Resumés and cover letters may be classic tools that job candidates and hiring managers are comfortable with, but comfort doesn’t always lead to a job or a talented candidate. From creating infographics to putting a resumé on a chocolate-bar wrapper, job seekers are getting creative with how they apply. These personal introductions are the stuff of viral dreams and share information far beyond what’s traditionally conveyed on a piece of paper.
“These online video introductions are a great way for corporate recruiters to get to know the job seekers beyond the traditional resumé and online social networking profile," says Richard Linden, founder and CEO of MyNextGig.com. "Many companies don’t like to be contacted face-to-face until the interview. Video introductions allow job seekers an opportunity to build a relationship with the recruiter and on the recruiter’s terms.”
While most candidates create videos to get hired, resignation videos serve just as well as a job lead to something bigger and better. Take Gwen Dean, who quit her job as a machine engineer in a Super Bowl commercial and now runs her own company.
But not all videos are instant one-hit wonders. What can job candidates learn from the best video resumés and those gone wrong? Here are some buzzy examples:
Marina Shifrin, formerly a video producer at Next Media Animation and currently a contributing writer to Conde Nast, chose to quit her job using interpretive dance to Kanye West’s “Gone.” She took the opportunity to film herself and featured her complaints as captions. Her quit video, which had more than 15 million views, landed her a job offer as a digital content producer on the "Queen Latifah Show".
Google Please Hire Me
In this tongue-in-cheek video, Matthew Epstein shows he has confidence, creativity and a sense of humor. He didn't end up working at Google, but startup SigFig took notice and hired him as a product marketing manager.
Learn How to Win and Lose
George Turnbull puts a humorous spin on his video resumé while highlighting his above-average vocabulary, personality and ability to adapt to different situations.
A Dream Job Would be Nice
Mark Leruste gives an overview of his work history and experience but also shows his true personality and a glimpse of his life outside the office.
Humor is a great way to win over a potential employer, but when used ineffectively it can do more harm than good. Harris Alterman pushes sarcasm too far in his video resumé, a turnoff for most employers.
Hire Me or I’ll Stab You
Andrew Hunt’s video, in addition to being unnecessarily long, talks about aspects of his life and personality that aren’t applicable to the workplace, such as his dating and future family life, and mentions nothing relevant to a potential job.
In light of these examples — the good and the bad — here are a few tips for creating a stellar video resumé:
Create a Resumé Because It’s Relevant
Video resumés are ideal for candidates applying for media, creative and social jobs, since the multimedia skill set is applicable to what the job demands. Don’t create a video just because it seems like a neat thing to do — always have a purpose and value in mind.
Let Your Personality Shine Through
Employers can read a candidate’s qualifications and past experience on a piece of paper. Use the video format to show your personality, motivation and creativity. Adds Chris Morrow, director of business development for Boston Medical Group: “It’s not one thing in particular I look for. It’s not so much the content, but their personality and how they carry themselves...And what works well in the office environment.”
Keep it Concise
Recruiters don’t have all day to watch your video, so keep it short. Mario Gedicke, account manager at video employment platform Mayomann.com, recommends capping it at one minute.
Aim for Informal
Resumés and cover letters may be about formality, but the video format should be casual in tone. Tell a story that reflects your skills and the way you approach different situations, suggest professionals at ACareerJob.net.
Video resumes and resignations show creativity and the ability to think outside the box, but creating a video doesn't necessarily win you a seat in your dream job. Follow the recommended tips, and learn from those around you by watching amazing videos that grab your attention as well as those that you have to turn off after 10 seconds.