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 achieve proper lighting in my video resume? -Patricia from Cheyenne
Thank you for your question, Patricia. Often times, job seekers forget to think about lighting when they are preparing to record a video resume. Unfortunately, that can be the make-it or break-it factor in their application. Having proper lighting shows that you pay attention to detail and reviewed your video resume before you sent it out to employers. Proper lighting is an important part of getting your message across to employers in a video resume. After all, if they can’t see you then how will they be able to watch your video resume and pick up on your personality, body language and passion?
Furthermore, a poorly lit video resume will make it difficult for an employer to take you seriously since they deduce that you did not take the time to properly light your space. That can come off as lazy or apathetic to an employer- two impressions you do not want to leave. A poorly lit space can be one that is either too dark or too light. If you have a light directly behind you shining into the employer’s eyes, they will probably be highly distracted and the bright light will hurt their eyes. That usually signals an automatic “next!” If the space is too dark then they will have to strain to see you and that will likely birth the same response: “next!” So how do you achieve the proper lighting in your video resume?
For starters, reference the standard three-point lighting rule for video. This rule states that you should have three lights on you from three different directions: from the front, left side and right side. Take a look at this visual for a firm example. Avoid placing a light behind you because that could be very distracting and give off terrible light. The best way to be sure you are exhibiting proper lighting is to test it out before you record a video resume. Try out different lighting set-ups and ask your friends and family which works best.
The three-point rule works best, but if you can’t get that set-up for some reason, then play with the lights you have in your room. Turn on the room’s overhead light and a desk light. Turn on your webcam and see what it looks like. Do you need more light? Is it just right? Playing with the different lights is key to finding the perfect combination. Just be sure you can be seen and that the image is clear.
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