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How to make a video resume to standout

Posted on 07 September 2022

How to make a video resume to standout

8-minute read

​Video resumes can be a powerful way to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Whether you are opting to share it online via platforms such as TikTok or YouTube, or simply attaching the file with your formal application, putting together a professional and convincing video is a lot easier than you might think.

Before you dive for your phone and order a tripod it is good to take a step back and truly understand firstly if you need this kind of resume and then if so, what to include and how to film it in order to come across professional.

This is what we want to cover in this article. Offer a broad overview of what a video resume is, who it might be best for and then take you on your individual journey as to how you can craft your own, conveying the benefits of creating one towards the end.

 

What exactly is a video resume?

A video resume is often an accompanying medium to a traditionally written CV that highlights to the viewer a little more about your personality, background, qualifications and future career plans. It should be a supplement to your traditional CV, not really an ‘instead of’.

Who might suit this style of resume?

Anyone could take advantage of creating a video resume; however, we often find that those within the creative sectors are more receptive to receiving one. Think of industries such as marketing, fashion, media and more appropriate to us here at Peritus Partners, design and technology.

These creative fields tend to be more forward-thinking in their approaches, and therefore more receptive to something a little out of the box.

 

Creating your own

If you feel like giving this type of resume a go, follow these simple steps to help you along your journey and towards the end, use the examples we have found to give you inspiration and really see how it all fits together.

 

Step 1: Understand your message

As a video resume is a condensed version of your traditional CV not simply a like-to-like copy, it is important to first understand what message you want the viewer to come away with.

Your message will likely be different depending on your industry but for those in tech or design, you will want to likely showcase your core skills which could be around communication and work examples.

Knowing what your message is will help you decide on a script that is highly impactful sentence to sentence and leaves the viewer wanting to learn more about you in a formal interview.

 

Step 2: Decide on your format

A format is simply the style in which you wish to record your resume, here are a few that we have come across:

Interview – Videoing yourself as if you were in an interview, having someone ask you questions to answer or having them come up on the screen.

Narration – Speaking straight to the camera as if you were having a more casual conversation and introducing yourself.

Project Showcase – Showcasing your work through demos (if applicable) or screen sharing with yourself speaking through the example.

There are more you can play around with but those we have seen traditionally will fall into a mixture of these where the individual not only speaks to the camera to have their personality come across, but they also showcase some work as well as answer common interview questions the viewer might have.

 

Step 3: Structure your content

Once you have decided on what your message will be and how you will format your video, you now want to decide upon the content and structure it in a way that is compelling to the viewer.

Think of this as any other story, you will have a start (introduction), a middle (qualifications) and an end (conclusion).

Remember with a video resume you only have a few short minutes (2-5 is best) to make the viewer want to learn more, so take your time to write the best script you can.

The introduction should state who you are, the job title you are at and/or seeking and why you are searching for your next opportunity. It is best to individualise videos so you can be more specific in your ‘why’ to that company, but that is time-consuming therefore if you are creating a generalised video, be more generalised here.

The middle component, your qualifications should be the showstopper, an extension to your CV highlighting the most important and interesting skills / experiences you have gained that could be beneficial to the employer. Consider sharing about your education, technical skills, awards, selected work you are proud of and if possible, share links / examples as you speak.

Finally, the conclusion should be a concise wrap-up of why you are interested in applying for this role once more, combined with a call to action to progress to the next step. Here we recommend including contact information on the screen (if you intend to post this publicly maybe ignore this bit).

 

Step 4: Order (if required) the right equipment

Although phones these days have incredible cameras, it might be worth investing a little into the production of your video to truly make it pop. Before you go and buy equipment, ask friends and family first, you will be surprised who has a camera lying around.

Areas of consideration here are of course the camera of choice (DSLR and a tripod work best but your phone's camera with a tripod can also be great). The audio should be clear, we want to listen to you speak, so consider purchasing an attachable microphone to your camera or phone. Last but not least, the lighting should be complimenting your video not working against you, natural lighting is best but if you want artificial, consider a ring light which are relatively cheap.

 

Step 5: Film and edit

Steven Spielberg eat your heart out, set up your equipment and become your own inner director and actor. Just don’t forget to do several takes, the more content you record the more you can play with in edit (and the less you need to re-shoot).

When it comes to editing your video, there are a lot of resources online for paid and free software. Do some research into these to find the best option for yourself.

 

Step 6: Review

Grab the popcorn and some friends to watch the premier of your video resume… maybe not the popcorn bit but we do recommend you showcase this to a few friends or trusted recruiters to get their opinion before you send it to prospect companies.

Having an outsider’s opinion on your script and camera work could highlight flaws you missed and need to re-work before sending it out.

Once you are happy, you are good to go.

 

Why create a video resume?

Why bother going to all this effort when you can clearly see hundreds of live vacancies online already and people securing jobs without video resumes?

The short answer is you really don’t need to create one to secure a job, however, if you want to make a big splash in the application process and really put yourself in with a good chance of securing that first interview, we would recommend it, especially if you are working in a competitive environment such as tech and design.

Not only can you showcase specific skills before an interview (something a text CV finds difficult to do), but you can also show more personality in the video as well as highlight your communication and presentation skills (which are becoming more in demand by the week!)

 

Video examples to get your thinking

Maybe you have got this far and are still a little on the fence about putting together a video resume, maybe you are not sure how to structure it or what the outcome will actually look like. Consider viewing some of these resumes to get the creative juices flowing:

Jess Low - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF41fYlXth8

Laura Harris - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXoMDwh4Cq8

John Smith - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYuPmNFHTog

Sam Hardcastle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5lIriTJQnQ

 

Crafting a video resume as highlighted is not mandatory to any process that we know of, however, it can be a great way to show your prospect employer more about you outside of the traditional CV. As it is not commonly used either, it will make you stand out and hopefully give you a competitive edge. Let us know how you get on with your creation and if you feel someone in your network could benefit from learning about video resumes, please share this article with them.

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