Ready For Your Close-up?

This is the new age of resumes and now is the time to find something that will make you stand out among the competition. Video resumes are quickly gaining popularity and in fact, according to a article,89 percent of employers revealed that they would watch a video resume if it were submitted to them.”


It saves time and money! The idea has even made its way into the plot of extremely popular sitcoms, like, How I Met Your Mother. In one episode, Robin landed a job hosting a new morning show after Barney updated her video resume for her.

What’s different from a paper resume?

One key component that is always missing on paper is your tone, and how you convey yourself. So why not project this through a video platform? Just make sure you don’t do it the way the way Yale University student, Aleksey Vayner, did in 2006. In his ridiculous video, Vayner praises himself, and shares his various insights on success, talent, and overcoming adversity. Interspliced with the interview are clips of Vayner performing various feats designed to look impressive, including bench pressing, skiing, playing tennis, ballroom dancing, and finally karate-chopping a stack of bricks. The video became a virtual sensation and is exactly what you don’t want to do if you are serious about securing a position.

A well done video can enhance your paper resume however. Adding video to your existing resume, could give you a  better chance of getting a call for an interview. It is your own personal teaser so keep it short so it does not take the place of an interview or surpass the viewer’s attention span. With that said, let’s look at four great ways to stand out in your video resume:

1. Set your stage.

Be sure to show a clean environment around you since your surroundings reflect who you are. While you might be a messy slob in ‘real life,’ clean it up for the recording. Use your surroundings to tell a story. Perhaps make it look like a home office that you normally do your work from (not one you play video games in all the time) with natural light coming through a nearby window and photos of you doing things you love or even of you accepting awards in the background. Get really ‘crazy’ and have your degree on the wall to add some professional flair. Make sure that the camera stays focused on you at all times unless you are showcasing something else intentionally. Also, master the art of re-recording. Believe it or not, before you submit that video it isn’t a one-and-done deal. And of course, dress the part!


2. Show your talent on video.

For example, if you are interviewing for a design position, show how you make something simple in a minute. Perhaps you can whip out your iPad and quickly swipe through some of your work. Whatever your talent and skill may be try to capture it in your video.


3. Talk about your experience and abilities that pertain to the position.

Use the keywords that employers mention in the job postings you are interested in. Talk about any achievements that show the employer what you can bring to the table and be an asset to their company. This is one opportunity where the employer wants to hear all about what you can do! So be a little self-centered (notice I said little!).


4. Show that you are positive, motivated, and confident through body language.

Research estimates that roughly eighty-five percent of what you communicate is NOT with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends. Here are some good tips to keep in mind:

  • Smiling and maintaining eye contact conveys interest as well as shows respect
  • Try not to have too much energy to disperse because you may become fidgety – i.e. lay off the Red Bull right before recording.
  • Uncross your legs and arms so you show that you are relaxed
  • Having good posture is essential and a great confidence boost
  • Refrain from pointing at the camera as it could make you appear aggressive – that also means no scowling or evil eye too while you’re at it!



Now you are ready for your camera debut and this could really be the reason you are chosen for an interview. What will you do to stand out? Just make sure to NOT emulate Vayner’s example! For what not to do, click here…


 About the guest author:

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, which combines a video job board and online interviewing platform to enrich interaction between job seekers and employers. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.


What are your tips for a well-done video resume?