Fun Resume Activity
Something Fun and Different: The Video Resume
Take a playful detour to a traditional step in the job process
During this pandemic, it is easy to drown ourselves in despair with everything that has been affected. International trade wars. Devastating deaths. Trashed economies.
Unemployment is at an all-time high with companies in all sectors going into either hiring freezes or lay-offs, forcing millions back into the job market.
Society often try to console us by saying, “Keep going. Companies are still hiring.” or “This will be over soon enough.” or “Stay diligent and optimistic.”
As someone who has been through long-term unemployment, I know these words are easier said than done, especially as we become more exhausted from the whole process as time goes on.
Thankfully, while I was suffering from job-hunting misery, one of my best friends gave me some incredible advice.
“Go do something fun, will you?” I love her bluntness.
And it is so true.
Fun activities keep us emotionally afloat. They allow us to lighten up, see the good within the bad, and hope for the future.
Yet, we still want to be productive, don’t we?
How do we be productive in the job search process and still have massive fun?
Well, one way is to turn our traditional paper resumes into videos.
Previously, video resumes have mostly been used for more visually creative roles, but with LinkedIn permitting us to upload media into our profiles, I say, “Why not?”
Making a video resume accomplishes several things:
- If we are not videographers, then we learn something new.
- It urges us to escape the regular mundane job search routine while still being productive.
- We can exploit our creativity, personality, and ingenuity that we cannot express on paper or profiles.
- We can exercise show-don’t-tell with storytelling about ourselves.
- We can make it into a fun friend-and-family activity.
- We can make ourselves more visible and memorable to recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn.
So what do we need?
If you have professional equipment, then all the more power to you.
But these days, we do not need it to create quality videos. In fact, overproduced video may not be seen as genuine. This does not mean we should make a TikTok selfie video either.
Go on YouTube and we will find tons of instructional clips on how to create videos on a budget.
We need at least the minimum:
- Camera. Smartphones. Bam.
- Microphone. Lapel or shotgun microphones cost less than $10.
- Lighting. Try natural lighting and table lamps first to see how they work out before investing in something like a ring light.
- Background. Backdrop if you cannot find good locations with good scenes.
- Editing Software. Now, even PowerPoint has video editing capabilities. If not, Garage Band, iMovie, and OpenShot are free options for major editing.
That should do it (I would have also added tripod, but if there is a good table or other surface to place the camera, that would do too).
Aside from the hardware, the more important stuff we need is the content.
Points to Include
Approaching this from a screenwriting perspective, I have a few ideas about making an attractive video resume.
Nonetheless, I figure it would not hurt to do a little research to see what has already been said.
After reviewing several website, I have to say that although I agree on some points, I was not impress with some of the examples they highlighted.
So here is my two-cents:
- Be professional. This one goes without saying. This is LinkedIn, not Match.com. Approach this like we are going to the job interview.
- Match the target industry and audience. Know the business culture of our target industries. If the industry normally wears suits-and-ties, make sure the tone of the video reflects that environment. However, if the industry is more…puckish…then suits-and-ties will feel out-of-place.
- Outline a script or storyboard. Outlining is part of the planning stage. Most of us have probably watched behind-the-scenes footage of films in which we see filmmakers hand-draw storyboards of what each scene should look like on screen and observed actors rehearsing their lines off a script. As a screenwriter, I definite recommend a script. If that is not your style, at least outline the points we want to mention. This include ordering when we want to express certain points. That is a fabulous start. Keep in mind to be flexible though, as what feels right in an outline does not always turn out the way we want on screen and would need to be edited.
- Show our faces and tell our stories to the camera. If we make a video, do NOT make a slide show video. It is not personable. The reason we create the video is to show the part of us that cannot be projected from paper. Showing our faces and talking to the viewers allow us to connect with them as human beings.
- Display footage of us actually doing the work. Another purpose of the video is not only to present our personality, but to also demonstrate that we know what we are doing and how we do things. So ask a friend or setup a tripod to take footages or still pictures of us actually doing the work and producing finished masterpieces, creating a portfolio, so to speak.
- Incorporate information slides. This does not mean we cannot have occasional information slides with just words and graphs. They add variety.
- Reveal hobbies or interests. Speaking of variety, hobbies and interests can also be mentioned if there is enough time left. These things make us more well-rounded.
- Be brief. As people know, everyone’s attention span is gradually decreasing, so videos should be from 30 seconds to 2 minutes long.
Throughout the process, have friends and family offer ideas and feedback. We may have lived our lives, but sometimes it is those who care about us who knows us best.
So once we achieved a rough cut of our videos, get some popcorn and screen test it. When everyone applauds, it is ready to be released to the closest LinkedIn profile near us.
It may not be Oscar-winning material (or could it?), but to the recruiters, hiring managers, and us, it just might be the blockbuster all of us are searching for.