How to make a video resume: Top tips and inspiration

Applying for a job with a video resume is a great way to make yourself stand out from the hundreds of other candidates. But it has to be engaging if you want to impress.
How to make a video resume

Hunting for a job is all about standing out. With the ability to search and apply for jobs online, one position could get hundreds of applicants. If you want a chance to get called for an interview, then you need to leave a good impression on the employer.

One way to distinguish yourself from the other candidates is with a video resume. Creating a video lets you show some of your personality, as well as your skills and experience. In this guide, we’ll give you some of our top tips for making a video resume, plus excellent examples of video resumes to help inspire you.

But first, what is a video resume and why should you make one?

What is a video resume?

A video resume is a short video clip of a job candidate seeking employment, in which they give a brief overview of their skills and relevant experience. A video resume, like a paper resume, highlights what makes you stand out and why you’re suited to the position you’re applying for.

A paper resume is a quick snapshot of you as a potential hire, and most hiring managers won’t spend more than six seconds glancing it over. A video resume should be similarly short and to the point — anything longer than two minutes will lose your audience’s attention.

You can use a video resume as a supplement to a paper resume, to make yourself stand out from the competition. They’re especially useful in creative professions to show off your presentation skills and creative talents.

Why would you need a video resume?

A video resume provides much deeper insight into you than a piece of paper ever could. Hiring managers schedule interviews with potential candidates to get a sense of their personalities by speaking with them face-to-face (or over video call for remote interviews).

By making a video resume, you provide a peek into who you are and how you communicate the very first time the hiring manager sees your name. A video resume makes you memorable.

In addition to distinguishing yourself from the hundreds of other applicants, you can use a video resume to show off performance-based skills. Acting, teaching, and presenting are all on display with a solid video resume. If you’re applying for a client-facing role, such as a salesperson, a video resume can also show how well you do with people.

While a video resume can have a positive impact on your application process, a poorly done video can tank your chances of getting a callback. If you want your video resume to catch an employer’s attention — in a good way — then you need to do it right.

How to make a good video resume: 8 tips

Want to make a video resume that employers will take note of? We have some top video resume tips for you, so your video shines rather than crashes and burns.

1. Write a script

You invest some time into creating the perfect paper resume, so you shouldn’t expect to finish your video resume in one take. You can make the process easier by writing a script. Take the highlights from your existing resume and put them in narrative form. Mention your relevant skills and why they’d be valuable to the company.

Next, mention previous experience. Include hard numbers when you can — you oversaw a team of twenty people, contributed to a 60% boost in sales, etc. Talk about your education if you think it’s important as well. Finally, rehearse and fine-tune your script. Make any adjustments so that it flows naturally while you’re speaking.

2. Tell your story

A video resume gives you a chance to do something a paper resume can’t: tell a story. With a paper resume, a hiring manager attempts to piece together a whole person from the text on a page. A video resume allows you to share something from your background that connects with the employer.

Put your skills and experience into context by creating a story around them. Don’t make a video that is simply rattling off a list of achievements.

3. Keep it brief

Video resumes shouldn’t take up too much of the hiring manager’s time. You’re not going after views on YouTube, you’re presenting your candidacy for employment. Keep the video to between sixty and ninety seconds, and definitely don’t let it pass two minutes.

You can get your timing down by recording yourself practicing your script and cutting out parts that seem extraneous.

4. Provide a CTA

At the end of your video resume, let the viewers know what they should do next. How can they follow up with you? Do you have a portfolio website they can visit or a LinkedIn profile to look at?

If you post your video on a platform like YouTube, rather than sending a video file directly to the hiring manager, you can include a link in the description.

5. Use good lighting

If you want your resume video to look professional, you need decent lighting. You don’t need a high-tech camera, as long as you light your video properly. Avoid standing under direct lighting, as this casts harsh shadows over your face. Take advantage of natural lighting when you can, by sitting in front of a window with the camera between you and the window.

A common video lighting setup includes a key light, fill light, and back light. Using three lights helps ensure you remove any shadows. You can read more about how to pull off excellent video lighting in our guide.

6. Select reliable audio and video sources

For a higher-quality video, use an external mic and camera. Your video will look decent with a standard webcam and good lighting, but you can upgrade to a DSLR camera if you want top-notch quality.

For a microphone, you can choose a standing/shotgun mic or a lav mic. Standing mics are typically either USB, which plug directly into your computer, or XLR, which requires an audio interface to use. You don’t want anything in your video to distract from you as the main focus. So using a clip-on or lav mic might be a better choice than a standing mic.

7. Boost your on-camera confidence

If being on camera is unfamiliar territory for you, then take the time to rehearse and build your confidence. Practice your script in front of a mirror, noting your body language and facial expressions. Remember to keep your posture upright, try to relax your neck muscles, and hold your shoulders back.

The day you shoot the video, get a good night’s sleep so you don’t look tired, and drink plenty of water. When filming, look into the camera, so it appears as though you’re making eye contact with the viewer. Wear something you would normally wear to an interview as well.

For more tips on preparing and building confidence on camera, check out our guide.

8. Make a professional video resume

Of course, you want your video resume to look professional. An external mic, webcam, and good lighting are a great start, but you can also use webcam software to add more professional quality to your video.

With Restream Studio, you get all the power of webcam software without having to download an app or program. Our browser-based live streaming solution lets you switch to “record-only” mode, so you use all of the Studio’s awesome features — like custom graphics, playing local videos, screen sharing, and copyright-free background music — to create a polished video resume.

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Awesome video resume examples

Need some inspiration for your video resume? These examples provide some excellent ideas for how to pull off your own video.

“The Interview Thingy” – VIDEO CV

In this video, Alex structures her CV more like a job interview, portraying both herself and an “interviewer” who asks her questions about her experience. She incorporates voiceover, animation, and photos but manages to make a simple, entertaining, and informative resume video.

Short Video Resume by Saji Nair

In a 90-second video, job-seeker Saji Nair presents herself, her experience, and her related skills and then sums up why a company should hire her. She keeps the video professional with a plain white background and good lighting.

Graeme Anthony

In an intro video to his CV, Graeme Anthony gives a quick explanation as to why he’s making a video rather than doing a paper CV. At the end, he includes links to his important information, including an “About Me” page, a portfolio, a skills page, a timeline, and contact information.

CV Video - Aurora Puriqi

Aurora Puriqi’s CV video is engaging and informative, as she gives a full rundown of her prior experiences, complete with images and videos of her old projects. She presents her experience as voiceover narration, on her way to an interview, which breaks up the monotony of her just talking about her experiences.

Motion Graphics – CV

Kristiyan Despodov took a different approach to a video CV by showcasing his design skills. He’s created more of a portfolio video than a CV, which is an excellent choice for someone in a creative field like graphic design.

Best Video CV Ever – Mark Leruste

Mark Leruste’s funny CV video has a conversational tone and uses lots of engaging visuals to keep you hooked as he’s talking about his experiences, interests, and skills.

Let’s wrap up

Making a video resume rather than a traditional paper one can get you noticed by hiring managers. If you’re in a creative field, you can also showcase relevant skills by presenting a video. If you stick to our video resume tips, you should be able to create an engaging, informative video. And if you use Restream Studio to make your video, you can take advantage of all our great features to ensure your video is high-quality and professional. Good luck on the job hunt!

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