Here at Spark Hire, we want to help candidates find their dream jobs using the power of online video. We get a lot of questions from readers about how to use online video in their search for a great job. These posts will address those questions about how to find success in your job search.
Question: How do I work references into my video resume? — Matt from Georgia
Good question, Matt! References are an important tool in your job hunting toolbox. They can show the value you’ve brought to your former workplaces and how much you were appreciated by the people you worked for. On a traditional resume, you usually list out a number of references for interested employers to follow up with. But how do you work these same references into your video resume?
Here are a few tips for getting references into your video resume to really impress hiring managers:
In your video resume, you have about 60 seconds to really wow employers with your personality, qualifications, and communication skills. You might think this means you need to spend all 60 seconds talking about your goals and aspirations — or about your well-developed skill set. This, however, isn’t always the case. Employers and hiring managers know a candidate’s work history can tell them a lot about where the candidate is going in the future. If you were a motivated, hard-working employee at your last position, the odds are you will continue this trend in their company.
Use this opportunity to get specific in your video resume. Mention concrete examples of how you’ve brought value to a former workplace or helped a colleague to complete a project. Give examples of the times you have gone over and above to get the job done. While giving these much needed concrete examples of how you’ve brought value in the past, make sure to mention the names of several references who will back up your examples and maybe even add instances of their own you haven’t considered.
Your video resume is your time to shine. It’s one of the few times and places where it is not only socially acceptable to brag about yourself, it’s actually fairly necessary. You want the company to know why they should hire you and why you’re the perfect candidate for the job.
Ask one of your references to write you a character reference letter and then read it on camera. You only have 60 seconds, so you don’t want to spend the whole time just reading a character reference letter, no matter how good. Read the section which best applies to the job at hand and then make the rest of the character reference letter available to the hiring manager. This is a great way to show your value to others.
If you can, nothing makes a better impression than seeing a reference in person. If one of your references agrees to appear with you on camera, this will show employers just how valued you are. Now instead of reading a character reference letter aloud, employers can see your reference. Have them show up on screen to briefly state why you’re a great employee and why you would be perfect for the job. In a short time frame, you will be able to express just how important you are to your reference and how much value you could bring to a new company.
Share Lessons Learned
No employee is an island. You’ve learned much in your career, no matter what level you currently reside, from the coworkers, bosses, and teachers you’ve had. Don’t keep these lessons to yourself, share what you’ve learned in your video resume.
Name one of your references and let employers know what they’ve taught you about being a better employee. Not only is this a great way to work a reference into your video resume, it also shows you are willing to learn from others and acknowledge good advice.
Reading a character reference letter, reliving an example of how you’ve added value, having a reference show up on screen, and sharing a lesson you’ve learned are all good ways to include references in your video resume. Just because you can’t list all your references out for employers like in a traditional resume, doesn’t mean they should be missing from your video version.
Do you have a question you need answered? Spark a conversation with the Spark Hire team by submitting your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below.