We keep hearing out there that video resumes are the wave of the future. If that was truly the case, then why isn’t everyone using that type of resume? Think about it, how long has video technology been available to the regular person and yet everyone still writes a resume. Remember you have 15 seconds to impress!
Below are 6 reasons why it’s not a great idea to have a video resume:
1. Hiring managers and recruiters scan resumes – When you have a video resume, how is the viewer going to be able to look for your keywords? They aren’t and they move on.
2. Video resumes are toooooo long – Hiring managers and recruiters are busy! They don’t want to look at a 2 minute video to find out if you are the right person for the job. You might be the right person for the job but if they don’t get the right information quickly they move on.
3. Short attention span – Scanning is easy, watching a video is a chore. Think about when you watch a video on YouTube; do you finish all of them? Probably not, and neither will a hiring manager and recruiter. Give them the information they want quickly.
4. Rambling, umms and ahhs – If you aren’t used to being in front of a camera or properly prepared, that’s when the run-ons, pauses and fillers happen. You will lose your audience quickly in a format that is already longer than a hiring manager or recruiter wants.
5. We don’t include pictures on a resume for a reason – A video resume throws that right out the window, you never know the biases of the viewer. You want to sell your accomplishments up front and if you are the right person, a picture or video of yourself isn’t going to change that. Don’t give a hiring manager or recruiter a reason to pass you bye.
6. They cost a lot – Video resumes can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars, for a non-traditional format that may not even get a look, it’s not a smart return on your money.
The bottom line is you have only 15 seconds to make an impression with a hiring manager or recruiter; you can’t summarize yourself in 15 seconds on a video. It’s ok to be traditional and give the view what they want – a written resume!
Times can be tough out there and unfortunately your resume can suffer. A very common question we receive is “I’ve been out of work for X amount of time, will a hiring manager or recruiter notice (YES) and will they ask me about it (YES)”. Remember hiring managers and recruiters are trained to look for things that don’t seem quite right on your resume and if your resume throws up a red flag with a gap in your work history, you will be fighting an uphill battle.
Below are some tips and strategies to cover those gaps in your resume:
1. Use years and not months on your resume – Instead of a resume that is formatted as 12/2011 – 3/2012, take out the months that you worked and have it as 2011 – 2012. This covers the gap and doesn’t stick out as being odd. Just be consistent if you take out the months on one job, take them out on all of the other jobs.
2. Consulting or volunteering – If you are, for example, a network engineer and someone has asked for help in fixing their network while you are out of work, you are technically consulting. Use this to your advantage and explain that you were helping others get their network running and fixing computers.
3. Continued Education/Training while looking for a new job – This shows that you just didn’t sit on the couch and play video games all day. You used your off time to improve skills and better yourself for your next employer. This can be as simple as studying books, internet research, seminars, self study etc. All these show initiative and that you are serious about your career.
4. Started a side business – Yes you were out of work but that didn’t stop you from hustling out there and doing what it takes to bring money in. This shows that you were actively doing something, you have an entrepreneurial mindset and that you can adapt to any situation.
5. Contract or Temporary work – This can easily fill in the gap in the timeframe you were out of work, even if it was 1 day jobs, you were doing contract and temporary work. You should put the entire time off as contract or temporary work and this will cover that gap.
Note: Never lie on your resume, stretching is ok. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you finally land that job you wanted, only to have it yanked out from under.
The bottom line is that if you, unfortunately find yourself with gaps in employment, you can cover those gaps by getting a little creative.
Good luck out there!
LinkedIn is a very powerful tool for the job seeker. It’s FREE (which we all like) and it’s your 24/7/365 advertisement about you! When we see an advertisement that doesn’t say anything what do you do? You pass on by; make sure you aren’t passed by and have your profile draws the attention of any hiring manager or recruiter who may be looking for someone like you.
1. Make it complete – A profile needs to look complete, if it doesn’t, then hiring managers and recruiters will think you don’t visit very often and will move to the next profile.
2. Have a professional picture of yourself – a headshot, not a picture of your dog, your favorite sports team or you with a cocktail. This is a professional connections site, treat it like that
3. Customize your URL – LinkedIn will give some really long URL that is hard to remember and doesn’t look good on your resume (always have your LinkedIn profile address on your resume). It’s easy to do and looks professional.
4. Keywords in the headline – When you make the headline of your profile, it needs to be the position you are either looking to get or currently have. Hiring managers and recruiters search by titles and if you don’t have the right title you aren’t going to show up their search.
5. Match your resume – This is your online advertisement about you, your career and what you offer to a potential employer (just like your resume). Make sure your profile has the same information you would submit or hand to an employer.
6. Keep it professional – This isn’t facebook or any other social media, this about your and your career. If it’s not relevant to your career, it shouldn’t be on there. It might be great that you are an expert stamp collector but is that going to get you the next customer service position?
7. Get connected – The more people you are connected to the more your profile can be seen by others. This is what you want so your information can be seen by more and more hiring managers and recruiters.
8. Join Groups – LinkedIn has thousands of groups to join. LinkedIn has many specific groups that you can join that relate to your industry, companies and job searches. These sites help you get more connected and most have jobs posted daily in them.
The bottom line: LinkedIn is a powerful tool to help you in your career - make sure you use it and use it right.
A very common question we get is about the Cover Letter and how to use it to help you get your next job.
When we get the question "Do I need a cover letter?", the answer we give is "why wouldn't you want to give one to a prospective employer?". You have nothing to lose by giving one to an employer and who knows - it may even get you ahead of the others who don't have a cover letter.
Cover Letters are a must, whether you think a hiring manager or recruiter will look at it, it is important to show a prospective employer that you are serious about getting the job. It shows professionalism and that you are taking the right steps to get your foot in the door.
5 Tips for your cover letter and how to use it to help you get your job:
1. A cover letter is about you and what you bring to the table - The cover letter gives you the opportunity to brag a little about yourself in a less formal format than your resume. Talk about the things that make you stand out and relate to the position you are applying to: excellent customer service, top sales achiever, train others on systems etc.
2. The cover letter is a professional letter, treat it like that - The cover letter should be addressed in a formal format with the date, name of the company, address and who is going to read the cover letter (Dear Mr. Smith). If you don't know the name of the person, you should put Dear Hiring Manager. Always end the cover letter with "Sincerely".
3. The cover letter is not a rehash of your resume - If you rehash your resume in your cover letter, you aren't telling your story. Your resume is a chronological list of skills, abilities and experience. Your cover letter is your story and why you should get the job
4. Make sure you highlight at least 3 - 4 relevant skills for the job you are applying to - Have a separate section in your cover letter that is bolded, bulleted and draws the attention of the viewer to your top skills that will make the reader think "This person has what I need for the position, let's take a look at their resume". The cover letter is just another marketing tool, make sure it sells you in the right way!
5. Your cover letter is what you write in an email to a hiring manager or recruiter - When you email your resume and cover letter to an employer, your cover letter should be what is in the body of the email. This will be the first thing the hiring manager or recruiter reads when they get your email, make sure you use your best marketing tool. Then you attach both the resume and cover letter to the email.
The bottom line, if you use your cover letter right, it will help open the door to get your resume read and hopefully get that next job!
Your resume is the bridge to your future!
** Free Thank You Note when you order a resume and cover letter!