How To: Create A Useful Resume Video

You can stand out and improve your chances during the bidding process using a video resume. A video resume is mandatory for all members of our pro user base. A simple sixty second video can do wonders for your freelance career.

The most basic video resume will be made using a Smartphone and mic. Film yourself, click the “Share” option, and upload it to youtube – it’s that simple. However, there is value in taking your video resume to the next level.

With the rise in unemployment, job seekers can expect fierce competition. The following guide will explain exactly what makes a video resume appealing to employers, and how to best present yourself to them.

Step 1: Understand what makes a resume video successful.

A good video resume is usually around 1-2 minute in length. Get straight to the point with your qualifications and experience. An employer may be browsing dozens of video resumes in a given day – if you take too long introducing yourself, he will move on to the next one before you’ve had a chance to show him what you’re worth.

The main goal in your video resume is to leave a lasting impression with your employers. The video should show that you work hard and provide visual examples of your expert knowledge in the field. Draw attention to your educational background and speak directly to your target audience. Be careful not to go into great detail about your personal qualifications, as these are usually more useful on a hard copy of your resume.

Step 2: Select your equipment, setting, and software.

You can make due with any device that records video, preferably in HD (smartphone, digital camera, iPad, webcam, etc).
Make sure that your employer can hear what you’re saying with total clarity. An external microphone will provide good quality audio for your video, especially if you’re far from the camera, or showing speaking while performing a task. The best videos will come from a Smartphone with an attached microphone.

  • The preferred video format will be MP4.
  • Make sure there is proper lighting.
  • Make sure there is no fan, open windows, kids running around, or any other noise that will be heard on the video. The fewer distractions you have in your video, the better the result will be for you.
  • An optional step will be to edit the video. It is not a must; only a select few will need to edit their video. Don’t be alarmed if you are not tech savvy and lack experience – you can avoid the editing stage altogether with proper planning and practice. If you do choose to edit the video, decide on a user-friendly movie-editing software. If you have a Mac, iMovie is easy to learn and available for iPhone or iPad. Most Windows computers come with Windows Movie Maker; though it is limited in the eyes of real movie-makers, this program is more than enough to edit a simple video resume.

Step 3: Decide on the length and format of your video.

The length and format of your video resume will be determined by the decisions you made in Step 2. If you have no experience with video, a simple structure may be your best option.

By choosing to restrict your video to a certain length, you force yourself to be concise and creative. When you work within a time limit, you have no choice but to focus on the most important aspects of yourself. You will have to dial in on the strengths you offer as a freelance resource, and cut the fluff. We typically recommend videos around 1-minute in length.

Format Options to Consider (an optional step):

  • Include footage of you conducting your work. Add a voice-over describing what is happening. Technically, this method is the easiest to execute. If your freelance work falls outside of the technology sector, this is highly recommended.
  • Speak directly into the camera and incorporate image or clips of you working and interacting with others. Try to avoid using a backdrop that is not related to your field of work. This requires slightly more editing work to tie these clips together in a logical manner.
  • Film a few freelance peers you work with or have worked with in the past who will share some positive work experiences they’ve had with you. A few clips of co-workers talking about what it is like to work with you can be really impressive to employers.

Step 4: Write your script and plan your shots.

Your script doesn’t have to be followed word for word during filming. In fact, I advise against this; it’s the fastest way to sound robotic and get your potential employer to tune out. The script is there to help you plan your shots and keep within your time limit.

First, start by creating a simple outline that divides your video into a beginning, middle and end.

Next, write out a loose narrative addressing the major points within each section. The information in your video resume needs to be interesting, informative, and straightforward. Make sure to read the narrative out loud so you can time yourself. You should have enough content to fill the time slot when speaking at a natural and relaxed speed.

Planning Your Shots:

Before you begin filming, you must decide what will be shown in each scene. This is where the script, storyboard, and outline of your video will become very useful.

The introduction of your video resume can be a simple introduction that explains who you are and a little bit about your background in the freelance world.

The middle or “body” of your video resume is where you spell out what makes you stand out from your peers.

The end or “conclusion” of your video resume should be used to underline your freelance career goals, emphasize your passion, or otherwise reinforce why you’re the right person for the job so that a lasting impressive is left in your employer’s mind.

Step 5: Lights, camera, action!

The next step is actually recording your video! This will be the most difficult part of your video resume, but also where you’ll have the most fun. It’s a good idea to practice your script ahead of time so your performance comes naturally and leaves room for minor improvisation when you’re finally on camera.The more prepared you are, the less time you’ll waste shooting and editing (which means more time to invest back into your freelance career!).

Remember to find a place that has good lighting and is free of distractions before you start shooting. Small bits of preparation at this stage will save you the trouble of having to edit later on.

You’re going to have to retake some parts of the video – don’t get frustrated. Accept it before you start so that you’re not caught off-guard and annoyed. If you’re really struggling to get the right shot, consider trying the voice-over approach instead.

Step 6 (optional): Edit your video resume.

Editing your video resume gives you the chance to erase any mistake and ensure that your footage is organized in the proper order. You’ll need to get your hands on some of the movie-editing software described earlier in Step 2. There are endless movie-editing guides and tutorials available online if you’re having trouble figuring out your chosen software.

Editing is about removing unnecessary material and adding special effects, music, and anything else to help you stand out. This is where you trim the fat until your video is down to about 1 minute in duration, and verify that all of your important talking points are mentioned.

Remember – editing is optional. Proper planning and practice can help you avoid the editing stage altogether.

Step 7: Publish your video resume

When you are done creating your video resume, you will need to publish it for employers to see. I recommend YouTube – it is a free resource that most people are familiar with, and it gives you the option of restricting your viewership to only those who have a direct link.