Separate yourself from the herd using a video resume

If you want to strengthen your chances of being seen and heard, an extra video resume may be the thing for you. But use it wisely – or it may have the opposite effect.

Videos are everywhere. Serious and fun ones on social media, and with serious thoughts on corporations’ and organization’s websites.
“The readiness to expose yourself on film is becoming greater and greater, because it gradually becomes a more natural part of our everyday lives. But it is still the early stages of enclosing a video resume in your job application, and that’s why it may still give an applicant the opportunity to separate themselves from other applicants. But you have to be very aware of whom you’re talking to, what you say, and how you appear,” Says Thomas Dahlgaard, recruitment director for Jobindex.
Jobindex has used videos as a recruitment tool for three years. “It is especially useful in service companies, where the employees have a lot of customer contact, and where representation matters a lot. But I ­definitely think that the media can be used in the engineering world for positions where the job had a lot of human contact, for instance as a project manager, or where it is important to have the skills needed to be in focus,” he says.

The video media can, viewed through employer googles, evolve into effective recruitment and used to ask applicants concrete questions that they have to answer in the video, says Thomas Dahlgaard. Picture: Adobe Stock

Know your audience
He recommends that you check the mood on the website to see how video minded it is.
“If the company uploads videos of employees speaking, the media isn’t new and foreign, and then it might be a good idea. Other companies are very conservative, and then it might be crossing too many boundaries to enclose a video resume,” says Thomas Dahlgaard.
The video resume should function as a teaser. It is a sales tool, to help the applicant get an interview.
“And as with all other sales, you have to know your target group and product. If you don’ t have the product, don’t try to sell it. In other words: if you don’t have the abilities and skills to be in a video, don’t make one. And if you have the product — that is, the skills — you have to find out if it is interesting for the audience — that is, the company, and what you say to them,” he states.

Advice for ­recording a ­video resume

  • Have a good introduction and finishing line
  • Make sure you have the correct ­camera angle
  • Pick a natural background
  • Remember correct lighting and good sound quality
  • Keep eye contact
  • Match your outfit to the company you are applying at
  • Be authentic and credible in your presentation
  • Do not be too personal

Thorough legwork
It is a challenging exercise in communication to make a good video resume. It will probably not come out great, if you only want to spend five minutes on it, and then the company will reject it quite fast, he points out.
“The hard thing is to make a video that is one, maybe two minutes at most. It requires a tight manuscript, where you still manage to tell the right things in very short time. You can say it should be an effective elevator pitch, where you boil down the essence of your resume and application. It won’t work to repeat your written resume word by word in a video. You can read that, and then it gets annoying. You have to be aware that if the video isn’t relevant, and if you aren’t prepared, it will have the opposite effect,” he says.

The same way you have to mold your resume depending on what position you are applying for, you have to customize your video resume.
“The video in itself isn’t hard to re-record. The hard thing is to find out what to say about yourself in relation to the specific job in the company. It is not a one size fits all-thing. It is that way about all job applications. You have to target the video. There you can pick some of the skills and competences that the company is looking for in the job listing,” says Thomas Dahlgaard.

A video grants unique opportunities
The best thing about a video resume lies in the fact that you have to show other sides of yourself.
“It can be a possibility for the applicants that aren’t obvious choices for the interviews as the first ones, because their grades may not be the best. But if they are good at shining through with a message in the video, other profiles may raise themselves and show that they have personal advantages. A video resume may demonstrate that you have charisma, drive, and power. Everything that may be hard to write down in words,” he says.

Watch this video for concrete tips for recording: