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Creating a Video Resume – Four Tips to Dazzle Recruiters on Screen

The concept of a video resume may still seem alien if you’re new to the job market.

However, the idea is gaining steam. According to a BBC report published in 2022, a staggering 79% of hiring managers say that video is now “more important” for determining a candidate’s suitability than ever before. That same article also points out that candidates are veering in the same direction. Almost two-thirds of them (61%) think that a recorded video resume may be the replacement for the traditional cover letter in the coming years.

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The point is simple – there’s a higher chance than ever for a company to ask you to record a video resume for them. That’s not to say that they’ll replace traditional written resumes. Far from being a substitute, a video resume should complement your written resume, meaning you may need both to land your desired role. Should a video resume be required, there are professional resume video services you can hire to do this. You need to know what to do to ensure you shine for the hiring manager when you’re on screen.

Tip 1 – Always Start With a Script

The worst thing you can do with a video resume is to treat it like it’s an interview.

In a job interview, you can have a general idea of what a hiring manager may ask, but you can’t be certain until you’re in the room. You give up control and have to be flexible enough to roll with whatever punches are thrown at you.

That’s not the case with a video resume.

You’re in full control of the format, and hiring managers know it. Creating a video without a script may lead to you rambling or losing sight of the key points you need to convey. So, write a script. And as important as creating that script is, you need to practice and memorize it so you’re not clearly reading from a sheet of paper when you record your video.

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Tip 2 – Choose the Right Style

A video resume is an opportunity for you to showcase how creative you can be, with the caveat being that the level of artistic freedom you use has stay within the role.

Of course, you could go for the basic front-facing shot of you talking into the camera. However, that’s what most people will do, meaning you’re not going to stand out. There are other options, such as:

  • Animation – This is ideal for extremely creative roles—think web or graphics design—since an animation shows that you have advanced art and design skills. In other words, it’s a live demonstration of what you bring to the table, especially if art and animation or some of the hard skills you talk about in your resume.

  • Whiteboard – Taking more of a “lecture” format, the whiteboard resume positions you as the “teacher” who’s teaching the hiring manager about you. Having a whiteboard in the background gives you a chance to draw diagrams and write key points that stay in the shot while you talk.

As a general rule, animation works best for creative roles, with the whiteboard being better for more conservative jobs. However, the key takeaway here is that you need a style that stands out from the standard “point a camera in your face and talk” style that most candidates will use.

Tip 3 – Keep It Brief

Remember that you’re creating a video resume, not a video essay.

In other words, brevity is your friend. Aim for somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes, ideally getting as close to one minute as possible. That’s enough time for you to convey your hard skills and showcase some creativity without being so disrespectful of a recruiter’s time that you expect them to sit through minutes of fluff.

Think of it in the same terms as a paper resume. Hiring managers spend an average of 7.4 seconds skimming a resume because they’re constantly short on time. Keeping your video short—and getting to the important stuff fast—shows your respect for the recruiter’s time, making them more likely to engage with the whole video.

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Tip 4 – Practice Your “Look”

Being on camera isn’t a familiar experience to everybody.

If you’re not used to it, you might come off as stilted and awkward when filming your resume. That’s not much of a problem if you go down the animation route—the recruiter may never see you—but if your face is the star of the show, you need to keep it in check. Any strange facial expressions or odd tensing of muscles displays discomfort to a hiring manager.

The cure for this problem is simple—practice.

Stand in front of a mirror and deliver your script, all the while paying attention to how you look. Focus on relaxing your face and holding your shoulders back as you speak. Plus, keep an eye on negative body language cues, such as moving your hand in front of your face. Such signals indicate that you’re trying to “hide” something, even when the movement simply comes from nervousness, meaning you won’t project the confident image you need in your video resume.

Master Your Screen Presence

The tips shared here are the keys to getting your video resume right. Start with a script, learn it so you can deliver it naturally, and choose a relevant video style. From there, make cuts to your script to hit the less-than-two-minute mark before practicing so you present well.

The result will be a video resume that lets you focus on what you offer, rather than on how nervous you feel while filming.

Of course, not everybody is an expert writer who can craft a script. That’s where Expert Resume Pros comes in. Our Tier 3 resume writers in Denver bring 35 years of experience in the career coaching and resume editing field, meaning they can help you distill your core skills into a script that sparkles on screen. Get in touch today; we guarantee an interview in 45 days or your money back.

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