Do’s & Don’ts of a Video Resume

How to Prepare

Do: Write a script. If you can recite what you want to say from memory, that is great, but it is not necessary. Writing out what you want to say on paper, placing those pages just below the camera, and then reading the pages will work very well. We have found that reading your script just twice, and then getting in front of the camera, results in a very smooth, professional video resume. We provide free, sample script outlines after you have opened your account. Remember, you will be in front of a camera, SMILE!

Don’t: “Wing it.” If you think that you can just start the camera rolling without any preparation, you are either extraordinarily talented, or wrong. Almost everybody looks and sound better when they have written down what they want to say and practiced it a few times before getting in front of the camera.


The Length


Do: Keep your video short and concise. We strongly suggest that you keep your video under two minutes. Prospective employers don’t have a lot of time, and will not watch a long video. You don’t need to list every accomplishment on your video resume—that is in your written resume. Your video resume is a chance for you to show that you are a professional candidate with good verbal communication skills.

Don’t: Drone on and on.


What to Say


Do: Highlight one or two significant accomplishments from your education and/or work background, and why you are looking for a job. After you have opened your account, we provide a range of sample video resumes and script outlines for you to review before you sit down to write your script. As you will see in our sample videos, there is room to note that you “hit .400 on the company softball team,” so long as the personal comments are short and do not offend.

Don’t: Tell personal stories, jokes, or stray in anyway from the purpose of the video resume—which is to explain why a prospective employer should give you a job. Remember that companies want articulate, professional employees, not class clowns. Even if you have a voice like Frank Sinatra, whatever you do, don’t sing (unless you’re looking for a singing job).


What to Wear


Do: Dress to impress. What would you wear if you have an in-person job interview? That’s what you should wear when shooting your video resume.

Don’t: Dress like you just got out of bed or are going to the beach. No t-shirts, sweatshirts, funky hats, dark glasses, swimsuits, or revealing clothing. IF you are thinking that funky, revealing or unusual attire will make an impression in your video resume, you’re correct, but it’s not the impression you want to project. Let what you say and how you say it differentiate you, not what you wear.


How to Set the Scene


Do: Think about what else is in the frame. Pick a quiet, simple place to shoot your video—in front of a simple painted wall or a curtain is best. Be careful that your clothes are not the same color as your background (this will make your head appear to be “floating”).

Don’t: Shoot your video outside, sitting at a messy desk, or have the TV playing in the background. You want the sole focus to be on you, not what is around you. Also, do not add a “soundtrack.”

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