DO’s and DON’Ts of Video Resumes

I must admit I may be a little behind, but the concept of using video resumes is very new to me! While searching for information on, I stumbled upon an article discussing the Do’s and Don’ts of Video Resumes, and I just HAD to check it out. First of all, I needed to know what a video resume was all about.

When you register for an account with (which I highly recommend), you can post your own video resume introduction. Basically, a video resume introduction (a.k.a. video resume) is a short video created by a candidate that describes the individual's education, experience, skills and qualifications. A video of this type can be used when applying for an internship, and is typically a supplement to a traditional resume. (Notice: This is only a supplement for your traditional, written resume.)

It's important to keep in mind that a video resume isn't going to get you an internship – only you can do that. It can assist you in marketing yourself for prospective internships—if it's done right. If it’s done poorly, it can hurt your chances of securing an internship. So, only post a video resume if it’s high quality. Your video resume, even if it’s well done, won’t help you unless you also submit a high-quality written resume. In most cases, you must attract attention by communicating your value through traditional means, which includes a strong written resume.

Before you start working on your video resume, take the time to review this video resume sample on the website, and take a look at other resume videos. Be sure to consider both what works for you and the internship you want, and what doesn't. Also, refer to these Do’s and Don’ts directly from the website:

If you know your video is Internet-bound, there are a few things you can do when you are shooting to make it look better on a computer screen and make video compression a simple process. The less a video changes frame to frame, the easier video compression becomes. The following tips will help your video look better online.

Do’s of Video Resumes:
• Dress in professional business attire, just as you would for an interview.
• Keep your video resume short, no more than 1-3 minutes in total length.
• Look directly into the camera.
• Remember to smile.
• Prepare and practice what you are going to say ahead of time so that you speak easily and clearly without interruptions.
• Watch your video and edit it so that is showcases you in the best way.

Video Setup:
• When possible, shoot your video on a tripod or from another solid surface or use your webcam.
• Use enough lighting. Computer screens tend to make videos look darker, so added brightness can improve image quality.
• The video should be a close-up (headshot or head to waist) – don’t target too large an area – this will enable good video compression and look best.
• Film against a solid color surface – no floral or wild prints behind you and get rid of any clutter.
• Want to know what to say in your video resume? Read these tips.

Don’ts of Video Resumes:
• Don’t speak too fast.
• Don’t chew gum.
• Don’t wear too much makeup.
• Don’t gesture with your hands too much, that is distracting.
• Avoid using the words: “like, “ “um,” or “ah” too often in your video – if you are about to use one of these, just pause for a moment and then resume talking.
• Make sure there isn’t background noise while filming (like music, talking, phones).
• Don’t mix your personal life with your professional. If you have information on your MySpace or Facebook page that you’d prefer employers don’t see, don’t link your video resume to those locations.
• Don’t expect your video resume to replace your traditional resume. Some employers don’t utilize video resumes due to concerns about discrimination issues, i.e. hiring candidates because of how they look and sound rather than based on their qualifications. However, a well done video can boost your chances when done well.

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