A video clip is no substitute for a face-to-face, but if that’s not an option, it’s a great way to give you a jumpstart on showing off your best attributes. After all, a well typed CV is great, but personality, confidence, presence, demeanor, passion and the ability to articulate can’t be displayed on a 8.5”x11" paper.
To create a solid, professional video presentation, have a look at these top tips:
There’s no need to spend hundreds on a studio shoot or expensive equipment. Simply ensure good lighting, clear audio and no distractions - cell phones, digital cameras and webcams can all provide sufficient quality.
Take a few extra minutes to add an extra light, clear your backdrop or set up a USB mic. Remember to test your sources, make adjustments and sample framing – it really makes a difference.
When filming yourself, remember to: - Dress appropriately for the market or position. - Avoid slang or cursing. - Sit up straight. Comb your hair. Straighten your tie. - Look at the camera as though you’re speaking to a person.
PREPARE AND PRACTICE
You can’t read from a script, so make sure you: - Know what you want to say. - Articulate succinctly and precisely. - Don't read from a computer screen or piece of paper. - Practice – if it’s scripted, they can tell. - Use your video slots to share a brief “elevator pitch” something between 30-60 seconds to tell the employer why they should hire you.
Why are you, above everyone else, right for this job? It’s a video, so add something they might not read on your resume. If you are sending it to a specific company or person then, by all means, address them specifically. If the jobs calls for it, demonstrate your fluency in another language, express why you selected a specific field or the reasons you're passionate about the position.
If you’re confident, they’ll have confidence in you. So: - Smile and make yourself comfortable. - Take note of your posture and avoid excessive gesturing. - Speak with your hands to show a sense of relaxation. - Most importantly, be yourself. You’re not out to “dupe” anyone. Besides, who knows you better than you?
USE A PROFESSIONAL PLATFORM
If you are using a link from a direct video-server service like YouTube or Vimeo you risk having access blocked to those sites by the employer – so why not try ViewYou. And use a link – don’t bother with VHS, DVD or CD-ROMs. Also, be sure the system has a progress bar below the frame so employers know how long the clip lasts.
With video you have the opportunity to create the exact professional presentation you want to show employers, and to show you’re willing to go the extra mile. There is no other time in the hiring process where the candidate has 100% control, so take advantage of it.
Rick Anderson is the Executive Vice President at ViewYou, a company that provides job candidates with easy-to-use templates to build professional & secure online portfolios.