A great way to stand out from other jobseekers when submitting a resume is by also creating a Visume. A short clip of about one to three minutes in length, it serves to showcase your skills, background, career aspirations and you as a prospective employee to the company you are sending it to. Its use during a job search can really benefit you especially since it gives employers ideas and information about you that they would otherwise not be able to pick up through your written resume. And furthermore, putting in the extra effort in creating one speaks volumes about you to prospective employers.
Here are some tips by Chong Ming, whom we e-interviewed, on how he had successfully gotten a job with the help of his visume after attending a visume workshop at e2i. For his full story, you may catch it at “How I got my job with a Visume”
- What are the most important components to have / mention in a visume versus a written resume?
A visume does not replace your resume. A resume is still an important document for job seeking. Traditionally, in order to stand out among other applicants, we wrote cover letters so as to attract potential employers to look at our resumes. What's better than cover letters is to actually tell potential employers what we are made of through digital media such as a video profile. It's like having a one way interview that allows potential employers to actually see and hear us first. So a visume replaces the function of cover letters.
Your visume is about making an impression to attract suitable employers to want to know you more. It must not be long. 1 to 1.5 minutes would be sufficient. I feel that employers should be able to tell if you're the one in less than 30 seconds of the video. So there is no need to pour everything from the resume to the visume. Here is what you need in a visume:
- Good quality video (resolution of at least 768p). By good, it also means the sound has to be clear, no background noise). A bad quality video may result in employers clicking away within the first 3 seconds.
- Dress smart – like as though you're going for the actual interview.
- Prepare a script, memorize and rehearse it. So that you can look directly at the camera and make viewers feel that you're talking directly to them. You can rehearse in front of a mirror or a friend/family and listen to their feedback. Rehearse many times if necessary so that you look confident in front of the video.
- Have a short introduction and then share your unique selling point. As it's only about 1 minute video, use keywords related to the job requirements.
- Don't really need to share stories or experiences. Save that for the actual interview. Share enough to "entice" them to want to see you.
- Make sure the visume do not contradict the resume. Both should tell the same story. Just that visume is the shorter version of it.
- Do you have to be very good with video editing? And what software can be used?
You don't have to be a video editor pro, though you do need some basic computer skills. I have never done video editing before and it only took me one night to produce my first visume.
In Windows, there is Movie Maker from Microsoft Essentials (free download). In Mac, there's the iMovie (free for Mac). Both are easy to use software with tutorials within the software and in Internet. If you have a friend or relative who has experience in these, getting them to help you would be great. Else, the Internet is your friend. There are lots of how-to instructions in the Internet.
- After creating it, how did you present your visume to the recruiters of the companies you applied at?
As the objective of the visume is to attract employers to see my resume, it's kind of redundant to put the link in the resume. I don't send the video as an attachment as well as it can be huge and some corporate servers may just block the attachment. I upload my video to YouTube so that it's easier to share it as a link. I also put it in my Linkedin page. I emailed my video link to my recruitment agencies. I called them to ask them to watch my visume and to send the link to their clients if possible. For direct employers, I'll email it to their HR with my link and attached my resume.
- Do you think a visume gives more leeway for recruiters to discriminate a job applicant and hence make it more risky?
It would but I don't consider it a risk. I believe we still cannot run away from discrimination. If it was based on my race, gender, looks, and age that they would reject me from my visume, then they would reject me anyhow at an actual interview. In fact, the visume would do both parties a favor by not wasting time on the interview. And I would never want to work for that company anyway. So in a sense, visumes would help you to sieve out such employers.
- How do you think a visume had helped you stand out amongst other candidates in your industry (IT)? How about for people in other industries?
I have never heard of visume until I attended the workshop at e2i. It was a totally new concept to me. And I believe it is a new concept to many of my peers, especially those around my age. Even when I was a hiring manager in my previous job, I've never seen one candidate with a visume. If there was one candidate that had a visume, that candidate would really stand out. Whether the video is good or not, or the candidate is suitable or not, he/she already had my attention. So I believe, it's the same for other hiring managers. So while it's still not the trend in the industry, I find that this is the best time to have visume, before everyone has one. As for other industries, I don't think visumes are a trend there as well. So anything that is out of the norm will stand out.