What do you say in your Video Resume (or Video Introduction)

August 12, 2009 on 1:36 pm | In Job Hunting, Social Media, Video Resumes | 1 Comment

Video Resumes (or Video Introductions) are becoming more and more popular on social media sites. A typical person is 7 to 10 times more likely to view a video than they are to read an article or profile, and much more likely to remember what they see. So it’s a great way to introduce yourself on your LinkedIn profile or FaceBook page.

A good video introduction last about 1 to 2 minutes, and gives an overview of you, your skills, your experience, and what you bring to the table.

Here are a few suggestions for when you’re considering what to say:

  • Start by introducing yourself.
    Establish who you are, your core competencies, and why they should continue to watch. (in 20 seconds or less). Get their attention!
    Mention your college degree if you have one, and include your GPA if it’s above 3.0.
  • Describe your skills and experience.
    • Discuss your greatest strengths and give examples.
    • Briefly give a few examples of your favorite successful projects and experiences.
      Each example should end with how everyone lived happily ever after, and how this experience can benefit a new employer.
    • List any recent relevant training or certifications, and any volunteer work you’ve done, or relevant organizations you belong to.
  • Summarize why you’re a good candidate in one sentence.
  • Thank the viewer for watching, and invite them to contact you to discuss your mutual goals.

Here are some general tips on how to say it:

  • Keep your sentences somewhat short. Your tone of voice has more inflection at the beginning and end of a sentence, so run-on sentences can sound very “dry”.
  • Keep in mind, this is video, not paper. Do not just read your resume on camera. Tell your story. If you can demonstrate your skills, feel free to do so.
  • Use the STAR methodology to help “tell your stories”. (Explain the Situation / Task, discuss the Actions you took, tell about the quantifiable Results from your actions)
  • Make sure the information you’re providing is genuine, interesting, and relevant to the type of job or industry you’re interested in.

Good luck! For more information and to view sample scripts, visit the resource center at www.cnvideoresumes.com

Posting your Video Resume on your LinkedIn Profile

July 31, 2009 on 8:11 am | In Job Hunting, Social Media, Video Resumes | 1 Comment

Happy Friday everyone. Today’s topic is about how to post your video resume to your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is rapidly becoming more and more popular for professionals and job seekers. Recruiters and hiring managers love LinkedIn because of all the good, accurate information provided on a potential candidate. In fact, some recruiters say they are more likely to believe what they see in a LinkedIn profile than a standard resume. This is because your LinkedIn profile is more public and since your former co-workers and supervisors are probably connected, you’re less likely to embellish. :)

With the average viewer being 7 to 10 times more likely to view a video than to read an article, it’s a good idea to post your video resume on your LinkedIn profile. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One, of course, is by simply adding a web site link to your profile that points to your video resume on YouTube. The other, probably a better solution, is to post the video directly on your profile.

In order to do this, you will need to create a presentation that contains one slide with the video embedded. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Upload your video resume to YouTube

2. Add the application “Google Presentations” to your LinkedIn profile (Choose “Edit My Profile” then click “Add Applications”)

3. Create a presentation

4. Select “Insert” | “Video” from the main menu inside the Google Presentation editor

5. Find your video resume on YouTube (a dialog box allows you to search)

6. “Save & Close” (in the upper right corner)

7. Now go back to LinkedIn and Post the presentation to your profile (click the “Post to Profile” link for the presentation).

For more information, visit the resource center at www.cnvideoresumes.com

8 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Help Land a Job

July 28, 2009 on 9:08 am | In Job Hunting, Social Media, Video Resumes | No Comments

Good morning. A few weeks ago I posted some information on using Twitter to assist with job hunting. Today, it’s all about LinkedIn.

I was involved in an interesting conversation about whether or not LinkedIn would eventually replace the resume. Many recruiters feel more confident in the information on a LinkedIn profile then on a resume primarily because they tend to be more honest. Anyone can put just about anything on their resume (and people do tend to embellish a bit).

But your LinkedIn profile is a public site, where your former co-workers and employers are invited to connect and see what you’ve posted. That alone can help keep you honest.

Just having a LinkedIn profile with your education and work history can be helpful when trying to land a job, since it’s likely to show up when the recruiter does a google search, however, below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your LinkedIn profile.

1. Make your professional headline enticing. (“Innovative Marketer with a Drive for Results”)

2. Information from your profile shows up in search results so it’s important that your profile is complete, detailed and set up for “full view”. Include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.

3. Ask friends, former co-workers and supervisors to connect and recommend you. Recommendations like these say a lot about the type of employee you are.

4. Join groups that are relevant to the type of work you’re seeking, and participate in discussions. This helps others to get to know you, and helps establish yourself as an expert.

5. Add the application “Google Presentation” to display a video resume on your LinkedIn profile. People are 7 to 10 times more likely to view a video than read a profile. This will let recruiters really get to know you.

6. Add the “Blog Link” or “WordPress” application to display your blog postings on your profile. This gives you credibility and shows that you’re an expert in your field.

7. Join local HR and Recruiting groups and ask for opinions on your newly modified profile. This may not only get you some useful feedback on how to improve your profile, but it may cause them to look it over more carefully.

8. Search for companies you’re interested in working for. You can get a list of people connected to that company, and how they’re connected to you.

Good luck and I hope this helps!

For more information, visit the resource center at www.cnvideoresumes.com

Body Language - The Handshake and what it says about you.

July 23, 2009 on 9:37 pm | In Body Language, Interviewing, Job Hunting | No Comments

I’ve written a few posts about body language, and how you come across in your video resume or job interview. I recently received a request to talk more about the topic (and I aims to please), so today’s topic is the handshake. - Although not relevant to a video resume, very important in an interview or face-to-face networking.

And that’s the first point. The handshake IS important. When you meet someone, SHAKE THEIR HAND. If your hands are full, free them. If they’re standing across the room, approach them. Ignoring a handshake can be seen as disrespectful, so stand up, free your hand, approach the other person and give them a good firm handshake while making eye contact and smiling.

Now, a few tips about the handshake itself:

Warm your hands. Before you meet with the interviewer, rub your hands together to warm them up, and wipe them on your clothes to make sure they’re dry. You can also sit with your hands underneath your legs to keep them warm and dry.

Free your right hand. When the interviewer enters the room, make sure your right hand is free and clear for the handshake.

Go the distance. Stand too close and you’re invading their space. Stand too far away and you appear uncomfortable and isolated. You should stand far enough away to “extend” your hand to shake theirs, but don’t stand so far away that your body has to lean forward to reach them. If’ you’re not sure, stand still, extend your hand, and let them step in to a comfortable distance.

Get a grip. Never EVER grip too tight, especially if you’re a man shaking a woman’s hand. But a weak handshake is not good either. (ladies, NEVER do the little “fingertip handshake”). Give a good solid handshake without squeezing. It’s courtious and shows confidence.

Good hand positioning. Believe it or not, the angle of your hand is significant. An “underhand shake”, where your palm is up, is a sign of submission. An “overhand shake”, where your palm is facing downward, is a sign of dominance. It’s best to make sure your palm is facing sideways, not up or down. If the interviewers palm is facing upward or downward, you should take their hand and adjust so that both your hands are vertical. This indicates a partnership and equality.

A good general rule of thumb… follow the other person’s lead with everything EXCEPT positioning, which should ALWAYS be vertical.

Hope this helps!

For more information, visit the resource center at www.cnvideoresumes.com

Resumes & Video Resumes - what’s the difference?

July 22, 2009 on 11:23 am | In Job Hunting, Video Resumes | No Comments

Good morning (if it’s morning for you). I’ve been involved in some interesting conversations in a few LinkedIn groups that got me to thinking about the difference between resumes and video resumes, and how they work together.

It’s important to understand that the video resume is not intended to replace the “paper” resume. They are 2 different things.

Your video resume is a way to “be seen”. You talk about yourself, show off your personality a little, and showcase your work… Let someone get to know you and your value in 3 minutes or less. It’s a good way to stand out and get noticed. And people love to view video.

The resume, on the other hand, is intended to be more specific to the job you’re applying for.

The discussion we had this morning regarded the appropriate length of a resume. The question being… “Is it ok to go beyond 2 pages? If not, how do you “trim the fat” without losing valuable content?”

The general consensus amongst recruiters and HR executives… Your resume is less likely to be viewed if it goes beyond 2 pages (unless your job is technical, then its ok).

The strongest recommendation…

  • Keep one gigantic resume with all of your skills, qualifications, experience… for yourself.
  • Read the job description carefully, research the company and the position, and create a custom (much smaller) resume containing only the information relevant to the position you’re applying for - 2 pages or less.
  • And, of course, make sure to use the same key words in your resume that the employer used in their job description.

Your resume(s) should be custom designed for each position you’re applying for. Your video resume, showcases your overall skills and personality, and is intended for all to see.

Hope this helps!

For more information, visit the resource center at www.cnvideoresumes.com

Video Resume Standards

July 13, 2009 on 8:59 am | In Job Hunting, Social Media, Video Resumes | No Comments

Happy Monday everyone. I was researching social media trends, hiring practices and how video resumes fit into the picture over the weekend and found one recurring complaint about video resumes… a lack of standards.

When you submit your resume to an employer, there are certain guidelines that you follow to ensure your resume is effective and taken seriously. For example, you probably wouldn’t stick a big purple crossword puzzle in the middle of your resume, nor would you talk about grandma’s big BBQ family reunion. You list your skills and job experience, probably give some examples of successful projects…

Even at an interview there are certain standards. Bring copies of your resume and a pen. Dress up. Don’t talk about controversial topics such as politics or religion. Research the company and be prepared to ask a few questions.

However, people do strange things in video resumes in the name of “standing out”. First of all, simply providing a video resume IS standing out. There’s no need to write your own sitcom for the company’s viewing pleasure.

Below are a few Do’s and Don’ts for producing a video resume that will allow you to stand out, without wasting the viewers time (and yours).

DO

Create a script;
A storyboard or script will help you organize your video. Reading it from a teleprompter can save you from having to memorize, and allows you to make good eye contact.

Introduce yourself;
Start by mentioning your name (first & last), and then tell a little summary about yourself. Let the employer know who you are and why they should continue watching this video.

Focus on results;
Tell employers what QUANTIFIABLE RESULTS you’ve delivered for other companies or on other projects & what you can do for them.

Focus on your professional endeavors;
It’s ok to talk about volunteer work you do in your spare time or recreational hobbies if they show positive qualities that the company may appreciate, but focus primarily on your professional skills and experience.

Be concise;
Keep your video between 1-3 minutes long. (Less than 2 minutes if you’re posting your video resume on FaceBook). Time flies when you are taping it, but not when a potential employer is watching. Anything over 3 minutes is just too long!

Be thankful;
Don’t forget to end your video by thanking the employer for their time and consideration.

Provide contact information;
If they liked what they saw, make sure they can contact you.

Practice, Practice, Practice;
Get used to talking about yourself with confidence. If you don’t sound natural, change the script. Practice in front of a mirror to get a feel for your facial expressions.

DONT

Do Not Just start right in;
Take a moment to establish who you are & why they should continue to watch. The first 20 seconds are the most important.

Do Not Tell your life story;
Keep the video short and the information relevant to the job & industry you are applying for. One of the worst things you can do is ramble on or try too hard to make the person get to know you.

Do Not Use Run-on Sentences;
When speaking, a higher level of enthusiasm occurs at the beginning and end of the sentence. Using long, drawn-out sentences eliminates voice inflection and may not keep the viewers attention. Use short sentences when writing your script to keep enthusiasm and interest high.

Do Not Forget to thank the viewer for watching;
And invite them to contact you for further discussion

I hope this helps.
For more information, visit the resource center at www.cnvideoresumes.com

Using Good Posture when Recording your Video Resume or at a Job Interview

July 10, 2009 on 8:10 am | In Body Language, Interviewing, Job Hunting, Video Resumes | No Comments

Good morning and happy Friday everyone! Today’s topic is on Posture.

A straight posture is imperative when recording your video resume, as well as during a job interview or even networking in person.

To help achieve good posture while looking relaxed and confident:

Take a deep breath and pull your shoulders back while sitting (or standing) up straight. Then relax your shoulders and exhale. Do this more than once if you’re particularly nervous. It gives you a burst of confidence and allows for good breathing. It can also help you to avoid or reduce feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

While attended a huge networking event last night in St. Louis at Bar Italia in the central west end, I ran into a friend I’ve known for a while, but have never met in person. He suggested that you take both arms and put them straight up in the air while taking a deep breath. (come on, those of you reading this… get those arms up). Now slowly drop your arms down to your sides while exhaling. (feels good, doesn’t it?). This is also a very effective way to relax and show good posture, though you may not want to do this one in the lobby while waiting for your interviewer. ;)

Have a great weekend!

For more information, visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

Different Video Resume Styles

July 6, 2009 on 1:21 pm | In Job Hunting, Social Media, Video Resumes | No Comments

Happy Monday. I Hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July. There’s nothing quite like laying in the grass watching the fireworks display!

On to today’s topic… Video Resume Styles.

I get a lot of questions about different styles and features for video resumes so I’ve broken it down to 3 categories (really 2, but we’ll call it 3).

1. Standard
2. Interview
3. Custom

The Standard video resume is basically a person (typically head & shoulders) telling about themselves. This usually includes an introduction (your 20 second elevator pitch), a minute or so about your experience and skills, a short summary (why they should hire you), and your contact information.

The Interview style is different, in that the video is more like a conversation. You have someone either on or preferably off camera asking standard interview questions like “Tell me a little about yourself”, and “What is your favorite accomplishment and why”. The subject then answers the questions much like they would in a job interview, only with the benefit of knowing the questions in advance and having the opportunity to do re-takes. :)

The Custom video resume is very similar to the standard video resume in that the subject typically recites a script (pretty much the same as described above). However, portions of the script are used as a voice over, while a photo montage and/or additional video clips are used to showcase what the subject is saying.

There are also features that are often used in a video resume, such as background music (great if you lack enthusiasm in your tone of voice), green screen background images (adds some pizzaz that you don’t get with a plain background), scrolling summary (perfect for emphasizing your credentials if you have a lot of experience), displaying contact information (a must for everyone) and many others.

So what’s the best style for you?

Recent graduates or those who have less on the job experience in the field of work they’re applying for do well with a standard video resume. Discuss organizations, projects and other accomplishments. Throw in a few features for something really impressive.

People who have more experience or do creative work would do best to create a more custom video resume with video clips and a photo montage that showcases skills and accomplishments.

Anyone having difficulty coming up with a script they like, or prefer to talk about their projects and accomplishments (that can’t very easily be shown with photographs), would benefit from the interview style video resume. This gives them the opportunity to talk about and describe their accomplishments in a conversation style setting.

Regardless of what style you go with, ALWAYS remember to thank the viewer for taking the time to watch.

I hope this helps.

For more information, visit www.CNVideoResumes.com

Having Trouble Landing the Interview, And the Job?

July 3, 2009 on 9:05 am | In Interviewing, Job Hunting, Video Resumes | No Comments

I was talking with a client last month about how things were going since the production of her video resume. She had previously been looking for a job for over 6 months, and only landed 2 interviews.

The good news is, she had 5 interviews (4 in person, 1 over the phone) in the last month. The bad news, the interviews didn’t seem to go well. She said they would ask her a few questions, and then seemed to lose interest and the interview was over. So I pitched her a few standard interview questions to gauge her responses and I think we found the problem.

I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until yesterday, when I was producing an interview style video resume for someone else. I had sent him the instructions for preparing, and called the day before the appointment to make sure he didn’t have any questions. When he showed up for the appointment, he hadn’t even selected his interview questions, thinking he could wing it. He checked off a few questions on the spot and said “Just ask me these. I can do this.”

Ok, the customer is always right, right? So I pitched him a few of the questions (off camera) to see how it went…

Have you ever answered an interview question, then later thought “ugh, I should have said…”. Or even worse, realized you should have said something different while answering the question, started back peddling and trying to correct the answer and end up rambling? Things can sometimes sound better in our heads then they do when they come out of our mouths! And sometimes, we don’t even realize how the things we say come across at all, especially when we’re nervous, under a microscope being interviewed by someone else.

Both clients seemed to have similar difficulties answering interview questions :

  • Concisely including all pertinent information
  • Coming across positive

Below are a few tips I tell my clients when filming an interview style video resume to avoid the “foot in mouth syndrome”. These also apply to telephone or live job interviews.

Never be negative. ALWAYS be respectful of others and do not place blame. State your answers in a positive form.

Examples:
WRONG: I’m looking for a new job because there aren’t any opportunities available at my current company.

RIGHT: I’m looking into new opportunities that might be available in other companies and industries that can help me to grow professionally.

WRONG: There was an occasion when this customer was being irate and yelled at me.

RIGHT: There was an occasion when I helped a customer who was very upset because…

Never interrupt. Wait until the interviewer is finished asking the question. Take a moment to pause and consider the question before you start to answer. Then answer the question clearly and completely.

Tell the Story. Use the STAR method of answering interview questions. Describe the Situation or Task clearly, discuss the Actions you took, and talk about the positive Results that occurred due to your actions.

Do not ramble. Listen carefully to the question, and answer it concisely without unnecessary background information. Once the question has been answered, stop talking. :)
Do not back track, reiterate, or continue adding more information.

For more information (or for help landing the interview), visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

HAVE A GREAT AND SAFE INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Tip: What to do with your Hands and Arms when Interviewing or Filming a Video Resume

July 1, 2009 on 5:04 am | In Body Language, Interviewing, Job Hunting, Video Resumes | 2 Comments

85% of what you communicate is not with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends.

What to do with hands and arms when interviewing or filming a video resume:

  • Clasping your hands is a signal that you are closed off.
  • Putting your palms together with one thumb over the other says that you need reassurance.
  • You should never cross your arms over your chest, since this gives the impression that you are not in agreement, closed off, defensive or insecure.
  • Open hands and showing palms show that nothing is being concealed.

To come across confident, have your hands open and relaxed on the table or at your side. When your body is open, you project trustworthiness and will actually feel more confident. It is ok to use some hand gestures, as long as they’re in sync with what you’re saying, and not too wild.

For more information, visit the resource center at www.CNVideoResumes.com

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