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Video Résumés Basics for Your Job Search

The unique limitations of online video make producing high-impact content in your video résumé even more imperative for your job search. Consider this: Hiring managers spend an average of just one to three minutes watching their top candidates on-screen. If you don’t get to the point within the first ten seconds, they won’t bother to finish viewing your film.

Hiring managers form their first impression of you from your video. Any sloppiness in production may be associated with you, and being characterized as sloppy isn’t likely to lead to success!

Following are a handful of format limitations to keep your video résumé attractive to viewers:

  • Your video résumé should run between three and five minutes. Generally speaking, the shorter the better.

  • The first ten seconds are very important. Hook ’em at hello!

  • Your video will be watched online, where the screen isn’t very big. Small visual details may be difficult to discern.

  • The quality of the video reflects the quality of the candidate. Don’t make your video available unless you’re confident it’s a great reflection of you.

Dedicating time to write a strong script and set up is critical. Your video must answer these three questions in both its form and its content:

  • Who are you? What makes you different?

  • What motivates you? What wakes you up in the morning?

  • Can you do the job? Do you have the skills to do what the hiring manager needs done?

Just like with paper résumés, tailoring the content of your video résumé to the specific job opportunity is important. However, you may not identify every conceivable opportunity. That’s why having one generic video résumé to post online is also a good idea. The cool part is that, after you finish a generic video résumé, you can use that footage as the basis for customized videos later.

Whether your video is general or job-specific, reading your résumé into the camera or making your video résumé a mirror image of your paper one won’t take you far. Yet many tutorials on how to create video résumés suggest just that. Avoid boring your viewers at all costs!

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