Would a Video Resume Make a Difference?

Video Resume

Although they are certainly more common in fields like marketing and advertising, a video resume might be worth a shot if you’re seeking employment in an area of the country where the respiratory care job market is especially tight. It won’t replace your traditional resume, but a short film clip can showcase aspects of your experience and background in a way that a traditional resume never can.

The key, of course, lies in the content you choose to include—and in your technical ability to pull off a video that comes across as professional. Here are some things to consider—

Camera type: The good news is, you can use a smartphone camera to film your video. The video cameras on smartphones have improved in quality to the point where some television stations are even taking them out into the community to film human interest stories for the evening news.

Camera skill: Shooting the kids’ soccer game is easy enough to do, but compiling multiple video segments into a smooth and professional-looking video resume will require a lot more skill, and most likely a video editor on your computer or app on your tablet. If you don’t know how to use this technology, play around with it first to learn the ins and outs — or ask around to see if anyone you know has the expertise you’re looking for and would be willing to help.

Keep it professional: While it may be tempting to bust out with an off-the-wall introduction of yourself, leave the whiz-bang elements to the marketing and advertising job seekers. You are looking for a job in a serious profession where sick people are the focus. You don’t have to be morose in your video, but you do want to make it clear that you understand the type of work you’ll be doing.

Simple is best: Film yourself in an uncluttered setting with little or nothing in the background. You want the camera to focus on you, not everything around you or behind you. Place yourself either to the left or right of the frame and switch sides now and then to add interest. If you’re using a video camera, place it on a tripod so your video will be steady (rather than jumpy). Even if you use a smartphone, you can steady it by leaning it up against something while you film, rather than have someone hold it.

Keep it short: Sixty to 90 seconds is plenty. Any longer and you run the risk the hiring manager will quit watching.

Appearances count: Dress as you would to go to a face-to-face interview.

Add in other elements: Even a short film that just features you talking to the camera will get boring, so incorporate some photos, slides, or other graphics into your video—even words going across the screen will liven things up. For example, if you want to highlight your community service, show pictures of you working at various events. If you can get a former boss to film a testimonial about the value you added to his department, even better.

Keep it fresh: Some people who make video resumes end up just reading their traditional resumes out loud to the camera. That’s a mistake. Hit the highlights but then turn your attention to past experiences and accomplishments that may be overlooked on a traditional resume—such as that community service project you headed up, the award you won at your last job, or the article in the newspaper where you were quoted about spring allergies.

Review, review, review: Watch your video multiple times before sending it on to a hiring manager to make sure you’ve worked out all the glitches.

How to get it there: You can send your video directly to the hiring manager, although it will be a big file and that could be a problem if the organization’s servers can’t handle big file attachments. A better bet would be to upload the video to YouTube and send the hiring manager a link to it. You can also add the video to your LinkedIn page. (Go here to see how to do it.)

Realize it could get passed around: You may be sending the video directly to the hiring manager, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be the only one who sees it. So when you put your content together, do it knowing that anyone from the department secretary to the hospital CEO could see it.

Look at some samples: Go to YouTube and search for “video resumes” to view what others have done. They may not all follow the advice shared here, but they’ll give you an idea of what works—and what doesn’t.