How to make a video resume in 9 steps
A video resume allows you to speak directly to hiring managers about your qualifications and role fit. They’re a great addition to your job application and enable you to showcase your personality, as well as stand out from the crowd. This guide shows you how to create a video resume the right way.
Why a video resume can work
Although they’re far from a traditional resume, there are many solid reasons to make a video resume. One of the most common reasons to record a video resume is to show off relevant skills. Some role-relevant abilities can be more easily showcased on video, such as communication skills.
Here are a few job types that are suitable for resume videos:
- Public speaking
- Customer-facing roles
- Creative industries, such as handling social media accounts or modeling
- Any role that requires video editing skills
For these roles, video resumes enable you to provide solid proof of your skills. Instead of just telling them with a traditional resume, you’re showing them.
Another reason to make a video resume is simply that it’s required. Some job ads specify that applicants must provide them with an “elevator pitch” describing their qualifications.
Some job seekers choose to make a video resume purely because it helps them stand out. When a hiring manager gets to see and hear you, it helps build rapport and creates a lasting impression.
Making a video resume step-by-step
Now let’s learn how to make a video resume in 9 quick steps. Even if you’re not in a creative industry, it requires a creative eye, a few editing skills, and some careful scripting.
Let’s dive in!
1. Find inspiration
Before you get started, immerse yourself in inspiration for building a video resume. This includes researching tips and strategies, such as this blog post, and looking up example video resumes on websites like YouTube and TikTok. This gives you an idea of what you’ll want to include, how you want it structured, and what you’ll want to say.
2. Choose a style
This goes in line with the previous point and is an important part of planning. Which style do you want your video resume in? There are many different considerations:
- Casual or formal
- Short (30 seconds) or long (two minutes)
- A simple shot of yourself or intercut stock footage
For this step, it’s crucial to consider the company’s culture of the job you're applying for, as well as the role.
3. Create a script
You don’t want to rush in without a plan – it’s important to have a script. This helps you appear more organized and shows off your communication skills.
Take time to write a script. This can be detailed and describe line by line what you intend to say or it can be as simple as a bullet point list of the items you want to mention.
4. Create your set
This step is crucial and heavily affects the quality of your video resume. Ensure your shooting space is clean, well-lit, and professional. You don’t want a busy backdrop and you certainly don’t want the visuals blurry from lack of natural light.
“When a hiring manager gets to see and hear you, it helps build rapport and creates a lasting impression.”
5. Be straight to the point
Hiring managers don’t have much time, so it’s important to film a short video and be concise.
Make sure your message is succinct, gives the recruiter all the information they need, and doesn’t rely on fluff. Stick to your script and don’t get distracted by anecdotes.
6. Remain professional
Video resumes may be nontraditional, and many can even be fun and casual, but it’s important to always remain professional. This means you need to dress professionally and speak directly to the camera. Remember, the camera is essentially the hiring manager, so speaking into the camera is like maintaining eye contact.
7. Record multiple takes
Even a well-planned, well-scripted video resume won’t be perfect in one shot.
Record your resume video in small sections, and do multiple takes of each section. This makes editing easier and helps you choose the takes with the best facial expressions and demeanor.
8. Edit the video
This part is important for every job seeker, but it’s essential for video editors building a resume to show their skills. The editing process varies depending on the content. If the video is simply you sitting at a desk, it will be straightforward, but if you want to add stock footage, background music, and interviews with co-workers, it will take some time.
9. Receive feedback
Now take your video resume and ask for feedback from a friend, family member, or colleague. Ask them for their honest thoughts. Is the message clear? Is it well-edited? Then take action on their feedback wherever possible to polish your final product.
Always dress professionally in a video resume. We recommend treating it like a job interview – dress for the role, the company’s culture, and the level of formality. For example, wear slacks and a button-down shirt when applying to a casual tech company.
Tips for your video resume
Let’s finish up with a few bonus tips on how to make a video resume:
- Focus on one subject: It’s a short video, so focus on one skill or project. Try expanding on an achievement you mention in your traditional resume.
- Double-check employer guidelines: If the video resume is a requirement, ensure you follow the instructions given by the employer, such as video length or content.
- Keep it short and succinct: Resume videos should be 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Hiring managers are busy and only spend a few seconds glancing at a resume, so they won’t spend a long time watching a video.
- Showcase your creativity: Video resumes are most popular in creative fields, so it makes sense to get creative with your content. Stand out from the crowd by adding text, music, and engaging camera shots.
- Remain professional but friendly: Don’t use slang or inappropriate humor, but at the same time, try not to be overly uptight.
- Stay positive and excited: Show the hiring manager your confidence and positivity, this tells them you’re confident in your skills and excited about the role. Don’t forget to smile!
Frequently asked questions about a video resume
Is a video resume professional?
Video resumes are professional in the right industries, such as the creative and marketing industries. However, they aren’t appropriate in every sector or company’s culture, such as very formal, traditional companies. It’s also partially up to you if your video resume is professional. Be sure to speak politely and dress professionally to help this.
What should I say in a video resume?
Video resumes should be used to expand on the information given in your traditional resume or introduce new achievements and projects. Don’t use them to reiterate points from your resume or cover letter word-for-word.
Use these videos to introduce yourself, discuss an accomplishment or project, show off a skill, and then wrap it up with an engaging call-to-action, asking the hiring manager to give you a call.
How should I film a video resume?
Film your video resume during the day, with indirect natural lighting. Ensure your space is quiet and indoors, to maximize audio quality.
Any recording device is acceptable as long as it captures high-quality audio and visuals, so feel free to use a video camera, a phone camera, or a webcam.
Another important part of filming is what you do once it’s over, so ensure to edit your video resume to improve its quality.
Video resumes are a unique opportunity to display your personality, editing skills, and creativity. These videos help you catch the eye of recruiters in creative industries, but they also enable you to stand out to companies with energetic, colorful cultures.
Use our step-by-step guide to film and edit your next resume video. Get inspired, write a script, and film a few takes. Make sure it’s concise, dress professionally, and you’ll be good to go.
But resume videos aren’t stand-alone – ensure to always send a traditional resume along with them. Need some help and inspiration? Check out our selection of resume templates.