Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Practice Your Video Resume Part 1: Get Scripting

When we were younger, all we did was practice. We would practice an instrument for our recitals, practice for a big sports event, and even all our studying was just practicing to do well on exams. As we grow older, it’s easy to let preparation slip. We all live such busy lives and sometimes it feels like there’s just no time.

The search for the perfect job, however, rewards preparation. If you step into an interview without the least bit of work beforehand, your odds of getting the job just decreased. Video resumes are no different, even though it’s not a live face-to-face interaction. The purpose of video resumes isn’t to point your webcam and say whatever comes to mind. Profile Videos are selling you and your unique talents to hiring managers. This is much easier to do if you look poised, polished, and put together.

After all, according to a study by UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian body language accounts for 55 percent of a first impression. If you’re a nervous, stuttering mess in the video resume the odds of landing that coveted interview certainly aren’t in your favor. Employers will see your nervous sweat in the video and assume you crumble under pressure. If your video presents a confident, well-spoken candidate, however, you can expect to progress to the next stage.

Looking and sounding good in your video resume isn’t an accident. There are some handy tips that can help even the most nervous Nellie turn into a confident superstar. These tips all start and end with preparation.

This is the first blog in a series that delves into some practical video resume preparation tips. Watch the Spark Hire blog for the other installments and get practicing!

Script the Perfect Ending

You might associate writing a script with the movies, where scripts form the backbone of some of your favorite films. In this case, look at scripting your video resume like you’re writing a biography of yourself. If this was a film it would be called “how you got your dream job” and you would be the star.

It’s easy to see video resumes as a way to save time on the painstaking process of writing and rewriting the traditional resume. You just point and shoot and the resume is in the can! This could not be farther from the truth. A good video resume requires preparation and forethought. No hiring manager wants to watch a video of your stream of consciousness rambling.

Scripting out what you’d like to say in your video resume is a simple and elegantly effective solution to the verbal confusion that can trip up an otherwise qualified candidate. Think of what sets you apart from the pack and what makes you the perfect candidate for the position. Put these points at the top of your script while writing so you don’t forget to include important information in your video resume that could snag you the job.

Just like the traditional resume isn’t ten pages, don’t make your video resume script the length of the average movie playing in theaters. Like a good paper resume, a good video resume is concise, clear, and to the point. Don’t waste time describing one project you excelled at in painstaking detail. Summarize your accomplishments and hit on the major reasons you would be perfect for the position. After all, they say brevity is the soul of wit and that could not be truer for your video resume.

Once you’ve scripted out a concise and effective pitch for hiring managers and recruiters, it’s time to get memorizing! Looking nervous and stumbling over your words looks bad on your video resume, but obviously reading a script looks no better. Hiring managers will not be impressed if they see you reading off your own version of a teleprompter. Instead rehearse and memorize what you’ve written and repeat it until you’ve got it down cold and can recite it freely and conversationally.

If you mess up in your lines in the video resume, don’t be discouraged. You might have worked hard to memorize like an actor, but your video resume isn’t a play. Remember, if your video isn’t going the way you planned you can always re-record to ensure you put your best foot forward. The lines you rehearsed were bullet points about your qualifications that needed mentioning. If you need to go “off script” at any point in your video resume and you’re feeling confident about doing so, go for it. The script is there to help you remember the reasons you are the perfect candidate for the job. Thanks to your script you know what to say and now you can focus on appearing poised, confident, and composed.

Our next post on practicing for your video resume will focus on the man (or woman) in the mirror!

Do you find scripts helpful in making your video resume? Share with us!

Image Courtesy of ScreenWritingForHollywood

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writers career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Connect with Heather and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.