Video introduction for job search

Video introduction for job search

Recruitment professionals in search of "talent"

Probably you also noticed how word "talent" became so popular in recent years. Professional recruiters and HR professionals of different kind just love speaking about "looking for talent", "hiring talent", "retaining talent", "attracting talent" etc. Word "talent" became so "in", almost like the word "selfie".

Well, call me old fashioned but I think this is just a bunch of nonsense.

Employers do not hire talent nor do they need talent for their business operations. They need skilled people. Talent is an abstract concept, skills and people are as concrete as anything can be. Employers (still) need people.

Artists need talent, Leonardo da Vinci had talent, Michelangelo (di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni - an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet) had talent however a good carpenter does not need talent, good computer programmer does not need talent, good doctor does not need talent.

What they need are skills to do their job (acquired through training/education and perfected through practice) and they need agreeable personality traits so that they can work productively in a team environment and/or with the customers/clients. That is all.

Even if employers look for, let's say, a graphic designer where talent may be required to a certain degree I will have to ask you this: will they hire a graphic designer who is super talented however (s)he is so eccentric it is almost certain they would get into conflict with most of other team members or with the clients? The answer is no, they would not hire such 'talent". Why? Because all this fancy talk about hiring talent is nothing but nonsense.

Employers need skilled people (people who can get the job done, in accordance with expectations and timelines set out by the employer) and who can relate in a pleasant and professional manner with other employees and company clients.

And yes, on top of that employers are also looking for some sort of indication such skilled and nice worker won't leave them in 6 months or so so that they don't have to go through the recruitment process all over again. This one has nothing to do with talent either.

What is it that Canadian employers look for in an employee?

Now that we agreed all this talk about talent is nothing but hot air the question remains:

How do you demonstrate to your (potential) employer that:

  1. You have the skills they need,
  2. You have personality (traits) they need and
  3. That you won't leave their company as soon as the first opportunity comes along?

Well, you will still need your resume (CV) and cover letter as usual however in addition to those two classical tools of job search I strongly suggest that you also prepare a 3 minute video introduction not to verbally copy what is written in your resume but to use this incredibly rich medium to convey messages which will basically be the answers to the 3 afore mentioned questions:

  1. When you speak in your video introduction your potential employer will have a chance to hear your language in action,
  2. if you are for example a cook quickly prepare a dish and explain (in front of the camera) what you do during the preparation - experienced cook or chef (your employer) will without doubt be able to assess how good you are at your job just by watching you prepare a fairly simple dish. If you are a painter demonstrate your painting skills etc.
  3. have your former employer say on camera a few nice words about you,
  4. have some of your former co-workers or friends say something nice about you,
  5. have some of your former customers say something nice about you
  6. give you potential employers some concrete examples of the skills you listed in your resume (something that is relevant for the job you want to apply for),
  7. tell the employer what is it that you have to offer that other candidates may not have (for example expertise in a certain process, awards and recognition you received etc.)

How do I record my video introduction?

Is it difficult to make a video introduction?

Like with everything else practice will make it perfect (more or less). We have another page with more information, what we will mention here are just the bare-bone basics.

You can record video yourself using your cellphone camera (and hopefully some sort of stabilizer such as tripod), you can even use your webcam (computer camera) however the best results will be if someone else can record your video. Especially if that someone else is skilled in video recording and video editing.

Most cellphone cameras nowadays can record in high definition (720p) which means video quality will be good, but pay attention to audio quality as sound plays equally important role in video recording.

Editing your video should be a straight-forward process since it would involve just trimming and re-arranging clips into a meaningful sequence. No need for fancy transitions, motion graphics and special effects!

Sample video

What do you think: will an employer learn more about this worker by reading his resume alone or by watching this video AND reading his resume?

What do I do with such video introduction?

Where can I upload my video introduction?

Upload your presentation to Youtube or Vimeo. Chances are you will send your resume and cover letter to potential employers through e-mail. When you do that just include the link to your video introduction as well. This may make a world of difference because anyone who ever posted a job ad knows that 99% of all resumes received are incredibly similar to each other.

Reviewing received resumes may be mind numbing experience however if you make a good video introduction (no longer that 2-3 minutes long) your resume will stand out and increase your chances of in-person or over-the-phone interview.

Both Youtube and Vimeo have option for making video private which means only person who knows the link to the video can see it (someone who would look up this video on Google search would not be able to find your video, it would not be listed). That way you can share your video introduction with Canadian employers only (if that is what you want).

Some technical considerations

Even though it is not that difficult to record 2-3 minutes of video when practically everyone has a camera on their cellphone, still it is important to learn some basic Dos and DON'Ts in order to create a useful job search video.

To learn some useful technical tips for recording of video introductions please check out second page on this web site that deals with video presentations.

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