One of the worst things you can do on your job search is present yourself in an innovative, interesting way – but fall short due to mistakes that end up hurting your chances rather than helping them. In this article, we’ll specifically look at video resume mistakes. 89% of recruiters want job applicants to submit video resumes. But only 56% of the applicants that submit video resumes get any benefit from them. Why? Because their video resumes aren’t made in a way that paints them in the best light. How do ensure that *your* odds of landing that dream job improve with a video resume?
Mistake 1 – Location and background
Some people record their video resumes in a place that is noisy and badly lit. That is the cardinal video resume mistake. You want to record your video resume somewhere that is quiet and well lit. While recording outside during the day might be great for lighting, there will be a lot of ambient noises you can’t control, such as wind, traffic, dogs barking and stuff like that. So I definitely recommend you record indoors. Chose a professional-looking background that isn’t distracting – such as a bookshelf. You can always choose just a regular white wall Turn ceiling lights on to light up your background – you don’t want to be shrouded in darkness. Beware of any mirrors, windows or other light sources in your background! Those can cause glare or leave you backlit – both are really distracting to the recruiter watching your video resume.
Mistake 2 – Lighting
Video resumes are a primarily visual tool, I’ve seen too many people submit video resumes with awful lighting where you can barely see the applicant’s face. It is critically important your face is well lit.
Fortunately this is easy to do – just place a lamp behind your camera so that your face is well lit. Record a short video and adjust your lighting as necessary until you are happy with the result.
Mistake 3 – Audio
How would you like to be at a face to face interview with someone mowing the lawn right outside the window? That would be very distracting to everyone right? Well, the same applies to your video resume. A video resume should only have your voice on it. So either make sure you record in a quiet, secluded place or ask the people around you to be quiet while you record. Try and place your microphone at a reasonable distance to your mouth – that way your voice will come through loud and clear.
Record a short video and watch it – does your voice sound great or is it tinny, muffled, or crackling with static? If that’s the case, you can invest in a decent lapel microphone for as little as $10 and your audio quality will improve significantly.
Mistake 4 – Eye contact
When it comes to video resume mistakes – this is one that affects almost everyone. Recording a video resume might feel a bit weird. After all, you are on camera by yourself, not with someone else on facetime having a good time. Because of that, some struggle with maintaining eye contact with the camera. A simple hack is to make the lens really obvious to you – place a sticker next to the camera so you know where to look.
Mistake 5 – Camera angle
If you want to record while sitting at a desk using a laptop, that’s fine – except for this major issue! You’ll most likely end up recording yourself with a really weird angle, looking up at your nose – simply because the laptop camera will be way below your eye level.
Fixing this is really easy – just raise your camera up to eye level using books or any other sturdy object.
Mistake 6 – Dress code
Just because you are recording your video resume at home, doesn’t mean that you should wear whatever you normally wear at home! What you wear on your video resume should match whatever you wear to a regular interview. Industries and roles tend to have similar dress codes – so match your own dress code to what people usually wear in that industry.
Mistake 7 – What to say
The video resume mistakes I’ve covered so far mostly deal with the way you look or sound on camera. Let’s take a look at something equally important – what you say. A huge mistake way too many people make is reading off your regular, written resume. Video resumes are completely different and you should adjust what you communicate accordingly! The best way to structure your video resume is into three, simple sections:
- Executive summary
- An achievement
- The future
This video goes into detail on how you should structure what to say on your video resume and I definitively recommend it: https://youtu.be/lKck0J-0JzA
Mistake 8 – Lack of energy!
Now there is one final ingredient that is critical to an amazing video resume that will boost your chances of landing that dream job – and that’s energy.
If your video resume showcases a happy, upbeat person full of energy it is going to be far more interesting than if the video resume showcases someone that is tired and doesn’t really care about presenting themselves well. So even if you are an introvert like me, do your best to smile and speak energetically – it makes all the difference! Avoid that mistake at all costs!
How to ensure you don’t make these video resume mistakes:
Now that you know the basics, make sure end up with an amazing, AI-optimized video resume at Voomer. You can upload, host and share your video resume for free at Voomer and on top of that, you can use AI-powered tools to ensure your video resume is the best it can be – ensuring you have the best show and making an amazing impression on the recruiters and hiring managers that are the gatekeepers to your dream job! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments or reach out directly to mae at [email protected]! I usually reply within a day!