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How to Craft a Compelling Video Resume and Land Interviews

It’s no wonder job hunting is stressful. There’s a ton of competition—the average online job posting gets more than 250 applications—and it’s hard to rise above the noise. How do you get your application noticed? A video resume is a great place to start.

Replace that overstuffed PDF resume that you had to write in 8-point font just to make everything fit with eye-catching visuals and a friendly face to create a memorable first impression. Here’s all you need to know about video resumes including how to make one, six inspiring examples, and three video creation tools to help you unlock new career opportunities.

What is a video resume?

A video resume is a short, engaging video that complements your written resume. It summarizes your career achievements, qualifications, and aspirations. Ideally, it’s tailored to a specific job posting so you can highlight relevant experiences and skills to position yourself as the ideal candidate.

These short clips balance professionalism with your personality to help you stand out during your job search, and let recruiters get to know you and whether you’d be a good company culture fit.

Are video resumes a good idea?

Submitting a short video resume alongside a written resume is a great strategy for creating a lasting impression, especially in a competitive job market. A video resume lets you:

  • Show off your vibe: Get in front of the camera and show off your personality, communication skills, and passion.

  • Highlight your creativity: Applying for a creative role? A video resume shows off your outside-the-box thinking alongside skills like video editing and storytelling in a format that lets you walk hiring managers through your design portfolio.

  • Add context: Give recruiters vital context for your achievements, employment gaps, and reasoning behind certifications, education, and more.

  • Share soft skills: Demonstrate your interpersonal communication skills, motivation, and friendliness—not to mention time management, since you have to squeeze your pitch into two minutes or less.

That said, video resumes come with a few drawbacks too:

  • Bias concerns: The first impression recruiters should have is your hard-earned skills and experience—not your appearance. Recording yourself puts your smiling face front and center while a traditional resume format doesn’t, which could lead to biased hiring decisions.

  • Missed details: Restricting your pitch to two minutes or less means you might struggle to fit everything into your video resume. You might need to get strategic about which details you include versus which ones you leave out.

  • Too informal: Applying with a video resume could disqualify you since many traditional companies view them as too informal.

  • High level of effort: Tailoring your video resume content to each job posting by re-recording a new pitch isn’t always feasible, and you may need special video editing tools to create a high-quality recording.

Even without the potential drawbacks, video resumes can still land you an interview. Seventy-nine percent of hiring managers view video as an important way to vet candidates, meaning they’re more receptive to this innovative type of job application.

When to send a video resume

Should you fire up your recording software and submit a video resume alongside a written copy? As with most things in life, it depends.

When to send a video resume:

  • The job posting or employer asks for a video

  • You’re applying for a role in a creative industry like design or one that relies on communication and interpersonal skills, such as sales or customer service

  • You want to highlight or explain complex ideas and skills that are hard to show on paper, like design projects and sales outreach

  • You want to share a compelling backstory or career growth experience

When to send only a traditional resume:

  • You’re applying to a more conservative company or a role in a traditional industry, such as a government job

  • You don’t have the right setup to produce a high-quality video resume

Whatever situation you’re in, remember that your visual resume supplements a written resume—it doesn’t replace it.

Video resume vs. video cover letter: What’s the difference?

Video resumes and video cover letters are similar, but there’s a slight difference between the two.

A video resume is a short-and-sweet job pitch where you detail your achievements and experience.

A video cover letter also details your achievements and experience, but in a way that explains the vision you have for your career and the impact you want to make. A video cover letter pitches you as a solution to the employer’s needs.

How to make a video resume

Follow these video resume tips to highlight your personality and experience on-screen.

1. Align your career goals with target jobs

Your words, tone of voice, and body language all change when you create a video resume for your dream job versus a less-exciting role. Set a positive tone by being picky and only applying to roles that match your goals and values.

Remember, a job interview isn’t just assessing whether you’re a good fit for a role—it’s also a chance for you to assess whether a company and role is a good fit for your career goals and lifestyle.

2. Structure your story

There’s no right or wrong way to tell your story, but video resumes generally follow this structure:

  • Introduction: State your name, desired job title, and a summary of your background and goals.

  • Pitch: Outline your professional experience and skills, including how you’ll use those to benefit the employer.

  • Qualifications: Share career highlights and achievements along with measurable statistics, outcomes, and benefits.

  • Social proof: Include any testimonials, awards, media mentions, or references that strengthen your pitch.

  • Career aspirations: Tell potential employers what your professional goals are and why you believe their company is the ideal next step.

  • Call to action: Reiterate your interest, why you’re the perfect candidate, and provide a way for recruiters to contact you. 

Include links in your video to your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio to make it easy for recruiters to take action and learn more about you.

3. Write a script

Jot down key points for each section of your video resume so you know exactly what to cover. Weave your professional journey into a narrative and look for ways to include hooks and vivid examples throughout your story.

Avoid writing everything down word for word since this can tempt you to read from your notes rather than speak to the camera. Instead, practice your video resume script in front of a mirror or with a friend and look for ways to inject energy and personality.

4. Get your equipment and setting right

Production value plays a huge role in your video resume’s success. Make sure you have the right tools and surroundings ready before you press record.

  • Camera: An HD webcam or smartphone that records in 1080p resolution does the trick.

  • Lighting: Natural light is the best type of lighting for videos, so face a window or record yourself outside if possible.

  • Audio: Find a quiet place to record or use video recording software that removes background noise.

  • Surroundings: Avoid distracting background imagery, like busy cafés or cluttered rooms. If you want to add supporting visuals to your video resume, you can use a green screen background. Or better yet, grab a screen recording tool like Loom that also films your webcam.

5. Keep it short and sweet

Recruiters have limited time, so longer videos risk getting skipped. Most video resumes are no longer than two minutes, so keep this in mind when writing your script and selecting the qualifications you want to highlight.

6. Tailor your talking points

Using the same resume for multiple jobs is one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make, according to Amanda Augustine, a career expert at TopResume, in an interview with CNBC. Up your chances of getting an interview by customizing your video resume to each job posting. Some ways to do this include:

  • Mention the recruiter, company, and position by name.

  • Highlight skills and experience that directly relate to the job posting.

  • Share how your skill set can benefit the company’s unique pain points.

Personalize your Loom videos: Loom makes it easy to send a personalized video resume with its Variables feature. Record once and create multiple versions of your video that mention recruiters by name.

7. Let your personality and creativity shine

Practicing your video resume pitch can help you feel less stiff and ready to show off your interpersonal communication skills and personality. Along with practicing your script, try these other tips:

  • Let your passion show by describing the type of work you love doing and why. 

  • Avoid formal language and speak to the camera as if you were in a live interview.

  • Add hand gestures and vary your tone of voice to energize your pitch.

  • Use storytelling techniques to create a compelling narrative featuring your career journey.

Include visuals and animations to express your creativity, and try different presentation formats like a mock interview.

6 video resume examples

Check out these six video resume examples for inspiration.

1. Arthur Coppens, visual designer resume

It takes Arthur less than 90 seconds to sum up his academic qualifications, including two internships, using engaging visuals and crisp video quality.

2. Marie Tobias, social media manager and virtual assistant resume

In this video resume, Marie positions herself as a freelance virtual assistant and social media manager by demonstrating her design, editing, and content creation skills.

3. Laura Harris, front-end web developer resume

Laura’s introduction mixes formal and informal as well as her personal history and work experience. She combines engaging video clips with her unique personality to create a strong video resume.

4. Monique Lider, social media content creator resume

Monique uses a unique interview format, graphics, animations, and video clips to express her design skills and personality. She also includes a testimonial from a previous employer to support her pitch.

5. Denny Kremblas, video production resume

Denny uses storytelling to explain how his passion for skateboarding led him to a video production career. His narration alongside video clips creates an engaging and compelling resume.

6. Shafira Attasha, electrical engineering resume

Shafira’s video resume shows how you can inject personality into job applications for more technical roles like electrical engineering. Her recording combines video clips and narration.

Best video resume recording and editing software

Get a jump start on creating your video resume with these three free recording tools. 

1. Loom

Loom’s free screen recorder captures your screen and webcam so you can present your qualifications while simultaneously injecting your memorable personality into your video resume.

Loom lets you record your screen and webcam, making it perfect for introducing your personality and qualifications.

Top features: 

  • Quick-and-easy sharing: Grab a link to your Loom video and instantly share it without waiting for it to render, download, or attach to your email.

  • Embedded links: Guide recruiters to your online portfolio or LinkedIn profile with in-video links.

  • Narration tools: View your script notes while you record and automatically suppress background noise for a crisp and professional audio presentation.

  • Viewer insights: Find out how many people viewed your video resume and whether it’s made an impact on your job-hunting journey.

  • Available wherever you are: Record your webcam and screen on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Chrome.

  • Personalized titles: Use Loom’s Variables feature to record your video resume, then send multiple personalized versions to recruiters. Variables let you customize the video title for each recipient.

Pricing: Loom offers a free plan and 14-day trials of its paid plans, which start at $12.50 per month and include more tools like Instant Editing.

2. Canva

Alongside its design and recording tools, Canva’s video editor offers hundreds of premade video templates and elements, including audio and B-roll footage.

video-resume canva
Customize a video resume template with Canva’s video editor.

Customize a video resume template with Canva’s video editor. (Source: Canva video resume search results)

Top features:

  • Free stock elements: Customize a template with stock video footage, images, icons, and graphics.

  • Video editing suite: Add text, overlays, and captions—or split, spice, crop, and speed up your videos with a wide range of editing tools.

  • Custom animations: Control how different elements move on-screen with customizable animation pathways like fade, pan, and zoom.

Pricing: Canva offers a free plan with no watermarks. Paid plans start at $120 per year for one user.

3. Animoto

Grab an Animoto template or start from scratch with its large library of stock images, fonts, music, and more.

video-resume animoto
Animoto’s drag-and-drop online video editor is easy to use.

Top features:

  • Drag-and-drop editor: Customize your video resume by dragging and dropping photos, graphics, and video clips into each scene.

  • Stock music and images: Choose from a library of vibrant Getty stock images and licensed audio tracks.

  • Recording studio: Capture your resume narration with Animoto’s video and audio recording tools.

Pricing: Animoto offers a free plan that watermarks your videos. Paid plans start at $8 per month when purchased annually.

Let your personality shine with a Loom video resume

While most video resume software requires advanced editing, Loom simplifies everything by recording your webcam and on-screen content. Create a slideshow highlighting your on-the-job experience, skills, and results, then record yourself as you walk recruiters through your qualifications.

Loom includes multiple video editing tools that help you create professional, polished video resumes. These include automatic background noise filtering, camera frames, and virtual backgrounds. Take Loom’s free Chrome screen recorder for a spin to create compelling, captivating video resumes that stand out.


Jun 30, 2024

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