FUN RESUME ACTIVITY
UPDATED ON 12/27/2021
When writer’s block sets in for the classic resume, take a playful detour and wow hiring managers with a video resume.
During this pandemic, it is easy to drown ourselves in despair with everything that has been affected. International trade wars. Devastating deaths. Trashed economies.
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 as time goes on without success.
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.
She always holds sound advice whenever I need a kick.
Believe it or not, fun activities do indeed keep us emotionally afloat. They allow us to lighten up, see the good within the bad, and hope for the future.
And we can have massive fun that is massively productive.
Well, one way is to turn our classic 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:
- Non-videographers learn something new.
- It transforms a mundane job search routine into an entertaining and productive project.
- It exploits our creativity, personality, and ingenuity that we cannot express on paper or profiles.
- We practice show-don’t-tell with storytelling about ourselves.
- Friends and family can join in on the fun.
- We become 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 appear ungenuine. 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 is the content.
Points to Include
Speaking as a screenwriter, I have a few ideas about making an attractive video resume.
So here’s 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 for our target industries. If the industry is more…puckish…then suits-and-ties will feel out-of-place, so make sure the tone of the video reflects that style.
- Outline a script or storyboard. Outlining is part of the planning stage. Filmmakers hand-draw storyboards to see how each scene will look on screen and rehearse lines with actors off the script. As a screenwriter, I definite recommend a script. If that is not your style, at least outline the points we want to mention. Be flexible though. What feels right on paper does not always turn out well on screen.
- Show our faces and tell our stories. 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 parts of us that cannot be projected from paper. Showing our faces and talking allow us to connect as human beings.
- Display footage(s) of us actually doing the work. Besides presenting our personality, the purpose of a video is to demonstrate that we know our stuff. So ask a friend or setup a tripod to take footages or still pictures of us actually doing the work.
- Incorporate information slides. Show a little variety with the occasional information slides with just words and graphs.
- Reveal hobbies or interests. Speaking of variety, hobbies and interests can also be mentioned if there is enough time left. They make us more well-rounded.
- Be brief. Everyone’s attention span only lasts from 30 seconds to 2 minutes long.
Throughout this 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.
And if you need help creating the content for the video, give me a holler.