes. The questions range from whether it is a replacement for the traditional resume, how to make such resumes, do’s and don’ts, how to send them and so on. In general, there is an anxiety about coming on video and selling oneself, even for the most brash of salespeople. This is understandable as talking about oneself is never easy. Let’s try and answer these frequent questions.
Q. Is the video resume a replacement for the traditional resume?
A. The answer is a resounding NO. Hirers still need the documented reference of your experience, skills, and education. The video resume is however a terrific way to break the wall and get the attention of the future employer. Those of you who are applying on job boards are aware of the difficulty in getting that interview call.
Video holds attention like never before in an increasingly visual age. They are the most effective story telling method and we all know that stories are the most powerful way to connect. Tik Tok launched their resume platform recently (of course not available in India). Facebook Reels is about to be launched. Instagram already has Reels. These are available for a longer time than stories. You can also add a video in the featured section of LinkedIn. With social media hiring on the rise like never before, it’s important to talk about the ‘Real You’ on these platforms without over embellishing the facts.
For industries like media, entertainment, design and fashion, video resumes are going to become de-rigueur. It is also highly recommended if you want to explain a career gap, aiming for a change in career direction and sales roles.
Q. How to make a video resume?
A. Remember your average video resume needs to be between 2-3 minutes only. The best way to design your video resume is to break it into three sections: Introduction, Experience and Call for Action.
Introduction: It should be simple and straight to the point. An example: “Hi, I’m Raj Gupta and I am a design engineer specializing in ATC design for mobility solutions.”
Experience: This should be more personal and talk about your passion for your work and turning points in your career peppered with your inspirations and experiences. You can also talk about any awards and recognition here. This is the section where you give the hiring manager a glimpse of your personality and showcase the ‘Real You.’
Call for Action: You want to give the hiring manager a reason to call you. A sample closing sentence could be: “There’s more that I would love to discuss in person, and I would love a chance to do that.”
Q. What are some of the Dos and Don’ts for making a video resume?
A. The top 5 Dos are:
- Proper lighting, non-distracting background and no disturbance
- Work clothes – smart, business casuals or formals, preferably solid colours
- Keep it short, preferably between 2 to 3 minutes
- Maintain eye contact with the viewer – look into the camera and speak as if someone is there in front of you.
- Use a mix of ‘A’ and ‘B’ footage. ‘A’ footage is the primary footage of your speech. ‘B’ footage can be a mix of pictures and videos, for example when talking about how you moved to Mumbai to work in a media office, you can show a visual of Mumbai and that media office. You can also showcase any examples of your work, provided it is not copyright of your employer(s). Any video editing software can help you mix and match visuals, which will help to retain interest and reduce the time for video footage of you talking to the camera.
The top 5 Don’ts are:
- Don’t mug up the script. It should be natural
- Avoid use of any slang words or jargon
- Lighting must be proper and there should be no background noise
- Don’t worry about covering everything
- Don’t refer names of bosses/peers unless absolutely required
Q. Where to store and how to send video resumes?
A. Video files tend to be bulky. You can always keep your video resume on a cloud storage site or in your social media page, for example in the featured section of your LinkedIn profile. This way you can send a link embedded within your resume or as a standalone link along with your resume.
In the end, I hope this gives you the confidence to get started to make your own video resume and embrace the camera as a friend to tell your unique story. Let your next opportunity find you.
Nimrata Kapoor, Career Coach