Sometimes called a profile video or video profile, a video resume is essential in a job seeker’s toolbox. They allow you to stand out among other candidates and directly to the employer.
Video resumes are a way for candidates to go beyond traditional methods of applying, such as submitting only a resume, cover letter, and work samples. Lasting typically 60 seconds, these videos are your shot to make the best first impression to an employer. A video resume lets the employer literally see you and hear your case (via your communication skills, personality and charisma) as the best candidate for the job - all before the interview takes place.
On Spark Hire, creating a Profile Video (or video resume) is an easy process. Once you sign up for your free account, and you have detailed your location and credentials within your profile, you’ll be prompted to create your Profile Video. When you’re ready to begin, you simply click to start recording using your webcam and mic. You’ll want to be sure you know exactly what you want to say, so be sure to practice first! And the beauty of video is that you can re-record until you’ve got it perfect! When you’re happy with the final product you then save the video and send it to your prospective employer either through Spark Hire, or by including your video url when applying.
Now that you know what a video resume is and how to make one, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about them:
Video resumes are an enhancement, not a replacement, to the traditional resume. As such, they offer the chance to expand and show the skills you have to offer, not just to recite what’s already on your resume. In fact, your 60 second video resume can give you a better chance to get noticed by employers, as paper resumes are only looked by recruiters for up to six seconds before a decision is made.
Whether you want to talk about how exactly you trimmed your department’s budget by 50 percent or show off the apps you programmed in your spare time, video resumes reinforce letting you speak for yourself, rather than just a piece of paper. It helps you to cut to the chase and directly addresses why you should be considered.
Aside from finding out what skills and work you’ve accomplished, video resumes also reveal facets of your personality a paper resume simply can’t communicate. Employers often use it as a pre-screening tool to evaluate your “fit” into their company, or if you’re aligned with their attitudes, values, and mission.
Video resumes do put a “face” on your resume, and that is often considered to be part of the potential problem. However, according to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), video technology is completely compliant in the hiring process. Employers are very careful about practices during hiring that could lead to accusations of discrimination. While some employers may still have their own reasons for not accepting video resumes, video resumes are still gaining acceptance as a standard hiring material. And quite simply, if an employer were to discriminate you as a result of your video resume, what would stop them from doing the same in an in-person interview? And, why would you want to work for that employer in the long run anyway?
Video resumes were recorded and distributed on VHS tapes. Because of limited availability of resources, production time and value were difficult to attain. As a result, video resumes during this span were not as prevalent.
Video resumes were beginning to pick up in popularity once the Internet became ingrained into everyday life. During this time, online video creation and sharing became much easier with tools like webcams and YouTube.
Platforms, like Spark Hire, catered to creating and sharing video resumes easily and efficiently now make it possible for anyone in any field to apply with their own Profile Video.
Employers already have a copy of your resume, so it’s not the ideal use of your 60 seconds to recite what they already know. Use your video to show and tell what employers can’t discover from your resume alone. For example, use an accomplishment found on your resume and elaborate how you achieved it or what skills you learned from getting your degree. Be sure to include aspects you like in a job, or a workplace. Employers want to know your strengths, weaknesses, and even likes and dislikes. Be honest - making sure you align with their culture should be just as important to you as it is to an employer.
You’ve mapped out in your mind what you want to communicate, so now it’s time to transfer those thought into an organized format: a script. This script doesn’t have to be completely written out, it can simply be an outline of your main points. That way, when you’re actually ready to record, you’ll know what to say and the delivery will be natural and smooth.
Now that you have your script, you’re ready to practice until you’re ready to send off your best video resume. The advantage here (because it isn’t live video) is that you can record until you’ve perfected your delivery and are comfortable letting employers view it. As an added benefit, share your versions to family or friends for critique, as they may be able to catch certain technical aspects or qualities of your delivery you might not think are distracting or off putting.