Staffing Stardom

Dear Anita,

I have been on the hunt for employment opportunities and recently I have seen a number of people submitting video resumes to potential employers. I have a great resume and cover letter that I send when applying for open positions. While looking for a new position, should I invest the time and money to create a video resume?

Dear Camera Shy Colleague,

Great question! Many of you are probably looking for the next up-and-coming way to promote yourself in today’s job market. Nowadays, a plain old paper resume and cover letter may not be enough to WOW the technology-savvy and time-constricted employers looking to fill their positions.

So what is the big deal with video resumes? First, they are a great way to get one step ahead of the competition! In a very short amount of time, without having the employer even pick up the phone or read a page or two, they can get a clear view of how you communicate, your professional presence, and a plethora of other information…You know how they say a picture says a thousand words, imagine what your own personalized video short can be saying. My friends over at The Select Family of Staffing Companies were ahead of the curve by being the first national staffing firm to introduce video resumes to their candidates. Many Select locations offer this service for free! The possibilities are infinite! With that said, there is a right way and a very wrong and incorrect way to get this done.

A few quick tips:

• Dress professionally. That means: business attire. Dress shirts, sweaters, ties for men. No low-cut tops or plunging necklines (be remembered for your brains not your bust). All clothing must be clean and pressed.  You don’t want any wrinkles to slow you down on your path to employment. No excess piercings or visible body art.

• Make your interview short and sweet. Limit it to 3 minutes maximum. The employer isn’t looking for a 30-plus minute screening of your personal documentary. Get to the point – why you are the perfect candidate!

• Make sure you are in a quiet, businesslike environment when filming your video. That means: solid background, steady camera or web cam, and little-to-no background noise. Put away the pets and turn off all cell phones and unnecessary electronics.

• Rehearse what you’re going to say. Do not read right from your resume. Most employers can do that for themselves. Unless you are a master at editing and compiling video footage, you will not want there to be any awkward stops, rewinds, or re-records. It is ideal to have a smooth video with no re-takes. Knowing what you are going to say will make those 1-3 minutes fly by and glide smoother than glass.

• Right away, thank the potential employer for their time and introduce yourself. You want the employer to know exactly who you are. By stating your name clearly and with conviction, you demand the attention of your audience.

• Now that you have their attention, hold it tight…. with a death grip. Share your goals for the future, explain why you are the catch of the century, and show them why you are different and more interesting than the other people in the pack.

• Give them zero reasons why they should pass you up! Discuss why you are the perfect fit for said position and what you can do for the company that hires you. Show your enthusiasm and what drives you to succeed. Most importantly, share what you will do to drive success and productivity in the new position.

• Thank the employer again for viewing your resume. Restate your name clearly and confidently, and insert contact information at the end of the wicked cool video.

Have any of you made a video resume? If so, how were they accepted?

Thanks for reading,


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. NC Coot
    May 01, 2012 @ 18:07:23

    Thanks, Anita! Great info!

    Actors are often asked to submit video auditions now. And there are individuals/companies who are excellent at providing both coaching and digitalized presentations. If you live in near a major metropolitan area, Google “actor reels” and you should be able to find these services. Prices can be “range-y,” but as Sandra correctly points out, there are many pitfalls, and good producers know how to avoid them. They are often worth the money.



    • Sandra Dashiell
      May 02, 2012 @ 11:00:00

      At some point you are going to be face to face without your producer and other assistance. If the original does not match the produced image, a person could be in for a world of hurt. Not to mention out time, money, and self esteem.



      • NC Coot
        May 03, 2012 @ 12:07:37

        My point was that a good producer will get the real you recorded.

        I only offer the advice as that now fully one half of my auditions are recorded. And I’ve read that the business world is trending this way to save money on recruitment visits.

        Yes, the face-to-face is eventual if you make it that far, but if this trend continues, it’s worth investigating and having a good, professional, truthful product.



  2. Marcus von
    May 01, 2012 @ 14:29:34

    This idea may be good for a few professions such as legal but I wouldn’t advise it for a waitress. Nevertheless, whatever gets you ahead sounds like the proper thing to do. It has to come from inside..



  3. Otis wilkins
    May 01, 2012 @ 12:37:51

    I would like to apply for the job but,what steps should i take to apply for the job?



  4. Marie
    May 01, 2012 @ 11:08:59

    This video resume thing can really backfire. I used to be a corporate video producer …that means that my subjects were corporate people – mostly department directors and higher ups on the food chain. Even they were terrible in front of the camera. Most people needed inumerable takes even after several dry runs and coaching by me and the director. Then they would look at the last take just to say they didn’t like it (how they looked, what they said, the sound of their voice, mannerisms, etc.). Overall, it was a pretty painful process.

    I would hate to see someone who ventured into a video resume to be screened out because they were awkward in front of the camera. (…And there is nothing more uncomfortable than watching awkwardness on camera.) It may be the lates thing, but can sooooo easily backfire. Let’s face it – most people are NOT naturals in front of the camera.

    I will, however, give credit public relations and sales professionals. They consistently “performed well” …probably due to media training and comfort with public speaking/ pitching.

    If this visual direction was such a great idea, why were peple not including a headshot (picture) on resumes years ago? So they would not de discriminated against??



    • anitaclew
      May 03, 2012 @ 12:05:18

      In my opinion, I discourage the use of headshot photographs on all resumes, unless you are applying to be the next Brad Pitt or Meryl Streep. It is illegal to discriminate and base your hire off of a photograph (as a still photograph only shows the appearance of the applicant and nothing more while a video shows the person’s character and communication skills – acceptable traits on which to select a candidate), but why tempt fate? However, a video resume will help a candidate stand out from the crowd, provide a sneak preview as to who they are, and give a clearer insight into their hiring potential. I personally feel that with rehearsal and preparation anyone can make a great video resume that will help them land a fantastic job. Some companies like TalentRooster give job seekers the option of making the video at home — taking away the embarrassment and stage fright some people may experience.

      Thanks for your input!



      • csywang
        May 03, 2012 @ 12:50:10

        You mention that these agencies are able to give enough training and coaching to make a positive video for anyone’s resume. I don’t necessarily believe this because some people are naturally uncomfortable in front of a camera, just like how some people weren’t born to speak publically.

        What makes someone a good accountant or scientist doesn’t necessarily make them at ease in front of a camera and if employers have to pass judgement on that, I think it can jepordize your chance of getting a resume in the end. Personally, I think this method of screening works for some industries, but wouldn’t work for the majority.



  5. Sandra Dashiell
    May 01, 2012 @ 08:56:21

    Unless the camera is very kind to you, I wouldn’t do one. In the vital first few seconds before you start speaking, you could be out of contention. People shouldn’t be judged by their cover but it happens. If you are an older worker with a few wrinkles and sags or a bit over weight…..



    • csywang
      May 02, 2012 @ 07:18:10

      I agree with Sandra. Wasn’t it not too long ago that we were debating pictures on resumes? and now we are scrapping the text all-together? I wonder how many of us can act… Here are some points to remember before investing your time in a video resume:



      • anitaclew
        May 03, 2012 @ 12:06:32

        A video resume would go alongside your standard text resume and cover letter. It is just supplemental material to help you stand out from the crowd and give you a leg up on the competition. Just to note, it is illegal for employers to select a candidate solely based off of a picture on a resume. This is why it is highly discouraged. Video resumes give employers the opportunity to get a feel of who you are before spending your time and theirs during the interview process.

        Thanks for the input!



  6. pravinchn
    May 01, 2012 @ 08:27:06

    Reblogged this on pravinchn.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
%d bloggers like this: