Rejection is never an easy pill to swallow. And if you’re feeling burnt out from job application season, it may just be time to change your approach.
It’s time to leverage what other candidates don’t. We’re not talking about rewriting your resume or tailoring it for the millionth time, but simply changing your presentation style!
No, really. One of the easiest ways to stand out from other applicants and the plethora of paper resumes in a hiring manager’s inbox is to send in a video CV.
Never recorded yourself or edited a video before? Don’t sweat it. In this article, we’ll take you through a standard video resume format and the best practices using examples of some excellent ones.
And when you’re feeling ready to edit, keep reading for how you can put together a video resume in minutes with ChopChop’s video-creation tool.
Video Resume Format
The golden rule to create any good video resume is to keep it under 200 words and under 90 seconds. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for hiring managers or a potential employer to get to know you in a short video that creates a lasting impression.
And though the creative possibilities are quite endless, here are a couple of key details you must include as part of the video resume format.
Opening: The first 20 seconds should cover all the standard stuff — a quick introduction containing your name, the role you’re applying for, and your most recent qualification or previous position.
Pitch: The next section is the most important part of the video — the pitch. Most of what you mention here should be things that the hiring manager would never have known had they simply read your paper resume. Be very intentional when you write this section — time to bring out your career highlight reel, not just regurgitate your entire employment history. Here you can pull out all the stops, showcasing your skills by talking through a particular project, or discussing them using specific examples of achievements from your previous work experience. Keep tying these back to the job role and reminding the viewer of what makes you a great fit.
Keywords: While scripting, make sure you include keywords from the job listing into your script. Even if an ATS software won’t be scanning your traditional resume here, the hiring manager will know, they’ve probably written the job post themselves! If you’re feeling stuck on this part, check out our post on scripting a video resume, where we discuss the three types of formats you can try.
Outro: End with a quick reference to what excites you about the company outside the role (like how the company’s values align with your own), a confident call-to-action, and you’re all set. This call-to-action can be as simple as requesting them to contact you — or if you’re feeling extra confident — schedule a video interview.
Video Resume Examples
We know it may feel impossible to create video resumes if you’ve never done it before, especially if you’re not comfortable in front of the camera.
So, let’s go through a real-life video resume example now, see what they got right, and what you can steal. Once you get a sense of how it’s done, time to fake it till you make it!
This video resume is super organised, the candidate appears confident yet friendly, and he ends with a solid call-to-action. Even if you’re not a video engineer, there’s tons of great pointers you can add to your own video resume.
What You Can Steal
Video framing: He uses a stable mid-shot frame with a solid background which isn’t distracting at all. No fancy camera needed, you can achieve this easily by setting up your phone on a stack of books or a shelf, or mount it on a tripod if you’ve got one. And don’t forget to leave extra space in the frame to add graphics later. Your own video footage is the most prominent visual in the video, so make it count.
Audio and background music: His audio is crisp, clear, and the music is upbeat and at the perfect volume to add a touch of personality without taking away from what he’s saying. Your phone should be good enough to capture great audio, as long as you’re in a quiet room with limited background noise. You could also use the mic on your bluetooth earphones or use another phone to record audio. He also uses sound effects to add more emphasis to important points.
On ChopChop’s video-creation tool, it’s easy to find the right backing track and get the right audio balance using just a simple slider.
Real-life examples: Not only does he highlight his areas of interest, skills, and specialisation, he demonstrates them using an example of a real-life combustion engine project. Structuring it like this will also show off your presentation skills.
Confidence and inviting tone: Jakub speaks directly to the camera, smiles often and uses a warm, conversational tone to get his point across. Make sure your delivery is confident yet relaxed, and use your hands to emphasise points where possible. Read your script aloud and change words that sound stiff or overly formal.
Transitions: He has shot the video in multiple takes with transitions to organise each section. Practice each section before recording and be prepared for multiple retakes.
Graphics: He’s got a wide range of graphics and effects to emphasise his points — including titles, images, maps, animations, logos, icons, music, and sound effects.
Call-to-action: He has a very specific call-to-action — inviting the viewer to email him and check out his LinkedIn profile. Make sure to include your contact info at the end.
What You Can Toss
Though it’s a great example to go off, this video resume overshoots our previously mentioned 90 seconds limit, so remember to keep it short and snappy!
The transitions can feel a bit distracting, since there are so many. Add as few transitions as possible. These should be clean and quick, like a simple wipe or slide.
Rather than mentioning how others describe you as he did, display those qualities in the video.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what to aim for, it’s time to shoot and get to the best part of making video resumes – creating the video!
Video Resume Template
Since you’ve chosen to work with the video medium, your visuals are as important as what you’re saying. Carefully chosen graphics can really take your video to the next level, as we saw with Jakub’s video.
We’ve kept our video resume under 90 seconds to cull your talking points down to the best stuff, but it’s just as important to keep the viewer engaged with what’s on the screen.
And you don’t have to get stressed about learning any new skills here as ChopChop’s video-creation tool helps you create videos with ZERO EDITING. Graphics, music, titles, sound effects, stock videos, voiceover – you can add all these and more on ChopChop, an online video editor made especially for newbie video creators.
Create your video resume with these top visual elements to enhance your storytelling and add that extra pizzazz:
Have a simple lower third with your name and qualifications slide in for a few seconds when you first start speaking.
When you’re mentioning a specific company or institution, have their logo pop up for a few seconds. You can also use logos towards the end when you’re giving out your contact information like Jakub did.
Add stock footage and charts where necessary. For example, if you’re talking about how you brought a 10% growth in sales, drive the point home with a line graph. If you’re talking about your management skills, add a related stock footage clip to change up the pace.
For extra emphasis, have the action words or important phrases appear as titles on the side. Use bold fonts and colours to capture the viewer’s attention.
Use transitions to section and organise your video resume. You could even add title cards like ‘Technical Skills’, ‘What I Bring to the Table’ to divide each section and make it extra clear.
Add captions to make your talking points extra memorable and make it an effortless viewing experience for the recruiter.
Now that we’ve given you our top tips on a stand-out video resume format, it’s time to win over recruiters, showcase your personal brand, and clinch your dream job!