What Is A Video Resume?
In our increasingly media-oriented world, some job candidates are starting to create and submit video resumes online. These resumes may help you to get attention since they are searchable on YouTube and other sites, and they can sometimes showcase relevant job skills. The idea behind a video resume is that it can offer more insight than a paper resume. A video resume should not involve you sitting around reading the contents of the paper resume (which you also should have). In many ways it's really more accurately described as a video cover letter since you should be explaining why you're the right candidate and what you can contribute to a company which hires you. As in a cover letter, you can refer to specifics on your resume, but that shouldn't be your primary focus.
How long should a video resume be?
Like your paper resume, the objective is to keep it short. Aim for about one minute, and certainly no longer than two minutes. The worst thing you can do is waste someone's time. Remember that a video resume doesn't replace an interview, and it also won't replace your paper resume, so think of it as more of a "trailer."
A video resume doesn't make sense for professions where it wouldn't be relevant
If you're applying to be a bank teller or a CSR at a department store or so on, there's no reason to submit a video resume. These traditional hiring managers won't understand its purpose. If you're applying for a job in television, radio, internet, or another multimedia outlet, however, a video resume makes a lot of sense. It not only showcases your personality, but also your relevant skills in video editing, camera angles, lighting, script-writing or so forth.
A video resume can be a two-edged sword
On one hand, it can make you stand out to potential employers. On the other hand, standing out can have consequences. There's a pretty fine line between something which gets attention because it's clever and impressive, and something which gets attention for being ridiculous. You have to be careful not to draw the wrong sort of attention to yourself. There's also a danger in being passed over right away because some hiring manager just doesn't like the look of you. While it's true that same person might react similarly in an interview, an interview gives you more control since it allows you a chance to observe the person who is observing you. By doing that you can try to build rapport. A video resume doesn't allow you to develop rapport.
It's okay to have a sense of humor in your video resume (usually that's a good thing in limited quantities), but keep things balanced. Think of how you'd present yourself in an interview face-to-face. Dress professionally, and behave as you would in the office. Make it clear that even though you can have a laugh, you can also take the job very seriously and that you are committed to quality in everything you do.