You can use video to promote anything, even you. Yes, you can use video to promote YOU. In your job search. In our current tough times of high unemployment, you have to do everything you can to yourself apart. At the same time, video in job search is getting quite popular, so you must set your video apart from others as well. Here are some tips to do that.
The best way to set yourself apart is to be professional. Even if money is a little tight right now, there are some simple, no-cost ways to produce your video that will set yourself apart from others. The first being, as I always say, use an external microphone. Do not use camera mic if you can help it. But if you must use camera mic, please follow these guidelines: be as close to the mic as you can and still look framed well onscreen. Be in a quiet place; no outside noises (like trains or construction) or inside noises (like kids or the vacuum). Be well lit. No one wants to watch someone sitting in the dark. They want to see your face. Speak up and speak clearly. If you feel your audio recorded too low, be careful raising the level in your editing program. That will also raise the level of the room noise, and that air conditioner you can barely hear before will become magnified.
Also keep the length to 3-4 minutes. You can play this by ear to a point. But if you go much longer, you better be pretty daggone engaging. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES do a 10 minute video. NO ONE will watch it.
The goal of your video is not to get a job. Yes, I said it. The goal of your video is NOT to get a job. (Neither is your resume, in case you didn’t know that.) This is NOT your resume on video. If you just duplicate your resume on video, the intended audience can read through the paper version faster than watch a video.
Now on to the content
The content of your video is the story behind your resume. Share that story. If you’ve done some impressive stuff in your career, and your resume just says “Saved the company $1,000,000”, tell the story behind how you did that. Remember to be brief.
Another point could be to offer a testimonial from a co-worker or boss. You could record them and put it in the video, but you would have to have the skills to do that. You can just say, “After working on the Ajax project, my co-worker Mary Smith told me how impressed she was about how I handed that objection from George.” Of course, make this a true testimonial. Expect it to be followed up on and that manager to contact Mary. So you better not be lying.
Talk about your community outreach activities, whether personal or professional. Highlight special projects. Tell how you turned an interest into a hobby and that hobby into a living. Do some research on the company (you are already anyway, right?) to find out about their corporate culture. Then tell a story about an experience that relates to that culture. This shows the viewer how you would fit right in with them.
This is NOT an interview on video. The goal of this video is to GET the interview. So if you give all the pertinent facts in the video, there’s no reason for them to ask you to come in. Put information in the video that makes them want to know more about the story, to get to know you better.
Have you ever been so nervous in an interview you knew that was why you didn’t get the job? Well video is the answer for you! Role-play on video. Have a friend pretend to be the manager and interview you. The first advantage to getting this on video is you can see how you are projecting yourself. Secondly, you’ve been practicing interviewing, so when it comes time for the real thing, you will be much more relaxed, knowing what to expect and how to answer it.
Another advantage is that you are taking control of the conversation. Even if you’re nervous in interviews, having sent a video on ahead of you will give that manager a glimpse into the real you. They’ll see the cool, calm, collected you before you come in to their office. Your expertise will shine because you’re in your comfort zone.
I’ve done a few presentations about using video in your job search and have found an example on Youtube that I absolutely love. I play it every time I do this presentation. It blows me away how many truly bad videos people are doing for their job search. Please check out my Youtube channel. I have a playlist of job search videos, good and bad, that you can look at for inspiration. I hope you like this video. (I did not produce this.)
So have you used video in a job interview? How’d it go? I would also encourage you to check out my other posts on video production. There are a lot of details to pay attention to when making a video that are important to making a good video, but that wasn’t my purpose for this post.
If you have any questions or would like some more tips on using video in your job search, I look forward to hearing from you.