Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Practice Your Video Resume Part 2: Mirror Mirror

Good video resumes aren’t a fluke. As a job seeker, you don’t just turn on your webcam, record the first thing that comes to mind, and score the perfect job. Maybe in our dreams the hunt for a great job would be that easy. Unfortunately, we live in reality where practice makes perfect and the best jobs go to the candidates that work the hardest. 

In the first part in our series on video resume preparation we discussed the use of scripting for a good video resume. After all, what we say is important and how we say it is even more so. Scripting allows you to go into your video resume with confidence, knowing exactly what main points you’ll be hitting to stress your qualifications.

Knowing the right words isn’t the whole picture. The purpose of video is to personalize your candidacy and to showcase your communication skills. After all body language accounts for 55 percent of a first impression. It’s a statistic mentioned in the last blog post because of its importance to the job hunt. Whether you’re recording a video resume or taking part in an interview (either through video or in person) body language is key.

The Man (or Woman) in the Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the best job candidate of all? If you’re twitchy, sweaty or prone to nervous ticks the answer is probably not you. No matter how qualified you are, a candidate overly nervous in their video resume will probably get a pass from recruiters and hiring managers.

Why is that? The reasoning is pretty straightforward: candidates nervous in their video resumes may come off looking weak. Not that it’s true, but they’re going to expect your performance in your interview to be an example of how you’ll perform in the job. If you can’t even deal with the pressures of the hiring process, their reasoning goes, how will you deal with the pressures of the job?

This is why it’s especially important to appear poised and confident in your video resume. The problem is most of us can’t see our biggest weakness: our nonverbal communication. Yep, we are talking about our body language! You might play with your hair, toy with jewelry or use your hands to do more than 90 percent of the speaking for you. These behaviors most likely go unnoticed by you, but they won’t be unnoticed by hiring managers viewing your video resume.

This is why the mirror should become your new best friend. Like the mirror in Snow White, your mirror might initially be telling you some things you don’t want to hear. You, however, are not a wicked witch and you can take the criticism. The only way to improve is to understand what it is you need to work on. The mirror will be your useful helper in that regard.

By now, you’ve made your video resume script and you’ve got it down cold. You’d be the envy of any Hollywood actor. Now it’s time to get as familiar with the nonverbal side of your video resume. Repeat your resume script in front of the mirror and be critical of what you see. Do you have good eye contact? Are you fidgeting? Do you look nervous? Has your eye contact gone from good to kind of serial killer-y now? These are all important nonverbal cues that will, whether you want them to or not, be making an impression.

Once you know what you need to work on, continue working with your good friend the mirror until you’ve got yourself to a place where you feel comfortable. Remember that the key to a good video resume is to be poised, confident, and personable. You want to seem friendly, like a person the company would want hanging around the office. Most importantly, you want to seem in control and ready for anything. Confidence is key for this and knowing what nonverbals are undercutting your message is essential for projecting this confidence. Once you get the job, you can thank your mirror.

Our next post on practicing will focus on taking your video resume out for a test drive!

Do you find the mirror helpful for projecting confidence? Share with us!

Image Courtesy of Making Excellent Disciples.

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.