If you've looked for creative ways to stay ahead of the competition when you’re applying for jobs, you’ve probably come across video resumes as an option.
After all, a video resume is a creative way to show initiative and willingness to go the extra mile to land a job in a company that you love.
That said, unless you know a lot about video making and how the recruiting process works, you probably have a lot of questions regarding video resumes.
For example, how long should a video resume be and what should it contain? Is a video resume more beneficial to some job applications than others?
Or is it even worth making a video resume in the first place?
In this article, we’ll try to answer all those questions (and then some). Read on to learn:
- Types of Video Resumes
- Benefits of Using a Video Resume
- What Should Go in a Video Resume?
- 5 Tips to Make a Great Video Resume
- 5 Inspiring Video Resume Examples
And much more! Let's dive in.
What Is a Video Resume?
A video resume is a recording that highlights a person’s professional experience, skills, and qualifications. In a nutshell, a video resume is a creative way to showcase your abilities, emphasize your talents, and leave a great impression on recruiters.
Just like traditional resumes, video resumes are supposed to cover the following essentials:
- Work experience
- Skills and achievements
From a more strategic standpoint, though, the goal of any video resume is to answer one simple question:
“Why should the employer hire you?”
Well, contrary to what you may think, you don’t actually have to personally appear in the video for it to be successful.
Other than the conventional format (you speaking in front of a camera), video resumes can follow various styles, including:
- Whiteboard animation, a type of video that shows static images being drawn on the screen, typically accompanied by narration. You can even choose between these top 10 whiteboard animation software to easily create yours.
- Animation video, a type of video created with original designs, illustrations, drawings, or computer-generated effects that typically follow a particular style.
- Stop-motion video, a film-making process that makes inanimate objects “come to life” using a series of still photographs.
If you’re a skilled video-maker, go for the style that best represents your experiences, skills, and interests.
If, on the other hand, you’re not super experienced but still want to submit a video resume, then simply filming yourself is the way to go here.
When to Use a Video Resume
First things first.
Before we get into explaining when to use a video resume and all the benefits that come with it, you should know that a video resume is NOT a substitute for the traditional resume, which you still need to apply for jobs in any field and industry.
That said, video resumes can be a great supplement to your original resume, especially if:
- The job application says that having a video resume is mandatory or optional.
- You’re applying for a very competitive position and want to stand out from the competition.
- You’re applying for a position in a creative industry like design, advertising, film, fashion, etc.
- You have video-making skills and want to add value to your application.
If any of the above applies to you, a video resume can be really helpful, especially since it can reap the following benefits:
- It’s much more memorable. Considering that video resumes are not all that popular, submitting one is bound to make your application more memorable.
- Shows creativity. A well-made video resume can help you show off your creativity and originality, which is something that’s valued in all fields.
- Testifies to your technical skills. Creating a video resume from scratch takes some technical skills, which are usually welcomed by recruiters even if they’re not directly related to the position.
- Demonstrates communication skills. If you decide to record yourself as you address recruiters, you’ll be giving proof that your verbal communication skills are more than just a claim on your resume.
- Helps you stand out from the crowd. In a world where professional competition is growing (think, recruiters not spending more than 7 seconds skimming a resume to see if the candidate is relevant for the role), a video resume can help you stand out from other applicants.
A video resume is not a replacement for a conventional resume. Create a resume that shines in less than 5 minutes with the Novorésumé resume builder!
What Should Go In a Video Resume?
A video resume may sound like an exciting idea at first, but creating one is hardly an easy task.
On top of being visually and aesthetically appealing, a video resume should effectively introduce you as an applicant, highlight your experience and education, and motivate recruiters to choose you over other candidates.
As such, here are three essential parts any video resume should contain:
- An introduction
- Your experience
- A call to action
#1. The Introduction
Think of the introduction as the contact information or resume summary sections in the traditional resume.
This is where you’re supposed to introduce yourself, offer some key information about your background, and, preferably, address the company to which you’re applying (e.g. “Hello company X, this is John Doe”). By doing so, you can effectively show your video resume was specifically tailored to the position, instead of using it to apply for several jobs.
Here are some things you can mention in the introduction of your video resume:
- Your name and job title
- The position you’re applying for within the company
- Your years of experience
- Where you’re from or where you’re based (especially if it’s not the same as the company location)
- Hello The Sun, I’m Joe Doe, a news reporter with more than 8 years of experience in journalism. I’m passionate about applying my skills in your newspaper, which I’ve been literally reading since I was 10 years old when I first decided I wanted to be a reporter.
#2. Your Experience
After introducing yourself, you want to back up your claim to the position with your professional experience and education history.
Unlike in the traditional resume, where you typically offer a pretty detailed view of your work history, you can use your video resume to only highlight one or two of your most relevant work experiences. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a film production company, you can talk about your experience with making an independent movie and what you learned from it.
At the same time, you can use this part of your video resume to describe other types of experience that might be valuable to your application, including life and college experiences. If you're applying to be a journalist, for example, describing your experience in making a school newspaper might be more beneficial than listing your journalism classes.
Remember that your video resume is supplemental to your traditional resume, so the point here isn't to be as detailed as possible, but as memorable as possible.
As such, aim for quality over quantity.
- I received my Master's Degree in Journalism from Boston University, where I was also the Editor of the university newspaper and received practical experience in reporting different social issues on campus. Since graduating, I’ve worked with many household names in journalism, including The Wallstreet Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. My passion is reporting on complex social issues, including taxation policies, the US healthcare system, poverty, unemployment, and racism.
#3. A call to action
In any movie, the ending scene is always the most memorable.
Well, the same goes with the ending of your video resume, which should give recruiters a reason to remember you and call you back for an interview.
As such, the best way to do that is to conclude with a call to action.
For example, instead of concluding your video resume only with a picture of your phone number, email address, and LinkedIn, you could accompany it with a voice-over saying something like:
- There's more to my experience than I can share in this short video, which I'd love to tell you about over an interview.
5 Tips to Make a Great Video Resume
There are do-s and don't-s in video making that you should keep in mind during the process of creating your video resume - especially if you don't have any previous experience.
Here are some important tips to follow for a great video resume:
- Create a script. Your video resume should add value to your job application, which means you should think in advance about the things that you’ll say there. After all, a video resume isn’t an elevator pitch. Creating a script to follow in advance can help you visually communicate all the right things, instead of just swinging it.
- Tailor it to the position. Just like with the traditional resume, your video resume will be more effective if it’s tailored to the position you’re applying for. If your video resume is too generic, it’s unlikely to impress recruiters.
- Keep it brief. Recruiters are busy people who have to go through hundreds of resumes daily, which means they don’t have time to watch a biography of your life. As such, make sure your video resume doesn’t exceed 2 minutes.
- Be creative but professional. Simply putting a 2-minute video together won’t cut it. You need to think outside the box so that your video resume doesn’t just repeat the information you shared on your resume or cover letter. At the same time, you have to make sure your video resume is of professional quality and doesn’t look like something you put together 2 hours before submitting your job application.
- Show it to people. Feedback from people can help you spot mistakes that you missed, give you different perspectives on your video resume, and even offer you some original ideas to incorporate. So, don’t hesitate to share your video resume with your friends and family before sending it over to recruiters.
What NOT To Do in a Video Resume
As for the don’t-s of video resumes, here are our top picks:
- Don't use slang. A video resume is not a place to use slang or jargon, as it might make you look unprofessional and careless. In the spirit of professionalism, keep your language as “official” as possible.
- Omit background noise. Background (or even music) is likely to distract recruiters from your video resume. To avoid that, make sure your video’s audio is clear and the background music - if you use one - is not too distracting.
- Don't recite the script. Although a script can be super helpful, simply reciting it might undermine your interpersonal skills - especially if you’re recording yourself. Instead of looking as if you’re simply saying something you learned by heart, practice the script in advance in front of a mirror to make sure you keep eye contact with the camera and establish a connection.
- Don't try to cover everything. The worst thing you could do is try to squeeze all your work experience or education history into a 2-minute video. You’ll end up talking too fast, and the information you’ll cover won’t be detailed enough for the hiring manager to care.
5 Amazing Video Resume Examples to Get Inspired
Enough with the theory - the best way to get started with your video resume is by seeing some examples to inspire your creativity.
Below, you can 5 of the most impressive video resumes we’ve found on the internet:
Example #1. CPA Video Resume
A short and to-the-point video resume that combines the applicant speaking and the use of text to reinforce specific important elements of his video resume, such as his name, age, degree, and the position to which he’s applying.
Example #2. Entrepreneur Video Resume
A very creative video resume that combines a number of video-making elements, sure to captivate any recruiter who lays eyes on it. Use this video resume as inspiration; even if you can’t produce the same end result, you can sure do something similar when it comes to the catchy script and the applicant’s natural behavior in front of the camera.
Example #3. Travel Manager Video Resume
This awesome video resume combines voiceovers, animation, and the candidate’s own narration in front of the camera, making it nice to watch even though it exceeds the optimal 2-minute-length. Our suggestion? Keep the details of your personal life out of your resume video to save time and make it as relevant as possible for the recruiter.
Example #4. Stop Motion Video Resume
This stop motion video resume might be tricky to create, but it’s sure to inspire your creative side and give you some awesome ideas on all the different directions video resumes can take.
Example #5. Web Designer Video Resume
Yes, the music on this one is quite dramatic, but there’s no denying that the video itself is inspired. Not to mention, the candidate focuses on all the right things - a short introduction of himself, his skills, and his competencies - and concludes with a strong call to action that is very likely to have anyone watching the video want to contact him.
Video Resume FAQ
If we haven't covered everything you need to know about video resumes, check out our answers to the most frequently asked questions on the topic below:
#1. What should I say in a video resume?
Video resumes are all about originality, uniqueness, and creativity. As such, it’s important that you don’t simply use them to repeat what you’ve already written on your resume or cover letter.
Use your video resume to:
- Introduce yourself in a creative light
- Reinforce your skills and achievements so that they’re more memorable to recruiters
- Wrap up the video interview with a call to action, urging the recruiter to get in touch
#2. Is a video resume a good idea?
A video resume can be an excellent addition to your job application and your traditional resume, especially if you're applying for a highly competitive position, a job in a creative industry, or if you're skilled in video creation.
Just remember that a video resume cannot act as a substitute for the traditional resume and your cover letter.
#3. What is the difference between a video resume and a traditional resume?
Typically, the traditional resume is a 1-page document that lists everything a recruiter needs to know about you, including your contact information, professional experience (including responsibilities and achievements), education history, skills, and even optional resume sections like awards and certifications, memberships, and hobbies.
The traditional resume is a mandatory part of every job application, whereas a video resume is a supplement to your traditional resume and it serves as a creative way to showcase your abilities, emphasize your talents, and make a great impression on recruiters. Oftentimes, adding a video resume to your application will show recruiters you really care about the position and that you put a lot of time and effort into the application.
And that’s a wrap! You’re now ready to start creating your own video resume.
Before you go, here are the most important things we covered in this article:
- A video resume is a recording that highlights a person’s professional experience, skills, and qualifications.
- Your video resume doesn’t necessarily have to feature you addressing the recruiters. On the contrary, there exist different styles of video resumes, including whiteboards, animations, and stop-motion videos.
- A video resume can come particularly handy when you’re applying for a very competitive position, you’re applying for a position in a creative industry, or you have awesome video-making skills and want to add value to your application.
- Some of the benefits of adding a video resume to your application are that it attests to your creativity, communication skills, and tech skills, that it’s much more memorable, and that it helps you stand out from the crowd.
- When you’re making a video resume, make sure to write a script in advance, tailor the video resume to the position, keep it short and to the point, be creative but professional, and share it with people for feedback.