Erin Berthon

Erin Berthon, MA Career Manager, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, at Chapman University

For the majority of students and alumni out there, a video resume seems like a scary prospect. For those who find the job hunt exhausting and are yearning for a new way to stand out, a video resume may be the most creative way yet. The concept of a video resume recently attracted the attention of recruiters through social platforms, and some companies have adopted the idea. The benefit of a video resume is that it can give you a dynamic perspective as a candidate. It is also about showing creativity, authenticity, and skills to make you stand out from the rest.

Videos are everything today. It has become so persuasive in our lives that many job seekers have no problem showcasing themselves in a 3-minute video. The trend is real! Job seekers can show off communication skills and creativity in a more challenging way than a traditional resume. They can also explain details about their work or life experience, like an employment gap. A video resume can be a potential tool if done well. As simple as it sounds, a person will connect with you more by seeing your face and hearing your voice, rather than reading a paper with your qualifications.

If you are unsure and are curious about preparing a video, here are some tips for paving your way to success.

Be Prepared

A video resume isn’t a verbatim list of accomplishments and employment history turned into an awkward movie. A video resume should show off your skills and make an impression. The first question you should ask yourself is, “What on earth am I going to say on this video resume?” Creating an outline or using your elevator pitch is a great way to start. It should convey your strengths and your verbal communication skills, personality, and charisma. Having a list and practicing what you’re going to say, will also help you cut out  the “umms” and “likes” that will make you sound unprofessional.

Smile and be Enthusiastic

Pretend you are in an interview, and remember to always smile from beginning to the end. We often don’t let our personalities shine on a resume. This is not your time  to be a robot, and remember, this is the first time your future employer will see you. Talk naturally during the video without forcing a smile and avoid telling jokes. Always look directly into the camera and say good-bye when you are done, you could even consider waving goodbye.

Is a Video Right for You?

When deciding if this is something you want to try, make sure this fits the industry you are seeking. What are the cultural expectations? What is the average hiring manager like? Are they more traditional or do they embrace innovation and creativity? If you’re trying to get into the creative field, go for it, be creative. Don’t hesitate. In general, video-based outreach can be an innovative way to find jobs and internships. It can’t replace traditional resumes and interpersonal interactions, but it may eventually become a critical part of the hiring process. You need to decide if a video resume can help or hinder your chances by deep diving into the industry’s culture or company.

Video resumes might be new, but they aren’t as scary as you  think. Upload your video to Linkedin, TikTok, YouTube, or other social media platforms and tag the recruiters or employers. With preparations and lots of practice, you can make a great resume video that will engage recruiters or your dream employer.

And don’t forget to watch your video (painful as that may be) before you share it with the world!