7 Tips on How to Make a Video Resume

Are you a dancer, voice over talent, actress or singer? Have you been told that you need a video resume? A video resume is a 1-3 minute video created by a person who is seeking employment, often in the arts. The video should describe your skills and qualifications and should supplement a traditional resume, not replace it. In addition, the video should showcase your personality! Give employers a sense of who you are a person and as a potential member of their team. If you have no idea how to film one, perhaps we can offer some suggestions.

1. The first thing to remember is: this is a resume. Don’t get carried away by creating an entire clip devoted to showcasing your talents. You’ll need to include some vital information that a regular resume does, including the type of job you are looking for, your skills and your educational and professional background. Be sure that the type of job you are seeking really needs a video resume. Many employers prefer seeing good old fashioned written resumes.

Even if you decide that a video resume is not for you, make sure that your traditional resume has directions for how to access prior performances or displays of talent. Many artists have links to their websites or social media accounts on their resume, allowing employers to get a glimpse of their capabilities.

2. Go to YouTube and take a look at other resumes that are posted there to give you some ideas. View the videos as a potential employer would. Write down what NOT to do as well as things you want to include. You want your video to stand out, while also being as professional as possible. 

3. Make sure you have the right equipment. You’ll need lighting, the right cameras and technology. You can rent what you need or hire a professional. Another idea is to enlist some graphic design or film students from local colleges to help you out. They may want to use what they’ve done as part of their college credits. You’ll want something that is similar to a broadcast quality camcorder if you can obtain one. Also check out About.com’s “Guide to Desktop Video” for additional equipment ideas. 

4. Make sure you prepare to look like a professional. Dress in a business like manner just as if you were going to a face to face interview. Or, if you are filming yourself for a film role, dress as that character if you think it will enhance your chances. Make sure you look at the camera and not around the room or at your hands, etc. Speak slowly and annunciate. Make sure the video catches everything you say and you don’t sound like you are mumbling. Practice what you are going to say ahead of time. Make sure there is no background noise and that the lighting is right as well.  

5. Keep your video to three minutes. Any more time than that will most likely cause the viewer to become impatient and stop watching. 

6. Make sure that during the video, you say your first and last name, your professional endeavors and why you would be a good fit for this particular role, company or commercial. Briefly mention your past experience then thank the viewer for considering you. Again, this is a resume!

7. Ask friends to view your video before you send it out or post it to your website. Get their feedback If it isn’t perfect, do it again. Once it is just right, then you’ll need to promote it. You can include a link to your video resume on your online or paper resume. You can also include a link to it if you have a networking site like MyWorkster, Jobster or LinkedIn.

After you’ve finished your video make sure you keep it separate from any social media account. You don’t want personal info or fun things about you associated with your professional video. Just like in a job interview, your potential employer does not have to know about your political views or where you were last Thursday. Send your video resume to your networking contacts and to any jobs you are applying for. 

Good luck, and enjoy your new position!