Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Video Perfection: 5 Out of the Box Ideas to Stand Out in Your Video Resume

If you aren’t a stranger to Spark News, then you certainly aren’t a stranger to video resumes and how they can set you above the competition in a job search. If you are, however, let me enlighten you just a bit. Spark Hire is a new job search platform that integrates video into your search and interview processes. In other words, on Spark Hire you can create a video resume that can then be sent to employers as an addition to your paper resume. It’s a way for you to express your passion, show your skills and give them a glimpse of your personality in an easy and fast way. So many job seekers have said before, “If only they could see me and hear what I have to say I know they would call me in for an interview.” Well, here is your chance!

On Spark Hire, you can also interview online with potential employers saving you and the company you are interviewing with loads of time and money. Today, though, Spark News is going to focus on the video resume and how you can stand out in yours to get companies to notice you. Although video resumes seem to be gaining great popularity among recruiters and in the job market in general, they are not entirely new. In fact, back in 2006 a Yale senior hoping to be an investment banker sent a video of himself to “financial services powerhouse UBS” in hopes of getting a job there. Unfortunately, Aleksey Vayner didn’t get exactly what he was looking for. Take a look at his video and take note of what you should not do in your video resume:

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He didn’t know it then, but Vayner created a video resume and unfortunately did all of the wrong things. A video resume isn’t a chance for you to talk just about yourself, or show off your personal accomplishments, but it’s a chance to show this company why you are a great fit. Here are 5 ideas you can use to stand out in your video resume- and in a good way, not in Vayner’s way.

Look Great
It doesn’t matter what kind of position you are searching for, be it an entry level job or a top level job, you want to look spiffy and professional for your video. Looking like a professional will certainly get the attention of professionals. Make sure your hair is neat and clean and the clothes you are wearing look sharp. As stated in a previous article I wrote on things to avoid in your online interview, you don’t really want to wear any flashy, bright clothes. This may seem like a great way to stand out, literally, but it can be annoying to the interviewer if you sit there wearing a bright yellow suit- not the kind of attention you want.

Don’t Read Your Resume
A video resume is supposed to be supplemental to your paper resume, not a video representation of it. So don’t just talk about what school you went to, your past experiences, etc. Instead, highlight something interesting about you and how it applies to your work ethic, why you chose the field you are in or what made you excited about this particular company. For instance, if you grew up loving comics as a kid and ended up becoming a graphic designer because of it, you can implement that in your video resume. It’s something interesting the employer doesn’t get from your resume and it applies directly to your passion for your work.

“Show Me the Money”
In response to Vayner’s video, Jay Whitehead, publisher HRO of Today magazine, told him to “show me the money.” He goes on to tell Vayner to show him the clients he made money for and his main piece of advice was to NOT talk about yourself but to have others talk about you. It’s great to give an example of what you’ve done, but have others talk about you. This is a great way to really stand out in your video resume. Perhaps you have a large client that you’ve developed a great business relationship with. It would be a great idea to have them attest to your skills in your video resume. Granted, you only get one minute to convey your message, but they don’t have to talk for long. A simple 10 or 15 second blurb from a client that you worked with is a great way to show off your business skills. Of course, this only works if the person you use is a real professional and someone who really worked with you. It should be a no brainer when I say that what they are saying about you better be true.

Work Samples
If you have physical copies of the work you have done, show them in your video resume. This may only apply to those working in positions such as graphic designer, photographer, designer, etc but it’s a great tool nonetheless. If you can show them your work in your video resume before they even see you in person, it’s only beneficial to you.

Show Your Knowledge of the Company
If you are using your video resume for a particular company, you can show them how you have done your research. Talk about the company a bit and what excited you about the work they do. Much like the second tip, you can use personal information to reiterate why you want to work for this particular company. Perhaps you think the work they do is admirable and you want to be a part of it. Perhaps you have wanted to work for this company for the longest time and you finally have a chance with this job opening. Whatever you do though, don’t lie.

Do you think you would use video resumes to supplement your paper resume? How do you feel about them?

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Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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