Get Hired Now! How to Make a Compelling Video Resume like a ProMayleen Meñez
Video resume like a pro that gets you hired may be an unfamiliar strategy, but it gives you an edge as you apply. Making a compelling video resume like a pro can help you boost your employment chances. It can make hiring managers and employers prioritise your application. That is a great advantage at a time when so many workers are entering the remote scene.
The recent pandemic that has caught the world by surprise has upended our lives in an instant. Worldwide, economies had to take a break to preserve their population and curb the spread of Covid-19. Countries’ borders are closed, lockdown or stay-at-home orders are implemented to various degrees, and families have to deal with new realities and adjust to new ways of living.
One such change is that most businesses and even schools had to shift to remote operations just to keep any semblance of normal. Some have held their jobs, while some had to face unemployment in the wake of a global tragedy.
A lot of traditional, office-chugging employees are suddenly faced with remote work as their only option to continue to provide for their families. Suddenly, the competition in the remote working scene became as stiff as can be. How do you stand out? How can the right employer notice you? We collected some tips to help you bounce back amid this pandemic. Check out how you can make a stunning video resume like a pro that gets you hired today.
- Turn Your Best Cover Letter Into a Video Script
Write down a cover letter that tells your possible employer more about your personality than your achievements and credentials. They have your actual resume for that. A good video length would be about one to two minutes long. Longer than that and you lose the interest of busy HR personnel or managers that probably pour through tons of resumes at a time.
Ask yourself, what makes you different? What is a quality or character trait unique to you that you think will get you hired?
When I shifted to remote working, I was shocked by the competition and the level of skills I needed to have in my field. I used to be in the media industry for about seven years. However, I found myself working with an NGO for more than a decade. So in terms of skill, I realised I had to catch up big time. But I asked myself where I stood out among others.
I realised that others might be more skilled and younger, but I have around 18 years of work experience backing me. With my previous jobs, I developed resilience in times of pressure, and I can keep a positive working attitude and fulfil deliverables amid stressful working environments. I also never stopped learning, developing skills even outside of my expertise and experience, just to forward the goals of my company and team. That’s what set me apart, and that’s what I put on my cover letter.
You can also include hobbies that you love to do. People are hiring you for you and not just what you can do, so it’s essential to get some personal information like that across in your cover letter.
Now, that’s your video script. Turn that cover letter into a light, conversion-like video resume that compels your would-be employer to take a closer look at your application.
Tell your story, be brief, specific and include a compelling call to action. In a manner of conversation, outline your background and experiences briefly, and how you have added value to companies, you have been a part of.
Make sure to read your script out loud. You can also record yourself reading your script and edit parts that are not connecting or do not sound clear. Never ramble, and always include giving them a CTA they can act on. You are selling your story, in a way, and CTAs are essential even in a video resume.
- Practice in front of a mirror.
Practice makes perfect, and it is right in this case as well. Memorise your cover letter that you turned into your video introduction script. It is better if you have it memorised by heart, so you sound more confident on camera. It’s also not so impressionable if you keep looking at a script off-cam. On a video resume, one can see even the littlest movement that can convey a message, intentionally or not.
Watch your body language, expressions, tone of voice, your smile, and even the way you look at the camera and the best angle that captures you at your best.
- Choose the best place to shoot your video resume.
Pick a plain background, if possible, white or a neutral, solid colour. Remove distracting decor and the like, and make sure you are in the brightest part of your house with as little to no background noise.
Shooting outdoors may look cool, but it may not necessarily look professional. It can also be more demanding in terms of managing background noise and other distractions. It is just a one to two-minute video, and you need the employer to focus on you and what you say, not the lovely scenery around you or a distracting background behind you.
- Prepare your equipment and what to wear.
Use a good smartphone with at least ten megapixels-camera that can shoot in 1080p video. If you shoot in a quiet room at a quiet time of the day, you may not have to use a microphone. Even if you don’t have an external microphone, you can hack one.
You can use your regular earphones that have a mic, and can simply position the mouthpiece underneath your collar, as close to your mouth as possible. Another option is to place a good headset near you, just outside the camera’s view, to act as a microphone.
I do not recommend doing your video with your headset or earphones visible, because you are trying to achieve a professional-looking video resume. The best shot would be a medium shot (underneath the chest to about two inches above the head) when you are doing this hack.
Of course, if you have better equipment or devices at home, please use them. I just mentioned this particular hack to show that we can create something beautiful even with whatever we have at home.
If you do not have a high-powered camera or smartphone, position yourself in the brightest area of your house. You can stay in front of a well-lighted window and use a medium close-up shot (chest level to a couple of inches above the head). Moving closer to your phone can solve the lack of audio-video specs quickly.
Use a tripod, or simply mount your smartphone or camera on a stable, eye-level surface.
Also, choose the right clothes to wear. Avoid wearing busy colours and prints. Wear white if you are using a solid background, and use a solid-coloured top if your background is white. Black is also a good choice, but since you want your video resume to pop, putting a little colour won’t hurt.
- Shoot your video
Once you have everything prepared and your script memorised to the best of your ability, shoot your video. You can also attach a bullet point of your script just beside your camera if you need a guide. Put some lead time in the recording before speaking and after speaking. You need this when you edit your video resume before submitting to the hiring manager. Shoot two to three versions, so you have options during editing.
- Edit your video
It’s best to use Adobe Premiere to edit your video resume. It has an online version you can try. Adobe Premiere has a feature called Guided Edits that utilise new effects and teach you different ways to make your video inspiring. It also has a quick-edit mode, perfect for amateurs.
You may also use a web or mobile app to edit your video resume. You do not need fancy effects. It is a video resume, so it needs to look professional. All you need is have the ability to do cut-to-cut editing simply to clean the video copy. Remove unnecessary shots or frames as much as you can. Make sure your video is within two minutes and below.
Depending on the web or mobile app you download, you can also adjust brightness, contrast, and volume of the audio. Never over-edit your video. It will look fake, and you do not want to give that kind of vibe to someone you are asking to trust you. Adjust only to enhance, while keeping the authenticity of your video.
There is an ample selection of free and premium video editing software for beginners that are available in the market. I use Power Director for editing. It has a free version (has watermarks) and a premium version at a very affordable cost.
- Send your video link.
There are several options you can do to send your hiring manager the link of your video resume. One option is to save it on your Google Drive or Dropbox and share the link. Try posting it on Vimeo or Wistia as another option. Both apps are more professional-looking options for business purposes than YouTube. Click the share button and get the URL link of your video and send it to your hiring manager. You can also put the link in your resume.
You may also ask permission from the hiring manager if you can send the file via email.
Video Resume can Boost Your Chances to Get Hired
Times of trial and great difficulty call for great patience, resilience, and creativity. Just because things suddenly changed does not mean that we have to feel discouraged. If you lost your job recently due to the pandemic, there is hope. You have amazing skills, expertise, and insight that have a place out there in the world of remote working.
Different kinds of employers are looking for all sorts of virtual assistants. Your video resume can feature a skill like baking, drawing, arts and crafts, and the like. Make your video unique by showing yourself in action. Let your would-be boss see you are what they need for the team.
Even if things are at a standstill right now, relaunch your career with confidence. There are a lot of jobs out there waiting for you. It’s time to bounce back.