Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Practice Your Video Resume Part 3: Take it for a Test Drive

Your video resume is an important tool in your job hunting toolbox. It allows you to show off your communication skills, personality, and drive. This is why it’s so important to get it right. There is no second chance to make a first impression, especially when it comes to the hiring process. If you submit a poorly done video resume to hiring managers, you won’t have another chance to impress them.

In this series we’ve been discussing the ways in which practice makes perfect when it comes to video resumes. You don’t just want to point your webcam and take a chance. In part one of our series we discussed the importance of scripting out what you plan to say in your video resume. In part two we discussed using the mirror to work on your body language. After you’ve got the words and the confidence down, it’s time to put it all together.


Now it’s time to take your video resume out for a test drive and see how it handles. This is an important step, because for the first time you’ll see how your practicing has paid off. Are you still a nervous Nelly in front of the camera or did the mirror help you shake off your stage fright? Did you remember everything you wanted to say or did the word “um” creep its way back into your vocabulary? You’ll be able to view how well you’ve progressed by simply playing back your video resume and actually seeing which areas you still might need improvement on.

Test Drive Your Video Resume

Just like anything else, a test run on your video resume is what you make of it. If you record your test run in front of a giant pile of laundry in your zebra print snuggie, you’re not really putting the work in. No matter how confident you are or how well you put together your words, image is the name of the game in a video resume. The image you’re putting forward by not preparing all the way is lazy, and it’ll be hard to shake.

Sure, it might seem silly to “suit up” just to record a test run for your video resume. But, don’t think this way! Silly or not, the point of a trial run is to check all aspects before your final version. This final version is the one that employers, recruiters, and hiring managers are going to be viewing. If you record in the exact conditions you plan to use for your final version, you can look critically at all the elements before moving forward.

For instance, you might think your favorite business attire looks great. Now viewing your trial video resume, you notice your favorite suit jacket seems a little tight on you. If you hadn’t “suited up” for your video resume, you wouldn’t have noticed. Now that you have, you can buy a new jacket that fits you like a glove. After all, you want to look like you care about your appearance in your video resume. Nothing is more glaring on film than unprofessional attire, since it can be so easily fixed. If you look unprofessional, odds are hiring managers are going to think you don’t care and expect this laziness to filter down to your job performance.

Another important aspect of the video resume is staging. The background of your video isn’t important…unless it’s distracting from your message. Don’t record in front of that aforementioned pile of laundry or the room you haven’t cleaned in a year. The busy background will detract from your message. If you’re talking about how organized you are into the camera while the background of your video looks like the before image in a Hoarders intervention, the cognitive dissonance is going to undercut your credibility.

The best staging for a video resume is clean and simple. Solid color walls and bright lighting would be ideal. Don’t record in a dark corner of your room. The point is to see your communication skills and personality. This will be hard if recruiters can’t even see you.

After recording your test run, give it a whirl and see what you think. If you don’t like it? Record it again! The beauty of video is you can record as many times as you need until you have the content and confidence that is sure to snag you the job.

Our next post on practicing will focus on getting feedback on your video resume!

Have test runs helped you perfect your video resume? Let us know!

Image Courtesy of eHow.

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.