During the spring semester of my senior year of college, I made a pact to apply to one job per day. I spent hours writing and rewriting my resume, tailoring cover letters, and scouring the internet for active job requisitions. After months of an endless cycle of my job search, I found myself desperate for any opportunity to get in front of recruiters to showcase the ‘soft’ skills I couldn’t convincingly recreate on the page.
Every job seeker learns pretty quickly that being seen is way more likely to get you an interview. According to Recruiting.com, “the information retained from one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words." In an age where the average job receives 250 resumes, having that kind of edge is crucial.
Why you need to use video in your application:
- It gets you in front of the recruiter — no matter how far away you are from the job. The end goal is an interview, but the logistics of scheduling 30 minute interviews for every candidate can limit your chances of making it onto the schedule. Video is your chance to use one or two minutes to persuade your future boss why you’re the right candidate for the job.
- You can “prove” your ability by simulating a real world experience. Say you want to land that big sales job, but you’ve only worked at one other company. In two minutes, you can prove what the resume doesn’t hold by giving a sales pitch. Recruiters can quickly see your ability, even if it isn’t validated by your experience.
- You won’t waste your time interviewing for jobs you just aren’t right for. Although it seems like more interviews should increase your chance at finding a job, there’s no point in heading down to headquarters if the job is not the right fit for you. By “meeting” the prospective company, you can pre-screen yourself and save the trouble of an interview.
We all get a little anxious when it comes to recording ourselves on video. It’s hard enough to pick the right LinkedIn photo — let alone record a composed, well-spoken video as part of the application. It turns out that a video can lead to some pretty embarrassing results. In 2011, an aspiring investment banker’s over-the-top video resume, “Impossible is Nothing,” went viral and turned him into the biggest joke on Wall Street. However, despite the potential pitfalls, the payoff can be huge — video is a huge opportunity to stand out.
If you’re recording your first video as part of an application, treat it like you would any interview. Dress professionally, pick a neutral environment, and speak clearly and slowly. Don’t bother with special effects like music or swipes, unless of course you’re applying to a video design job and you know your stuff. Most importantly, keep your video short and to the point — video screening is your chance to get the recruiter interested, not bore them with unnecessary details. This is your chance to stand out and grab that job opportunity you’ve been waiting for.