Virtual job interviews have become more common as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, beyond job interviews, as the use of technology becomes more widespread in the HR field, more and more hiring managers are screening candidates based on recorded video resumes.
HR leaders we speak with say that a video resume could help them assess whether a candidate will be a good cultural fit.
Video resumes also present candidates with an opportunity to showcase their creativity and communication skills in ways that traditional resumes don’t allow.
If asked to submit a video as part of your job application, how can you make the best possible impression?
- Know Your Audience and Tailor the Format
Your traditional resume needs to be customised to the role you’re applying for. So does your video resume.
Use a format that fits not only the job role, but the brand persona of the company you’re applying to. However, take all factors into account. For instance, if the job role calls for a person to take the company into the future, you can afford to, within limits, veer from the brand’s traditional image.
There are several formats you can use – film yourself talking straight to the camera, use creative animated videos to make a point about what you can bring to the table, or a mixture of both. Some candidates do a very short introduction with the rest of the video constituting filmed testimonials from people they’ve worked with.
As you plan your format, script and filming location, consider who will watch the video. For instance, a video resume for a position at a global bank would certainly have to be executed differently from one created for a job at a start-up.
If possible, find out who the hiring managers are and what they personally might be looking for.
Tailor your video, including how you’re dressed, without diluting the essence of who you are.
- Use Keywords – AI could be used throughout the hiring process
Recruiters can make use of artificial intelligence at several points including at the video resume screening stage.
Using keywords from the job description in your introduction would certainly help get you past the first round in such cases.
But whether it’s AI or a human hiring manager assessing your video, mentioning you have the required skills and traits always works.
- Capture Attention within the First 15 Seconds
Employers have a limited amount of time to screen applications.
Videos should be between 1 and 2 minutes long. Anything longer, unless it’s extremely engaging, is unlikely to be watched fully.
The first 10 to 15 seconds of the video are the most crucial. It is during this window that people decide whether to continue watching.
Make a powerful impression from the start. Begin by introducing yourself and state in a persuasive sentence or two why you are the best person for the role. Then, in whatever format you’ve chosen, provide details of your relevant experience and achievements.
Ensure that your personality comes through. If it comes naturally, humour could help as well.
Since you have to keep it short, you could choose to focus on a specific experience or skill. Talk about a project that you excelled in. Since the video is meant to complement your written resume, ensure that the document contains more information about the project.
- Talk about Something that’s Not in Your Written Application
For the sake of brevity, you may have left something off your written resume.
If it’s a specific skill that you can demonstrate in a video, do it.
It could also be a volunteer experience or a hobby.
Whatever it is, make sure you relate it to how it might help you do the job better.
Each element of the video must bolster your chances of landing the job.
- As far as possible, Show, Don’t Just Tell
Use visuals or demonstrations to showcase your skills.
If the job requires you to lead teams and get buy-in from stakeholders, demonstrate how you might communicate a complex idea in a compelling manner.
If your job requires you to do persuasive presentations, show snippets of yourself making persuasive speeches.
You could showcase samples of your work with an e-portfolio, resting on each visual for less than 5 seconds. It’s enough to ignite curiosity and land you a meeting with your prospective employer.
- Authenticity is King
At all times, ensure that you’re being authentic.
Misrepresenting yourself doesn’t serve anyone. You may ultimately get the job, but you probably won’t last long as the fact that you’re a bad fit will come back to haunt both you and your employer.