Raise your hand: how many of you have seen Legally Blonde? Now I’m not going to discuss the merits of Legally Blonde as a cinematic masterpiece (obviously, it is). I am, however, going to talk about the do’s and don’ts of video resumes using Elle Woods’ infamous video application as a reference for job seekers when compiling their own video resumes for the job search.
For those unfortunate few who haven’t seen Legally Blonde, or who might need a refresher, here’s Elle’s video resume. In the movie, Elle decides to apply to Harvard Law School using a video application. Clad in a bikini, Elle narrates her way through her biggest accomplishments and other valuable skills which will help her as a law student. It’s not the typical video resume- and she wasn’t using it for a job search- but it’s a video resume nonetheless.
Job seekers can learn a lot from this early video resume in their job search. Most are obvious don’ts, but some can be applied as do’s. For starters, video resumes shouldn’t be overly flashy like Elle’s. Job seekers should dress professionally in their video resumes and not in skimpy bikinis. Although, I imagine shying away from bathing attire is a tip most job seekers already know. Your video resume background is another key. You want employers to think you’re serious in your job search, so stay away from backgrounds which are distracting and look too casual. Stick with a neutral background and appropriate wardrobe choice so as not to distract employers from your accomplishments. However, Elle does make an important fashion point in the movie: stay away from orange. Orange, while nice in person, can be very tricky on camera and in a video resume.
Another tip for job seekers making video resumes is to avoid being too personal. While letting your personality shine is a unique attribute of a video resume, it can also be a pitfall. Make sure you stick to your work accomplishments and not the latest episode of Days of Our Lives. Use real work or internship experiences in your resumes, not a personal goal or favorite TV show.
The big “DO” you can learn from Elle for your video resume is to show, not tell. Elle doesn’t simply say she has to make tough decisions, she describes one. Job seekers remember: don’t just list accomplishments, describe them. Doing it succinctly, as Elle does, is also critical. Don’t allow yourself to ramble. Make sure every word you say has a purpose. The shorter, the better to keep potential employers interested in your video resume.
Elle Woods may not seem like an ideal role model for your video resume but her “go get it,” fearless attitude is one job seekers will want to emulate in both video resumes and in their job search. So when working on that resume, remember WMED? What MIGHT Elle do?
What are some ways you made your video resume a stand-out video? Let us know about it in the comments section below!