Think of your video resume as a mini job interview.
Your clothing, demeanor, language, and subject matter
should be interview-appropriate.

Video Resume Don'ts

Don't mix your personal life with your professional one. If you have information on your Facebook or Twitter page that you'd prefer employers don't see, don't link your video resume to them.

Don't expect your video resume to replace your traditional resume. Not all employers are interested in a video resume, and others are worried about discrimination issues, such as hiring candidates because of how they look and sound rather than their qualifications. However, a well-done video can bolster your candidacy for employment. 

What should you put in a video resume?

Think of your video resume as a mini job interview. Your clothing, demeanor, language, and subject matter should be interview-appropriate. In other words, don’t send a video of yourself surfing unless you’re applying for a job in the surfing world.

Tell a story. A video resume is a great way to showcase something from your background that’s sure to impress the hiring manager, especially if you tell it in the form of a story. If you’re having trouble deciding what to talk about, write an outline detailing your background and think about how your experience is connected. What have you learned in your past that would make you a great fit for this new position?

Be brief. Limit your video resume to no longer than two minutes — anything longer than that is asking too much of the hiring manager. 60-90 seconds is ideal. Read your script out loud, or better yet, record yourself reading the script, and then play back the recording. Hearing the words makes it easier to home in on the most relevant and interesting bits of your background.

Be specific. For a truly compelling video resume, create a custom video for each job you apply to. You’ll be able to point out how your background makes you a perfect fit for that specific job, and you can even work in a line or two about why you want to join the company. For instance, if a job posting says they want someone with project management experience, talk about a project you managed.

Add a call-to-action. End the video with a call-to-action, a sentence or two that spells out the next step and motivates viewers to take it. For example, you might ask the hiring manager to visit your LinkedIn profile to see the rest of your employment history. A good call-to-action makes all the difference between a video that gets results and one that does nothing more than entertain the hiring manager.

Tips for Creating a Video Resume

Be professional: Dress as you would for an interview and maintain a professional demeanor. Avoid slang and, of course, cursing. Be cautious when it comes to jokes. What's funny to you may not make others laugh. 
Find a good background: Pay attention to the background of shots: make sure it looks tidy and that there are no noises in the background. You'll also want to make sure the lighting is good. A shadow across half of your face can be distracting.  

Prepare a script: Don't ad-lib your video. You want to seem natural and off the cuff, but should have a sense of what you want to say and how you want to phrase it. Do not read directly from a script or from your resume, as that leads to a dull video. Think of the video as a pitch for why a particular company should hire you. As such, your main objective should be to express what benefits you'll provide the company, as well as your goals, skills, and accomplishments. 

Know your audience: As you plan your script and filming location, consider who will watch the video and calibrate accordingly. For instance, a video prepared for a position at a bank might differ from a video created for a start-up.

Show, don't tell: Use visuals to illustrate what you're saying in the video script, ones that showcase your talents and skills. For instance, if you're applying for a job where presentations are a significant part of the role, you can film B-roll of yourself assembling a PowerPoint. If any of your presentations were recorded, use that footage in your video resume.

Always keep in mind that once your video is on the internet, you no longer have control over who sees it or how it's shared. Take feedback from friends and family seriously. If they think it's a misfire, do not send the video to potential employers.

Using your video resume to get interviews

Of course, before you can send anyone a link to your video, you’ll need to post it somewhere. YouTube is a popular choice but may not be the best option for video resumes because of the ads and suggested videos that you can’t control. Vimeo and Wistia are more professional-looking options and are designed for business purposes. These tools give you control over your video’s appearance and give you analytics on your video so you’ll be able to see just how viewers are reacting to your video resume — for free.

It’s also always a good idea to include a video about yourself on your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the preeminent business-networking site, and embedding your video in your LinkedIn profile helps get you in front of hiring managers.

You also have the option of emailing the video resume directly to the hiring manager but don’t try this unless you’ve already started a dialogue with that person. Otherwise, the hiring manager will probably pitch out your video without bothering to look at it or even read the email.