Ten years ago the thought of using a video resume or video introduction on a web site would have drawn a huge crowd — of skeptics. In the job search world that sort of thing was not done by any self-respecting executive.

Bob Dylan said it best: “The times they are a changing.” Today, the use of videos, first used in the worlds in technology and by young grads trying to capture a gig on Wall Street, does not elicit immediate condemnation or, at best, condescension.  A proverb tells us, “There is a time and place for everything.”  I believe the time has come for judicious use of video by executives has arrived.

Here are production guidelines I feel you must follow:

  • It must reek of quality.  When you take a risk by using technology in a new setting, there is no room for less than stellar production. A good quality camera, a professional microphone, and studio lighting is essential. Yes, you can use your iPhone — preferably the newer models with the much improved cameras — but you absolutely must have a good quality microphone, not the one built-in to the phone, and lighting must be of a professional quality.  
  • Have a plan for messaging and delivery.  Before you spend the time and money, have a plan for what you are going to say and how you will say it –  that is how you plan to deliver the content — your personal web page, Linked In your professional (not personal) Facebook page, or some other business oriented site that recruiters frequently visit.  Your best bet is LinkedIn. You can also create a YouTube channel for videos but this is not a prime delivery platform for recruiters.  At least not yet.  More than likely you will not be able to deliver this with email because of the file size.  Dropbox, which is a robust tool for businesses, is more cumbersome.  You have to make it easy for people to see or they will not take the time, or make the effort, to view it.
  • Your message is going to vary based on your circumstance.  If you are building your brand and attempting to connect with employers, then your message will be one of introduction and value.  If you are rehabbing your career after a disastrous event, the approach will be entirely different.  If this is the reason for the video, consult with your transition or career management coach before you head to the studio. Sending the wrong message can do a great deal of harm.  We recommend a production philosophy of short and sweet – Two to four minutes tops.  Even then the file size will not allow email transmission. Engaging, clever and informative are three objectives you should shoot for in the script, but when it comes to clever, do not commit the sin of “being too cute by half.”

By the way, I apologize for my open-mouthed screen capture from YouTube.  That is one post-production issue I have NOT yet figured out. When I do, I will post the solution!

Have a wonderful weekend.