How To Make A Video Resume

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Table Of Contents

You’ve been drooling over your dream job for years, and you’re wondering if creating a video resume would help you get it. The short answer is: it could. So we’ll share everything you need to know about this creative self-marketing technique, including how to make your video resume top notch. That way, you can film and submit one with confidence.

If you’re just looking to up your resume game, consider using a professional resume writing service.

What Is A Video Resume?

A video resume is a highlight reel of your career presented in a brief video format — emailed directly to decision-makers within your target organization. Using one can increase your chances of getting noticed because it bypasses the firm’s applicant tracking system, which could arbitrarily remove you from the running.

Plus, it allows you to set yourself apart from the other professionals in the company’s candidate pipeline. Your video can showcase your personality, passion, and creativity in ways a .pdf or Word document never could. Joel Bein, Job Hunt Coach at, says, “You can burn your resume, and you can do something entirely different. That's empowering, it's creative, and it's gonna help you stand out.”

The results speak for themselves. You can expect roughly a 1% response rate when you submit a traditional resume. So, for every 100 applications you fill out, you’ll likely only receive one non-automated reply.

Video resumes, or video pitches, on the other hand, garner a response rate of up to 80%. So, Bein says, “...what you do is you flip your mindset where instead of trying to apply to as many jobs as possible and hoping that something sticks … you take a quality over quantity approach” and create tailored short films for a select few employers.

When To Use A Video Resume

Using a video pitch could help you differentiate yourself from the crowd no matter what industry you’re in. However, the medium can be especially effective when an auditory or visual representation of your work truly highlights your talents. For example, if you’re a musician, dancer, artist, or designer, your film could be a captivating portfolio.

A video resume can also help your case when the role you’re pursuing requires certain personality traits or top-notch presentation skills. (Think: customer service, sales, or teaching positions.)

Remember, though — some employers might not welcome video resumes. They may still prefer traditional formats or fear getting slapped with additional discrimination claims based on age, gender, or other protected demographics (which aren’t as obvious on a paper resume).

So while making a film could give you a leg up over your competition, you should research each company’s hiring practices to see if they’ll accept it before you submit one. If it’s not clear, share your video as a supplement to and not a replacement for your traditional resume. That way, you’ll still have a chance to secure an interview even if no one watches it.

If you find that an employer still wants a traditional resume and you need help, check out our reviews of the best resume writing services.

How To Create A Video Resume

When you create a video resume, you should follow a strategic process. Here are the steps you should take:

Research Your Target

Before you do anything else, you should identify your target company — and video resume recipient(s). Then, do a deep dive to take in everything you can about them. Review every page on the firm’s website, search for recent press releases, and scour relevant social media profiles. The more you know, the better you can customize your message and address potential pain points.

Choose Your Angle

You’re probably a person of many talents, but your video resume has to be a concise and focused snapshot of your career. That means you need to choose your most compelling angle before filming. For example, if you’re pursuing a sales-oriented role, you’ll likely want to hone in on that time you 20x’d your department’s revenue — and not necessarily when you filled in for the HR manager ten years ago.

Craft Your Story

Remember, your video resume is your professional story, and every well-composed tale has a beginning, a middle, and an end. So your introduction should include who you are, what you do, and why you want to join the organization. If you’re enthusiastic and authentic, you’re more likely to develop a “humanized connection” with your audience, says Bein.

The middle section of your video pitch should delve into why you’re a rockstar and why you deserve a spot in the company. Brag about yourself by sharing the awards you’ve won, achievements you’ve racked up, and education you’ve completed. For best results, quantify your accomplishments so viewers can understand exactly what you're able to do.

It’s essential to end strong. So, when you wrap up your film, be sure to reiterate your sincere interest in the opportunity, ask for an interview, and make it obvious how someone from the company can contact you.

Pro Tip: Get creative with how you tell your story. You could film it as a traditional monologue. But, you could also conduct a mock interview, feature previously recorded clips (like past public speaking events or musical performances), or find a captivating blend of multiple styles.

Script It Out

Once you know what you want to cover, write down how you want to say it. Find the best phrases to convey your points. Then, make sure the information you present flows in a logical order.

Join The Break Community

Caution: While you should let your personality shine through in your video, use humor carefully. The wrong joke can quickly derail your presentation.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Whether you’re a natural on camera or a bundle of nerves when being filmed, practicing your script can help you get it just right when you hit record. Run through your entire presentation a few times and note any points where you stumble or get stuck. Then, rework your script until you get the kinks out.

Pro Tip: Time your practice runs. Your video pitch should come in under two minutes. If you’re going over that, you need to pare down your content.

Select Your Equipment

Some people may shy away from creating a video resume because they’re afraid of the technical aspects of the process. Fortunately, if you know how to use a smartphone camera, you can film a quality movie with the press of a button. But, if you’re more tech-savvy and have advanced equipment, feel free to use it!

Optimize Your Environment (and Yourself!)

You can prepare an award-winning presentation, but if your environment is noisy, dark, or cluttered, it won’t matter. Your viewers will be too distracted to absorb your message. So, be sure to:

  • Film in a quiet location with a low risk of getting interrupted.
  • Take advantage of natural light whenever possible. (You can use a ring light to reduce shadows if needed.)
  • Declutter your background so that the focus is solely on you.

Pro Tip: Unless your target company prides itself on being super casual, you should wear an office-appropriate outfit when you record your video pitch.

Film Multiple Takes

It may seem like a lot of work up front (and it is!) to film multiple takes of your video resume. But, trust us — it’s worth doing. Each take is sure to have strong and weak points. But, by having all of the footage on hand, you can pick and choose the strongest sound bites from every file to piece together the best possible version.

Remember to Edit

Video editing may seem tedious and time-consuming, but try to look at it as your chance to add some extra pizzazz to your work. Now’s the time to weave in cutaways, text overlays, and other engaging special effects. (For best results, plan out your special effects in advance so you can make them align with how you film your presentation.)

Don’t have sophisticated video editing software? No problem! Affordable and user-friendly software, like Canva Pro, can help you get the job done with relative ease.

Pro Tip: Embed links to your professional profiles and portfolio. That way, viewers can instantly learn more about you.

Get Honest Feedback

Your video’s finally done — congratulations! But, before you share it with your next potential boss, have a few trusted friends watch your creation with fresh eyes. They may be able to spot issues you didn’t pick up on or offer suggestions to improve your film. Even though it may be tough to hear, you should seriously consider any feedback you receive — especially if you see recurring themes.

Submit and Follow Up

You’ve done the hard work. Now it’s time to get it in front of someone who can hire you! So, grab a link to your video resume, drop it into a well-composed email, and press send. Then, take a deep breath and wait.

But — don’t wait for too long. The key players at your target company are busy people with overflowing inboxes. Chances are, they’re going to need a reminder (or six) before they respond to you. So, help them help you by following up every few days until you get a reply.

Pro Tip: can help you package and deliver your video pitches. The free platform offers presentation templates, stores your saved videos, and provides shareable links to your creations. That way, you can stay organized and send your pitches quickly and easily.

Keep the Faith

While video resumes have a higher response rate than traditional resumes, sending one doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your position of choice. But, as Bein puts it, “...even if you don't get the job in that one pitch, you are going to be digging out these grooves of the process and the mindset of pitching itself.”

In other words, each pitch you create and send is a learning opportunity. If you take lessons from it, your pitching skills will improve, increasing your odds of success. Plus, Bein continues, “another reason you can't fail is that even if you didn't get that particular job, you could tweet your pitch, and you could get the attention of all sorts of other companies by showing what you're doing.”

Frequently Asked Questions 

What should be in a video resume?

Your video resume should contain a compelling introduction, a highlight reel of your career to date, and a memorable conclusion.

Are video resumes acceptable?

Video resumes are acceptable in some industries and to some employers. But, generally, it’s best to submit a traditional resume with your video resume in case the company isn’t receptive to the new format.

Why video resumes are better?

Video resumes better highlight your personality and passion than traditional resumes. They can also help you stand out in a sea of other applicants.

What do you say at the end of a video resume?

At the end of a video resume, reiterate your interest in the company, ask for an interview, and provide your contact information.

How can I make my video stand out?

You can make your video stand out by keeping it snappy and engaging, including interesting elements like cutaways and text overlays, and tying your unique story to the organization’s mission and goals.

The Bottom Line

It may feel impossible to attract a hiring manager’s attention in a competitive job market. But, sharing a video resume with them can be an effective and memorable way to say, “look at me!”

As a best practice, it’s a good idea to spruce up your traditional resume while you create your video pitch. Not sure how to draft an effective document? Check out the best resume writing services to get some help!